Thrifty Thursday: Revamp your sandals

I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest.  I get sucked into believing I will actually create those made-from plants dyes for Easter Eggs instead of watching Paas tablets dissolve in vinegar like I have my whole life.  Ain’t nobody got time for dat. When I do love Pinterest is when I want to look great on a budget but need some creative inspiration to figure out how to emulate the look I want.

I’ve been searching for a pair of cute, everyday sandals online all spring. I wanted something different than Birkenstocks because I grew up in the 1990’s and I’ve been there and done that kids (though there are some great styles now!) Footwear is always a conundrum because cheap-o shoes from Target or Old Navy can be uncomfortable and fall apart quickly. But then you have the alternative of spending a chunk of change on a more expensive pair. Here’s where our frienemy Pinterest comes in: Inspiration to revamp your existing footwear.

I had a pair of Mephisto sandals that I found NIB at Salvation Army a few years back.  The super-comfy cousin of Birkenstock I was thrilled to find the pair for $4.99 when they normally retail for Around $175.  But over the years they had gotten stained, scuffed and were looking pretty janky.

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I had also been eyeing this lovely pair from new shoe designer Charlotte Stone: Though I loved how these looked and found them on sale at Urban Outfitters and were about 1/2 off I decided to revamp the old Mephistos and save the money to continue work on refinishing the attic in our house.


I searched Pinterest and found this great tutorial on how to paint leather.  You can do this with purses, shoes or any other leather item you have. I figured if I screwed it up I wasn’t out any money since the sandals were old, but still in decent condition. Here’s how they turned out:

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I chose silver for the sandals because I had the paint on hand.  Metallics are great because they’re neutrals that go with anything but glam up your look a little. Gold is more fun than tan. Silver is more fun than gray. Following the tutorial I did a three coats with a damp paintbrush.

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I wanted a more modern look so I used masking tape to make a simple design using a dark gray paint as a contrast against the metallic silver.  I had sketched out more complicated designs but in the end just went with some simple stripes.

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Though I could have bought a new pair of sandals I was happy that my DIY pair turned out great, I used what I had on hand and saved the money. They won’t last for years but they’ll get me through at least one more summer in style.


Have you done any revamps on old items? I was surprised that painting leather turned out better than I thought it would!

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT! I had written that you could win a whopping $7 gift card from Goodwill in my last Thrifty Thursday post. Congrats to Teresa R. on being the winner! Sorry I was a little late with this- I had a couple weeks of trips and it was hard to keep up with the old blog-a-roo.  Teresa- message me your address and you can find something fabulous at Goodwill!

  2 comments for “Thrifty Thursday: Revamp your sandals

  1. Joey
    June 19, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    I’m not good at re-using stuff BUT my grandpa is! Remember when tv’s used to be in wooden boxes? Not plastic. (ok ok, so I don’t either but maybe you’ve seen pictures?) My grandfather took an old tv and made it into a little chest. I still have it! I think it’s from the 50s or 60s. Very cool idea.

  2. Susie VG
    June 20, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Love this, Jess!!! Such fun. I’m not a revamping girl, but you are inspiring me to try. 🙂

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