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How to make boots that sparkle! 

I started sparkling boots after a costume designer showed me how to sparkle shoes.   I wanted to make a pair of tiger striped sparkle boots to wear to the Cincinnati Bengals game.   Fast forward to now, several years later, and I have made multiple boots in all different colors.   I have kept my sparkling process a secret, until now. Two kids later, and I can no longer keep up with the demand of orders coming into the studio.   Here you will find all of my secrets to make your own pair of boots that sparkle.  Today I will show you how to make your own pair of tiger striped boots! 

A few items you will need:

 -A pair of shoes or boots.   The type of shoes/boots that work best are ones made out of canvas, satin, or suede.   If you use a pair of boots made of pleather it will just peel off. An old pair of shoes/boots work well too!   See some of our examples below show how you can turn an old pair of boots into a sparkling new pair! Also, the color does not matter.   Your sparkle will cover the color up, although the sole will show. If you are using a new pair of shoes/boots, it is best to wear them for a few days before you sparkle them.   This way the natural shoe creases that occur with wear will be there and the sparkle can fall into the creases. Below are a few pictures of boots/shoes that sparkle well. 

-Glue.   The type of glue I use is flexible stretch fabric glue by Aleene’s.  We have trailed several different types of glue and methods and Aleene’s glue works the best.   It has become a little bit harder to find these days. Here is the link to find it on amazon (none commissioned link)


-Paint brushes-Various sizes are good to have for different parts of your design.

-A container to keep water in to keep your brushes wet.  Alot of time is spent waiting on your glue to dry. During this time you can keep your brushes in a container of water. 

 -An old towel/rag, or paper towel. 

-A good vacuum!  Sparkle, AKA, glitter gets EVERYWHERE!   So first determine a creative space that a little sparkle will not hurt.   In warmer months I sparkle in my garage.

-Sharpie, chalk, or fabric marker-You may want to sketch your design out on your boots before you start.   Depending on the color of your boots you will want to choose a marker that will show up on your material. On black suede I will often use a white fabric marker, a piece of chalk, or a silver sharpie. 

Create your design:

After you have your pair of boots, you need to decide on what type of design you would like to use.   I often base my design off of the design of shoe. Does it have natural lines already on it, where is the zipper located, and will you sparkle the heel?   One thing I usually look for is where do my shoes normally get scratched up as I wear them? For me, the toe of my shoes and the heels usually get scratched up the most.  In the areas that get scratched up the most I tend to do it a darker color, this way as the sparkle scratches off, the spot doesn’t show as much.

Start sparkling!

Once you have the design it is time to start sparkling!   Start with one color first. I typically start with the color that covers most of the boot first.   That being said, some colors, like silver, should always be last. Through my experience some colors do better than others, I do not suggest you use white, like never use white (just trust me on this one). .   If you have questions about colors leave me a message and I will do my best to respond to you. It is also a good idea to mix and match colors and sizes of glitter. For example, for orange, I do not just use one color of orange.   I typically put a little red and gold in my orange. I also have coarse and fine glitter mixed together. It has just been a trail and error throughout my “sparkle years” to know which glitter works better.   

Check out my sparkle video on the entire process of sparkling your own shoes below! 

After you get your layers of glitter on, you will need to “seal” the glitter and also add your second color! 

After you get your layers of glitter on then all you need to do is add your final touches to finish up! 

The process is explained in the videos above and the steps are in bullet points below:

-Glue  (where the main color will go)

-Glitter (main color only)

-Let glue dry

-Glue (paint the glue over the glitter to apply a second coat)

-Glitter (2nd layer of main color)

-Let glue dry

-Seal main color 

-Brush off excess glitter 

-Glue (where the second color will go)

-Glitter (second color)

-Let glue dry

-Glue (paint the glue over the glitter to apply a second coat)

 -Glitter (2nd layer of second color)

-Let glue dry

 -Seal second color

-Brush off any excess glitter

-If you have an additional color you may want to do it now depending on the size of the space that the third color is covering.  Follow the process above for your third color. If it is a small area, I usually wait until very end to complete. 

 -Touch up the main color for any “holes” you may see by adding glue, then glitter, letting it dry and then sealing it. 

-Touch up the second color. 

 -Continue any touch ups being sure to complete and seal one color before moving to the next. 

Caring for your boots:

After you have your sparkle boots the best way to store them is either in a plastic container or in plastic bags to keep the dust off of them.   I also like to keep them separated from each other in plastic bags so that they do not rub together.    The first time you wear your boots they will shed a little bit of glitter. This is normal. After 1-2 “wears” of your boots they will no longer shed.   I have had really good success with my boot sparkle lasting a long time….some to the point to where the sole of the boot was worn out. After a year or so of wearing your boots, depending on how much you wear them,  you can add a new layer of glitter and they will look brand new again! Super easy to do! Just add one layer of glue, glitter and then seal. No need to do it twice, and once you have your design already glittered on the boot, it is really quick to touch up.   I have touched up one pair of boots 7-8x throughout the years and they still are sparkling bright!   

Happy sparkling friends!   xoxo


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jennifer Veerkamp

    Thanks Kayla! This is so helpful! I can see some baby sparkle boots in the future my my little grand daughters!


      Yes, those babies need some sparkle in their lives! Hobby lobby or Michael’s usually has soft boots to sparkle!

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