Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Vintage" Baby Shoe Tutorial and More!!!

see note below

"Old Shoe"

This is a great project for those who need vintage looking baby shoes
for their projects, but cannot find, afford, or want to buy the real thing..
So here is a *new baby shoe.

This is not a new from the store new.
It is a new from a garage sale shoe.
Can also be found at thrift stores.
50 cents to $1.50 usually.

The ones with the little holes in the toe are the best,
because they are most like the old style ones.

Supplies you will need:

a baby shoe, *dark brown, goldish, and light tan paints,
scruffy brush, sanding pad, and a rag.
*colors I used: burnt umber, golden, or teddy bear brown, dessert sand.
Oh, I also used a little black.

First step is to sand the shoe.

I do it a bit all over, and sand more on the areas that would naturally wear
(toes, edges, and heel, a bit)

Put out some of your brown paint and brush it on an area of shoe.
I usually wet my brush first, then blot it off, then dip in paint.
You should have a bit of water on the brush, but not too much.
If the paint runs it is too thin.


Put the paint on an area,
then wipe off most of it with the rag.
I use a pouncing/wiping motion on it.
Do this to the whole shoe, including the tongue.

This provides the darkening of the sanded areas and threads and looks worn.

Sometimes, to make them look even more worn and realistic,
I will kind of mush and bend the shoe around in my hands for awhile.
It leaves little creases and folds that fill in more with paint.
(You can do this at any time in the process,
but at the beginning would be the best.)

After you have done the whole shoe in the brown,
do the goldish brown color in places.
NOTE let the coats dry between colors for a few minutes.

Same thing, put it on in small areas, and blot it off.
A blotting motion instead of wiping makes it look more real.

Then I do the same with the tannish color.
Then go back and put a bit of extra brown where needed.
(in creases, and sanded areas)
I did use a bit of thinned down black here and there, but
this stop is optional.

I also do a thin wash of brown all around the top edges,
and inside.
(if you are doing a nest or pin cushion this step is not necessary)

Of course we want our shoelaces to look aged too.
I used one shoelace for both these shoes.
I just cut it in half, and cut the ends off.
You will need to play to get them to go with your shoe color.
So for mine I:

thinned down tiny bits of the paints i used.
dipped them in and squeeze them out, 1 color at a time.
(I did not soak it in all three colors.
Just dip part of the lace in a color, another part in a dif. color)
In some areas I just used the brush and spread some paint in different areas.
If it got too dark, or a color i did not like,
i just dipped it in water and worked on it some more.

When you are finished, lace them through the shoes while they are still wet.
fray the ends, then wad them up in your fingers.
They will not stay this way, but will dry sort of wrinkled up
like old ones really would be.

If needed, do a little touch up on the laces to give them that final old look.

And here are the finished shoes.
And here is what you can do with them when you are done.

Put a bird nest in them!!!

Don't miss out.

Go to this post to find out about entering!

Remember, the first one always takes the longest.
After that you will have a system that works for you,
and will be the look you want.
Just play and have fun,
and, instead of spending $6 or $8 on vintage shoes,
you can get a pair for 1.00 and a bit of work.
(remember, mass producing is the best use of your time,
so do several at once.)

Hope you have enjoyed the tutorial.
If you do a project using this method,
I would love to post your finished project.
(and of course if you have any questions, just ask.)=0)


Here is another tip for you:
Think outside the box when it comes to sandpaper.

I got all these sanding pads, and emery boards
at a garage sale. $1.50 for a whole bag full!
(this is only part of them)
They are beauty supplies! And they work just the
same as the sanding pad you pay $1.00 a piece
for at the hardware or craft store.
And they even come in different grits.
( you might even check the price new at the beauty supply)

and a question:

I got these shoes.
They are vintage, and have been polished a lot of times.
Would you leave them as is?
Or 'antique' them, just a bit?
And here is my project from yesterday!
I added a bow to the top, and another tiny tea bag rose at the bottom.

Free Signature Generator

Free Signature Generator


Kammy said...

Thanks Barbara Jean....
I really love that bible - did it come like that or did you make it "vintage" ??

The Feathered Nest said...

Barb!!! You are amazing girl!!!! I love that you've transformed these new shoes into wonderful "old" antiques! They are so precious with the nest tucked inside ~ I love using emery boards too...but you got a deal with the bunch you found!!! I always love seeing what you're up to....hugs and love, Dawn

chicroses said...

Just discovered your blog..via Dawn. Love the shoe...thankyou so much for sharing. I have my sons baby shoes but not sure if I can paint them up..but just purchased 4 old brown baby shoes..hmm wonder how the brown would look with nests...where to get the little eggs...When I want something I want it now...Now to go look at more of your blog...added my pick to your friends.. Thanks for sharing..sally

The Charm House said...

Wonderful!! Thank you so much for the tutorial! And I would have to antique the others just a little bit after seeing your tutorial!
Hugs and have an awesome day!

