It was the summer of 2016. I was cast as Lily in the musical Annie. I was super excited to play the role because I got to use an obnoxious, nasally, Jersey accent. I died my hair blonde and I got to wear 1930s style clothes! I went to the thrift store and found two blah dresses that the costume department turned in to one fabulous dress! But I ran in to a problem; I didn’t have any shoes that could possibly compete with this dress.
So I got to work searching through Pinterest for 1930s style shoes. With the ideas in my mind, I went thrift shopping and I came upon these.
Kinda boring, but I saw the potential; at least they had the basic shape that I was going for. I knew I had to paint these, and I’d never painted shoes before, especially suede shoes, but I decided to give it a go. In the end, I used Krylon Short Cuts Aerosol Spray Paint in Hot Pink, Purple Acrylic Craft Paint, Silver Sharpie Oil Based Paint Markers for the accents, and I cannibalized an old pair of dress shoes that didn’t fit me well and added some Black lace mesh ribbon I had left over from my Halloween wreath. (I forgot to take a picture of my supplies).
The first step was to clean the shoes and then tape off all of the areas that I didn’t want to get spray painted. Once they were all taped up, I took them outside, placed them in a cardboard box and went to town with the spray paint. I was spraying over suede, so I went heavy. I ended up doing 2 coats, plus touch ups, all at close range.
Once they dried, I removed the tape and took a small paint brush and carefully painted the other areas with the purple acrylic paint. For the base of the shoe, I decided to color in the bottom of the shoe black with a sharpie marker so that it wouldn’t stick out on stage.
Once all of the base painting was done, it was time to add all of the fancy details! I made a dotted design with the silver paint pen. I wanted to mimic the style of many 30s shoes. Once I had painted those details on, I sprayed the entire show with some Glitter Blast clear sealant. It gave the shoes a lovely shine! It should be noted, that it didn’t add any glitter 🙁
Then I used the straps I cut off of my old shoes to create a T-Strap and a fun detail on the back. I Then added the black lace mesh ribbon on the sides, for that extra oomph!
I was very happy with the way they turned out. Up close, you can see some mistakes and the texture wasn’t great. But these were designed to be stage shoes, and for that they worked perfectly. If I were painting shoes for everyday use, I would definitely do things a bit differently.