Craftster's current challenge (#10 - Footwear Facelift) totally had me thinking... I love shoes, and knew I wanted to try my hand - but I just wasn't quite sure what to do about it...
Then it totally hit me! I bought a pair of beaded white satin mules as a back-up for my wedding shoes, (my kitties had gnawed at my first pair, and I didn't have the heart to investigate for some time) and they cost like 9$ because I found them on clearance at DSW (but I wasn't going to be heartbroken if my little expiriment didn't pan out.)
Anyhoo - I've been wanting to try Kool-aid dyeing since I saw the article on Knitty, a few months ago. My original concept was to dip-dye the shoes, so the color was more intense at the tip and more subtle towards the top. In reality, it seemed that wouldn't work out very well... so I just dyed the toe end, and left the heel end white. I really like the contrast... and the beading is mostly white or clear, so the white heels tie the two colors together, I think.
Here's a work-in-progress shot... the blue in the cup is what the Kool-Aid really looked like! I was nervous my shoes would end up electric blue too, instead of the lovely aqua water color I was going for.
I started by adding 1/3 of the dry powdered Kool-Aid mix to 8oz. of water, and the remaining 2/3 dry mix to 6oz. of water. I originally wanted an ombre (or gradient) effect, and thought I'd achieve this in multiple color washes in the two different strengths. The more diluted solution seemed to barely tint the white silk at all, so I quicky switched to the stronger stuff. Basically I just painted it on with a brush, not being too careful as I had set the shoes in pyrex pans first. Some dripped off, but each "layer" was about 2-3 washes over the whole front of the shoe. Then I blasted them with a hair dryer, in the hopes that would set the colorfastness of the dye (I would hate to try and wear them, and then end up ruining them!)
I knew I wanted to do more than just dye these - although I was very suprised how well the Kool-Aid dye worked out! So, I dove into my bead stash... and came up with a bunch of seed beads (which I drove myself nuts sorting & stringing - only to decide they were too dainty to use!) and a wonderful strand of vintage aqua channel-backed rhinestones. The channel backs allowed me to sew them on... which was interesting, because I've never sewn anything onto shoes before!
Here's an in-progress shot of the rhinestones being sewn on... I was hoping to get away with only sewing every third or fourth down, but quickly decided I needed to sew them all. It was pretty tough, as I tried to use my fingernails as thimbles! I used 123 of the rhinestones, and have about 20 left, I think.
Well, I'm so tired I can't type very well anymore, so I'll just finish with pictures of the completed shoes!