Posted by Liviu Vlaic on 10/18/2013
Adding beads, crystals, pearls, sequins and glitter to items like shoes, hats, clothes and more, is known as strassing. This accent art method was first found in theaters, displayed by dancers and created by costumers for stage productions. Thanks to simplified techniques in fashion, strassing is a style trend that has seen a huge resurgence in popularity. Now anyone can take an average outfit and make their own unique design.
How To Start Strassing
Choose a clean workplace, free of debris and dust. You'll need to forage through your local craft stores for the types of strassing materials easiest and most desirable to work with. Most importantly, select the right craft glue expressly used for strassing. Measure the area of the item to be strassed, this will give you a more defined idea of the amount of decorative embellishments needed so you don't have to make multiple trips. It's also a good idea to sketch out a design. For instance, you might want to strass only the heels or toes of your shoes. Use ordinary masking tape to protect the areas you want to keep strass-free when adding a specific design. Strassing always works best on newer items rather than older, worn items.
Simple Strassing Techniques
If you plan to strass a pair of shoes for example, you might want to invest in a pair of long nosed tweezers to apply beads, crystals and pearls. The easiest way to apply sequins, is to use a waxy substance to hold them in place especially when gluing. An inexpensive clear lip or eyeliner also works well for tiny beads and sequins. The sticky surface gives just enough grip to make applying these embellishments easier.
Ready, Set, Strass!
Check the label on the craft glue to be sure it can be used on shoe, purse and belt materials. The glue should be sticky enough to quickly adhere to the embellishments without spilling over or drying too quickly. Depending on the type of glue you use, you can apply it directly, use a small brush or sponge applicator. Craft stores usually stock these items or check online for more unique brands. Place the strassing item on old newspapers and cover with craft glue, then simply add the embellishments. Easy right? Actually, given the tiny sizes of the embellishments, it takes a bit of patience to create the desired end result. If you are unsure about process, use an old pair of shoes or purse to get a sense of how to do your own strassing. Let your strassed piece dry thoroughly and get ready for the compliments!