If you've watched the Oscars, AMA's or any type of award shows lately, you've likely caught a glimpse of some pretty stylish heels embellished with hundreds and thousands of tiny crystals worn by stars like Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna. Adding those tiny crystals is a process known as "strassing", and although you probably don't know of any famous fashion designers who will create strassed apparel just for you, you can strass your own shoes, only for a lot less!
The strassing supplies you'll need are:
Crystals, pearls or sequins depending on what you like. You can expect to use close to 5,000-6,000 per shoe.
E-6000 glue. This can be bought at virtually any craft store.
A small paintbrush. This is used to apply the glue to your shoe.
A pair of tweezers. These are used to help position the crystals on your shoe once the glue is on.
A paper plate to keep your crystals on.
A lot of patience. This is a time-intensive process.
It's best to apply about one square inch of glue at a time. Any more, and the glue will either dry before you can apply the crystals - any less and you won't be able to spread the glue thin enough. Although it's usually best to start from the edge of the shoe and work towards the middle, it also depends on your preferred design. Use your paintbrush to thinnly spread an inch of glue on your shoe. Pick up the crystals with your fingers, place them on the shoe, and then use the tweezers to make fine adjustments to each individual crystal.
Another option for strassing your shoes is to use hotfix crystals. These crystals contain a layer of glue applied to the back that becomes sticky when exposed to heat. This particular brand of crystal is used with a special hotfix tool that picks up each individual crystal, heats up the glue, and then is used to attach the crystal to the shoe. Hotfix crystals come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, so the hardest part will be deciding on a style that you love!
It's your shoe, your design, and you are the one that will be wearing it, so be creative! Try things like using one color of crystals for the majority of the shoe and then a contrasting with another color on just the heel, or placing crystals just around the edges of the shoe for simple accented look. The possiblities are endless and now you have full-access to celebrity style secrets!