I loved all these ideas, but was really worried about time - it was mid-April when I really started thing about this, and my to-do list was quickly becoming out of control. And what would happen if I started, but didn't finish? The shoes would look silly, and I'd probably just end up having to purchase something else.
Time was getting away from me, and suddenly it was June. That's when I got the idea to just do the heel, but even that didn't seem like quite enough visual interest. I liked the idea of a little bow, but that would mean tracking down a little bow to glue onto the shoe! I measured the shoe, figured out what size I would need, and started looking, mostly on Etsy...and I couldn't find anything. I basically needed a simple blue leather bow, but nothing was quite right.
Then, on one of my bi-weekly trips to Michael's, I saw this:
I got home, and looked for a bow pattern online, and once again, nothing I was finding was quite right. Then it occurred to me - I had purchased these little pop-out paper bows from Target:
Now, they weren't the exact shape and size I needed, so they needed some adjusting. But they gave me a place to start from:
Now...on to the sparkle.
I knew that purchasing genuine Swarovski crystals would be very expensive - even just doing the bows and heels, could easily cost me a few hundred dollars! That defeated the purpose of keeping this relatively low-cost. So I nixed genuine crystals, did my research, and ended up purchasing:
- 1,440 pieces of SS6 (that's the size...2 millimeters) in aquamarine stones for $2.97
- 1,440 pieces of SS6 in crystal AB (that stands for Aurora Borealis - so it's not a plain 'white', but has an iridescent sheen to it) for $3.99.
- 1,440 pieces of SS10 (3mm) in aquamarine for $4.59
- 1,440 pieces of SS10 (3mm) in crystal AB for $4.59
- 1,440 pieces of SS16 (4mm) in aquamarine for $6.59
- 1,440 pieces of SS16 (4mm) in crystal AB for $6.59
- 1,440 pieces of SS20 (5mm) in crystal AB for $9.99
- 1,440 pieces of SS10 (3mm) in Aqua AB (so the color is in between the crystal and aquamarine) for $10.07
This probably sounds like a ton of stones - yes and no. All of these stones fit in about half of a quart-sized ziplock! I think I used about a third to a half of them, overall. But I couldn't really buy less - for one, I started the project a month out from my wedding, and couldn't risk running out and having to order more - and secondly, you can't really buy them in smaller quantities (again - unless you're buying the real ones!) I definitely wanted a variety of sizes, because I think that's the key to making it look good. Some of the ones I was seeing online used all the same sized stone, and it comes off as cheaper looking, I think.
I purchased the Swarovski Hotfix Crystal Tool (again - 40% off coupon at Michael's - about $13)
After watching/reading a bunch of online tutorials, I started by applying the bigger stones in a scattered pattern, with the darker blue toward the bottom of the heel, and the crystal AB toward the top. As I went along, I started filling in the space with progressively smaller stones:
While I wouldn't recommend this for everyone, I absolutely loved this project! I like being crafty, and I don't often get to do it. It was very "zen," and sort of mindless once I got going. The result was, frankly, better than I expected - and they are such a great souvenir of the wedding day (since my dress is long gone.)
In total, this project cost me about $100. I didn't strass the whole shoe, but since I had so much left over, it probably wouldn't have actually cost me that much more to do the whole shoe. So if you are someone debating the cost of strassing - don't be fooled! You don't have to spend as much as what most of the blogs/videos say. The Swarovski stones are super sparkly, but just aren't that different from the cheap stuff.
I think this was my first official DIY-post...hope it helps someone out there!