Pearls of Wisdom

Wedding project ideas and style how-tos for brides, bridal jewelry designers and wedding planners.

by Laura BlackFeather, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Wedding shoes require every bit as much attention as the dress, especially for shorter gown lengths. Bridal shoes get the ultimate style update with Swarovski flat back crystals, seed beads, brooches, clip-on earrings and anything else you can imagine sewn or stuck onto them.

Here's how

Even one large Swarovski flat back crystal adhered to the front or side of a strappy sandal can transform the look of the shoe entirely. Let the style of your shoe dictate the amount of embellishment used. While shoes of simple design are an open canvas for elaborate embellishing, even intricately detailed designs can be adorned lavishly. Shoes with eyelets and overlapping layers have built-in contours for lining with crystals or stitching with pearls.

Use hot-fix crystals and the Hot-Fix Heater™ to add sparkle to most any shoe surface. The heated tip of the heater activates the hot-melt adhesive on the back of the hot-fix flat backs, allowing you to position crystals exactly where you want them before heating. Then, simply apply heat to the front of the crystal to adhere it to the shoe's surface.

Seed and crystal beads can be sewn onto softer materials like distressed satin or silk. Use a mix of Swarovski crystal and glass seed beads to stitch onto the edge of the shoe and down the back. You can make a beaded loop to attach a ribbon and stitch in place. Dot the ribbon with Swarovski flat back crystals and add beaded dangles to the ends for a sparkling presence.

Marcasite focal pieces with loops, clip-on earrings and brooches provide added enhancement to flats or elevate ordinary pumps to extraordinary heights. Focals can be sewn or glued with G-S Hypo fabric cement to most materials. Brooches can be pinned onto the front and/or sides of the shoe, using fabric cement for additional reinforcement. Clip-on earrings can also be clipped onto the front and sides of many shoe styles for a quick and easy update.

Tip: Use clip-on earring findings to transform brooches, cabochons and pendants into easy-to-use shoe adornments.

Many brides love the idea of wearing flip-flops for their outdoor weddings. Dress up plastic, nylon and leather styles by sewing or gluing cultured freshwater pearls, glass beads, crystals and shell beads onto the top.

Design with ...

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Best Friends Forever

Best Friends Forever

Let your soon-to-be spouse know that he's your best friend forever (BFF) by giving him your heart--a best friend heart necklace that is. These necklaces can also be gifted to special guests, wedding party friends and the maid-of-honor. Simply add best friend heart charms or beads to necklace chain for the ultimate gift of love and friendship.

Products sold by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® are intended for experienced jewelry-makers and designer-artists;
children 14 years of age or younger should use these products with adult direction.

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