Sorry for the lack of blogging last week. It’s been super busy here, and although I made lots of progress last week, I didn’t actually finish anything. Time management at it’s finest, ya’ll. But, I am back this week with a new project.

As part of my ‘personal quest’ for the year, I’ve been working on revamping my wardrobe. This week, the final thing I needed to work on my new pair of boots came in the mail – an order of Friendship in the Field fabric from Spoonflower designer nouveau_bohemian. I love her stuff, and am planning on using this same pattern on a few other projects.

Boots are a big deal for me; not only do I love shoes, but boots are a necessary part of life in Saskatchewan. Boots only seem to last a few winters here, so I decided to be a little proactive and pick up a new pair for next year early, during a new year’s sale. The boots I chose are a charcoal sock boot with suede for the shoe-section and a lovely ribbed knitted sock built in that goes up to the knee. I bought them new, with the intention of covering them with the Friendship in the Field fabric, but ended up decoupaging instead.

I started this project by trying, and failing, to cover the front section of boot with whole fabric, before giving up and carefully cutting out the designs. I quickly learned this was a lot easier if I coated the back of the fabric with a layer of mod podge before cutting it. This gave the fabric a more paper-like texture and prevented any fraying.

I think you could probably order the pattern as a roll of wrapping paper and get similar results. I chose fabric in case I wanted to use the remainder for a different type of project, and I felt like the fabric would more easily move with the suede shoe underneath.

Once I cut all the pieces of fabric out, I added a layer of mod podge, and stuck the pieces of fabric in place. Once all the fabric was in place, I added an overcoat of mod podge. After the overcoat dried, I started adding in the gold leaf. I used sheets of thin gold leaf  – which I tore into smaller pieces using a pair of pointy tweezers.

I added two coats of mod podge over this and let it dry before spraying the whole shoe area down with suede protector spray.

I took my new boots out for a test spin earlier this week, to see how it would do in the cold and snow. I read a few decoupage tutorials prior to starting on this project (like this one from Violet LeBeaux), and heard that mod podge had a tendency to crack around stress points. This was after I’d already started my project with mod podge of course.  I was hoping my boots might be stiff enough not to crack, but unfortunately this wasn’t the case.

I would not recommend using mod podge for clothing decoupage projects. If I were to do this again, I would use a flexible fabric glue right from the start. The only reason I didn’t use it on this project to begin with is because I ran out; I had lots of mod podge, but used up the last of my fabric glue a few weeks ago. I don’t like going out and buying something if I don’t really need it (a lesson learned from years of hoarding things I don’t actually use; now I only hoard things I do use!), and a number of the tutorials I read recommended mod podge. It wasn’t until I read some comments that I heard it had a chance of cracking.

That said, mod podge probably works just fine for objects that won’t be bent back and forth – like boxes or book covers. I have another decoupage project I’m planning on doing later on, and I intend on using mod podge for that project.

The cracking isn’t terribly extensive; there are a few minor cracks and a couple larger ones. I feel like I can probably repair them with a more flexible glue. I’ll have to update this blog after I do the repairs and see how they do.

In any case, I am still pretty happy with how these boots turned out. I hadn’t originally intended on doing the gold leaf at all, but it gives the boots a pick me up. Charcoal grey, for all its versatility, can be a bit dull on its own, and the print  I picked – which I adore – doesn’t have an especially bright palette. The gold flecks give the boots the bit of glamour and sparkle that they needed.

Anyhoo, that is all I have for this week. I hope you stop by again next week for more art, crafts and cookery. Stay gold!