painting my sandals




spa ritual delight vegan nail varnish


oh dear, you did read that right!
this weekend, if you're broke and have nothing else to do,
 you might want to try and paint a pair of sandals.

i swear i have not lost my mind. 
i have always been fascinated with thrift, even as a child.  i'm not sure if that is normal or not,
but it's true.

i loved listening to stories about the great depression and how people made do.
larry's grandmother shared such interesting stories with me on what it was like to raise 4 babies in minnesota in the winter with cloth diapers.  can you imagine?

anyway this post is in the american spirit of use it up, wear it out or making it last.


yesterday i painted these faux snakeskin sandals a deep navy blue.
they were in the box waiting to be donated when it dawned on me that i wanted navy sandals for summer, so instead of going out and shopping for a pair, why not try painting them?










it was easy and took about 15 minutes.
all i needed was this ordinary craft type paint and a small paintbrush, i already had both. 

i just cleaned the shoes, painted them and watched them dry.




watching paint dry is so fun.

in real life they now look like navy blue linen.

i'm pretty happy with the results and i think i'll get a lot of wear out of them this summer.

have you ever done anything like this?
share if you have.



have a fabulous weekend my friends.



xo
janet



56 comments

  1. I love it! Thank you for your great ideas! I've never commented before, but have read all the way back on your blog. You are truly an inspiration! I love reading your blog.

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  2. Great idea - cute nail polish too.

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  3. I've never tried painting shoes.
    I have a friend who dyed a purse red.

    You're pretty resourceful..."make do and mend" is not a lost art.
    Hope that you have a fab weekend.
    XO

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  4. Janet, I've had the very same fascination with "making do" since I was a child. My parents left the family farms, but told stories about the Great Depression and the war years that impressed me so much. Then I started reading those little historical books about pioneers and I was hooked on thrift. I still am, although I can still overshoot on items for my house and garden. My kitchen is run the same way. I love to make meals out of just about nothing and hear my husband's praise. I don't actually have to practice thrift now, but I still do, in spite of many criticisms and amused smiles from family! Love the sandals.

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  5. You are so frickin' ingenious! I would have never thought to do that.

    btw-- did you every try to make your own almond milk?

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  6. Janet, I love your whole ethos.

    I used to paint my glasses different colours when I was at school, I would change them once a month but I haven't done anything like that for ages, what great idea!

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  7. Janet - have you ever made miso ginger dressing? I tasted it for the first time in LA and drenched my veggies in it every night, oh it's amazing but I've been out today and no one sells it. It was thick and creamy, I've looked online but the recipes don't sound as if they'll taste the same.

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    Replies
    1. tabs i have made this dressing and used red miso instead of the yellow. it is good but i don't know if it is similar to the one you had. this is good over pasta or hot veggies.

      Miso Dressing
      1 to 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
      8 scallions (white and light green parts), thinly sliced
      2 medium cloves garlic, minced
      ¼ cup mellow miso
      1 to 1 ¼ cups vegetable broth, heated
      ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
      ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

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    2. Janet, thanks I'll give it a go, I don't know anything about miso, I didn't even know it came in two colours.

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  8. My brother once spray painted a pair of light-colored shoes black to wear in a wedding, because he didn't want to buy a pair of shoes that he would only wear one time. He was quite pleased with himself and no one noticed.

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  9. This is great! My youngest daughter actually modge-podged a pair of ballet flats and they turned out wonderfully. Thanks for the reminder, I remember my mother spray painting my tap and ballet shoes and I think she even tried painting some of my Sunday shoes when I was a little girl. : )

    Blessings!

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  10. I've never done anything like this but I think it's so clever.
    Pretty toes!

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  11. You've inspired me yet again...I've been wanting a pair of bright red thongs!

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  12. Great minds think alike, I dyed a cardi yesterday! What a great makeover, the colour's glorious and your toe nails are so pretty! Have yourself a fabulous weekend! x

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  13. Ingenious. And very "green" of you too.

