DIY Glitter Shoes Activity

4.7 based on 3 ratings
Updated on Oct 11, 2013

In the book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the character of Dorothy wears silver slippers. In the famous film version, directors made the slippers red to show off new color-film technology. Though the ruby slippers were pretty, the heel on them couldn't have been comfortable for such a long walk. Spruce up some sneakers that have seen better days by turning them into a sparkly dress-up staple.

What You Need:

  • 1 pair of plain white canvas sneakers or tennis shoes – classic Keds or slip-ons work best, no artificial leathers or “shiny” materials
  • Newspaper
  • Large craft paintbrush
  • Liquid watercolor in red
  • Clear-drying liquid glue
  • Red glitter
  • Sequins and rhinestones (optional)

What You Do:

  1. First, create a safe zone for a mess – cover your work surface with several layers of newspaper to absorb any paint that might stray.
  2. Stuff each shoe with newspaper to prevent paint and glitter from falling inside the shoes and to help the shoe keep its shape.
  3. Remove the shoelaces from each shoe.
  4. Pour the liquid watercolor into a cup or open container.
  5. Help your child use a large paintbrush to carefully apply the watercolor to each shoe. Let the shoes dry completely – several hours is usually enough time. If you wish, she can “dye” the laces to match by dunking them straight into the watercolor – while wearing rubber gloves, of course!
  6. Once the shoes are completely dry, remove the newspaper from the inside of the shoes.
  7. Next, make some “glitter glue”: have her mix the glue with a handful of the glitter, so that it makes a thick paste.
  8. Dip a large paintbrush into the glitter glue and paint all visible areas of the shoe with the glitter glue.
  9. Before the glue dries, she can also stick some rhinestones or sequins onto the shoe for extra sparkle. Encourage her to make repeating patterns or designs for a modern twist!
  10. Once the shoes are dry, shake off any excess glitter over the garbage can or outside.
  11. Now she's ready to take them out for a spin! To Oz? To Oz!

Fun Fact: Actress Judy Garland had more than one pair of ruby slippers made for her to wear during filming, and the remaining pairs are some of the most sought-after movie collectibles to this day. The most recent pair sold at auction was bought for $660,000!

Jody Amable is an Assistant Editor at She has previously worked as a camp counselor, and spent her college years hosting birthday parties for kids at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. She has a degree in Journalism from San Francisco State University and writes for local blogs, magazines and weeklies in her spare time.

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