Last minute gift AHHH!
I don’t know what your house is like around a big holiday but in this house there is a haze of stress floating around. Usually it is exuding from me that tends to stir the household into a tizzy as I get closer to a big deadline. That deadline being ‘Holiday’ with Christmas being the holiday that I feel it the most. Ed waits for the calm after the storm, but in the meantime he handles it all well. Hiding things, not knowing what I have, locking my bedroom door….it’s hard being this sneaky. The kid’s excitement just builds as they feel the aura of my crazed self working on every little detail to make their lives glorious. So true!
Whatever holiday it is, it’s usually the same drill. I lay all gifts, stockings, egg baskets, big chocolate hearts on the floor depending on the holiday. This way I see what I have for each kid dividing things up into 3 piles. I try to keep everything even for my kids but there are those times where it can be a little off. This time was no different where I needed one more thing for my daughter. One more gift would be perfect, but NO…….just the thought of going back out shopping 2 days before the big day was something that I was dreading. I was just done. No time to buy online not even with prime. I thought of a way to get around the shopping scenario. She’s little, she will be pleased with anything. What the heck did I already have? Hmmm, maybe in the attic?
Shop your attic
I decided to SHOP MY ATTIC. More people should do this! GUYS, We all have way too much stuff! Shop your storage!! My son is the oldest. I could never hand his stuff down to my girls, but I kept a few cute things in the attic for his memories. I thought maybe I needed to widen my thinking with something that’s up there. What though? Within 5 minutes I found my son’s old WOODY boots! Awwww so cute! He loved Toy Story! Aww …. They weren’t worn very much since his feet grew fast; they were a little bigger than HER size……….‘Screw his memories! I can work with this!!!!’ Hey, hey come on now, don’t judge! It’s about Holiday survival mode around here remember? Besides, I had pictures of him in the boots! He would be just fine. So, this was it kids! I found it.
Unfortunately his old boots were not cute girly cowgirl though. These had boy written all over them and my daughter would have thrown them aside. It was time for a makeover; a boot makeover! How do you beat shopping for hours looking for the perfect cute gift? 5 minutes in your attic and one quick stop to Michaels, that’s what!!! Here is how I got creative with this one.
PLEATHER or LEATHER- Just Paint It!!
I know you have seen fabric paints at Micheals or Joanne Fabrics. Usually the ads show stenciling t-shirts and such. But have you ever thought to paint pleather or leather? Unless boots are made out of rubber, Whatever your shoes or boots are made out of, chances are they are some type of pleather/leather that falls in the fabric category. Hey, if they aren’t working for you, FABRIC PAINT THEM! That is what I did here:
I picked up some pink bubblegum FABRIC spray paint from Michael’s.
These cowboy boots were faux leather. In either case, leather or not, I wanted to use a fabric paint for it to be able to seep into the fibers. I took off the spur and buckle to get it ready.
Taping off boot sole
For the sole of the boot to remain black, I would have to tape around the edges of the sole. UGH, I forgot to buy painters tape…..regular tape had to do. As I started taping, I knew I was doing a horrible job! Have you ever had that thought but you just kept going because you didn’t have time to stop? ‘Get her done’ and ‘Hurry up’ is all I was thinking. It’s Christmas time! Ahh…
HAHA I was rushing. I won’t even show you how badly I taped it.
Then I sprayed the fabric spray paint and here…
The result…..yup, having crappy tape and taping it up even worse will produce the mess you expect. After I pulled the tape off, there was paint all over the sole in each little crevice. Oh wow, that could have been done better. This picture doesn’t even show how bad the sole was. I would suggest you NOT follow me in this example! Tape it up nice with real painters tape! Be very careful with the edges of the sole. Don’t worry though, if paint gets on the sole, there is a fix for that I will explain and address further down.
First though, I noticed that the bubblegum pink paint looked ok but almost like plastic. You know the kind of boots you would get for a costume? It looked like super cheap plastic boots right after spray painting. I was thinking it needed something more to make it better. Usually when you aren’t happy with a result it is because you are missing an extra step that gives it the oomph you are looking for.
POLISHING newly painted boots
I raided Ed’s shoe shine kit. I found what I was looking for- Cordovan shoe polish!
I covered the cordovan polish all over the boots. The cordovan is a burgundy color that worked beautifully with the pink. This brought out the richness of all the great detailed stitching of the boot. In The pictures it is very hard to tell how much of a difference it made by polishing it with cordovan. This could be due to our fluorescent lighting in our basement, my camera, and my sucky camera skills. But to my eye, it was so much richer looking. It took down the plastic shine by adding depth. The color changed slightly as well with the cordovan polish. The bubblegum pink changed to a rich pink raspberry color. We went from cheap plastic costume boots to real cowgirl boots with 2 generous coats of cordovan shoe polish. WOW it worked! Side by side here is the comparison without the polish and with the polish.
I wish this picture could show you the actual contrast and comparison; It is way too subtle in the pic. Did I tell you how great of a photographer I am :/
Fixing the sole
Now here is how I touched up that messy sole. First I tried to scrape any paint that got onto the sole from spraying it. I raided the shoe shine kit again and found Edge Dressing which is like black paint for the sole.
I used a tiny paint brush filled with the black edge dressing and touched up the areas where the pink paint seeped through my horrible tape job.
I then touched up the pleather edge of the pink boot with the pink paint near the edges of the sole. I use this trick a lot- Spray paint on a paper plate and dip a tiny paintbrush into it. Spray paint dries quick on a plate but it works really well for small quick touch ups like this and not having to buy a small can in the same color makes it worth it.
That was it! I was shocked how well they came out. I wrapped them up like any other present for Christmas. She absolutely loved them the day she got them and still loves wearing them! Her favorite outfits to wear with them are little dresses that have a touch of pink ☺.
My son never once asked me about ‘her’ pink boots looking familiar. I thought he may have just forgotten about his old boots, until one day, I showed him the BEFORE picture. ‘Hey G do you remember your old Woody boots that used to be yours that you loved? He said ‘YEAH!’, still not making any connection. Then I showed him his sister’s pink boots and the pictures of the transformation. ‘WAIT……..WHAT?’. ‘Wait, those were mine?’, he said. HAHA! That’s when I knew I had a good makeover. ‘SHHHH! This is our little secret. Don’t tell your sister!’ He was stunned! Like a good big brother, He has never once spoken a word to her! He just knows……..and in the end I guarantee sharing his favorite boots with his little sister is by far a better memory for him than if I handed the boots over along with a ratty scrapbook when he is 25!
Whatever reason you are giving a gift, whether it be for Christmas, a birthday, or just any ‘HOLIDAY’, go up there and shop that attic. There may be something sitting around collecting dust in your stuff you can re-purpose, recreate and then make new memories with. Right now my daughter still lives and plays in ‘HER’ favorite pink boots. One day she will find out they were her brother’s boots; oh, the new memory that awaits! Until our next project…..
You may also like the post where we used fabric paint markers:
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