A few months ago I asked Carl if he could make me some sequined ruby slippers for a photo shoot. They were such a hit that I knew I needed to show others how to make their own pair of sequin ruby slippers.
I have always been drawn to the Wizard of Oz – in particular, the character of Dorothy. The original film from 1939 is one of my favourite films in existence. I can recite the whole film (even the witches cackle!). Dorothy uses the sequin ruby slippers to leave the world of OZ and go back home to the farm in Kansas. She clicks her heels three times while saying… “There’s no place like home”.
Here’s how to make your own pair.
You will need:
- A pair of heels
- Sequin strands (roughly 20 meters – it pays to have too much – just in case)
- Something sharp to gently press sequins down – a wooden skewer or craft knife
- A hot glue gun (we started using super glue but the alcohol in it caused the red on the sequins to run)
- Extra glue sticks (at least 20 of the 10 cm glue sticks to refill glue gun)
- A flat space to work
Start by cleaning the shoes with a little bit of alcohol (methylated spirits). This will prepare the surface,then leave to dry.
Once the shoes are clean and dry, start your sequined string at the back of the shoes just on the sole line at the bottom of the shoe, and secure your first sequin in line with some hot glue.
Lightly press the hot glue along in a line and carefully lay the sequin string along the hot glue. Press very lightly just enough to make fuse the sequin and glue together. No pressing it down with force! Use a wooden skewer to fix it down gently. You don’t want the hot glue squishing through the gaps in the sequins because it will dry like that and cause lumps.
Once you have gone all the way around the shoe with one line of sequins, keep going around the shoe and slightly overlap the string below, kind of like fish scales. This will prevent any of the shoe fabric showing through. You can see a closer video of Carl applying the sequins on my Miss Charlotte Cake Instagram.
Once you have finished covering the shoe with sequins cut and secure the string, and if you have any small gaps, you can easily remove individual sequins from the string to fill the gaps. Just make sure you use the hot glue sparingly.
If your shoe has heels, you can cover these with sequins, by wrapping the heels in the same way you did the shoes.
A steady hand and a lot of patience goes along way with a project like this. The more time you take the better the end result will be, Carl finished these sequin ruby slippers over three evenings.
I brought a pair of average looking leather shoes from a local costume shop, they were having a huge sale and I nabbed these heels for about 2 dollars. I only needed to buy the sequins and the hot glue gun refills. You can pick up a hot glue gun pretty cheap from your local hardware store, even fabric stores sometimes stock them.
From memory the sequins cost approximately $10-$12 NZD maximum. I brought them from Geoff’s Emporium in here in Auckland’s Mt Eden. The glue sticks came in a pack of about 20, they cost approximately $2-$3 dollars. I grabbed two packets in case I needed more.
- Don’t trim the sequins around the base of the shoe if you can help it
- Slow and steady, means a great finished product
Check out this video of my best Dorothy Gale impression.
There’s no place like home