Glitter Shoes

A super sparkly DIY.

When I saw the moodboard for this month’s issue I got SO excited (probably way more than any normal person would), because I knew that the theme, with all its glam-rock glittery goodness, would give me an excuse to do a DIY I’ve always wanted to try: glitter shoes!

They’re a lot easier to make than you’d expect. All you need is a pair of shoes, some glitter, and a jar of Mod Podge. This would be a great project for getting some use out of that one pair of shoes that you own that you love the style of, but hate the color or fabric they’re covered in (I think we all have at least one pair of these).

For this DIY you’re gonna need the following:

  1. A pair of shoes (platforms and clunky boots would look extra cool with tons of glitter piled on them!).
  2. Glitter! And lots of it. Keep in mind that different types of glitter will give different effects. Fine glitter tends to cover more area and become opaque in fewer layers, whereas slightly chunky glitter (like the stuff I used) takes more layers and effort to get to an almost opaque glitteriness.
  3. Mod Podge (the glossy kind works best!).
  4. Two paint brushes you don’t mind mucking up (one large and one small).
  5. Masking tape.

What to do:

Step One:

The first thing you need to do is stick masking tape in all the places you don’t want glitter to go on. You might be tempted to skip this step (I was) but it’s really important that you do the whole taping process, otherwise you might get Mod Podge inside the shoe or on the heel, and this stuff can be impossible to remove once it’s dry. If you end up wanting glitter on the heels (for a Miu Miu-esque look) then you can skip taping that part—just make sure you stick tape around the inside of the shoe and on the soles!

Step Two:

Now that our shoes are all taped up we can begin the glittering process.

Pour some glitter and Mod Podge into a disposable container of some sort. I don’t have exact measurements for this step, but aim for about half and half. The mixture should have a slightly runny consistency, not clumpy or thick.

Steps Three Through Six or Seven or Eight or Twelve:

Take the glitter and glue mixture and spread it over the entire shoe in thin, even strokes. Be sure to let each layer dry thoroughly before adding the next, otherwise you might end up with misty/cloudy spots or clumpy parts .Wait about an hour (yeah, seriously—it’s worth it, I promise) between coats.

They’re not gonna look like anything special after the first coat, but they’ll look super rad later, I promise! Just continue adding layers of the glitter and glue mix.

I ended up needing about seven coats to get my shoes to a nice semi-opaque glitteriness. The number of layers you’ll need really depends on what type of glitter you’re using and how much area you’re trying to cover.

At this point you might notice that there are some parts where the original shoe color is still peeking through or spots that the glitter just won’t stick to. To fix those spots just take a small paintbrush and paint on some more glitter, concentrating on the areas that need a little more sparkle.

Ta-daaaah! Don’t they look gorgeous now? The hour-long wait between coats was TOTALLY WORTH IT. Didn’t I tell you?

Final Step:

Once you’ve gotten your shoes to your desired degree of glitteriness, just slap on yet another layer of Mod Podge (this time minus the glitter) to seal everything off all nice and tight.

And you’re done! Now get out there and dazzle everyone you know with your super-sparkly feet! ♦


  • Susann January 19th, 2012 3:04 PM

    I’m so in love with this idea! I’m going to get some cheap vintage shoes and try it on them :)

  • Emily D January 19th, 2012 3:19 PM

    THIS IS SO COOL! I would never think of this…very tempted to try…

  • samar January 19th, 2012 3:23 PM

    hey everybody! more glitter shoes!! they’re cool and easy to make!

  • mamacass January 19th, 2012 3:31 PM

    AWESOME. I would love to try this on a pair of espadrilles. How fun!

  • christinachristina January 19th, 2012 3:38 PM

    hey, awesome! great idea, yeah! did you end up using all the glitter you pictured in the first photo? just trying to get an idea of how much i’ll need.

