Ruby Boots
  • Posted:
  • March 7, 2012
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Leah Clifford’s InsaniTEA party is being held this Saturday at the Store I work at (Schuler Eastwood, Lansing MI). In honor of the launch party I have decided to go dressed as Oz, the Great and Powerful from the books. In light of that I decided to make a pair of Ruby Boots for the event… because I’ve always wanted a pair… and because I can. Dammit.
So, without further adieu, here’s a photographic journey of how to make Ruby Boots. Enjoy!

Start with a pair of grungy, beat up, broken in black boots (or white boots, if you have them). Frankly any beat up shoe will do. You want your feet adjusted to them already. New shoes will just hurt.

Take some sandpaper to them. You need them to be scuffed up to give tooth to the paint to be able to stick to. Leather (pleather) and the like have glue sizers to them to protect that material that paint will never bind to properly unless you remove some of it.

Add two layers of white acrylic gesso. Allow the paint layers to dry thoroughly in between. Even with White boots you will need to add one layer… it’s that binding thing again.

I wanted the boots to be more of a crimson red, which is colder on the colour scale, so I bought Golden brand fluid acrylics in Alizarin Crimson Hue. It’s the only way I could find that colour; they don’t make it in that brand’s tube acrylic, apparently. Alizarin is more of what I would describe a true blood red. It has a touch of brown to it. It looks like fresh blood.

I painted two layers of this paint on the boots, again letting them dry in between. The paint will be lifted by the brush if you do not let this happen. The fluid acrylics are thin and transparent, so you will see brush strokes on the layers. This is a glazing effect you are trying to achieve, so colours in thin layers will come through, believe it or not.

What I used, minus a second pot of Martha Stewart glitter (Garnet) that is not a tinsel glitter. It’s a regular fine sparkle glitter.

Product placement – I heart Golden. 🙂
Apply two layers of Golden Qinacridone Crimson (which is slightly pink) to the surface of the boots. Allow it to dry between layers. Don’t worry about brush strokes, the glitter will take care of that.

I combined both glitters in a resealable jar (for later usage) with a good squirt of the Quinacridone Crimson and a little water. You need quite a lot of the glitters to make it show through the paint. I painted one layer of this mix on both boots and allowed it to dry overnight.

For the final layers I combined a hefty amount of the glitters with an acrylic gloss medium. This was when the sparkles started to pop. In order to seal all the layers I painted two thin layers of the gloss medium on top of the boots. This will allow the boots to be worn with minimal cracking (though that WILL HAPPEN) and no glitter loss. I added black laces to finish the boot.

Hello, dirty bathroom mirror. Can you tell I never use (or clean) that mirror?
First time wearing them. I dry ran the costume. What do you think?

Boots and paints and (erm) hairy legs (ignore the hairy legs please). I’m reminded of the slippers sticking out under the house in the movie with this shot.

Also, before any erudite Oz fans ask – yes, I chose to make the Ruby shoes from the movie as opposed to the Silver Slippers from the books, despite the fact that I was making my costume more true to the books. The reason for this is, simply, because I have always wanted a pair of ruby slippers.  I debated making them silver to be more accurate, but in the end the red won out (and it’s more recognizable). Maybe I’ll make them at another point in time.

Peak at the whole costume. Full images to come after the party.
…Because we’re all Ruby Boots on the outside…
Squee, boots!
– BP



2012-03-07 18:16:47 Reply

Those boots look awesome, Krys! Want!

Misty Provencher

2012-03-08 14:07:18 Reply

I LOVE THE BOOTS! How completely creative- wish I’d thought of it myself. I’ll be at the launch too and from one boot chick to another- I hope to see your stompers there, girlfriend! They look seriously wicked!


2012-03-08 19:18:10 Reply

Omg what a great idea. Love those boots!