For the past several posts I have been sharing with you about my convention experience. Near the end of our dinner at Bambara, we had an Artisan swap. Don't worry, we made extras for everyone (except the husbands). I haven't had time to photograph everything yet, but I do want to show you the gift I made for everyone. These are flip flops covered with the designer fabric. You may be asking "how did she do that?", so let me just tell you a little bit about how I made them.
First, I started with flip flops that I purchased from the craft store. I tried more expensive brands, but they were extremely difficult to work with, so in this case, "the cheaper...the better". I used jewelery needle-nose pliers and working from the bottom side I carefully removed the straps from the soles. The brand of shoes I used had the size marked on the bottom of one of the straps and L or R on the other strap for which shoe it was for. This came in very handy later when I was reassembling the shoes.
I used iron-on fabric adhesive and ironed it to the wrong side (back) of the fabric. I placed the soles of the shoes face down onto the wrong side of the fabric and traced an outline of each shoe plus about 3/8" allowance for each shoe. If there isn't a nap (obvious pattern) to the fabric then you can get about 4-5 pairs of shoes out of one fat quarter. In this picture I managed to squeeze one small pair, three medium pairs, and one large pair of flip flops onto one fat quarter. (When I make these for a stamp camp, I will cut my fabric into four equal pieces just to make things a lot easier.)
After I trimmed out all the pieces, I removed the paper backing and placed the piece of fabric on the top of the corresponding shoe. Carefully iron the fabric to the shoe following the directions on the adhesive. (NOTE: At this point your family will probably walk into the room and think that you have totally lost your mind!) There will probably also be the slight smell of burning rubber, but if you don't have your iron set too high (mine was on the "cotton" setting), then I doubt that you will actually melt the rubber on the soles...but be careful just the same.
Start at one end and work your way to the other end so that you won't have any air pockets form. After the shoes have cooled completely, make sure that there aren't any bubbles or places you missed with the iron. You can re-heat the area, carefully lift it while it is still warm, and smooth out any bubbles that may have formed. You may want to use an oven mit to protect your hand. If you are happy with the results, then use an exacto knife to cut a small "X" over the strap holes so that you can add the straps back on. I worked from the bottom and pulled the straps down through the holes so that I didn't loosen any of the fabric. Once you have the straps back on, make sure that none of the fabric came loose. If you need to repair a section, then carefully hold the straps out of the way so they don't come in contact with the iron and then re-press any sections that need to be repaired.
Now that everything is back together, turn the shoes over and use your scissors to trim away the excess fabric. Be sure to hold the straps out of the way so that you don't accidentally cut them. Then use a Crop-a-dile to punch a hole on both sides of the toe strap. Insert ribbon and tie on a big pretty bow.
Here is a picture I took in my hotel room of all the shoes I decorated for the swap. I was concerned all the bows would get squished, so I few in early so that I could sit in my room and tie on all the bows. Sorry about the quality of the photos...my hotel room didn't have enough light.
That's basically all there is to it. This project was so much fun and the WOW factor was off the chart. I would have loved to added more bling, but I just didn't have time. Just think of making a dress for your little princess AND matching shoes...HOW FUN! I can't wait to see some of the cute projects you come up with.
Next time I will try to show you the swaps I received from the other Artisans.