How I Transformed My Shoes Into a 70's Cottagecore Dream

Caley Vitella
by Caley Vitella
5 Materials
2 Days

Hey eco-conscious fashionistas and creative souls! 🌿✨ Let's talk about the enchanting journey of upcycling – because who said old shoes can't dance into the future? Join me on this whimsical adventure as I turn a forgotten pair into a groovy masterpiece!

In a world where trends twirl by faster than you can say "retro revival," finding your unique style has become a treasure hunt. But fear not, for I've embarked on a magical quest that combines sustainability and style, resulting in a pair of shoes that scream "cottagecore charm" with a dash of 70's pizzazz!

Materials Used:

Ah, the shoes that have seen their share of adventures! I've owned these for about 5 years now and...well, as you can see they've been well loved in that time, haha!

The ankle straps on both shoes had completely separated, exposing the fabric in between two strips of leather. There's plenty of scuffing and scraping at the toe. And the beige-y color had become dingy and stained in areas.

Rather than bidding adieu, I decided to give them a rebirth.

The first thing I did was prepare the shoes for painting. I gave the leather a gentle wash with some warm water and saddle soap. Then I covered the areas of the shoes I didn't want to cover with some painter's tape.

Then, I embraced my inner shoemaker and mended any wear and tear with shoe glue. Luckily, the shoe glue I purchased also came with nifty little precision tips, so I could really squeeze into every nook and cranny!

Next it was time to give these babies a slick coat of black paint. It's wild to me just how much this simple process completely revitalized my old and worn pair of heels! This immediately gave them a much more sleek and timeless look. Exactly what I was going for!

I gave each shoe two coats of paint, allowing the paint to dry fully between each coat. Then I left them to completely dry overnight before moving on to the next step in the process...

What's a cottagecore journey without a touch of nature's beauty? I whipped out my paintbrush and added delicate florals to the sides using acrylic paint. I first painted a rough outline of the florals in white to help the colors pop against the black.

I didn't have any particular flower or design in mind, I kind of just decided to wing it! I think it made for a very unique and organic look in the end, and I couldn't be happier with the result! Suddenly, my shoes went from forgotten to an artful expression of my personality.

To ensure my creation would stand the test of time (and weather!), I sealed it all with a matte finisher. I also used two coats of this, allowing the shoes to fully cure for at least 24 hours before wearing them. A dash of protection and a sprinkle of professionalism – voilà!

And there it was, my shoe renaissance complete! 🌟 A fusion of cottagecore aesthetics and groovy 70's vibes, ready to strut its renewed charisma.

Our world could use a bit more sparkle and a lot less waste. Upcycling isn't just about creating unique pieces; it's a heartfelt invitation to curate a sustainable wardrobe that dances through the seasons.

Each brushstroke and glue dab becomes a love letter to Mother Earth, a pledge to reduce our fashion footprint while looking fabulous.

So, fellow dreamweavers, remember that creativity knows no bounds, and with a sprinkle of imagination, even old shoes can step into the future. Let's embrace the art of upcycling and craft a world where fashion is a symphony of style and sustainability. 💃🌿✨

Stay groovy and green, darlings! 🌼🌱🌸

With love and whimsy,


Suggested materials:
  • Shoe Glue   (Amazon)
  • Leather Paint   (Amazon)
  • Acrylic Sealer and Finisher   (Amazon)
See all materials

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