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Book Review: "Sassy Feet: Paint, Embellish and LOVE Your Shoes (and Bags)!"

Updated on November 22, 2017
Margaret Schindel profile image

Margaret has worked in the fashion world as well as the business world. She enjoys sharing her passion for fashion, crafting, and marketing.

Learn How to Give Your Old (or New) Shoes, Sandals, Boots and Bags a Makeover in an Afternoon

Whether you have hard-to-fit feet like mine with a limited selection of shoe choices, enjoy bargain shopping for shoes and bags that could use a little style boost, or just enjoy wearing shoes, sandals, boots and bags with some unique pizzazz, you'll love the book Sassy Feet: Paint, Embellish and LOVE Your Shoes (and Bags)!

Fabulously talented (and very funny) designers Margot Silk Forrest and Destiny Carter provide detailed information and advice on how to transform your shoes, boots and handbags into elegant, classic, whimsical, funky, fancy or edgy fashion. And because you're the designer, your shoes, bags, belts and other leather or manmade leather accessories will reflect your unique style.

Simple Techniques That Give Professional-Looking Results

Margot and Destiny are known for designing custom couture shoes, bags and bridal accessories that command high prices. They and their extraordinary designs also have been featured in nearly two dozen issues of Altered Couture magazine.

Their extremely popular workshops in handbag and shoe painting and embellishment fill up quickly. Reading their book, Sassy Feet, is the next best thing to attending one of their classes in person.

The designers generously share their professional knowledge and techniques for transforming new or old shoes, sandals, boots, purses and evening bags into one-of-a-kind, fashionable wearable art.

Most of their methods are easy enough that anyone can do them. They also share more advanced embellishment techniques that require sewing skills.

You'll Be Designing Your Own Custom Shoes, Sandals, Boots and Bags in No Time

Sassy Feet is intended to show you how to design and transform your own shoes with your unique personal style. So rather than step-by-step projects, Margot and Destiny teach you all the basic techniques and professional tips they use in their own work.

The explanations are clear and easy to understand, and the designers provide plenty of helpful tips to help ensure that you'll get terrific results. "The Notorious Sassy Feet Glue Guide" alone is worth the price of the book if you want to embellish shoes, boots, bags or other fashion accessories with ribbon, jewels, trim, appliqués, etc.

Margot and Destiny also share photos of more than 80 of the extraordinary "altered couture" shoes and bags they've designed, along with descriptions of how they did each transformation and the page numbers for the techniques they used. The examples are guaranteed to inspire you and get your creative juices flowing for your own fashion footwear and accessories designs.

Something for Every Skill Level

The book includes everything from "Shoes to Try if You Think You Don't Have a Crafty Bone in Your Body" (examples of painted shoe transformations that look fantastic yet are very easy to do) to more sophisticated and elaborate projects that involve hand sewing.

I love the fact that these inspirational projects include a key with shoe or bag icon ratings that show the cost of materials, level of difficulty and patience required on a scale of 1 to 4.

How Easy is Their Basic Shoe Painting Technique?

Margot and Destiny are very generous with the knowledge they've gleaned from many years of experience. Watching Destiny demonstrate their most basic shoe painting technique, as Margot talks you through the step-by-step process, will give you a good idea of how easy it is to create footwear and accessories to suit your style when you follow their advice.

"Give a girl the correct footwear and she can conquer the world."

— Bette Midler

A Sneak Peek Inside My Copy of "Sassy Feet"

Sassy Feet teaches you shoe painting basics, including how to prep them for painting and which paints, brushes, and sealer to use. Ditto for handbags, belts, etc.
Sassy Feet teaches you shoe painting basics, including how to prep them for painting and which paints, brushes, and sealer to use. Ditto for handbags, belts, etc. | Source
Margot's and Destiny's gorgeous embellished shoes and bags provide wonderful inspiration for your own designs.
Margot's and Destiny's gorgeous embellished shoes and bags provide wonderful inspiration for your own designs. | Source
Margot owns Silk Forrest Bridal and the custom-embellished one-of-a-kind bridal shoes in Sassy Feet go from elegant to sassy pumps and flats.
Margot owns Silk Forrest Bridal and the custom-embellished one-of-a-kind bridal shoes in Sassy Feet go from elegant to sassy pumps and flats. | Source
These hand painted and embellished leather boots positively rock!
These hand painted and embellished leather boots positively rock! | Source
The purse makeovers are amazing. Check out the black bag with the vibrant Pearl Blue panel - those delicate white blossoms really pop!
The purse makeovers are amazing. Check out the black bag with the vibrant Pearl Blue panel - those delicate white blossoms really pop! | Source