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  14. Yes, I painted a pair of black sandals in a metallic pewter color that goes with everything I have. I have another pair of black sandals that I will paint navy after seeing yours! Navy is my "basic" wardrobe color for spring/summer. I also buy almost everything at thrift stores and alter clothes to fit and also dye some pieces so that they have maximum use in my minimalist wardrobe. You are an inspiration in all of this. BTW, what is your "vegan" nail polish?? What other colors are available?

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    1. the vegan nail polish i use is by spa ritual. google them and be delighted. there are zillions of colors to choose from.

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    2. WOW, thanks, Janet. Just ordered the shades "Liquid Metal" and "Free Spirit" -;)

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  15. Only you could think of this! I have vegan nail polish too.
    xo

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  16. You did well Janet! They look like new!

    Enjoy your weekend,

    Madelief x

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  17. Brilliant! they look new too. I would suggest you don't walk through any puddles in them though :)

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    Replies
    1. i thought the same thing julie, but it doesn't wash off.

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  18. That's brilliant! Now, not only do you have a lovely new blue pair of sandals, they're already broken in exactly how your feet like them, no blisters, no slipping around. I think you're fabulous for coming up with this trick!

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  19. Dear Janet,
    You are amazing! And I thought I was clever for painting old baskets I was going to toss. You have me beat by a mile! The sandals look adorable and so do your toes!

    I'm sure that watching the paint dry is as exciting as watching the grass grow (my Dad said that is all people in Iowa do - my mom was raised there. I hope I don't offend an Iowan)

    Take care,
    Caroline - a faithful reader and rare commentor.

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  20. You amaze and inspire me . . .

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  21. I'm doing good to paint my nails!!! Love your very clever ideas. I loved talking to my grandparents about the depression, they lived in Oklahoma and lived on potoatoes. They were strong, resilliant people and could grow a garden like nobody's business! Now that's American!!!
    thanks, kim

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  22. Great idea! I'd be worried the paint would stain my feet or flake off, but it looks like that's not a problem.

    I regularly re-dye all my black cotton clothing once it starts to fade. It has prolonged the life of a lot of my stuff -- and you know how hard it is to find a good pair of black pants.

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  23. I appreciate that you are so down to earth and thrifty. I found your blog through design blogs, which I love looking at for inspiration, but most of them are just too far removed from the world I live in. I am trying a vegan diet. Just so you know you're influencing me. Your sandals look great!


    Jane

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  24. What a great pick me up idea! I love the fact that you are already in sandals!

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  25. I confess, I've never done anything like that ... LOL, my luck the color I painted would be permenantly sealed to the top of my foot. LOL! I have seen people spraypaint and paint their upholstered furntiure on blogs though - which always has me curious to try. I'm totally sure it's one of those - looks good in photos - situations. Maybe one day I'll pick up a piece from the thrift store and give it a try. Apparently they make spray paint for fabric. Who knew??

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  26. Love your blog!!
    I have dyed faded clothing and other items when the color wasn't quite the right shade (I made a light red jacket, a darker red). Also dyed a thrifted leather handbag that was acquired with a stain. Dyed my white converse shoes a darker color when they were no longer a respectable shade of white. Pretty much anything that is 100% pure fabric works (mixtures involving polyester don't take to dye as well). Looks like your sandals came out great!
    I see you are planning a closet post soon: could I request tips on how to not just get the closet lean but keep it lean? Do you think your project 333 helped with this process?
    Thanks!
    Missone

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  27. You must give us a report at the end of the summer. It must be a random painting day because I just read where someone painted the fabric on their couch. I love it!

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  28. Never done it but LUFF your inspiring commitment to thrift!!! Well done.

    Have a lovely weekend x

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  29. I'm glad to know the paint doesn't bleed when wet--was the first thing I thought of, too!

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  30. Oh yes, we did it all the time when I was a child, I remember it so well. There is a special shoe colour change paint that you can get from bootmakers here(I think I saw some just the other day!). I remember that it worked quite well as long as you were using a darker paint than the shoe you were painting, otherwise the original colour showed through.

