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How to Glitter Shoes (Without Cracking)

How to Glitter Shoes (Without Cracking)

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Do you own an old, plain, boring pair of sneakers or flats that you want to add flair to? Do you have a young child who would love some glitter on their shoes? In either scenario, glitter can be a great option for sprucing up a pair of shoes.

There is an issue that many individuals run into when they add glitter to their shoes, however; they end up with some unsightly cracking in the finished product. This can make your shoes less attractive rather than more, defeating the purpose of adding the glitter in the first place.

If you follow the detailed steps provided in this article, you can add glitter to a pair of shoes without worrying about the beautiful design job you have worked so hard on cracking and breaking away from your shoes in the near future, leaving a trail of shininess in their wake.

Read on to learn how you can easily make any pair of shoes truly shimmer for a long while to come.

Shoes, Glitter, and Glue: The Essentials

There are three items that are the core requirements for this project: glitter, an adhesive, and a pair of shoes. There are a few things you should keep in mind while searching for these items.

Shoes:First things first; you will, of course, need to either buy some shoes for this project or use a pair that you already own. It is very likely that you have a particular pair in mind. It’s possible that they even inspired this project initially.

If you do not already have your shoes, you can find an inexpensive, plain pair of flats or sneakers from a department store, or you could pick some up from a thrift store for an even more affordable price.

Keep in mind that flats will hold the glitter for longer since you can just slip them effortlessly off your feet rather than having to constantly touch them to unlace them as you would have to do with some sneakers.

Glitter:When searching for your glitter, it is important for you to pick out a variety that is very fine. If you opt for chunkier glitter pieces, it will be much more difficult to get the glitter-glue evenly painted onto your shoes, and it will not stick to your shoes as well either.

Glue:You will need to figure out what adhesive you want to use for this project. Some prefer to use Mod Podge, while others like Glitter It glue or a fabric adhesive.

Time to Shine

This is where all the fun begins. It is finally time to put the glitter on your shoes. So take out your supplies, and follow these steps.

Preparations: Put a few layers of paper or towels in and around the area where you will be working on your shoes. This will make the cleanup far easier after you have completed your project. In other words, your future self will very much appreciate you if you follow this step.

You will need a container of some sort for holding your glue and glitter mixture, as well as a utensil to combine the two into a shimmering paste. Additionally, you will need a paint brush and some painter’s tape (or any tape that can be removed later without too much trouble or leftover sticky residue).

Before adding the tape to your shoes, scrub them thoroughly with soap and warm water so they are a pair of clean canvases ready to be worked on. This will assist the glitter in adhering to the shoes better and prevent it from cracking and falling off soon after you finish.

You can take the cleaning step a little less seriously if the pair of shoes you are using is brand-new. However, they probably will still need a good washing to make them less stiff and to remove any dust they may have accumulated while sitting on a shelf.

After your shoes are totally dry, you can add your painter’s tape to the bottoms to keep them free of glitter-glue. You can also use the tape to cover up any other parts of the shoes that you do not want to get glitter on.

If your shoes have laces, you can remove them at this point. It is a smart idea to stuff your shoes with some paper as well so you can avoid sticking your feet into a glittery mess later on.

Glitter-Glue: It’s time to take out your container, adhesive, glitter, and your mixing utensil. Now, combine your adhesive and some glitter in the container. You should use about twice as much glue as glitter.

Stir up the mixture with your utensil. The finished product should be quite thick. At this point, you will use one of your paint brushes to apply the glitter-glue to your shoes, which are about to be popping.

When you are painting the mixture onto your shoes, apply thin coats so as to avoid making it too thick by mistake. If it ends up too thick, it can appear uneven and stick to your shoes less effectively.

When you are painting on your glitter-glue, your adhesive might look white. It will become translucent after it dries, however, so don’t let this concern you.

Put your shoes aside to dry in a safe spot where they will not be touched by anyone or anything, and seal your container of glitter-glue so it stays fresh and moist for the next coats.

Once your shoes have dried completely, you can apply a second coat. Let this layer dry as you did the first before applying a third coat, as well as additional coats afterward if necessary, repeating the same process.

Sealing your masterpiece: After you have painted your glitter-glue on to the point where you are satisfied with the appearance of your shoes, you will then need to seal up your work. This is a simple step that will make a huge difference. It will ensure that the glitter stays put for a long time.

You can either use the adhesive you made the glitter-glue with or a sealing spray to seal your shoes in all their sparkling, colorful glory. If you opt for the adhesive, simply use a paint brush to apply a coat of the adhesive alone just as you did with the glitter-glue.

When deciding to go the aerosol route, you can utilize a can of hairspray just as easily as you can a spray meant for sealing. It is vital that you buy a water-based sealant, however, as other kinds can ruin your glitter.

If you end up purchasing a sealing spray, be certain that you get the type with a gloss finish so you keep that glitter shining. Getting a matte finish would defeat the whole purpose of the glitter as it will only make it appear dull.

However you seal the glitter-glue, spray your shoes outside or in an area where there is plenty of ventilation. Breathing in noxious chemicals would not pair well with the magical feelings that your shimmering shoes are meant to evoke.

If you are sealing your shoes with a spray, hold the can away from the shoes rather than an inch or two away. This will help you avoid spraying too much sealant. If you apply a layer of sealant that is too thick, it can result in dripping and look uneven.

Once you have adequately sealed your shoes, applying the sealant in an even layer, put your shoes in their safe place again while they dry. It should only take a night.

Lastly, remove the painter’s tape from the bottoms of your shoes, as well as from any other spots where you had placed tape, take the paper out of your shoes, and try them on. You can also put your laces back in if they had them.

If you notice glitter falling off while you are wearing your shoes, it indicates that you need to add another coat of sealant.

Alternative Method

Another way that you can add glitter to your shoes is by putting a layer of adhesive on first, then sprinkling glitter onto the shoes, and then repeating this process as many times as necessary. Finally, you will use a sealant or another layer of your adhesive.

Preserve Your Shoes

Of course, the easiest way to keep the glitter on your shoes preserved is by wearing them minimally. Perhaps you could wear your shoes on special occasions only or for a couple of hours at a time rather than all day at the office. It is also a good idea to avoid wearing the shoes when it is rainy or muddy outside, as this will only make the glitter wear off more quickly.

If you keep an eye on your shoes, you can repair any glitter that you notice is starting to crack or missing patches of glitter before they get too bad. All you need to do is reapply your glitter-glue mixture, reseal it, and let your shoes dry.