Bea said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I didn't know they still made baby shoes like that. As for the vintage baby shoes, I'm a "purist" when it comes to vintage, so I would leave them as is. Have a great weekend!

vintage tickled pink said...

thansk for the ideas love love love the baby shoes with a nest. i also buy the old but they are getting rarer and too expensive love these thanks diane from vintage-tickled-pink check out my new blog

Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence said...

Thanks so much for participating--I really love this idea, the shoe on the worn bible is precious!

chicroses said...

Hi Barbara, I have found a blog called blogtips...something like that. So I just have to find the time to study it and do it but will put you on first..Thanks for your compliments on my painting.Yes I did the bird in the cup.Im now working on a nest with just eggs on old molding..Those nests dont come easy like the roses. I am in eastern washington..I see your in Eugene Org. Did you say you had a antiques store? If I ever get that way I would like to visit it. I have a space at an antique store called Rusty Pelican in Richland wa. I love the business..but I babysit my granddaughter 4 days a not much time. Well Ive wrote a book..sally

Kristi Flanagan said...

Great job on the shoes! I love it!!! Thanks for visiting and following my blog! How fun to discover yours!!!

Punkin Seed Productions

Junk Exchange said...

Barbara - those are just beautiful!

I love how you aged those shoes! Amazing..

what a cool idea...

thank you,

★Carol★ said...

I wish you had been around when I spraypainted by daughter's old ice skates! The paint remained tacky for 2 years! No lie! It makes so much sense now, to sand them first. I'm sure they would have taken the paint better. Thanks for a great tutorial!
Have a great day!

Carole said...

You are brilliant! Now I'll be on the look out for new shoes.

Threeundertwo said...

I love the shoes with the nest! I would leave the vintage shoes as is.

I really love how that frame turned out too! I want to try teabag roses. Such a great idea.

Thanks so much for joining in on Finished for Friday! I have a new and improved badge that you can grab next time.

and What I Do.. said...

so cute! Thanks for participating and for sharing this great idea...and more....can't wait to try it.....

Anonymous said...

Barbara Jean ~ I don't think I would paint the shoes, but what would happen if you just took them outside and scuffed them up in the sand and gravel a bit? Love how you aged the new shoes. I am gonna try this! THanks for sharing


ClassyChassy said...

Great tutorial - thanks!

Lisa said...

What a clever girl you are! I have some old ballet slippers that I wanted to age more. Now I know how. BTW, leave the little shoes you found at the garage sale alone. They are perfect! I'm glad Dawn sent me over, I'll be back. Lisa

Funky Junk Interiors said...


Tea bag roses?!? You amaze me. I can't keep up here. I think I'll go back to my garage and dream of making pretty tea bag roses while I sort rusty nails. Sigh... :)


glor said...

Your projects are simply beautiful. The shoe with the bird's nest is amazing. I love, love your work!

Lori said...

the shoes look great, and I love the nest in them. Thanks for joining my party and entering my giveaway.

Marva Plummer-Bruno said...

Oh how cool!!! I just came over from Feathered Nest and you won't believe what I just posted on my blog this morning! Pictures of my daughters' feet in their old shoes, I took the photos about 13 years ago. I've been looking all over for old baby shoes and I love your tutorial! Thank you for sharing! Marva said...

Thanks for sharing! These are lovely! I've posted a link at

Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife said...

These are precious!!! I LOVE it!

Anonymous said...

Those shoes turned out adorable! Love the idea of putting a nest inside. Just precious. :)

Hollis said...

Love this tutorial... thank you for sharing!

Pocket Full of Prettys said...

Love the sweet baby shoes, thanks for sharing. Renea

Erika said...

Barbara Jean, that was the best tutorial I've read in a while. I mean best as in, most interesting for me. So thank you so much! Amazing work and in fact it is so simple when we come to think about it! :)
hugs and love, Erika
ps. I would leave the other little shoes as they are. The look so pretty! :o)

Amy @ Design-Aholic said...

Who'da thunk to take brand new shoes, and turn them vintage like that in a few short steps. They look amazing, and work perfectly in your display. Love!

Thanks for linking up your victory for VOTW @ Design-Aholic. Make sure to come back again, I can't wait to see what you have next!


Unknown said...

Hi Barbara Jean. I just found you through Transformation Thursday. I love you blog and am so glad I found it. I have been looking for vintage baby shoes everywhere and thought they were impossible to find and definitely not affordable. This is an answer to a prayer. Thank you for sharing. I love your creations.

I'll be following and looking forward to seeing more and getting to know you better.

nancarts said...

Thanks for the tutorial on the baby shoes! This is great. You can usually find shoes at thrift stores
and now make them look vintage..Great.
Smiles and Blessings,
Nancy C

Betty said...

Thanks Barbara ...I can't wait to get to the thrift stores tomorrow to find some baby shoes ..."I love them"... I have a b-day coming up next week and now I know just what I'm going to make her.
Thanks so much for sharing.
I love your blog.
Hugz ...Betty

tipsygirl said...

Love your blog and love this tutorial.

Here is what I did:


Mollye said...

adore the little roses and the vintage shoes, I say leave them as is. Charming. Nice tutorial. Thanks, Mollye

Anonymous said...

Another fabulous project I must try :)