Craft Tutorial: Custom Glitter Heels

 Hi there! So I had some lofty goals of writing a blog on Orientalism and bellydance’s role in it, but this week is crunch time. With three major stage shows coming up in three different dance genres, I simply don’t have the time this week to try to put my academic hat on. Instead, I thought perhaps I would take all of you on a journey through some of my custom projects to complete my looks.

First up is custom glitter heels. This is great for those big stage shows where you want every detail to be flawless. Ballroom heels are rare to find in colors other than black, nude, gold, silver so if you want pink or green or in my case green and gold, than you are out of luck, or spending lots of money on a custom pair. Here is an easy solution to get the exact color you are looking for. Though this was intended for a samba costume, this idea can work for ballroom, bellydance, bridesmaids, Halloween costumes, really any time you need a crazy pair of heels!

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What you will need:
1- Pair of ballroom shoes, preferably already a glitter pair and broken in so any creases and stretching has already happened, to prevent paint cracking
2- Can of spray adhesive
3- Cheap acrylic paint (99 cent kind at craft stores)
4- All colored glitters you are thinking of using
5- Metallic nail polish in colors of your glitter(s)
6- Paint brushes (optional) or lack of concern of getting fingers temporarily dirty

1- First things, first. Come up with your plan. I didn’t do this and my heels suffered slightly for it. Decide what colors you want to do where, whether you want solid, animal print or colors fading to one another. Think about what your final costume will look like too. Mine in this tutorial are for a samba costume so I opted for big feathers and lots of color changes. Draw it if you have to, look up inspirations.

Some Inspiration!

Some Inspiration!

> 2a- Paint your base coat. This will act as a guideline for when applying glitter. For those who have read my glitter eyeshadow tutorial, you will notice some parallels here. Start with a plan, work in sections and work fast. For fading colors you will want to blend quickly, though the base paint is not going to matter as much as the glitter.

3a- Once you have your base coat and it’s dry, spray adhesive into roughly one section of color (fading only, I will explain animal prints later) then put your colors glitter on and rub lightly through sticky part, let some fall into next section. Allow this to dry then repeat with next color, blending edges to allow colors to fade to one another.

2b- For animal prints or harsher transitions start with your base color first with no patterns yet, say pale gold for leopard print, and allow to dry. Then spray the adhesive and add your base glitter everywhere. Allow to dry thoroughly.

3b- Once dry, take some of your paint colors and paint your patterns, feel free to use stencils or eye ball it. You might want to practice on a piece of paper first. For zebra print you will want to draw more branchey lines alternating between thick and thin. For leopard do just large dark brown (or whatever your darkest color is) dots. Apply appropriate glitter and allow to dry. For leopard print now make a medium brown dot in center of dark brown dots. Don’t make these perfect. And again cover in glitter.

*Sorry for lack of pics at these steps but I was hoplessly covered in glue and glitter, I am sure you get the idea though*

4- Once your glitter patterns are complete and dry, it is now time to do little details. Take your nail polish and paint the smooth edges of the shoe. Take your acrylic paint and paint the spikes of the heels you have the option to leave them matte, cover them in glitter like rest of heel or even blinging the heel out and covering it rhinestones. I chose matte. Your straps you can paint with some watered down acrylic just to get the color. I don’t recommend using glitter or too heavy of paint because it will crack and possibly stain your legs, tights etc.

5- Look over shoe and add any touchups where there may be errors and add any feather or cloth accessories now (bows, ribbons etc). To blend the feather into the heel use hot glue to even out the bumps of the feathers and gradiate into the heel, cover in glitter

Voila, affordable custom heels to match any costume!

Voila, affordable custom heels to match any costume!

some more pics!

some more pics!

And don't forget to give the feather scraps to your favorite kitty!

And don't forget to give the feather scraps to your favorite kitty!