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Quick Fakey Shoe Roses for Strappy-shoes

I’m a huge fan of shoe roses (aka, “shoe hoo-ha-s”, “shoe hooters”, “shoe dec”, etc). Whatever you want to call the silly little things, I love them. Seriously, little hats for shoes? Tee! Put me in, coach! They just make me giggle… If you need to period-up a shoe with a strap across the foot (like a mary jane or t-strap style dance shoe), here’s a quick and dirty way to build a shoe rose that is relatively actor-proof…

Actor-proof, incidentally, is like child-proofed, but with a little extra to cover the element of creativity that comes from adults knowing that the care of this item is Someone Else’s Responsibility(tm). (Please note: I’m not actually down on actors. Generally they’re very nice people and appreciate wardrobe, and I almost never find myself saying things like¬†“Are you holding your headdress by the feathers?!?” or “Please do not play tug-of-war with the girl in the straight-jacket.”)

So, shoe roses that can stand up to actors (or dancers) need to be decently secure, devoid of pins or other potential pokey-hazards, and go together on a machine. Ideally, they can be transferred from one shoe to another, should shoe-breakage occur. Here’s how you do:

a shoe
You will need a shoe with straps that go over the foot.
selecting a template
The roses will be built on a roundular base. Find *anything* in the shop that gives you a good size circle. I like the inside of this roll of elastic....
circle on felt layers
Use this template to mark your circles on craft felt. You'll need two rounds of felt per shoe, four total for a set.
applying the carrier
On one round, apply a piece of twill tape (or grosgrain ribbon - something without a lot of slip to it). This will work like a little belt loop so you can slip the strap of the shoe through it. It should be slightly larger than the strap of the shoe. I've zig-zagged over the edges, but you're free to do something nicer....
decorating the other round
Decorate the ever-lovin' snot out of the other round. All the dec should be sewn through the felt, ideally with a wide zig-zag. (The little flowers had to be hand-sewn.)
glueing the rounds together
Apply a fair amount of high-temp hot glue to the back of the decorated round. Attach the carrier round, carrier side out. (This seems obvious, but I almost screwed it up... Focus isn't always my strong suit.)

The hot glue serves a couple important functions here – obviously, it’s going to hold the two layers together securely. It’s also going to secure all the little threadies that secure the dec to the top of the shoe rose. Finally, because we’re using felt, it’s going to penetrate both layers somewhat. When it dries (freezes?), it’s going to make the whole construction stiffer. That’s pretty cool. Use high-temp glue, not low-temp and defintiely not ultra-low-temp – you don’t want body heat to soften the glue!

array of shoe roses
You can dec them up as much, or as little, as you'd like...
closeup of nicer shoe roses
Here's a closeup of the nicer roses in the bunch. The pink and gold with the fringe is probably the closest to period-correct, but they're all rather fun.

The big froofy ones at the bottom of the first picture only make sense in the context of the dress they go with. Occupational hazard… ¬†;) Also, I’ve done a horrible job with ends here – don’t be like me.

If you’re using straight ribbon or lace, you will want to gather or pleat it to get it to go around the round felt base smoothly. If you want to absolutely cover the base with an explosion of lace, gather the lace and sew it to the base in a continuous spiral from the outside in. You can put a festive button at the center to hide the ugly clump of stitches that will invariably result. If you have a shoe that ties, you can slip the carrier for the rose over the tie, center it, and tie per usual.

One Comment

  1. Rachel
    Rachel April 27, 2011

    Wow, I don’t know how you manage to do read my mind but I was thinking about doing this to my shoes since it was an inexpensive fix for a modern shoe to appear more period.

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