Paint Leather or Manmade Leather Shoes and Accessories Any Color You Like

These painting and embellishment techniques are great for refurbishing or upcycling your old shoes and handbags and other leather or manmade leather fashion accessories. But they're also a great way to turn inexpensive new shoes, handbags and accessories into unique or copycat fashion

You can find terrific bargains at end-of-season sales on shoes, sandals, boots, bags, belts, etc. Even the most fabulous bags and shoes sometimes don't sell well in a particular color, so when they get marked down you can scoop them up for a song and paint them any color you like!

Have you ever wanted a matching belt for a particular dress or outfit? Just mix up the acrylic fabric paints Margot and Destiny recommend to create your own custom color match, then prep and paint an inexpensive belt using the easy techniques in the Sassy Feet book.

DIY Glitter Shoes!

Glittery shoes and sandals are always beautiful and festive for holidays and special occasions. The problem is that the glitter often flakes off, leaving bare spots. If you've ever tried to DIY glitter a pair of footwear by mixing glitter into a clear medium such as Mod Podge, you'll know that the glaze can crack as the shoes bend.

The book provides the solution to this problem, Margot and Destiny came up with their own Glitter It! Glaze formulated specifically for footwear, so it doesn't flake or crack. It comes in a wide selection of gorgeous colors, or you can buy the clear glaze base and mix in your own favorite glitter (ultrafine, opaque polyester glitter is recommended). To protect the finish, just apply a coat of the recommended sealer.

The application is easy and the finished effect is stunning, as you can see in the following video. Note: If the shoe is a similar color to the glitter, you can skip the paint base coat and go straight to applying the glaze.

How to Glitter Your Shoes and Bags -- Easily and Permanently!

Think You're Not Crafty Enough to Make Over Your Shoes and Accessories?

Here's my very first attempt after reading the book, using the techniques I learned from it to transform an old, boring pair of beige comfort sandals into stylish, unique fashion footwear in just one afternoon.

Here's the "before" photo...

These sandals felt wonderful on my extra-wide feet, but they were seriously unfashionable.
These sandals felt wonderful on my extra-wide feet, but they were seriously unfashionable. | Source

...and here's the "after" photo of my newly painted and embellished sandals.

Can you believe these are the same boring beige comfort sandals I started out with?
Can you believe these are the same boring beige comfort sandals I started out with? | Source

There certainly isn't much resemblance between the "before" and "after" versions. And all it took was the right paint, the right brushes, and the right techniques, all of which I learned about in Sassy Feet.

Since the makeover, my sandals have become conversation starters. I get compliments every time I wear them. And since most of the low-heeled shoes available in a WW or EE width are far from fashionable, getting compliments on my footwear is a totally new (and fun!) experience for me.

Want to learn exactly what I did to transform these comfort sandals from boring to bling? I've shared the step-by-step makeover, including some additional success tips and "lessons learned" based on my personal experience, in my article, How to Paint Leather Shoes and Embellish Them for Custom Fashion Footwear.

© 2013 Margaret Schindel

Are You Thinking of Painting or Embellishing Your Shoes, Boots, Sandals or Bags with the Help of "Sassy Feet"?

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    • profile image

      FatJackandCompany 4 years ago

      I used to paint my shoes and boots all the time, but have gotten lazy in my old age. Now I can't wait to try it again!

    • profile image

      Pugcentric 4 years ago

      great review - I really appreciate any craft project that explores how to reuse, recycle or renew!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 4 years ago

      I love sassy and sweet and might have to show it upon my feet!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 4 years ago from USA

      Just a quick note to let you know that Jennabee25 chose your lens to showcase at SquidooHQ. Congratulations!

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 4 years ago from New York City

      Pretty amazing. I was never aware of this one more outlet for the hopelessly creative who can't resist fixing the world up as prettier, better and nicer.

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