Saturday, 15 March 2014

The new life of drab old shoes

I've been storing an old pair of Capezio dancing shoes I had to buy in my teens when I was still taking show dance lessons. I haven't used them in a long time, mainly because they're so... well, ugly. They are good shoes though, comfortable for dancing with a small heel and a pretty classic shape as many dancing shoes have.

I have nothing against beige per-se, but the colour is actually more like grey-beige. You know like those support socks old women wear?

I also had a bottle of red leather dye I had bought for dyeing a pair of vintage skates I found at a charity shop, so I decided to give my old dancing shoes a face-lift as I wasn't going to use them as they were anyway. I bought the leather dye from my local shoe repair shop, but you can probably find something similar in a shop near you or even online. (Remember to protect the surfaces around where you'll be working. You don't want to get paint stains all over the place!)

The dye kit comes with a preparation fluid to clean the surface with, a small brush and a sponge (which are both pretty terrible so I used my own).

In the directions it says to apply the paint with a circular motion, but I just ended up brushing off the paint I had already applied so I found it a better option to tap the paint in. Here you can see the shoe after the first and second application.

I applied 3 layers in total, first I just took care of the larger surfaces not paying too much attention to the edges and after that used a small brush to paint in the edges. I didn't mind too much about messing the soles as I could use the preparation fluid to scrub them clean. The heel is made of plastic so ofcourse the paint didn't stick to it, so I used my acrylic paints to finish the heels afterwards. Let the paint dry well before trying your shoes on so you won't nick the fresh paint.

Voilà! Now I have a fresh pair of dancing shoes in a colour I love!
Remember to wash your tools afterwards or you'll end up with stiff brushes.


  1. Amazing!! Your "news" shoes are lovely! Dear i need your summer collection! Kisssssssssssssss

    1. Thank you! I haven't decided yet if I should continue and give these shoes the "Dorothy make-over": I'm concerned the glittered surface might start cracking with all the wear they're going to get with dancing.

  2. Wow! They look so pretty afterwards. I had no idea you could dye leather at home!

  3. A lovely colour. And such a great idea to help your old shoes to a new live.
    This opens a whole new world of shoe shopping at flea markets, if you don't have to look for a colour you like, but only if it's dyeable. Oh dear, I already have too many shoes, why do I read posts like this ;-)

    1. Haha :D I have been deliberately avoiding flea markets lately so I wouldn't buy more stuff I don't really need. I don't know how well this would work on faux leather so fortunately that narrows down the options ;)


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