How to Get the Most Out of Your Shoe Collection

Time to sharpen your skills in thriftiness, my friends!

In past decades, women knew how to get the most out of their closet and their money. It’s seems that here in 2011 we’ve forgotten how to do that. Gas prices are rising rapidly, unemployment is going up, employers are cutting back hours and wages… Basically, money is getting tight for a lot of us. That doesn’t mean we need to cut back on our fashion, we just need to find ways around this whole “money” thing.

Michelle Phan (youtube makeup guru and all around awesome person) posted this awesome video awhile back about how to expand your shoe collection without buying a single pair of shoes, but simply utilizing the pairs you already own.


Now, in the video Michelle and stylist Chrisselle show how adding clip-on embellishments like flowers and bows can recreate the whole look of a shoe. You may be wondering, where can I get that stuff? Michaels, which is a popular US craft chain store, has clip on fabric flowers for only $1 each in the bins that sit in the middle of aisles with other cheap things. I just bought a few a couple of weeks ago, and now that I’ve seen this video, I may go back and buy some more in pairs. Michael’s also has ribbons in all different widths and designs if you wish to fashion your own bows.

Buttons, beads, chains — almost anything can be used to spice up your shoes. I sometimes like to wrap a pyramid stud belt around the ankle of my knee high boots to enhance them, since I wear them so often.

Another place to find supplies is Dollar Tree. (Get used to me referencing this place a lot. I work there.) Dollar Tree has silk and fabric flowers, headbands in all varieties (literally hundreds of headbands that you can pluck flowers, bow, bits and baubles from), and all kinds of other goodies. The crafting supplies section is getting larger and better every week, so give that a try as well.

You see this shoe? These are Christian Louboutins, some of the hottest and most expensive shoes around. You can recreate this look with your own basic black stillettos and embellishments like those shown in the Michelle Phan video. For like a dollar. Come on people.

But, I do feel the need to point out that Michelle and Chrisselle are not inventing the wheel here… Shoe clips have been around for a long time. They aren’t too commonly sold in major stores these days, which is sad, but like I said, we’ve forgotten how to save money! However, I’ve seen a lot of vintage shoe clips at flea markets and thrift stores. Or, bypass all that and search etsy. Here are some nice ones:

From etsy seller HarringtonHeirlooms.

Also, another extremely common option is clip-on earrings. I see them by the bucket load at every second hand vending place (my umbrella term for places like thrift stores, yard sales, auctions, antique stores, flea markets, etc etc). Just clip them to your shoes instead of your ears! The only downside is that they don’t clip to shoes or ears too strongly, so I wouldn’t use any valuable or treasured clip-ons.


3 thoughts on “How to Get the Most Out of Your Shoe Collection

  1. See the newest issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine for “how-tos” on painting and embellishing shoes to create one of a kind mixed=media “wear-able “art-shoes”!

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