    • Marlena January 19th, 2012 4:31 PM

      I ended up using only one and a half tubes of the glitter I have pictured. (I got mine at JoAnns, by the way.) :)

  • Britte January 19th, 2012 3:46 PM

    I’m so glad that Marlena is writing for Rookie now! Her DIY’s are amazing and a great addition to Rookie/my wardrobe :)

    • Marlena January 19th, 2012 4:32 PM

      Thanks so much, Britte! <3 <3

  • Ruby B. January 19th, 2012 3:54 PM

    I have a couple pairs of shoes that I NEED to try this on!

  • HeartPlant January 19th, 2012 3:57 PM

    I’ve done this recently with a pair of heels. Although I just used glitter glue, and smoothed it out with my finger. It took about three coats and about three hours’ drying time in between coats however now they are sparkly and lovely! Yaaay glitter :)

  • mwong1025 January 19th, 2012 4:01 PM

    I always want to make glitter shoes but don’t know where to start… thanks Rookie! Now I have flower crowns, skirts made out of pillowcases and glitter shoes ♥

  • carla January 19th, 2012 4:06 PM

    AwEsOmE!!! marlena rocks! :D

  • whatsupmonkey January 19th, 2012 4:07 PM


  • alice January 19th, 2012 4:21 PM

    I’m seriously considering doing this to all my shoes

  • Marguerite January 19th, 2012 4:26 PM


  • Fortune_Goddess January 19th, 2012 4:36 PM


  • Cosmo Beatrix January 19th, 2012 4:40 PM

    yupp this is the best DIY !

  • Stephanie January 19th, 2012 4:49 PM

    Thank you so much for this! I definitely have a pair or two of shoes I could do this to and I’m compiling a list of fun projects to do that will amp up my wardrobe for cheap. This is perfect!

    • gana January 19th, 2012 6:42 PM

      oooh can you post some of the other project ideas? haha sorry i’m also looking for ways to change up my wardrobe for cheap :)

  • darksideoftherainbow January 19th, 2012 4:49 PM

    this may be a dumb question but do you think this would work on suede shoes?

    • Marlena January 19th, 2012 6:34 PM

      Not a dumb question at all! The shoes I used for the tutorial had a suede-like finish, so I think yours should work fine!

      • darksideoftherainbow January 20th, 2012 11:09 AM

        awesome! thanks so much! i have a pair of light blue (barf) steve madden pumps that are just BEGGING to be remade!

  • MissKnowItAll January 19th, 2012 5:13 PM

    Wow, Marlena is seriously an amazing addition tot he Rookie team!!

  • maureen7 January 19th, 2012 5:14 PM

    when my mother grounds me for getting glitter all over my home, I’m telling her it’s your fault.

  • Lily January 19th, 2012 5:20 PM

    wow these are incredible! definately making some myself!

  • willow January 19th, 2012 5:30 PM

    omg YESSS. I have a pair of old Steve Madden platforms that are just dying to be glitter’d

  • Maialuna January 19th, 2012 5:33 PM

    I always wanted to made mosaic shoes and now I want to do this. But I’ve yet to find a pair that I would do this to…
    Cheap shoes at thrift store here I (hopefully) come!

  • bunny2015 January 19th, 2012 6:22 PM

    Where can you find Modge podge?

    • Marlena January 19th, 2012 7:31 PM

      craft and fabric stores!

  • I.ila January 19th, 2012 6:34 PM

    “I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!”

  • gana January 19th, 2012 6:39 PM

    best DIY on rookie yet! super excited to try these out…especially on some headbands :)

  • Faith January 19th, 2012 6:55 PM

    This is epic! I’m rummaging through all my old shoes and now I have something to do on a tomorrow night, haha. Michaels here I come… though I don’t know if I should get black or red glitter!? gahhh!! Thank heavens for Modpodge and Marlene.

  • TessAnnesley January 19th, 2012 7:09 PM

    glitter shoes are the best EVER!


    now we can all have glitter shoes! LOVE ALL ROUND!

    • Marlena January 19th, 2012 7:36 PM

      OMG GLITTER DOCS! *0* You win.

