I love meeting new people, especially women who share the same sense of individuality and sense of style. Social media platforms are a great way to meet these peers, sometimes close by and sometimes half way around the world. Enter Emily of BlueUmbrellaLane, a blog on thrifting and sustainable style located in Melbourne, Australia. Emily & became acquainted on Instagram last year and our virtual friendship has slowly grown since then. As most IG friendships go we like each other posts and comment regularly, but we also talked about collaborating at some point. When I posted a photo of an easy DIY way to add flair to your shoes by using the clip-on earrings my mother gave me we decided to collaborate on an up-cycle project. Emily had seen an inspiration post with shoes up-cycled with tissue paper decoupage. I had no idea what I wanted to do, but like most of my inspiration, I knew it would come to me in the moment. We both agreed to purchase our shoes second hand and use tissue paper as our embellishment.
I traveled to Richmond, VA last weekend with my husband and his band, Buddha Council, for their show at The Broadberry opening for the British reggae band, The Skints. (Check them out – rock steady!) I scooted around Carytown while the bands loaded in and performed their sound checks. First stop was Bygone’s Vintage, one of my all time favorite thrift stores. When I lived in RVA this was one I would frequent on a regular basis, but this trip proved unsuccessful. They only carry reproduction shoes. The very nice woman at the counter, Taylor, directed me to several other thrift stores within walking distance, each shop was within one block.
Luxor Vintage, juxtaposed across the street from Bygones, was my next stop. I encountered a little girl and her mother there where she was trying on all the high heels and trying to charm her mother into purchasing the black pair she had on, “I think school would allow me to wear these for picture day, mama.” Nice try, haha! I quickly surveyed the small selection; I was 0-2. Bummer. On to the next.
Having zig zagged across Cary St. I found myself a half a block west at Ashby consignment shop. This was by far my favorite stop; the bright open layout and the large selection of current fashions at prices that would make your grandmother blush!
I found the Merona chambray D’Orsay flats I wanted to use for the DIY project and paid a whopping $9. Who am I kidding? I bought the entire outfit, including the Madeleine hat with grosgrain ribbon. Gush.
I made one more stop at the Goodwill Second Change Thrift store where I found this very on trend straw box purse – this was the moment where the inspiration hit. I couldn’t pass it up at $7, although it had minor damage.
Once back home I started on the tissue paper flowers I wanted to create to complement the rattan flowers on the straw bag. I had floral wire, tissue paper and my hot glue gun. (I am, by the way, one of those crazy people who save the tissue paper from every gift at every celebration they attend, knowing I will be able to use again one day! Needless to say I had a plethora of paper and colors to choose from.)
Each flower looked lovely, I even made each little pistol & stem, but they were flimsy and I had no idea how I was going to glue them to the shoe. Have you ever hot glued tissue paper? It is so thin that the glue bleeds right through. Ugh. Fail.
Then it dawned on me that felt fabric would be durable enough to glue, and pom-poms would be a perfect alternative for flowers. It doesn’t hurt that they are also currently on trend. So here is my finished product. Very simple, very feminine and I think they will prove to be quite versatile this summer.
Emily’s booties are everything! I wouldn’t be surprised if I found them in a fashion editorial spread. Check them out here. Share your DIY shoe project ideas and/or projects in the comments below.