SHOE TUTORIAL: Chrome and Googly Eyes Shoe Makeover

I've been gazing longingly at several fancy pairs of shoes, that I know I can make myself. My favorite related tutorial is one to make googly eye covered shoes inspired by the Christian Louboutin ones. I also love the Metallic Silver Litas by Jeffrey Campbell.  I choose to combine the shoes by covering the uppers with googly eyes (with a little advice help from the Crafty Chica herself) and paint the heels chrome using a similar technique how I painted the Nerf Guns.


I choose to combine the two styles, but you can choose to do one or the other, or use different colored paints and glitter. That part is up to you. Since there are two different parts to making these...the heels and the uppers, I'm writing two separate tutorials. I'm putting them both in this post, because they were used to create one pair of shoes. I'll describe the shoes in the supplies section differently, because the material is different for the heel than the upper. This is important because of how the other supplies will adhere. Hope that makes sense. I started with the heels, so that is where we will start with the tutorials.

Again, you can choose a different paint color if you want to, but it's important to follow the preparation steps the same way. You will want to paint during nice weather...sunny, and warm. You can look on the spray paint cans for what they recommend weather wise for proper drying of their paint.

I already had all of these supplies at my house, because I make a lot of things. I can't estimate the cost of this project, for someone that doesn't already have all of this...

  • A pair of faux wooden wedge heels - Mine were old and have some damage to the uppers. The "faux wood" is a faux wood print on a hard plastic wedge heel. I don't think this style is being made anymore, so if you don't have a pair, check Ebay and thrift stores. Otherwise similar shoes will work too

The tan parts you see on the uppers is the damage that occurred a long time ago.

  • Sand paper - Mine is a medium to fine grit. This is just to rough up the surface of the faux wood and remove the shiny finish
  • Paper towels - Great to work on because it catches the sanded particles, and you can wipe down the shoes after sanding
  • Painter's tapeThis will be used with the paper to help protect the uppers from the spray paint 
  • Paper - This will be used with the painter's tape to help protect the uppers from the spray paint 
  • A cut open trash bag - I use one of these outside when spray painting. It's a great cheap way to protect your work surface and provides easy clean up. I live in a townhouse with a covered balcony. I keep my painting trash bag outside on the porch, so I can use it again. I spray paint a lot of things, so it's very handy. I've used several through out the years. My neighbors have no clue what  make. I like to keep it that way...considering it's normally toy guns or skeleton hands...they don't need to know
  • Silver spray paint - Mine is Krylon Fusion for Plastic. I bought it at Michael's, which carries a great selection of Krylon paints. I use this as a plastic primer before adding the chrome, just in case of wear on the paint
  • Chrome spray paint -  Mine is Valspar Brilliant Metal. Valspar paint is sold at Lowes. This is very shiny. You CAN NOT use a clear sealer over it, or it will lose it's shine

  • Soap and Water - If you feel like wiping the sanded heels with a dry paper towel isn't removing the dust well, just add a little dish soap (something plain like Dawn) and water to your paper towel. Then, wipe them down with the soapy paper towel. Afterwards, dry them off with a dry paper towel
  • Plastic primer spray paint - If you can't find or don't have a silver paint (or base other base color paint) formulated for plastic, then you can use a clear plastic formula primer 1st. I always use clear, because other non-plastic and plastic formula spray paints work well over it, and it's colorless
  • Satin clear sealer spray paint - If you don't use a metallic spray paint, you need to use a sealer as a last coat, to help protect the colored paint
  • A spray painting gun tool - This is a cheap tool that clicks onto the spray nozzle of the spray paint cans (one at a time), and makes using the spray paint easier on the fingers. It's a few dollars and can be reused many times. Buy one while buying your spray paint...they are sold at the same craft and hardware shops
  • Mod Podge and Glitter - Skip the paint and make the heels glitter. Follow my Glitter Boot tutorial to finish the heels with glitter instead of doing the painting steps


1)  This step can be done inside. Lay a piece of paper towel down on your work surface. If you have a large sheet of sand paper, rip off a small piece that is easy to work with. Grab one of the shoes and sand the heel lightly all over, so the shiny coating it removed. Do this to the other shoe too.

2) Take a clean paper towel and wipe off the sanding dust particles from heel. I used a dry one, but a wet and soap one will work too. If you use a wet and soapy paper towel to clean the heels, make sure to go back over the heels with a dry paper towel, to remove the moisture.

All sanded. 
The tan parts you see on the uppers is the damage that occurred a long time ago.

3) Lay the paper over the uppers, using the painter's tape to secure it following the edge of the uppers where it meets the heel. Do not get tape on the heel, as you need to paint this surface. I find using different sizes of tape work well, vs one long strip, because the edges curve at different angles.

