Face it: formal occasions are costly at best. From having to buy a dress, to having hair and makeup done, to purchasing accessories or jewelry, formals are fabulous but expensive. You can cut the cost in many ways, from making your own dress to borrowing jewelry. You can even use shoes from your existing wardrobe after you doctor them up a little bit.
The shoes, of course, must be dressy-looking to begin with. Sneakers or flip-flops, no matter how much you dress them up, will not make the cut. Choose a pair of heals or mules and let’s get busy.
Something as simple as a bobby pin can help you turn your ordinary heels into works of art. Simply use contact cement to glue a jewel, faux or real, to the top front of the bobby pin. Slide the bobby pin onto the top of the shoe, in the center. Snip excess parts of the bobby pin with wire cutters and you’re good to go.
Maybe you have a decent pair of high heels, but there are scuff marks on them. Use fabric paints to make them new again. Choose fabric paint in silver or gold, then use an ordinary paint-by-number brush to apply the paint to the shoes. Pat it on for more depth, or smooth it on for a sleek, sparkly look. When the paint is wet it doesn’t look that glittery, but when it dries, it’ll sparkle like a million bucks.
The fabric paints come in other nice varieties, like pearl-look and metallics. These paints can be applied to just about any shoe surface and can be combined with other designs to give an overall look of elegance.
Glue appliques onto the heels or toe area of the shoes. Appliques are available in all sorts of styles and colors, nowadays, and most are very reasonably priced, particularly small ones. Hot glue them on if you’re in a hurry, or use fabric glue, or another epoxy, to hold the appliques in place. Choose ones with gold or silver designs that’ll give an elegant look to your shoes.
There are all sorts of gold, silver, bronze and other metallic objects which can be glued on to shoes. Look around a craft store to find a selection of these objects that might be suitable for shoes. Choose flat creations that will attach easily.
Craft stores also have a huge variety of faux jewels from teeny-tiny ones to larger shapes. Use the jewels, with fabric glue, to make any design you wish. Or, look for the designs already made. They generally are on a piece of paper that displays the jewel designs. Just remove the entire design and put it on the shoes. The diamond-look ones are fabulous, but you can also choose from shades of blue, emerald, or even red. Or, eliminate the jewels altogether and opt for a bow, placed at the front opening of the top of the shoe.
Combine techniques to make even more formal shoes. Paint the shoes with glitter paints, for example, then use a different color of jewels to outline the heel. Or, use the bobby pin design along with the faux jewels outlining the shoe opening. There are many combinations you can try. You’ll save so much on shoes that you’ll be able to buy the ultimate accessories and gown.