DIY Spike Embellished Shoe
I’m sure by now we’ve all seen (and seen again) the spike embellished shoes churned out by the likes of Sam Edelman and Christian Louboutin. And with good reason! I think these were probably the first designer shoe to enrapture me as much as Vivienne Westwood’s Rocking Horse shoes. As a reforming goth-punk it seems I am not yet recovered enough to be able to avoid the lure of spikes. Sweeeeeeeet sweeeeet spikes.
Unfortunately for the shoe designers of the world. I’m as of yet unwilling to drop copious amounts of cash on a single pair of shoes. And yet! The yearning in my heart would not cease. So I decided to do something about.
To start off this project I acquired the following.
- A pair of black suede platform pumps (I bought a second pair of Brash’s Komet Platform Pumps while they were half-off and with a coupon to boot so they were about $17USD at the time. They’re back up to the regular price of $34.99USD now but you can still find them here.)
- 100 Silver screwback, cone 3/8-in spikes (I got them for about $20USD at this eBay seller’s store.)
- Heel Grips (Purchased from Payless as well for $1.79USD)
- Cordless drill
- Bright felt tip marker (optional)
Of course, the shoes and spikes were the biggest purchases, totaling about $37USD at the time of purchase. I used heel grips because these shoes in particular I already know to require them in order for them to fit right. If you can’t spare that much space you could use moleskin, which can be found in foot care aisles anyway.
Depending on how comfortable you are with a power drill, you will need a larger or smaller workspace. I used the corner of my laptop’s desk because I’m SUPER AWESOME! But you can clear off any steady, even surface to use.
I also would not suggest doing this on a carpeted surface. You’ll have a bit of shoe-dust (like fairy dust but with shoes) flying around.
*If you aren’t experienced using power tools, get a friend or relative to instruct you. SB Is not responsible for lost fingers, toes or eyeballs.
1. If you are using heel grips I suggest taking them out of the package now. Either by sight or using the felt tip marker, plot the placement of the first few spikes in a place where the backs will be covered by the heel grips. If you’re using moleskin, cut the shape out now and do the same. DO NOT attach the heel grips or moleskin at this time. Put them aside once you’ve finished plotting off the first few drilling markers.
2. Because I wasn’t sure of the spacing initially, I only marked off the first two columns. I tried my best to make the placement of the spikes even but if this is not to your liking you can do it more sparsely or at random.
3. Whatever you do, do NOT leave your hand near the area of drilling. I managed to hold my shoe steady by placing the front platform of the shoe on the edge of the table and holding onto the heel to keep the shoe from moving.
4. Using your drill, start by drilling the holes in the marked off (or not) areas on the back of the shoe. Make sure to take a few seconds to pull the drill in and out in order to clear out the remnants that you’ve drilled out.
5. I don’t recommend drilling all the holes at once. The backs of the screws take up space in the shoes and it’s important to get the spacing far enough apart that you’ll be able to tighten the screws in. To avoid this problem I put in the screws and spikes as I went.
6. If the screw did not slip easily into the hole I drilled it again. If you use the same size screw as i did, you might think the screw is too short to attach the spike to. All you have to do is take your screwdriver and gently twist the screw deeper into the hole. Eventually you’ll have more than enough to twist your spike into.
7. Twist your spikes onto the screw as much as you can with your bare hands. At this point you can choose to tighten your spikes or leave them on loosely to tighten them more when they’re all in place. Skip to step #9 for instructions on tightening the spikes.
8. I drilled my holes column by column, slipping in the screws and spikes as I finished each column. Depending on how many spikes you want this will take only a few minutes or several hours. This was an insomnia project for me. I started at about 7pm and the shoes were finished at around midnight. Yes, I took snack and boredom breaks in between.
9. Once you have all your screws and spikes in place, it’s time to tighten tighten tighten! Hold the individual spikes steady between the pliers (if you use your hands, tightening the screw will only cause the spikes to rotate.) Then take your screwdriver and tighten the screw as much as you humanly can. The goal is to get the screw’s back to lay as flat and tight against the back of the shoe as possible. Do this thoroughly! You won’t be able to get to the screws when the shoes are finished so this is your one and only chance to get the screws and spikes in place securely.
10. When all your screws are as tight and flat as you can get them, grab your heel grips. If you’re using moleskin you’ll need to cut it to size. It’s much easier with heel grips as they come pre-sized. Simply take off the backing and apply them using the sticky end.
My Finished Shoes
These photographs are kind. Towards the sleepy-end, I got lazy and stopped marking off my shoes, this led to there being more or less spacing between some columns than others. I also messed up one or two spikes and their placement is slightly askew. Oh well! They still look awesome!
The first obvious note is that you can use any color combination you want. I found gold and gunmetal colored screws available! Of course, you can use any color shoe possible. You obviously don’t have to use platform pumps. I’m considering doing this on a dainty pair of plaid flats for something different!
Most importantly, wear your creations with confidence! Regardless of any tiny imperfections i’m thrilled with my shoes because I knew I worked hard on them.
That’s all for now! I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!