MY DIY Swarovski Crystal Strass Shoes Part 8: Finished Shoes
My shoes are finally done, and just in time to pack for my Vegas trip! I used almost an entire 3.7oz tube of e6000, and a lot more crystals than I originally ordered (I made 3 orders total - see my updated amounts, and ordering information).
Here is how long the shoes actually took (yes, I timed myself):
Toe platform = 10-15 min
Heel = 90-180 min
Outline = 59-63 min
Fill = 360- min
Total time per shoe = 519- 537min (8.65 - 8.95 hours)
Total time per pair = 1127- 1145 min (18.78- 19.08 hours)
Here are my shoes, from start to finish:
Here are all the tricks I used:
Divide your crystals in half so you use the same amount for each shoe (and can monitor how much you use). Place a small amount of crystals in little bowls so they are easy to grab (but not all the crystals, in case you spill there is less to clean up!). The bowls allow you to tap them, which flips the crystals over so you can grab them face-up with the gem setter (this doesn’t happen on a flat surface).
Place your bowls onto a plate or platter, this way your work is portable and you can place it on your lap so you can work in front of the TV. Have bright lighting and your glue nearby (but no fans directly on you because it dries out the glue faster).
If using e6000 glue, place it on a piece of cardboard, because once you open it, it will constantly ooze out. I let it ooze out by itself (or squeezed some fresh glue out) and then scraped it off with the glue tip and spread it on a small area of shoe (an orange stick, toothpick, or wooden skewer would also work). Using the actual tip to squirt the glue didn’t really work for me; it clogged up with dried up glue after one use and wasn’t usable anymore.
Once I covered a small area with glue I placed my crystals on there as fast as I could. I usually started with larger crystals first, then filled in gaps with smaller crystals. If I was working around an edge (or a heel), I lined the edge with crystals first so I knew it would be even and not have crystal edges hanging over.
After placing a crystal I would press it down with the back of the gem setter to make sure it stuck down in the glue. When I was done crystallizing for the night I set my shoes out of the way and let them dry for around 24 hours before touching them again. You should wait 72 hours before trying them on.
For the next day or so (or really, the whole time I was working on the project) I checked out the floor around the area I was working and picked up any crystals I had dropped on the carpet, since there was always a few.
*My shoes actually feel a little smaller now that they are crystallized... maybe the glue affects their flexibility. I will let you know after I wear them if it still feels that way, but maybe a 1/2 size up would be the way to solve that? Edit: after wearing these shoes a couple of times, I would recommend going up half a size due to glue tightening. If you don't, you run the risk of rubbing your feet raw (like I did) and then always resorting to taping your feet like a ballerina when you wear them again (like I did). Consider yourself warned!