Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tale of Two Toms

Once upon a time, I splurged and bought myself a pair of Tom's. They were a little snug when they came in the mail, but after the first time I wore them, I knew it was love. Not because they were the most comfortable shoes ever or the most supportive. Mainly, it was because they were SO obnoxious and Hubs thought they looked horrible. And it would never fail that random strangers would say, "Oh! Love your Tom's!" wherever we went (driving Hubs even more crazy).

Like with all new shoes, small children's feet were attracted to them like a moth to a flame, and they started getting a little dirty from all of the, "Oops! Sorry! Was that your foot?" moments. And after a long summer, and a sprint through a rainstorm, they started to smell like death.

I found some Pins on the best way to wash them, but was still afraid I'd ruin them. Then, for my birthday, Hubs surprised me with a brand new pair! And they were the exact same, obnoxious orange and white! I decided I would do SOMETHING with my old ones. I definitely wanted to try washing them, but really wanted to do something crazy. Like paint them. Or mod podge glitter them.  SOMETHING!

Then 5 months happened, and I still had the smelly shoes in my closet.

Hubs travels for work, so I try to embrace the lonely nights with organization projects that trash the house, craft projects that involve glitter or anything that involves letting the kids get absolutely filthy.

A few weeks ago, we had some CRAZY rainstorms, so the kids and I took a nice little walk and jumped in every puddle we saw. Having checked filthy off the list, it was time to get the glitter. 

First, I decided to test out washing them.  You can't smell these badboys, and really the picture does NOT do them justice, but they were gross.

Yes, they are sitting on my kitchen table and I immediately sterilized it after snapping the picture.

Knowing I would need to wait until they were dry anyway, I started brainstorming what I wanted to do once they were clean.  I looked at real Tom's that are hand painted, and they were fabulous. There are some impressive (and frightening) customized Tom's on etsy, too. We are surprising the kids with a Disney trip this summer, so after some brainstorming, I decided I'd go with something Disney themed. With glitter. Because honestly, the only thing more obnoxious than their original state would be covered in glitter and representing something WDW.

Meanwhile, back in the wash...

I was excited to see that they came out of the washing machine (oh yes, I just tossed them in) still resembling shoes. They weren't just like new clean, but I'm sure given some elbow grease and another spin 'round the quick wash cycle, they would look better.

But I had a vision, and it didn't matter too much how they looked dirty/stained-wise.  I thought about going RIT on them, but then worried I would be sweating around Disney and the dye would rub off on my feet. The orange was kind of bright, and I didn't want to use 89 layers of fabric paint to hide that. Remembering a super nice Master's half-zip jacket that was RUINED by a tiny splatter of bleach, I reached for the big guns.

I gently scrubbed a little Clorox on the orange with a toothbrush and... nothing.

So, I got a bowl and filled it with bleach water. Then I carefully dipped the toe of one Tom into the solution and... still nothing.


At this point, I am tired. So I filled the kitchen sink with bleach water, tossed them in and went to bed.

The next morning, I woke up and peeked into the sink. I had them sole up and half expected the bleach to have just eaten the soles or canvas right off. The soles were still there, so there was hope this worked! I carefully fished them out of the sink and... nothing. Seriously?! Someone team the National up with the Tom's people because these things are pretty much indestructible.

I gave them a really good rinse, stuffed them with paper towels and set them outside in the sun. When I got home from work.... change! Finally!

Ick. Now they were just a Clemson orange. Bleh.

But, they WERE lighter, and the kids and I HAD done a little shopping at Hobby Lobby, so I decided it was time to get my glitter on.

After looking at all the super cool, awesome, creative Tom's out there, I was struck with the realization that I cannot draw, I can not paint, and I cannot draw or cut a straight line to save my life. So I was left with the option of doing something abstract or with a stencil. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of Disney stencils on the market (or at least in Hobby Lobby on the random Tuesday I was there). Faced with no stencil and no artistic ability, I did the next logical thing.  Grab a cookie cutter.

I didn't want them to be one Mickey/one Minnie, and I knew I couldn't recreate the castle or anything, so I decided to split a Mickey head between them, so they looked kind of swirly when apart, but made a Mickey when together. Thankfully, my Mickey cookie cutter fit (almost) perfectly, so I traced the inside and didn't have to resort to matching and tracing random bowls.

Once I had my Mickey penciled out, I stuffed the shoes with newspaper and poured myself a glass of wine.  The second step is not necessary, but I just seem to craft better with a little vino.

The fabric paint had a pointed tip to the bottle, so I carefully traced along the half-a-head with red.
Not too shabby! Then I took a little spongy brush thing and pulled the paint from the outline into the center of the half-a-head, making it look like this:
Then I squirted some red paint on a paper plate and filled in the rest of the half-a-head using the spongy brush.  

Next up was the outside. Same thing, just using a silver color. Outline first, then drag the paint around.

I was feeling pretty good that the red paint covered the orange so well, but was a little worried about the  silver. It went on just fine though! A little tricky around the Tom's tag on the side and back, but not impossible.


But they needed a little something more...

GLITTER! The silver that I used is actually called "tin foil" and it has a little sparkle to it. But I wanted to test out the glitter (because I'm taking on some t-shirts next), so I (carefully) sprayed and smeared the glitter paint spray on one,  
and left it to dry over night. 

Guess I wasn't as careful as I thought-- Mickey needs a shave there on the right. 

I could see a glittery difference, so I sprayed the other one and after another night, they were set! Just to make sure they were really good to go, I left them stuffed and set them back out in the sun to help the paint set. And while I'm not about to open an Etsy shop, I think they turned out pretty adorable. And I wouldn't have guessed that they were once bright orange and white! They are now hiding on top of the fridge until we tell the kids about the summer trip. Can't wait to see how well they wear and have fingers crossed that I won't end up with a red Mickey stain tattooed on my feet!


Ross, Laura, Olivia and Phoenix said...

Ummm. Absolutely adorable! Bravo mommychick.

Annie said...

Super creative and fun!