img-thingOK, so you may have a pair of rather worn-down shoes, old but still with life in them. No need to say goodbye to them, give them a new lease of life with make do and mend! Lucy Housman shows us how to.

I got the inspiration for this a while back when I was wandering round Portobello Market and came across a shop selling leather of every kind you could imagine.

My attention was most definitely nabbed by the gold and silver, which might sound a bit tacky, but I had recently seen the most beautiful silver leather cowboy boots, and I coveted them. Inspired by that I have, since then, been pondering the possibilities of transforming shoes, and I have finally begun to experiment.

P1070384I found my shoes-to–be-transformed lurking in my shoe collection. They were looking a bit sad, but with a lovely round toe and chunky Sixties-style heels, they were ideal for the project. With none of the beautiful soft leather I had spotted to hand, I used the outside of an old, but pretty cool, polka dot purse to customize them.

Obviously you can use anything you like, though make sure it’s relatively hard wearing. The purse I used has a plasticky coat, which is ideal. After chopping up and gluing the material in little squares onto the toes of each shoe, stage one was complete. I rather liked the contrast of the red and white against the black, particularly as it’s polka dots, my favourite.

 There are no limits to the creative potential here as long as you have good strong glue and some bits and bobs to experiment with. Stage one being the base, now for stage two, the more decorative part. I found a pair of old clip-on earrings with circular white plastic centres which I extracted, Without the gold plastic setting they became wonderfully Sixties.

Buttons would work too, or necklace beads, anything really, be imaginative! With a bit of scrunched up net, a few stitches and blobs of glue to fix in place, the shoes now have a simple dash of retro. Altogether a fun way to reinvent a pair of old shoes.