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15 Feb 2012
Mardi Gras shoes

If I haven’t extolled the artistic talent and sheer brilliance of my sister Freda, and how incredibly blessed I am to have her working with me day in and day out, please let me do so now. At the risk of sounding over-the-top, she is simply the most creative individual I know. Case in point: Mardi Gras.

If you’ve ever been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, you know there is no other energy like it in the world (except possible Carnival, but I’ve never been to Brazil, so I can’t really speak to that). Mardi Gras is an explosion of color, sound, culture, food, and drink. It’s an amazing week-long party with parades, outrageous costumes, and my personal favorite: specialty giveaways. Most people know about the beads that are tossed from floats and balconies all over town, but did you know people also give away doubloons, coconuts, and shoes? Yes, shoes! I’m not talking little plastic Barbie shoes, I’m talking the most amazing, hand-embellished shoes you ever did see. Each shoe is a work of art!


Just a few of the shoes Freda makes|sophie-world.com

We are lucky enough to be involved with the process of making these shoes for a beloved client, and thought we would pass on the tradition for your next Mardi Gras event.


Personally, I think these shoes go way beyond the status of “craft,” and into the realm of high art, but they would make a great activity at any glitzy, glamour-filled event. Basically all you need are some fun shoes (high heels are always great, but boots, wedges, sandals, even flip flops or baby shoes can work). The main ingredients for making Mardi Gras shoes are glitter, glue, and fun.


More shoes from Muses|sophie-world.com

The shoes can be found in any discount shoe place (such as Payless), but for variety, I like to hit the thrift stores. The great thing about thrift stores such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army is that you’ll get an unbelievable variety of shoes to choose from, and all the money goes to a good cause. I always think it’s much more fun to have tons of different shoes, as opposed to one repeated style. You know what they say: “variety is the spice of life...” or in this case, the “variety is the glitter base for these amazing shoes!”

I must warn you that this is a messy craft, and your workspace may just end up looking like Tinkerbell and her friends went to war. But if you cover your floors and workspace with plastic or tarps, it shouldn’t be too bad. Still, it may truly test the suction power of your Dyson vacuum cleaner! I also have to warn you that glitter is contagious. My sister calls it the herpes of all craft supplies. You will unintentionally pass it on to your friends and family. Like the norovirus that is shutting down schools here in San Francisco, it’s merciless. You’ll find it in your bedsheets, your laundry, your pores... Yes, gross but true -- my sister has actually had glitter-filled zits! I won’t go there..


The first batch of shoes|sophie-world.com

Anyway, if I haven’t frightened you off, here is our complete tutorial on making Mardi Gras Shoes. You are going to have the time of your life!

As I mentioned, I think this would be an amazing craft for a party, event, or fundraiser. The host would need to prep the shoes ahead of time, but once the base is done, then the real fun can begin. Invite your friends over for an evening that is bound to create memories. Just like a quilting bee, this is the kind of craft that engages lots of people at the same time and invokes that wonderful feeling of sharing. I can almost guarantee that if you get a group of friends together around the table decorating these shoes, the stories will fly (just like those glitter-bombing fairies)!

If you want inspiration just check out some of the amazing creations my sister Freda made for our client. I hope you, like me, can appreciate the utter genius behind each shoe, and although these boots may not be made for walkin’, they certainly (as the Cajuns say)

laissez les bon temps rouler - (let the good times roll)!