4) While you have the tape out, cover the soles of the shoe in tape too. This will prevent the soles from getting paint on them.

5) TIME TO HEAD OUTSIDE! Cut or rip your plastic bag open along the two long edges. Lay it down flat on your outside work surface.

6) If your colored (silver for me) spray paint isn't formulated for plastics, this is the point in which you would spray one light even coat of the clear plastic primer spray paint onto the heels of the shoes. You can handle the shoes by the paper and tape covered uppers, to turn them while spray painting. Sit the shoes flat on their soles, to dry. Let the shoes dry for 30 minutes (or what ever the directions on the can say) You can skip this step if you are using a colored spray paint for plastics. I did.

7) Spray one light even coat of colored spray paint onto the heels. Let dry upright for 30 minutes or until no longer sticky.

8) Spray a 2nd light coat of colored spray paint onto the heels of the shoes. Let dry upright for 60 minutes or until no longer sticky.

9) If you aren't using a metallic paint for your top coat, then you want to spray a light even coat of the clear sealer spray paint all over the heels. Let dry upright for 60 minutes or until no longer sticky. Repeat for a 2nd coat. You will be done at this step if you aren't using a metallic paint. Skip this step, if you are using a metallic paint for your top coat.

10) If you are using a metallic paint, after your colored paint had dried, spray one light coat of metallic (silver for me) spray paint evenly all over the heels. Let dry upright for 60 minutes or until no longer sticky.

11) Spray a 2nd light coat of metallic spray paint evenly all over the heels. Let dry upright overnight, so that the paint will cure. Once the paint is dry, you are done with this part of the shoe makeover.

12) Carefully remove the paper and tape from the uppers. You are done with this part of the makeover. Next, we will makeover the uppers.

DISCLOSURE: Painting these chrome ended up being more of a pain than awesome. After doing the googly eyes, they aren't shiny and pretty anymore. I recommend using a non-chrome spray paint, so you can seal it. I might end up covering the heels in Mod Podge and silver glitter, like I did for my Glitter Boots.

Some things to think about when designing these shoes. Since the uppers of my heels are black, I chose black paint. If your uppers are a different color, you can either choose a paint to match them, or use a different color. A color match is the easiest, because if you miss a spot, the contrast won't show. While I was painting them, I realized the dimensional paint makes a neat texture when swirled. If you don't like the googly eyes, you can just swirl the paint on all over the uppers. You could also use glitter, plastic gems, buttons, flat studs, beads, or what ever light weight objects to decorate the shoes. I chose googly eyes, but you are certainly not limited to that with this technique.


  • Googly eyes - I bought these from Dollar Tree. I used about 400 eyes, which was 3 packs of 160 eyes. I used mostly the small and medium eyes. I have a lot of large ones left over for future projects
  • Tulip Slick Dimensional Paint in Black - I used one large bottle for both shoes, and had a lot left over
  • Paper towels - Great for cleaning up any messes and testing the bottle flow

  • Glitter - A fine glitter in a color that matches the paint. This will be sprinkled onto the wet paint in between the eyes. A spoon is great for controling the glitter while sprinkling
  • A stick with wax at one end - To help make placement less messy
  • Tweezers - To help make placement less messy


1) Open a couple bags of googly eyes. Sort the eyes by size.

2) Tap the bottle with the top down, so the air bubbles go away from the tip. Open the bottle, and gently squeeze it, so a little bit flows onto the paper towel.

3) You will work in small sections only on the uppers. Lay your shoes on a side, on top of paper towels. Gentle squeeze some paint onto a small section on the side of one shoe. Swirl it around to make the coating a bit even. Squeeze and swirl more paint if you need to.

4) Carefully place your googly eyes on the painted shoe. I will warn you, doing this with my fingers, was messy. You might want to use some sort of tool like tweezers or a wax tipped stick.

Keep repeating steps 3 and 4, following the shape of the shoes till one side of each shoe is mostly covered. Let it dry for a couple hours. Repeat on the other side of the shoes and let dry for a couple more hours. Finish by covering the toes and backs of the uppers with the paint and eyes.

Mine shoes have straps that don't have functional closures, so I covered those with paint and small eyes in stages. If you have straps, you should save them for the end, since they can be tedious to work with. If your straps have closures do not cover the closure area with paint or eyes, or you won't be able to close the straps.

If you want the shoes to be glittery, consider sprinkling fine glitter onto the wet paint after you have applied the eyes. You'll have to do this in stages, so consider that a step 5, and repeat it in order with steps 3 and 4.

These are great shoes for something unexpected. They can be done with any non-porous fabric or solid material shoes. This can also be done on bags, hair accessories, journals, jewelry, pleather jackets,...etc. Expand your application thinking and make something great!


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