Decoupage Shoes

May 2013 Up-Cycle

Old leather/faux leather shoes (if you can wipe them clean, you can decoupage them)
Instant decoupage water-based glue, sealer and finish, in gloss (we used Modge Podge in gloss)
Paint brush
Stamps, or any thin paper (thin wrapping paper can work well, as can newspaper and pages from glossy magazines)
Ribbon, buttons, other embellishments (optional)
Super glue (optional)
Give your shoes a good clean before you start.
If you are using stamps, you don't need to do any preparation, but if you want to cover your shoes with thin paper, cut or rip it into small, stamp-sized pieces now (the next few steps can be messy, and it's not easy to use scissors when your fingers are covered in decoupage glue).
Use your paintbrush to coat a small area of your shoe with decoupage glue, and cover the back of a stamp with it too. Stick the stamp on to the glue-covered section of the shoe and use your fingers to smooth down any wrinkles.
Stick another stamp on, slightly overlapping the first one you stuck down. Continue adding stamps this way until the entire shoe is covered: you may need to cut some of your stamps so they fit the curves of the shoe. I didn't decoupage the heels of my shoes, but you can do if you want to.
Cover the outside of the shoe in a layer of decoupage glue, and paint over any stamps you folded into the inside of the shoe. Leave it to dry. Add another coat or two to make it uber-shiny and as waterproof as possible.
Add a bow, button, or any other embellishments.
Useful tips:
Make sure you use waterproof decoupage glue and remember that, although it will protect your shoes from rain, splashing around in puddles is best avoided.
If you make a mistake you have a few seconds to remove the offending stamp before the decoupage glue starts to set. If a few seconds has passed, it is better to cover it with a new stamp rather than peel it off and risk ripping the stamp underneath.
Leave the point of the shoe until last, as it is the hardest part to cover. Either use lots of little pieces of paper to cover it, or use one big stamp, folded strategically.
Don't worry if your shoes don't match. It is far too time-consuming to make an identical pair of decoupage shoes, so make the fact each shoe is different into a feature.
If you really can't live with the fact that each shoe is different, add a bow or other embellishment to each shoe so they look like a pair.
Scuffed your newly decoupaged shoes? Not an issue. Just cover the mark with a new stamp and give the area surrounding it another coat of decoupage glue.