How To Paint Your Own 1920s Flapper Shoes

Feb 7, 2013 18 comments

Hi! Today I'm going to show you how to take a pair of 1920s white "paint-your-own" 23Skidoo spectator t-strap heels and transform them into the most amazing, glamorous, show-stopping flapper shoes fit for any Gatsby party.

The great thing about the white 23Skidoos is that they are *so* customizable with just a little Angelus Leather Paint and some creativity.  Imagine the possibilities!

You Will Need:

1. First wipe your shoes thoroughly with Angelus Leather Preparer & Deglazer.  This removes the factory finish and allows the paint to stick.

*Note: If you cannot get Angelus Leather Preparer in your country, use a solvent such as acetone nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol

2. Begin painting the gold sections of your shoes.  For metallic paints, you will need to apply multiple coats to achieve a consistent finish - I have applied 8 coats to build up the metallic color to the strength I wanted.  Allow each coat to dry before applying the next.

3. Next it's time to paint the black.  Use a small brush to paint the pinked edge and holes of the spectator styling, and a larger flat brush to paint the toes and heel.  Apply two or three coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.

4. When all the painting is done, and the shoes are thoroughly dry, apply a coat of Angelus Acrylic Finisher in Matte.  This seals and protects your painted shoes, and gives a uniform finish.

*The acrylic coat goes on milky, but dries clear

5. Now it's time to apply your rhinestones.  Simply glue them on in the design you like, and allow to dry thoroughly before wearing.

That's all there is to it!  Your shoes are now completely unique as well as historically accurate!

Need inspiration?  Check out these metallic and bejeweled heels from history:
Bata Shoe Museum
KCI, 1925


  1. Ok, now reaally need to buy a pair of these shoes!! Great tutorial!!

  2. OH! Love them! Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. They look great! I have two pairs of shoes from you and I just can't decide what colors to paint them yet.

  4. So great! I wish I had a pair.


  5. These are ! Particularly the jeweled heel - reminds me of every pair of tango shoes from when I worked on "Mame".

  6. Absolutely dazzling! Yummy!

  7. I would love a pair of them, I am not sure what I would wear them with but I would find something.

  8. I just got mine and LOVE them. I have hard feet to fit as they are wide and between sizes. These shoes are not lonely stylish but they are super comfortable. Now that I have seen this I want a second pair!!!!

  9. So fabulous! Someday I'll own at least one pair!

  10. Absolutely marvelous. I am happy the 20s era is back, going to a Great Gatsby party soon and these will be perfect. Thanks so much.

  11. Ooh! I've been watching the show House of Elliot which is full to the brim of incredible (actually REAL) 1920's era outfits. Wow. So inspiring!
    These shoes are to die for!

  12. Adorable! Also, those stockings are gorgeous! Where are they from??

    1. Hi Miss M - thanks! The tights were from ModCloth, but I'm afraid they don't sell them anymore :-\

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  14. I bought a pair of the Gibson shoes and painted them. After seeing what you've done I really, really want to get some rhinestones and decorate them!

  15. hi,
    do you think i could use gold Woly Shoe Cream Polish instead? thank you

  16. Oh my gosh, this is so breathtakingly beautiful! I love what you did with this pair, absolutely stunning!


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