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  31. Yes, when I find a pair of sandals that I LOVE, I have a squishier sole, like the flip-flop type, added by the cobbler and I have colored leather straps other colors with a colored leather stain. New, super comfy, last forever sandals! Great on the aging back!
    Love your transformation. You are so inventive!
    xoxo, Chris

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  32. I have 2 black linen dresses but after a few summers they started to look a little faded, instead of letting them go, I re-dyed them - and they look like new again.

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  33. No,I haven't, but my granddaughter has (painted shoes). She needed a pair of black, cloth espadrilles in a hurry, so she used a black sharpie on a pair of tan ones. Worked perfectly. And, in keeping with your thrifting theme, my mother used to cut the toes out of my school shoes every summer and make sandals for me. I thought she was a genius. We were just poor, but I didn't know it. Your blog is the first one I go to every day. You are so darn cute!
    Andrea

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  34. How clever! They look amazing as do your pale blue toe nails - very cute!! Have a great weekend. x

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  35. I must say that you inspire me all the time. My closet is not lean at all (although I did just do a 40 bags project to try to lighten our load). I am not vegan. But you make me think about moving in directions that are better for me and for the earth and I appreciate that. I completely admire the way you live.

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  36. yes, I do a lot of dyeing. We dyed something for my husband (a jacket) black , the trouble was all the top-stitching was in polyester thread (which it usually is...boooooo) anyway we used a felt tipped pen to crayon in all the stitches to make them black too. Long story short...it looked terrible, don't try this at home folks! I am impressed that ordinary craft paint worked on your sandals this is great news as although we can get shoe dyes in Britain the colour choice is very limited now, once upon a time we could get all the colours, now it's only black, brown and navy. Sometimes it's PINK you need! yours look good. I think I have done all the thrifty things you have, I agree it's so much more fun and creative than just buying stuff. One of the things is to unravel handknitted sweaters, wash the wool and re-knit them. A lot of the efforts are disasters though. Do you make lots of mistakes you keep secret? I bet you do...!

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  37. Great idea! I have "repaired" shoes and bags with markers, but never painted them. Let us know how they wear.

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  38. Janet, I'll paint anything. I love reworking my lawn art, porch stools, planters,tables.smiles,Susie

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  39. If it flakes or comes out, pick up a small bottle of fabric "sizer" from craft store and add it to the paint next time or do another coat. The sizer keeps the surface material from becoming brittle and adheres better. I learned that from my hubby who has indeed painted some upholstery. it's much more comfy and lasts longer than with just the paint.
    I like your shoes (they were pretty cute in snakeskin too!). Chris

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  40. I remember being 5 years old and riding on a train with my mom. She sat me next to another little girl who I visited with during the trip. I remember the little girl holding on to her spiral cloth covered notebook that was painted so prettily with flowers.
    I remember telling her that her notebook was pretty, and she said, "I made a mark on it, so I fixed it by coloring the flowers."
    I never forgot that.
    It opened my eyes at a very young age to the power and beauty of consideration. To save her spiral notebook made me look at her like she was some kind of princess.
    And she was. :-)
    -Suzanne in Illinois

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  41. Hi Janet, I'm new to your blog and I have been smitten with it for the past few days! You have encouraged me in so many ways, I'm considering a vegan diet, I'm ready to purge my whole house and today for the first time in many years I went without foundation!!! My husband and kids say I look better without it. Thank you for the confidence to step out of my box and try new things. I will be 40 this year and I'm so glad to see some style directed to my age group. What you are doing is amazing so keep up the good work!

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  42. I have cut off collars, ruffles, sleeves etc. to make things I no longer loved wearable once again. I think painting your sandals was genius!

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  43. I haven't checked your blog in awhile...I love the idea of painting sandals! I have passed up so many shoes and sandals because of the color....
    I will now try painting them! I love your blog! Your posts are always short and sweet and full of information! Perfect when I have
    a spare 5 minutes! Time to get dinner on the table! Thank you

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  44. I would be so pleased to have you link this up at the "Cowgirl Up!" party, going on now at The Farmhouse Porch blog...
    Lots of antiques,gardening,crafts recipes and decor ideas. The cool part is that you link up once and appear on four blogs!
    http://farmhouseporch.blogspot.com/

    ♥Linsey

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kindness is never out of style.

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