Wearable Art: Ephemera Collaged Ballet Flats
{with Martha Stewart Decoupage}

This post was sponsored by Martha Stewart Crafts/Plaid and Blueprint Social.
All opinions are genuine and 100% my own.

Decoupage is an art that dates back centuries. From peasants in 12th Century China to gentlewomen in 18th Century England, decoupage -- the art of applying paper cut-outs under varnish -- has spanned continents, social strata, and generations.

photo source: http://www.plaidonline.com
Today, I'm pleased to be sharing my own decoupage project that pays homage to the past, but with products from Martha Stewart Crafts that are all new! Now at Michaels Arts & Crafts stores, you'll find a full line of multi-surface Martha Stewart Crafts Decoupage products that include paper cut-outs, fabric die-cuts, decorative trims, decoupage brushes and tools ~ more than 50 products in all. The decoupage finishes come in a versatile array of formulas for paper, metal, wood, glass and even fabric. All decoupage formulas are dishwasher safe, machine washable, non-yellowing, dry hard with no tack, and can be used indoors or out.

Being a nostalgia junkie and lifelong collector of ephemera, the vintage map collection of decoupage paper spoke to me immediately.  The package includes 3 sheets, roughly 11" x 34", with maps of Europe, North America, and the United States.  Each sheet features two runs of a single map.  Just think of all the project possibilities!

There are so many incredible ways to use decoupage to accent your home, but with the theme of travel and maps on my mind, I decided to take my project out for a walk in the form of wearable art.  My Over-Stated Decoupage Ballet Flats are a play on both the literal application of U.S. states, as well as the state-of-mind of the artist.  I chose California, my home state, for my right shoe, and added a sardine to symbolize the history of my community.  For my left-brain side, I used the state of my birth, Pennsylvania; also the home of my grandmother who was a prolific decoupager.  

Decoupaging shoes is fun and easy.  What's more, your personal expression becomes a mobile art piece that travels with you every time you step out the door.


Over-Stated Decoupage Ballet Flats

  • Martha Stewart Crafts Decoupage Paper, Map Collection (sold in Michaels stores)
  • Martha Stewart Crafts Decoupage Multi-Surface Durable Gloss Finish
  • 1 Decoupage brush (I used the Martha Stewart Crafts Decoupage 3/4" flat brush (part of a 3-pack)*
  • Black and white images that have significance to you and the states/countries you chose, printed on plain paper
  • 1 pair of clean ballet flats with a smooth exterior (no suede or folds)
  • Small, sharp scissors, for cutting out fine details
  • Optional:  Embellishments such as vintage buttons, flowers, etc.

Step 1:  Start by selecting two states or countries from the map collection.  Use small, sharp scissors to cut them out tightly around the borders.  Brush the back of first map piece with a coat of decoupage medium.  Brush area on the shoe that will receive the piece with a coat of decoupage medium as well.  Set the map piece in place.  Press lightly to adhere and to push out any air bubbles.  Repeat with second map piece and shoe.  Allow to dry for 1 hour. 


Step 2:  Trim your black and white images, then apply using the same method as with the maps.  Let dry for 1 hour.

Step 3:  Apply one even coat of the decoupage gloss finish over the images, and over entire exterior of shoe (to help with weather-proofing).  The medium will appear milky and streaky, but do not fear.  It dries completely clear and smooth.  Set aside to dry for 1 hour.  Repeat with a final coat.

Step 4:  When decoupage has dried to a shiny and clear finish, you may add embellishments.  I chose to create flowers out of satin acetate.  To make the flowers, cut three circles of fabric, in descending sizes.  Use the flame of a lighter stick to burn/curl the edges of each.  Then, stack the pieces inside one another in descending order to create a layered-petal effect.  Use a needle and thread to sew the three pieces together at the center.  You can then attach a button to complete the look.  Sew the new button flower directly to the shoe.

 Your mobile art collage is ready!

 *I was extremely pleased with the Martha Stewart Crafts decoupage brushes.  The soft-grip handles are comfortable, and the bristles glide beautifully over the projects with the decoupage.  They clean-up with soap and water with very little effort and come out looking brand new. 

For more create decoupaging inspiration, check out what my fellow Blueprint Social friends did with their samples from Plaid! 

You can stay up-to-date on the latest crafty-goodness from Plaid on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

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  1. These shoes - and this idea in general - is fantastic! Pinning!

  2. Those are so cute Jenn!! I love the style and it looks so easy to do!

  3. OH MY those shoes are divine! Absolutely gorgeous Jenn!


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