A Surprising (and Flirty) Surface for Mixed-Media Wearable Art

One of the wonderful things about Cloth Paper Scissors magazine is the diversity of art techniques and styles that you find within its pages. Each issue surprises and delights, with mixed media that includes from collage, jewelry, paper art, and wearable art, such as these colorful shoes I discovered in “Shoes That Make a Statement” by Pattie Donham Wilkinson. Here’s one of her step-by-steps for these irresistible heels.

Wearable art
Note: The images you use in your artwork must be copyright-free if you plan to use it for anything other than personal use, including selling it. (Photos by Scott Wilkinson.)
Mixed media art to wear

Shoes That Make a Statement
by Pattie Donham Wilkinson

One of my favorite places to shop is a vintage thrift store. Imagine my shrieks of glee when I came across a stack of vintage magazines from the ’50s with colorized pinup girls and retro advertisements on the yellowed pages. I knew immediately that these images would somehow end up in a decoupage project of mine. Look around thrift stores in your area; you’ll surely find similar magazines with images that spark your creativity–images that would look fabulous on a pair of stilettos.

Step 1. Clean the shoes with a little alcohol on a cotton ball to remove any oils. Skip this step if your shoes are made of fabric.

Step 2. Squeeze a small amount of white Slick paint onto a paper plate, and dab a sponge pouncer into the paint. Use the pouncer to paint dots on the shoes, everywhere but on the toes. Let dry, and then dab a second coat of paint on each of the dots. Let dry.

Step 3. Push paper towels into the toes of the shoes to retain their shape and to keep the overspray from the inside of the shoes. Place fishnet (or similar netting) over the toes of the shoes, taping the fishnet underneath the shoes to hold it in place.

Step 4. Shake a bottle of white fabric spray paint well, and then spray paint over the fishnet. Let the paint dry and carefully remove the fishnet.

Step 5. Lay out clear, iron-on crystals on your work surface to spell out the word you want on the shoes. Make sure the word will fit on your shoe before starting to adhere the crystals. Use tweezers to place the crystals on the side of the shoe, one at a time. Adhere the crystals with a heat-setting tool, such as the Tulip® Cordless Heat-Setting Tool, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Tip: If the shoe surface is very rounded rather than flat, set the crystals with glue.

Step 6. Print out 2 copies of your favorite image, making sure to print 1 as a mirror image.

Step 7. Cut out the images and brush Collage Pauge onto the backs of the papers. Place the images on the shoes and press out any bubbles with your fingers. I like to put images on the back/heel area of the shoe. Brush a coat of Collage Pauge over the images to seal them, and then let the images dry completely.

When you subscribe to the digital version of Cloth Paper Scissors, you’ll have a year of articles such as this at your fingertips. In each issue, there’s something for everyone.

With delight,


Art to Wear, Blog, Collage


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