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

Updated on August 15, 2016
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.

Stenciled detail on toe and front strap of hand painted sandal
Stenciled detail on toe and front strap of hand painted sandal | Source

Learn How to Give Your Old (or New) Shoes, Sandals, Boots and Bags a Sassy Makeover with Acrylic Fabric Paint and Embellishments!

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)!

Margot Silk Forrest and Destiny Carter provide detailed information on how to transform your shoes, boots and handbags into elegant, whimsical, funky, fancy or edgy fashion. And because you're the designer, your one-of-a-kind shoes and bags will reflect your own unique style! It's one of my favorite craft books.

You'll Be Designing Your Own Fabulous Fashion Footwear and Bags in No Time

And You'll Get Great-Looking Results with the Authors' Proven Couture Techniques and Tips That Are Easy Enough for Crafters to Master

Fabulously talented (and funny!) custom couture designers Margot Silk Forrest and Destiny Carter share their tried-and-true techniques for transforming old, unloved, boring or outdated shoes, sandals, boots, purses and evening bags into one-of-a-kind, fashionable "wearable art" in their book Sassy Feet — one of my all-time favorite crafting books.

Even though their custom couture shoes, bags and bridal accessories command high prices, Margot and Destiny are very generous with their techniques, advice and expert knowledge. Their bag and shoe painting and embellishment classes are wildly popular (and apparently a blast, too!). Now you can learn those same professional techniques in your own home for less than $16 with this completely revised and updated "new sassier second edition" of their great book, Sassy Feet: Paint, Embellish and LOVE Your Shoes (and Bags)!

Margot and Destiny show you how to get professional looking results even if you've never painted or embellished anything before.

There's even a list of projects from the book called "Shoe to Try if You Think You Haven't Got a Crafty Bone in Your Body", which are quick and easy transformations with fabulous results. No one will guess you didn't buy them from an expensive wearable art boutique! The book also includes The Notorious Sassy Feet Glue Guide, which 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 their fabulous painted and embellished shoes, sandals, boots and bags that are guaranteed to inspire you and get your creative juices flowing! Even if you're not into crafting or you've never done a craft project before, if you love fashion, shoes and/or bags you're going to LOVE this great book!

"Sassy Feet" Provides Techniques, Tips, and Loads of Inspiration

A sample page from my copy of the book, "Sassy Feet"
A sample page from my copy of the book, "Sassy Feet" | Source

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 and then show you fabulous examples of some of the "altered couture" shoes and bags they've designed, along with descriptions of how they did it with the page numbers for each of the techniques they used for reference.

Sassy Feet includes everything from "Shoes to Try if You Think You Don't Have a Crafty Bone in Your Body" (examples of painted shoes whose great looks belie how easy they were to do) to more sophisticated and elaborate projects that involve hand sewing. I love the fact that each of the inspirational projects includes a key with cute little shoe or bag icons that rate the cost of materials, level of difficulty and patience required on a scale of 1 to 4.

Watch Margot and Destiny Demonstrate Their Basic Shoe Painting Techniques

Margot and Destiny want you to succeed, and they're very generous with their knowledge gleaned from many years of experience transforming old, plain or unloved shoes, sandals, boots and bags into fabulous one-of-a-kind designs. In fact, their and extraordinary designs have been featured in nearly two dozen issues of Altered Couture magazine.

Watch Destiny demonstrate their most basic shoe painting technique as Margot talks you through the step-by-step process, which will give you a sense of how easy it is to create fashion-savvy footwear with their help and advice.

Once you've painted your shoes, sandals, boots or bags a solid color, one of the most effective techniques - especially for accessories that have stitching or other defined areas - is to accentuate those areas with different blocks of color. This fashion style is called color blocking. You also can create color blocking by taping off areas to define them with a different color paint.

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

— Bette Midler

A Sneak Peek at How You Can Transform Your Shoes and Bags with the Help of "Sassy Feet"

Click thumbnail to view full-size
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.I'm a sucker for embellished shoes and bags, and Margot's and Destiny's designs are knockouts! They're fabulous inspiration for your own designs, too.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.One of my favorite things about Sassy Feet is the fabulous hand painted and embellished leather boots. They positively ROCK!!!The purse makeovers are amazing. My favorite is the black bag with the vibrant Pearl Blue panel. Those delicate white blossoms really pop!
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.
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. | Source
I'm a sucker for embellished shoes and bags, and Margot's and Destiny's designs are knockouts! They're fabulous inspiration for your own designs, too.
I'm a sucker for embellished shoes and bags, and Margot's and Destiny's designs are knockouts! They're fabulous inspiration for your own designs, too. | 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
One of my favorite things about Sassy Feet is the fabulous hand painted and embellished leather boots. They positively ROCK!!!
One of my favorite things about Sassy Feet is the fabulous hand painted and embellished leather boots. They positively ROCK!!! | Source
The purse makeovers are amazing. My favorite is the black bag with the vibrant Pearl Blue panel. Those delicate white blossoms really pop!
The purse makeovers are amazing. My favorite is the black bag with the vibrant Pearl Blue panel. Those delicate white blossoms really pop! | Source

Paint Leather or Manmade Leather Shoes, Boots, Sandals, Handbags, Belts, and Other Fashion Accessories, Whether Old or New

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 Lumiere and/or Neopaque acrylic paints to create your own custom color match, then prep and paint an inexpensive belt using the easy techniques in the Sassy Feet book.

