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Monday, September 23, 2013

DIY Saddle Shoes!



Last week, I blogged about styling the annual Lumber Baron's Ball!  I love these yearly events hosted by the Lakeshore Museum (see last year's WWII era announcement here, and what I wore) and the theme for this year is one decade later...the 1950's! (Search my blog for more coverage of last year's event).

After giving some thought to what would be a fun DIY project for anyone attending, my mind was drawn to the idea of saddle shoes! I found a few pairs shopping online ranging from $25 to well over $100 (see the most affordable I found here at

I decided to go out on the hunt for a pair of black Oxfords or similar dress shoes to transform...and had immediate success at Hope's Outlet in Grand Haven, where I scored a pair that fit me for only $3.99! Naturally, I'm not the first person to consider making my own saddle shoes. I found a few other DIYs (linked below)for canvas shoes and other versions, but I decided to try my hand at spray painting instead! You can easily do this DIY yourself and feel good about saving money AND resources while creating an awesome saddle shoe.

You don't have to feel limited to donning them at the 1950's themed Lumber Baron's Ball either--because saddle shoes are INCREDIBLY fashionable and work so well with lots of different stylings. In fact, check out this fashion board I've created on Pinterest just so you can see how versatile they are!

99e1e7837d58c1de776bc4696412d2ad.jpg (236×236) Chambray, khaki, saddle shoes. Nice!  saddle shoe ad

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What you'll need: 

·         ---- A Pair of Oxfords (dress shoes or canvas shoes will work, but I preferred the look of a structured dress shoe for this DIY).

·        ----  Spray paint (I chose Rustoleum 2X Cover paint and primer in one…in “almond” rather than white, with a glossy finish. Retrospectively, I wish I would have chosen a flat finish, because I feel it would have added more dimension. But you could be fun and try any color or finish).

·         ---- Variety of tapewhatever works for you. I used duct tape and painters (masking ) tape.

·        ---- Paper to lay down/area to spray paint.

·         ---- About two hours to properly spray and allow them to dry to at least the first level (it will be a few days before they are really ready to wear, in my opinion. After spray painting shoes in the past, I discovered the paint was tacky for a  few days after, depending on your environment and humidity, etc.)


I taped the shoe off with duct tape ONLY because it was the only thing that would stick to the shoe! (Painters tape and others, included). I was a little worried at first that it would leave residue, but nope--it peeled off nicely. Following the natural lines of the shoe, I opted to paint the front and back white (though you could reverse this and do just the middle section for an easier time--I just preferred the look of predominantly white saddle shoes). 

My only advice? Make sure you tape very securely. I DID have a little bit of bleeding occur on my lines, and I cleaned it up as best I could with a cotton ball and some acetone.


Thank you, little kitty, for keeping the paper down while I spray painted. (It was windy out there!)


VOILA! SADDLE SHOE GOODNESS! Check the Pinterest board above for outfit inspiration!!



Fun with the faux leopard print laces, right? Picked these little gems up for one dollar at Dollar Tree this weekend--get 'em while they're there!

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