Glitz and Glamour with Embellished Sandals, Heels and Sneakers
No matter what name you call them by, every outfit has a vital accessory even before you start looking at your jewelry box for the perfect complement: your shoes. Heels for a night on the town, sneakers to run some errands or sandals to quickly slip off when you're at the beach--there is always the perfect pairing to match with your latest style. But, you should never look at a pair of shoes and think of them as just a one-and-done accessory for only specific outfits. Instead, envision how easily you can create your own look by using beads, gemstones and clip-ons.
Swarovski® Crystal Heels
High heels have always been worn as a symbol of status; in ancient Egypt the upper classes wore heels shaped like the ankh--the symbol of life. Wooden heels were worn in the Middle Ages to keep one's feet out of the mud. And, they were also worn by the Venetians who transformed the Chopine shoe into a symbol of wealth and social standing for women. You too can rise above with glamorized heels featuring custom embellishments.
Swarovski has always brought glamour and dazzle to crystal heels. Fashion designers such as Jimmy Choo, Emmy London, Loriblu and Giuseppe Zanotti have been changing the game when it comes to crystal heels featuring dazzling Swarovski in their designs. Just by including some Swarovski flat back rhinestones into the design can turn any set of embellished heels into something dazzling and unique.
For those who want to walk fiercely though life, take inspiration from top designers and create extravagant looks with seed beads, unfinished chain, felt components, feathers, cabochons and more.
Marcasite focal pieces with loops, clip-on earrings and brooches provide added enhancement to embellished 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 embellishments.
Crystal Shoes for When You Say "I do"
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. Even one large Swarovski flat back crystal adhered to the front or side of a strappy sandal can transform the look of the embellished shoes 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. If your shoe has an ankle strap, don’t be afraid to affix drops to it, creating even more radiance to your special day.
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.
Jeweled Sandals for Any Weather
Just about any surface is fair game for embellishment with jewelry-making components. A well-known example from the lore of Fire Mountains Gems and Beads® is the famous beaded car, conceived and executed by well-known artist David Best.
And now, along comes a basic form of "transit," the flip-flop sandal, badly in need of a bling makeover. Despite the simplicity, there is enough real estate for some scintillating spiffing up. And the great thing: there is no right or wrong. Any materials you can apply, tie, wrap, fasten or glue ... goes (or, in this case, stays).
Here we have a Design Idea titled
By the Sea. Designer Nancy Riegel was a finalist with this embellished flip-flop entry in a Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest. She used thread to attach a "coral reef" of beads to one of the straps and a row of carnelian chips to the other strap.
As with any embellishment project, wearability is a consideration if the intent is for embellished flip-flops to be worn and used as flip-flops as opposed to being wall-mounted or displayed in a case. Embellishing flip-flops is yet another great way to personalize clothing and accessories, and it's fun and easy. You may also want to organize flip-flop embellishment parties with your friends and see who can come up with the most outrageous design. But whatever you do, remember, we're talking flip-flops here, so, have fun!
Embellished Sneakers and Flats
Fashion, like an ocean wave, likes to come in great rushes of popularity that recedes only to return, repeating cycles over the years. Vintage styles and items make a comeback as the next best designer style. So, don't feel restrained to keeping up with the most current trend, and instead experiment away with all manner of products. Every Jimmy Choo started off somewhere with their own trends. Try using some of these items to breathe a fresh look into your newfound canvas. Add some seed and bugle beads to your favorite pair of sneakers to give them new texture and definition.
Removable shoe clips created with clip-on earring findings, bead swags and boot bracelets are a few of the recent trends for adding beaded beauty to footwear. The shoe clip was derived from the shoe rose, a flower created out of silk ribbon and sewn onto the top of dancing shoes. In the early to mid-20th century, removable shoe clips were used to dress up a plain pair of pumps or to transition the same set of shoes from daytime to nighttime wear.
Clip-on earrings are frequently used as backings for shoe clips, as they have smooth surfaces and tend to not mark the surface of the shoe. Depending on the style of finding, designers can add beads, Swarovski beads and fancy stones, faceted gems, cabochons and other flat-backed components. Design elements can be strung, sewn or glued into place.
Liven up your shoes with the inclusion of multiple swags of colorful, lightweight wood beads. Use jump rings and lobster claw clasps on each end to create removable lengths that can be mixed and matched to suit a changing wardrobe, worn as bracelets or linked together into a finished necklace.
You can make your own versions using painted wood, shell, lightweight acrylic and polymer clay beads for casual looks. Allow your customers to easily upgrade their footwear for more formal gatherings by offering decorative swags using smooth gemstone, glass and metal beads.
Getting the Look
Opt for sturdy clasps such as the lobster claw. Bright colors and finishes help draw the eye downward and show off the shoe clip or bead swag.
Most beads and components will work for shoe clips, if they will not damage the shoe or any hosiery which might be worn. Choose the proper adhesives for materials you will be gluing, keeping in mind that footwear accessories can require added durability and flexibility.
Use solid color materials, as coatings will wear away with friction or use. Choose lightweight and smooth beads for swags, as they will often be in direct contact with skin. Smooth beads and components are also recommended for boot bracelets, as they will be in constant contact with the surface of the boot. Add sparkle to boot bracelets and bead swags with Czech fire-polished glass, which has a smoother surface than faceted leaded crystal.
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