      • TessAnnesley January 20th, 2012 8:59 AM

        weeeeeeeee thankyou! :D

  • loonylizzy January 19th, 2012 7:13 PM

    i am TOTALLY going to try this… i have some kinda scuffed hand-me-down periwinkle pumps that i never wear and i think they definitely need to be glitterfied!! :)

  • A January 19th, 2012 7:24 PM

    for some reason i really like the tape on the heels. anyways yeah i am definitely going to do this to my semi-retired combat boots that started gathering dust when i found a cooler pair for $20 at goodwill. needs a revamping, almost will be like a new pair of shoes!

  • cleobea January 19th, 2012 8:26 PM

    Best thing ever! I’m doing it right now!!

  • Olivia January 19th, 2012 8:50 PM

    oooooh ehhehehehehe weekend project

  • Petra January 19th, 2012 9:01 PM

    !!!!! omg i’m excited to make my own!

  • Petra January 19th, 2012 9:01 PM

    one question though – what can I use instead of Modge Podge?

    • Marlena January 19th, 2012 11:47 PM

      Hmm, I’m not sure. I suppose regular old Aleene’s tacky glue *might* work. I haven’t tried it though, so I can’t really say.

  • Betty January 19th, 2012 9:04 PM

    Ever since I saw those Miu Miu glitter heels I’ve wanted something like that for ages and now I an DIY one myself! YAY!


  • elenamarie January 19th, 2012 10:01 PM

    Omg I am sooooo gonna do this to my toms!! Love it!

  • SweetThangVintage January 19th, 2012 11:24 PM

    Do you think this would work for my roller skates? I’m worried about getting glitter all over the skate floor. haha
    But I’m definitely gonna have to try this! Thanks so much for posting, I’ve wanted to do this for a long time.

    • Marlena January 19th, 2012 11:39 PM

      It should work! The mod podge seals the glitter to the shoe so you won’t get any fall out.

  • Danaa January 19th, 2012 11:40 PM

    Holy crap, this is so happening. Wonder how the underside of a pair of heels would look like?

  • Kailey January 19th, 2012 11:41 PM

    Eee how INCREDIBLE do these look?! <3__<3 I think I need to create a new folder in my bookmarks reserved specifically for your D.I.Y.s! (what IS the proper plural form of D.I.Y. I wonder?)

  • AliceBuu January 20th, 2012 12:36 AM

    OMG! I wanna do this with some converse that are dying in my closet!

  • ETC January 20th, 2012 3:33 AM

    This is SUCH a lovely tutorial! I just have one question, if you’d be willing to answer it. I REALLY love the style of the specific shoes you used in this tutorial, and I was wondering what brand they were? Thank you so much!!!

    • Marlena January 20th, 2012 6:10 PM

      I got the shoes at a thrift store! They’re by some random brand named Calico.

  • Mila January 20th, 2012 9:11 AM

    this is so taylor swift!!
    i love it!

    Marlena, do you have an idea of what i can use instead of ModPodge?

    • Marlena January 20th, 2012 6:12 PM

      You can try using tacky or fabric glue. I’m not 100% sure if it’ll work though.

  • Izzy January 20th, 2012 11:13 AM

    i am doing this!!!!

  • insteadofanelephant January 20th, 2012 2:37 PM

    so simple and AWESOME! definitely going to try this

    instead of an elephant

  • canklesandclothes January 20th, 2012 3:17 PM

    Red glitter, and an old pair of heels. . . I can see some Dorothy shoes already. Great DIY, cheers!

  • Mnon January 20th, 2012 4:47 PM

    Oh my! I want more and more Marlena’s tutorial it’s so perfect *o*
    I’m so considering doing that if i find cheap docs

  • Giulia Lain January 20th, 2012 5:40 PM

    Damn…! It’s an amazing idea and it looks beautiful in the end! I loved it, thankya for the idea ♥

  • PlatformShoesBlog January 21st, 2012 2:13 PM

    Wish I could do this to my school shoes! :(

    But I will do this someday, and it will look awesome :D

  • erin January 21st, 2012 6:18 PM

    ahahahaha *sob* I want to make these! I need to find some crap shoes, pronto!

