Shoe Makeover: Rivets & Bows

Shoe Makeover: Bows and Rivets

More often than not I tend to gravitate toward shoes that are new and cheap to attempt my little makeover experiments. The reasoning behind this is that I made over a really cute pair of flats from the thrift store, and even after half a bottle of disinfectant spray, I still acquired something red and itchy in between my toes. Yuck.

So whenever I see a pair of $6 classic canvas sneakers from Dollar General, I snap them up. And for good reason:

  1. They are comfy. Probably my most comfy of all knock offs.
  2. They are $6. That’s about the same as I spend on thrift store shoes! Unless you add in athlete’s food medication, in which these are significantly cheaper!
  3. If I mess them up I don’t feel so terribly because they were so cheap.

Shoe Makeover: Bows and Rivets

I saw these muted gray kicks and snapped them up and brought them home. I instantly decided that I wanted ribbons and bows! But what about the days I don’t want to wear ribbons and bows? I’d say those days are considerably more frequent. So I made a compromise. I’d rivet these suckers so that I could lace them with the ribbon of my choice, or remove entirely and just have a pair of riveted kicks.

For this project you will need:

  • Eyelet setting tool and 40-60 little rivets (sold in leather or fabric sections of craft stores)
  • X-acto knife
  • Water soluble fabric marker
  • Measuring tape
  • Ribbon

Shoe Makeover: Bows and Rivets

First take your shoe and make your first mark close to the back of your shoe, but not on the are where the canvas doubles up. Getting an eyelet through there is going to be a pain in the neck so we’re going to avoid it. Next make a mark on the toe part as seen on the right side of the shoe. Use your measuring tape to make another mark smack dab in the middle of the two.

Shoe Makeover: Bows and Rivets

Use your utility knife to cut a small X on your dot. Push the eyelet through and use your setter to close up. In the second and third pics you’re seeing the eyelet from the inside of the shoe.

Shoe Makeover: Bows and Rivets

Use your first shoe as a template for the other.

Shoe Makeover: Bows and Rivets

Next we’re going to go around the toe area. Mark on either side of the elastic in the center, making your marks on both shoes as similar in distance as you can. Cut with your knife and set eyelets in those spots.

Then place another eyelet smack dab in the center of the two eyelets on each side of the toes so that you have a total of 6 on each toe.

Shoe Makeover: Bows and Rivets

My intention had been to set eyelets all around the edges of my shoes. But, I ran into a huge snag at this point. My eyelet setting tool (it looks like a pair of pliers) decided to break on me and I had no alternate method to set. And a quick trip to town (2 hours both ways) where I could find none in stock sent me back home to order another pair online. But luckily I had gotten enough finished up that I could still make this work.

See in the pic above? I set an eyelet about a quarter of an inch from the ones I had set on the sides. If you want to stop at this point, things will still work out.

However, when my new tool gets to me in the mail, I’m going to connect the dots essentially and place 3-4 eyelets in the gaps going around the shoes. If you’ll always be wearing ribbon in the shoes, this won’t matter at all. But if you want the shoes to be more versatile and look good when you have them plain, I’d really recommend going with the extras.

Shoe Makeover: Bows and Rivets

My ribbon is 5/8ths inch. In order to fit through the grommets I had to use tape to make the end thin enough to fit through.

Shoe Makeover: Bows and Rivets

And here’s how the ribbon will look going around the back of your shoe. Isn’t it cute? When you get to the front you can tie a bow in the middle or on the outer sides of the toe. Or you can tuck the ends in and not have a bow at all.

Shoe Makeover: Bows and Rivets

All in all, this project can be completed in about 30 minutes if everything works in your favor.

Shoe Makeover: Bows and Rivets

These shoes are incredibly versatile and you can use ribbons in just about any color or thickness. I even plan on getting a really thin cotton rope to run through for a more nautical look!

Well, that’s it for today. I’ll be seeing you next week. I hear Mother’s Day is coming up soon!