Strassing Your Own Shoes

Posted by Liviu Vlaic on 10/19/2013
If you've watched any kind of award show recently, you've likely seen those stylish heels dotted with hundreds of tiny crystals that women like Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna are wearing. Adding those tiny crystals is a process known as "strassing", and although you probably don't know any famous fashion designers who will create strassed apparel specially for you, you can strass your own shoes for much cheaper.

The supplies you'll need are:
  • Thousands and thousands of your chosen crystal. 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 safe.
  • A lot of patience. This is a time-intensive process.

It's best to apply about one inch of glue at a time. Any more and the glue will either dry before you can apply the crystals, and 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 spread out 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 have a layer of glue applied to the back that becomes sticky when exposed to heat and are used with a special hotfix tool that picks up each individual crystal, heats up the glue, and then it's used to attach the crystal to the shoe. Hotfix crystals come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, so be sure to look around for a style that fits you.

It's your shoe and your design, so be creative! Try things like using one color of crystals for the majority of the shoe and then a contrasting color on just the heel, or try placing crystals just around the edges of the shoe for a nice subtle look.



Date: 10/21/2013
I have tried strassing my own shoes and it is a lot of fun. Thank you for the great advice.

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