Do It Yourself: Mess-free Glitter Shoes


Glitter is almost definitely my most favourite thing in the world; even when I was an (awful) emo kid I still tried to sneak a little bit of glitter into my black, melancholy outfits. It just makes everything better – who doesn’t get a little rush of happiness when someone brings out a pot of glitter? Even those super tough inmates on Gordon Ramsay’s latest TV show got ridiculously excited about covering cupcakes and posters in little bits of sparkle.

Glitter shoes have been popping up all over the place – from Miu Miu to Matalan – so naturally, I’ve been dying to get my hands on a pair for what seems like far too long. Shopping funds are rock bottom, though (thanks St Andrews accommodation prices!), so after a little bit of trial and error and covering my house in glitter I’ve come up with the perfect, mess-free way of doing it yourself.

What you’ll need:

Shoes: suede is my fabric of choice as the glue/glitter mixture adheres to it really easily. If your shoes are made out of something different, you could lightly sand the area you want to cover in glitter so it sticks easier.

Glue: I used a mixture of PVA glue and water. Mod Podge is great if you can get your hands on it, but PVA is much easier to find in the UK – in St Andrews, Rymans and WH Smith both sell it.

Glitter: I combined gold and silver glitter to get a super metallic-y finish. Rymans sell tubes of glitter in multicoloured packs of six, I used half a tube each of gold and silver to cover my shoes.

Paintbrush: fairly broad, flat paintbrushes are the best – the ones you use for arty painting rather than wall painting! – they cover a large area of space quickly but still allow you control along edges.

Masking tape: you can use this to tape over the areas of the shoes you don’t want to cover in glitter; leave this out if you’re extra careful/have a steady hand.

Small bowl: for mixing the glitter and glue together. Line it with clingfilm so it’s quick and easy to clean up afterwards!

What you do:

1. In the bowl, mix the glue, glitter, and a splash of water. A runnier mixture makes the application much smoother and easier.

2. Lightly rub over the shoes in sandpaper if you feel the material needs it. Cover the parts of the shoe that you don’t want to be covered in glitter with masking tape.

3. Brush the mixture onto the shoes! I did three layers to get a good consistency – make sure the shoes are fairly dry in between layers, I waited about half an hour each time. When painting on the mixture, try and use long brush strokes always going in the same direction, using thin and even layers. Don’t worry if you can see the white glue in between the glitter – it will dry clear.

4. Leave to dry completely at least overnight before wearing them. You could cover them with some waterproof sealing spray if you have any, but otherwise just be careful not to go jumping into any puddles when you wear them outside. Now go get your glitter on!


  1. I think this is a wonderful article. It’s so easy to follow, very clear and concise instructions and an absolutely fabulous idea to get an excellent pair of shoes that look great, but don’t cost the earth !!!


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