If you are planning a wedding this spring or summer, you already know how stressful it can be to get all of the details taken care of. And if you are on a budget, all of those decisions tend to create a much higher level of anxiety than if you had all of the money in the world to spend on your wedding. But with a little bit of imagination and creativity, and a small investment of time and money, you can cross a couple of those details off of your wedding “to do” list. Here’s a simple idea for designing and creating your own bridal shoes and handbag that will not only be good for your budget, but you will stroll down the aisle in your very own shoes that reflect your personality. Save money, have fun, and make a fashion statement all at the same time!
It has become quite fashionable recently to express your personal style by gathering an eclectic collection of vintage and / or “almost vintage” garments, shoes, and accessories to add to your wardrobe. Take a trip to your local thrift shop and you’ll discover a variety of items that you can either snap up “as is” to combine with other items already in your closet, or you can be creative and refashion just about anything to give it your own personal “touch.” A sweater that is not your size can be turned into a vest, or even unraveled so that you can knit a sweater that is more your style. An out-of-date skirt can be snipped and trim ed, cinched and ruffled, embellished or cut completely off to make a stylish mini-skirt.
Creativity and imagination, combined with a needle and thread and a hot glue gun offer a multitude of opportunities for transforming any ordinary garment into a spectacular statement of individuality. And that’s all it takes to design your own hand-embellished bridal shoes and handbag. If you discover that you are just having too much fun, you might even want to keep creating and design a sweet little individualized handbag for each of your bridesmaids. You will experience the joy of creative expression, all while saving money for the more important items on your wedding “to do” list.
To get started creating your own hand-embellished bridal shoes, you will need to find a pair of shoes that are comfortable and in a style and color that are just right for you. Whether you are looking for white, ivory, or any other color shoes, you will want to scout out the shoe sections at your local thrift shop, or you might need to buy a pair of inexpensive shoes brand-new to embellish. A low heel or flats are quite popular for weddings, but you might even consider embellishing a pair of sneakers!
Once you have purchased the shoes that you want to embellish, be sure to look for a small handbag in the same or a similar color so that you can embellish both items to match. Then the fun begins! Depending on your style, you can purchase bridal lace, beads, ribbon, or braid at a fabric store, a bridal shop, a craft store, or even online. If you haven’t discovered Etsy yet, you will want to check it out at www.etsy.com where you can purchase just about anything you are looking for to hand-embellish your bridal shoes and handbag.
Gather up your embellishments, a pair of sharp scissors, and a hot glue gun. Then just play around with your lace and beads, ribbons and braid until you discover a design that you like. But before you glue your embellishments to your shoes and handbag, you will want to try different combinations and arrangements to be sure you are completely happy with the finished “look.” For instance, you might want to take a section of bridal lace and drape it across the front of the shoes with a focal design right in the center. If you are embellishing open-toe shoes, be sure to place the lace across the top of the each shoe so that it does not cover the opening. If your shoes are closed in the back, you might even want to place a section of lace around the back and around one side. There are so many different ways you can design your hand-embellished shoes!
Once you decide on the placement of the lace, cut a section that is approximately 1” longer on either side of the front of each shoe. Then carefully glue the center of the section of lace right in the middle of the front / top of each shoe. That is to make sure that it is centered properly. Do this with each shoe and let the glue cool. Then carefully place drops of glue on the under side of the rest of the section of lace and gently press it down onto each shoe. Wait until the glue is thoroughly cooled, and then using sharp scissors, carefully cut off all excess lace.
Now you can continue with additional embellishments, including additional beads, ribbons, braid, or even rhinestones or tiny satin flowers. Use the same technique for embellishing your matching handbag, using the same bridal lace and coordinating embellishments. If you are making your own wedding dress, you will have a completely coordinated bridal ensemble, with the shoes and handbag embellished with the same lace as you have on your dress.
If you would like to make hand-embellished handbags for your bridal party, use the same technique to create a unique little bag for each bridesmaid. Scout around your local thrift shop for vintage handbags, and then with a variety of snippets of lace, fabric flowers, beads, buttons, and braid, you will have beautiful gifts for your bridesmaids, and the joy of knowing that you designed and created them yourself! And a gift from your heart and your hands is truly a meaningful gift that will make the memories of a special day last forever. Please email me a [email protected] if you have any questions on making your own hand-embellished bridal shoes and handbag.