  • KinuKinu January 21st, 2012 7:21 PM

    OK. this is awesome!! I will be trying this as soon as possible!!


  • SpencerBowie January 22nd, 2012 1:42 AM

    Awsome, will do.

    Maybe to high heeled black boots. Just maybe…:)!

  • CiaraGrace January 22nd, 2012 11:17 AM

    This post is awesome. It’s beyond perfect. It’s the next years’ worth – hell, the next two years’ worth – of my Saturday afternoons in 646 words! Marlena, you’re awesome and your shoes are so freaking badass I want to cover everything I own in glitter. Just one question, does this work with all shoes or just a few types of material?

    • Marlena January 23rd, 2012 9:15 PM

      Thanks, Ciara! <3
      I think this would work for all types of shoes! There are some shoe types that work better than others, though. Fabric-covered shoes are best, but (p)leather shoes would also work just fine. Just make sure to rough them up with some sandpaper prior to painting the glitter on!

  • Allison January 22nd, 2012 11:20 AM

    I’ve been wanting to do these for the longest time! I saw this idea on Annie Spandex’s blog and couldn’t wait to try.

  • Petronela January 22nd, 2012 12:24 PM

    Hey, I know this might be a silly question, but do you need to make a new mixture (glue and glitter) each time you’re putting a layer on? I love this tutorial! I’m doing it tomorrow, I’ve been dreaming of Dorothy’s shoes for AGES

    • Petronela January 24th, 2012 5:53 PM

      please, answer :) i’m going to make them this week so I need to know

  • TheDemoiselle January 23rd, 2012 1:11 PM

    This is just lovely! Will it ever chip off?

    • Marlena January 23rd, 2012 8:59 PM

      I don’t think you’ll need to worry about anything chipping off for a while. Mod podge is a permanent sealant and it helps keep all the glitter in place while coating the shoe in a protective, water-resistant layer. Your shoes should look good as new for quite some time. :)

  • Sarah_Colee January 23rd, 2012 1:13 PM

    They remind me of the Miu Miu glitter shoes. I’ll give this a shot, thanks! xxx

  • Gracie January 24th, 2012 2:49 PM

    These are soooo amazing :D Is there an equivalent of Mod Podge available in the UK? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it here…

  • Osa January 24th, 2012 5:48 PM

    these are mine! i was too lazy for a trip to the craft store, so i used this ( old nail polish with a clear topcoat instead. love it!

  • Margaret January 25th, 2012 12:47 AM

    There are great!! please keep doing tutorials like this :)

  • Narnie January 25th, 2012 6:36 AM

    I’m going to make these and wear them with my new bejewelled tights. Glitter/sparkle overload does not exist.

  • redheadedmachine January 27th, 2012 11:17 PM

    I tried this tonight with a pair of low-heeled shoes. They look amazing! Better than they did when I first got them.

  • bicyclits January 28th, 2012 1:02 PM

    I read this article and the tights article and decided it was time I started making DIY stuff. I didn’t find any tights at the thrift store, but I found an oversized nirvana tee! Here are how my projects turned out:



    thanks so much!! xx

  • bicyclits January 28th, 2012 1:07 PM

    I made some with fine glitter! This is them after 3 coats (I used fine glitter)

  • RockHatesMiriam February 2nd, 2012 5:17 PM

    Ive got a pair of sad looking brogues that I’m gonna try this on! But I don’t think Modge Podge is available in the uk, is there any other glue I could use? Thanks <3

  • Greer May 5th, 2012 10:09 PM

    This looks SO rad! I want to try it for my formal :) Just one question – does the modpodge make the shoes, like, stiff? Like, does the dry glue add another layer that makes the shoes less bendy?