Crafts: Upcycling Old Shoes

12 Nov


An accident can only be deemed an accident if the perpetrator was unintentional in her actions, and this, by all accounts, was an accident. The story begins.


My Mum and I were shopping in an outlet store and she lovingly bought me these gorgeous pair of shoes which were originally £45 but were now down to just £8, and they were in my size – it was meant to be. My Mum cannot resist a bargain and she proceeded to the checkout to buy me them (yay!).

I’ve worn them a fair few times now and, since then, I have amassed my nude shoe collection to double figures.

I’ve got a whole host of shoes in various colours but fail to own a pair of reds.

I wanted some cherry coloured heels for the festive period that is about to ensue but 1. I haven’t found any that are of particular presence that make me want to part with my money, and 2. I don’t want to spend much money as, being on the countdown to Christmas means budgets are tighter. So, what’s a girl to do?

Rather than splurging out on some shoes that, let’s face it, I will only wear once. I decided to upcycle a pair of my favourite shoes I already own. Out of the ridiculous amount of shoes I own, these nude shoes were to be perfect for my upcycling adventure.

I bought this red leather dye off Amazon for around £3 and began to paint my way into Dorothy heaven.


Now, I am a very clumsy person. If you hand me a drink or a plate of food, there’s a 1 in 3 chance I will spill it, everywhere. I have been ‘told off’* for spilling the likes of curry sauce and baked-bean juice, leaving my straighteners on to burn through the carpet, and subsequently the window cill, popping the wrapper of a strawberry ice pole on the floor to see it leak everywhere, iron my way through the dinner table and more recently, letting candle wax melt its way into the cream carpet fibres.

So, why did I decide to dye my nude shoes bright red without any protection in my room? I have NO idea. It was only a matter of time.

First off, you clean your shoes with the handy sponge provided. Then, you simply paint the red dye all over the surface of the shoes. Once dry, you then paint on a second coat. It dries really, really quickly so it takes no time at all.


All went swimmingly, up to this point.

It states, ‘Further coats may be necessary on some of the lighter colours’. I didn’t know if that meant lighter coloured dye or lighter coloured shoes. So, I just went for it and thought a third coat would do no harm.

It did.

Upon beginning my third coat of painting, disaster struck. No, a blob of paint did not fall off the end of the brush onto the carpet. The entire contents of the bottle did.


OH F*CK!!!!!

My Mum is a loving gal but she is going to actually murder me.

We’re currently in the midst of trying to sell our house so everything has to be spick and span for any visitors or potential buyers. So, normally she would be mad at me, but in this current situation she will be beyond crazy.

I knew my painting story was too good to be true. Will I ever learn my lesson?

I tried all manner of things to get the RED DYE that dries REALLY, REALLY QUICKLY, out of the CREAM carpet. Nothing was working – funny that.

My boyfriend is now in on the act of trying to save my carpet and my sorry little ass. We speed to Tesco and buy this, which was soon to become, my hero, my saviour, my God of all Gods.


I squirted it all over the scene of the crime and, true to word, the red stain vanished. Mum is still none-the-wiser, until she reads this, of course. – I love you Mum.

Safe to say, I finished the paint job downstairs with all my favourite magazines scattered across the entire floor acting as little crash mats for every single drop of paint that couldn’t hack it anymore.

Was it worth it? Well, considering I chose to dye my old shoes red rather than buying new red shoes to cut costs, I ended up spending £8 – the total that my Mum bought the original shoes for. 

However, this vanish number, for £5, is a pretty sound investment for me. God only knows when my next accident will occur but now I have this little hunk stored under my bed for any emergencies.

Luckily, we might be moving house, and the room that I will be in has bright red carpet. At first I thought this was garish and ghastly but now the beauty of it is shining through.

If you are more careful than me and don’t have to fork out for stain removers then yes, it is worth it.


After my stressful ordeal, I have indeed now got myself some spangly new shoes to wear at the Christmas parties. What do you think?

*Yes, I’m 23 and I still get ‘told off’.



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