Saturday, September 15, 2012

Shoe Recovery - How to recover your shoes

I decided to do a little tutorial on my experience with recovering shoes. I attempted a couple different methods and found this one to work best so far. Here are the things you will need;

- 1 Pair of  flats, or heels if you should so desire
- 1 pair trimming shears
- 1 pair regular shears
- Hot glue gun
- Super 77 multipurpose adhesive spray
- 2 plastic bags
- Material of choice ( I used an old shirt for this project with plenty of left over material for another project)

Step 1) Alright. First things first. You will want to  choose a pair of shoes that have a fairly sturdy backing. If they are too flimsy they will last as long as the shoes they were before, which is not very long.I chose a pair that I liked, but that didn't really go with anything I own. If  they have any embellishments, like beads and bows, you will want to remove them before you start your process

Steps 2 and 3) You will want to take your selected material and drape it in the desired configuration over your shoe. Make sure that it covers the entire shoe from toe to back and either side, with about a 1" extra edge to it. Once you have your rectangle of fabric, slit it down the center with about 2" left uncut for the toe ( length will differ depending on your shoes. Just leave enough space to cover entire tip and leave an edge to work with).

Step 4) This is where it gets fun. You're going to want to get your  plastic  bags and super 77  ready for this.  I learned the hard way that you should do this outside and never leave it uncovered. It will stick to everything and anything for years( might be a slight exaggeration) if left bare, so have your material ready.
- Slip the plastic bag over your foot and tie off.  And then put on your shoe. ( I learned it's easier and less messy to wear the shoe while spraying and applying so your hands wont get sticky )
- Spray your shoe from about 6" away until it is lightly coated with an even white mist, maneuvering your foot as needed
DON'T PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN - unless you want dirt, debris or whatever is beneath you on your shoe. It WILL stick and create puckering on your shoe.

Step 5) Grab your pre-cut material and begin to apply at toe.  Smooth  out creases and folds as you go, and pull  strips along sides to adhere. Make sure not too pull too tight on your material or you will get strange warping. Try to let it fall as naturally as possible. 

Step 6 and 7)  -Trim  away excess material leaving 1/4" - 1/2" edge for  finishing.  
- Then cut  slit into edges to create tabs. Follow natural curves of the shoe to determine where to cut.
-Grab your glue gun and apply light coating to edge of your tabs and fold in to adhere. Continue process around the edges of the base of shoe, and instead of applying the glue to your tabs, apply it directly to the shoe. 
DO NOT trim away excess material from base of shoe or rear seam  just yet. Wait until it is base is glued and then trim that edge to desired length and then we will approach the rear seam.

  You can see the edge in this picture, to get this seam I  kept my trimming shears against the sole of the shoe and cut at the existing angle of the sole. This will give and even edge.
Step 8) once you have glued down the base edges and inner tabs you will come to the rear seam. I left about a 1/2" seam and folded the material in on itself and simply glued it down.

Here's the end result! Hope you have fun recovering some of your own shoes!

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