I had so much fun re-doing these shoes! They weren't in the worst shape to begin with, the soles and upper had held up pretty well, but the heels were totally tore up. I blame my bike. I was definitely glad to be able to save these, as once upon a time I'd really loved them, but I also had other motives in doing this project.
I feel like I should maybe explain the inspiration behind this project... well, you know, aside from Piet Mondrian.
You've may have seen this image before. I've been ogling this amazing image from Beau à la Louche since I discovered it on Pinterest a few months ago. It's maybe the prettiest cake I've ever seen in my life! So, although I have no delusions about my many inadequacies as a cook, I decided to try this out for my birthday last month. The results...
Um... not quite what I'd hoped. Yeah, it's pretty putrid looking, but edible at least!
Step 1: Start by putting a few lengths blue painters tape on your cutting mat and cut each piece into 1/4" strips. Then separate the strips you've just cut to make getting at them easier as you work.
Step 2: Place the strips on the your shoe in a grid pattern.
*If you need some inspiration for your design, I found TONS of great images at the tumblr blog Fuck Yeah De Stijl. It's excellent!!
Step 4: Once you've taped down a design that you like, go back and press down all of your tape strips again. This will prevent the paint from seeping beneath it.
Step 5: Paint all of the areas of your shoe that you want to be colored with a primer first. This will give the next layer of paint a better surface to stick to.
When you're finished with the step your shoe will look like this:
Step 6: Start painting in the different portions of your grid with various colors and let it dry (it may be necessary to apply two coats to each block).
*If the heels of your shoes are as damaged as mine were, you'll want to pay extra attention to them. There's no way to make them perfect, but having them one color will go a long way to camouflage the imperfections.
When you're finished with the step, your shoe will look like this:
Step 7: Slowly remove all of the tape from the shoe.
Step 9: Change out the laces for a pair in a primary color. They'll brighten the shoes up even more.
*As an optional last step you can coat the shoe in a clear sealant, if you're worried about the paint peeling away. Since all leathers have different finishes this is more of a concern with some shoes than with others. Just use your best judgement:)