Shoe Upcycle: How to DIY Disco Ball Shoes

The DIY Designer
by The DIY Designer
6 Materials
25 Minutes

Disco ball shoes, anyone? This shoe upcycle is sparkly, it's easy, and anyone can do it.

We are going to add disco mirror tiles to a pair of shoes. I’m so excited. Let’s jump on in!

Tools and materials:

  • Heels
  • Tile sheets (small and large)
  • Alcohol inks
  • Exacto knife
  • Scissors
  • Makeup sponge
Shoes to upcycle

For the heels, I chose to get something where the strips across my foot were straight. This means they don't change size, they don't change shape, and they don't curve.

That's just going to make everything a lot easier because our tiles are square, so if we have straight edges, it's going to be a lot easier than if we had something rounded. 

For the first pair of shoes, we’re doing just mirror tiles with no alcohol ink.

Cutting tiles

1. Cut tiles to size

Take your mirror tiles, put them up to the space that you're applying them to see how much you need.

Then, use an Exacto knife to cut the paper backing.

Cutting tiles

2. Cut an angle

Here we do have to create an angle because where the strap meets the sole is a little angled.

Line the tiles up with the shoe, mark where you need to cut, and then cut along that line.

Working out length

3. Work out length

Hold the tiles in place on one side while you bring the strip of tiles over to the other side of the shoe to work out how long the strip needs to be.

Ensure you maintain contact the whole time so that everything is lined up.

Mark it on the other side and cut it. You will then end up with a piece that is angled on the right and the left that will line up perfectly with your sole.

Sticking tiles onto shoe

4. Stick onto shoe

Peel off the paper backing and stick the strip onto your shoe, starting with one side and then bringing it over to the other.

Use your thumb and index finger to ensure that you put the tiles on evenly, not accidentally going a little lower or a little higher on either side.

Sticking tiles onto shoe

5. Repeat

Repeat this process to cut a strip of tiles for the other strap and for the other shoe.

Sticking tiles onto shoe

6. Add tiles to the heel

Next, add tiles to the square heel of your shoe.

It’s up to you whether you want to cover the heels completely or only cover a certain section of them. I decided just to cover the bottom.

I will show you what the shoes look like at the end!

Colored tiles

Coloring tiles

1. Color the tiles

Before cutting the tiles, color the strips with your alcohol ink in whichever color you like. Put some drops onto your mirror tiles, grab a makeup sponge, and dab it in.

If you’re going for a multi-colored look, try to build up an ombre rainbow, blending the colors into one another.

I tried to make a more seamless transition by adding more alcohol ink in between the colors, but it almost lifted what I had previously put down.

Bear in mind that you can’t blend the colors out as much as you might like to!


2. Cut into strips

Cut the sheets into individual strips. If your strips aren’t long enough to cover the length of the shoe, then you might need to add a few more little tiles individually.

The shoe gets more narrow towards the front of the foot, so I needed fewer and fewer tiles.

This allowed me to customize the design even more and choose which colors to take out and which ones to keep.

Shoe upcycle: Disco ball heels

Shoe upcycle: Disco ball heels

Here is the first pair of disco ball heels, just in silver.

I love the two shiny straps going across the front, as well as the shiny tiles on the bottom part of the transparent heel.

Shoe upcycle: Disco ball heels

This next pair is multi-colored with a gorgeous ombre effect, and just look how they sparkle in the sun!

This DIY is addictive - just a fair warning, you're going to want to apply this disco-ball technique to everything!

Let me know how you get on in the comments down below.

For another fun project, check out How to DIY a Super Cute Ombré Sweatpants Set.

Suggested materials:
  • Heels
  • Tile sheets (small and large)
  • Alcohol inks
See all materials

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