A little over a year ago, I got my first pair of TOMS and I finally understood why people make such a fuss over these simple shoes for your soles.
(Say that five times fast, please?)
On average, I wear my TOMS 3-4 times a week. And it shows. They feel like little gloves for my feet, and once you break them in you’ll wonder how you ever lived before. Even though they are totally functional, they don’t hold up very well to wear and tear. What I find interesting is that no two pairs of TOMS get worn out the same way. It all depends on the wear-er. Mine seem to get worn where my big toe touches the edge. Shelton’s tend to wear a hole on the bottom of the shoe where the ball of his foot touches the ground. Weird, huh?
My little TOMS have been through a lot this past year. In January when I was in the middle of moving, a torrential Texas thunderstorm (I love alliteration) came raging and my TOMS were sufficiently soaked and started to smell. I washed them and even though they shrunk a little bit, I didn’t care and eventually they stretched out again. But lately, when I look down at my TOMS and see my big tootsies looking back at me, I feel sad. So, I did what any girl would do and I turned to the internet.
I came across two great posts (here and here) on how to give your TOMS an upgrade and after combining tips from both, I set out to give my TOMS a little makeover. Maybe your TOMS need a little lovin’, too? Or maybe you know someone whose TOMS are really sad looking? Either way, I hope you enjoy this project :)
You’ll need some pretty basic stuff: your beat-up TOMS, fabric, scissors, fabric glue, paint brush, rubbah bandz, iron-on denim patches, and an iron. (Duh.)
So… when I started testing out the awesome bandana I got from a dollar at Walmart, I kinda hated it. I tried out a few different ones, but nothing seemed right. I wanted to use a fabric that had a seam that was already sewn, that way it wouldn’t fray over time. I turned to the closets, and then a bin of clothes in the office. And that’s where I found it. My American Eagle blue jean skirt, circa 2008.
I had some good, good times in that skirt. As I held it in my hands, feeling the soft denim, I reminisced about that Aerosmith concert I went to with Alex and Jeff, and how Jeff snuck in a bottle of Crown in his cargo shorts. Or the Halloween I dressed up as Heidi from Home Improvement. Good, good times. And when I placed the fabric on my TOMS, it looked too perfect to be denied.
I encourage you to find a fabric that is a bit worn and soft, that way it doesn’t look to “new” on your obviously old TOMS. Denim is a great fabric for this project because it’s tough, versatile, and just generally badass.
First, cut off a couple denim patches to reinforce any holes on your TOMS and iron them on.
Section by section, paint on the fabric glue and press on the fabric. Glue and press, glue and press, glue and press.
My skirt had a frayed edge that I loved the look of.
When gluing, you’ll want to do the top first and then the sides, leaving the tip for last.
It’s easy to create the square toe end that TOMS have, just think of it like wrapping a present. Folding corners.
Then just fold in and glue down each corner.
Take one of your rubbah bandz and wrap it around your shoe. Set to the side.
Repeat all steps.
Boom! Done and done. Let them sit and dry for a spell. My glue said it needed 24 hours. I gave it about… two.
When cutting, go ahead and make a clean edge like this. It’ll be easier to work with.
With the bottom of the shoe facing you, and top of the shoe to your right, start carefully trimming the fabric. Do your best to stay in a straight line. As you cut with one hand, tug the loose strand away from the shoe.
As my Mimi says, “Wah-lah!”
Once they’re trimmed, I added another light layer of fabric glue on the edges so to prevent them from fraying. Then I let them sit overnight.
I love my new TOMS. I think they’re so special, and I love how unique they are. You can’t buy these anywhere! They make me happy, happy, happy.*
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The only thing I’d do different with this project is sew something on the denim before gluing it down, like an anchor or a heart. I was too impatient though… maybe next time??
I dunno, there is something throw-back about my new TOMS that makes me wanna draw on them with a Bic pen. I’ll keep ya posted.
Let me know if you show your TOMS some lovin’!
*If you got that Duck Dynasty reference, you rock.