Margot and Destiny Recommend Using Jacquard Lumiere and Neopaque Acrylic Paints

Jacquard Lumiere acrylic paint comes in a wide range of gorgeous jewel tone and metallic colors, and if you're like me you're going to want more than just one or two of them! But the cost of buying a lot of individual jars adds up fast, and it's unlikely that you'll need an entire jar of every color you want to use anyway. You're also going to want at least black and white from the Jacquard Neopaque basic colors range, which are extremely useful for accents, dots, stripes, patterns and trim and, more importantly, essential for mixing darker or lighter custom shades of Lumiere paint colors.

So I recommend buying both the Lumiere and Lumiere/Neopaque "Exciter Packs", a great assortment of 1/2-ounce bottles that will give you a palette of 18 Jacquard Lumiere and Neopaque acrylic fabric paint colors to use for custom color mixing, color shading, patterns, accents, trim, color blocking, etc. Then if you need to you can add full-size jars of any colors you want that aren't included in these two "Exciter Packs", or of colors you'll need a lot of for a particular shoe, sandal, boot or bag painting project.

The Lumiere/Neopaque Exciter Pack (in the yellow packaging) contains the following colors of Lumiere and Neopaque acrylic paint colors:

  • Lumiere colors: Metallic Gold; Metallic Olive Green; Metallic Copper; Metallic Bronze; Pearlescent White; Pearlescent Violet; Pearlescent Blue
  • Neopaque colors:Black and White

The No.2 Lumiere Exciter Pack (in the turquoise blue packaging) contains the following colors Lumiere and Halo acrylic paint colors:

  • Lumiere colors: Pearlescent Turquoise; Pearlescent Green; Pearlescent Magenta; Russet; Pewter; Sunset Gold
  • Lumiere Halo (color-shifting) colors: Halo Pink Gold; Halo Blue Gold; Halo Violet Gold

Note: There also are other types of Jacquard inks, fabric paints and dyes, such as Jacquard Piñata Colors (alcohol inks), Jacquard Textile Traditionals textile paints, and Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow paints textile dyes, that also come in Exciter Packs. So make sure to look for the Lumiere and Lumiere/Neopaque Exciter Packs.

Jacquard Lumiere and Neopaque paint "exciter packs'
Jacquard Lumiere and Neopaque paint "exciter packs' | Source

Think You're Not Crafty Enough to Design Your Own Fabulous Bag and Shoe Makeovers?

Check out the easy makeover I did on my old comfort sandals right after I bought this book and a few supplies!

I used the techniques in this book to transform an old, boring pair of beige comfort sandals from unmemorable into stylish, one-of-a-kind fashion footwear in just one afternoon! I've got a long way to go to get to Margot's and Destiny's level, but not bad for my first try. :)

Before...

Photo of old beige comfort sandals before being painted and embellished
Photo of old beige comfort sandals before being painted and embellished

My favorite sandals were incredibly comfortable but, as with most of my shoes, were seriously "style challenged". As you can see, the "raw material" I started out with didn't hold out much promise.

Why is it that shoe designers assume that women with wide feet or who are unable to wear high heels (or choose not to) have no sense of style??? But I digress...back to my comfort sandal makeover!

...And After!

Photo of hand painted and embellished sandals by Margaret Schindel
Photo of hand painted and embellished sandals by Margaret Schindel

Can you believe these are the same boring beige comfort sandals I started out with? 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 advice courtesy of Sassy Feet!

I love wearing these now and they're real conversation starters, too. 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. :)

I've documented the step-by-step makeover of my comfort sandals from boring to bling, 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.

Do Yourself a Favor and Pay Attention to Margot's and Destiny's Expert Advice!

Although Sassy Feet advises using Jones Tones paint on stretch fabrics, I decided to use the custom shade of acrylic fabric paint I had mixed for the leather sandal straps so they would match. Big mistake! (Learn more about my "elastic disaster" in How to Paint and Embellish Your Shoes for Fabulous Fashion Footwear!) So learn from my mistakes and listen to their advice. :)

Off the Shelf or Do It Yourself?

Do you prefer ready-to-wear shoes and bags or do you enjoy customizing your leather accessories to make your own unique fashion statement?

I prefer to wear fairly basic, conservative shoes and bags. They go with everything and they never go out of style.

I prefer to wear fairly basic, conservative shoes and bags. They go with everything and they never go out of style.

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    • Margaret Schindel 15 months ago from Massachusetts

      @Sylavinia, thank you for your comment. You can find the Jacquard Lumiere acrylic paint colors, brushes, and the acrylic floor polish sealer either on Amazon or at the Sassy Feet site. Hope that helps!

    • SYLAVINIA ROACH 15 months ago

      I would like to buy some paint for my shoes, I need red,pewer ,and orange,sealer and the brushes,I found each color on different pages could you please me.rsylavinia@yahoo.com Thank you.

    I love using my creativity to make my clothing and accessories express my unique personality and style.

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      • Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

        When I was younger I preferred to dress conservatively, even though I worked in the fashion business. As I've gotten older and more self-confident, I've come to enjoy not only creating unique jewelry and other art but also wearing them as a way of sharing a part of who I am with the rest of the world.

      © 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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          FatJackandCompany 3 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!

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          Pugcentric 3 years ago

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

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          Ruthi 3 years ago

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

        • aka-rms profile image

          Robin S 3 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 3 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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