Glitter Dreams & Dorothy Shoes

7 years ago
What would a Fabulous Friday be without some glitz and glam.  I refuse to believe that just because I'm over 30, that I am somehow beyond my sparkly years.  If I want to break out the glitter and make myself some killer, sparkly, red heels I'm going to do it, and stripper or drag queen comparisons be damned.

You better brace yourself because today I am going to get all crafty on your arse.

A few weeks back the lovely, and all round Australian fashion goddess, Phoebe Montague from Lady Melbourne made her very own pair of Dorothy heels, following some muselike inspiration courtesy of an Alison Goldfrapp album.  I developed a very unhealthy need to possess those shoes after the first glance.  I mean they are red and they are glittery, what more could any girl, or discerning cross-dresser, want?

I have taken Lady M's basic idea and added a few steps to ensure maximum adhesion and minimal dispersal of glitter.  Whilst it's cute to leave a trail of your own pixi dust in the form of glitter, I imagine there are many shop and restaurant owners who would be less than impressed with a trail of red glitter throughout their establishments.  Besides, no one wants a pair of heels that look like they have developed the mange.  And really a pair of heels missing large chunks of glitter is just sad.

Now there is no huge trick to these shoes of fabulosity.  Even I could manage it, and considering Eunice has been on long service leave, that means they are uber easy to make. They are a 3 day project, thanks to drying times.

Preparation is everything.  So here are the basic preparation steps.

  • Buy or recycle a pair of super ugly, and super cheap heels (though I can't see why you couldn't do some ballet flats or go all outside the box, and bedazzle your ugg boots).  I got my heels of tackiness, from the sale rack at Target.  Mr Grumpy always says that a sale sign is really a "come in Michelle sign" and frankly, he's right (but don't tell him I said that.  Can't go around letting your man know he is right about such things).  I did a little dance of joy at my $10 price tag.  I would have used an old pair of my own heels, but I love them all too much, and it would have been like bedazzling one of my children.
 (Now whilst I may have reached the cougar age group,
I will not be wearing tacky metallic cheetah skin heels)
  • Grab a bottle of PVA glue.  PVA is cheap as chips, and you can get it anywhere.  Luckily I have about 8 bottles at home in various cupboards.  It's one of those items that I see on a shelf in a store and think "that'll come in handy", so buy yet another bottle.  It's a sickness really.
  • Grab some red glitter.  You could go any colour glitter really.  Hell, you could go all unicorn farty and get rainbow coloured glitter (What you didn't know unicorns farted rainbows? Sheesh keep up people). Though why you would want a pair of shoes that looked like a unicorn had farted on them I don't know.  But I wont judge, I used to work in mental health and frankly unicorn fart shoes are on the lower side of crazy.  Now where was I.  Oh yes glitter.  You don't need much, so don't be like me and buy the biggest jar of red glitter they had, and end up using about a bees dick worth.  One of those little tubes could just about do it.
  • Grab a piece of sandpaper.  Any old sandpaper will do.  I only used a small piece that I had lying around.  A mid level grade of sandpaper does the trick.
  • A spray can of high gloss enamel.  Again you can purchase a can for minimal dollars, but I actually shelled out a few more dollars and brought some of the better stuff to avoid yellowing.  Because lets face it, no one wants a pair of heels that look like someone has peed on them.
  • Old paint brush.  Luckily I delude myself into thinking I'm an artist so I have a few old brushes hanging around.  One that's about 1cm across works well.
  • Old Newspaper.  This is one messy project.  Glitter is worse than sand and ends up everywhere, and I do mean everywhere.
  • 2 old plastic shopping bags
  • Wine.  Now I'm a savignon blanc or pinot grigio girl, but you can pick whatever you like.  I think this is almost compulsory given that you are making sparkly party shoes, but if you have to abstain you can always just bust out the non-alcoholic cider or a nice juice and add a cocktail umbrella.
  • Music.  Again these are party shoes.  To impart the magic into them you need to play music.  For me I did disco tunes, Donna Summer, Bee Gees and the like.  I did also put my Goldfrapp album into the play list in homage to Lady M.

Now to get crafting.

Day 1:

  • Take a sip of wine and press play on your stereo.
  • Give the heels a light sand.  Rubbing all over the surface creates a better surface for the glue/glitter to adhere to.  Wipe them down with a damp cloth to remove all traces of dust.
  • Take another gulp sip of wine.
  • Paint on a decent layer of glue.  Using the paint brush you can get into little joins and be more precise in your glittering areas.
  • Shake glitter all over the glued surface.  Shake off the excess. Luckily PVC is bright white when wet so you can see anywhere you missed.
  • Leave shoes to dry for a day.
  • Note glitter in your eye HURTS.  Make sure you wash your hands, thoroughly.
  • Finish off glass of wine and bust out some disco moves.

Day 2:

  • Start as in day 1, wine and music.
  • Give shoes a tap to remove loose glitter.
  • Sip wine.
  • Take shoes into a well lit room or into sunshine to find spots you missed.
  • Re-do glue layer and re-glitter.
  • This gives good glitter coverage and requires further celebration because they are now so pretty.
  • Finish off glass of wine and bust out disco moves.

Day 3:

  • Start as in Days 1 and 2, wine and music.
  • Stuff shoes with crunched up shopping bags to stop spray going inside shoes.
  • Give can of spray varnish a good shake.
  • Make sure nozzle is pointing at shoes and not at your face.  I add this step for you dear reader, as I did not do this check, and varnished my face.  Extra tip have turpentine close by to remove varnish from face and glasses. 
  • Have extra glass of wine to wash away the taste of spray varnish.  It tastes very, very, bad (shudder).
  • Give shoes a good coating of varnish.  Leave to dry overnight.
  • Have another glass of wine to celebrate finishing shoes.  Dance with wild abandon.

Day 4:

  • Beautiful Dorothy shoes! So exciting. Time to party on down.  Break out the bubbly to celebrate.
Wearing Dorothy Shoes may cause you to break into random moments of Blue Steele)
(Watch out Heidi, Vogue here I come)
 (Note clever use of bright red heels to distract the eye from my colourful cankles).

(Even better black & white hides a multitude of sins)

*Big thanks to my eldest and his ability to not laugh when taking photos of his insane mother, and for his judicious use of photoshop.
So there you go dear readers.  Now you can make your own magical Dorothy shoes.  In reality it doesn't matter if you wear them or not (although I fully intend to) they are art.  Simply having them on display to look at, is bound to bring a little magic into your day.

The New Dorothy :)

Happiness, Goldfrapp (2008)

Michelle Roger writes for Living With Bob (Dysautonomia)

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