Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Major shoe-shopping crisis: my wedding shoes!

I love shoes. And I want to love my wedding, also, so my shoes are pretty important to me. I have been wanting yellow satin formal pumps, with a little bit of a retro twist, to go with my dress which is as of yet not cut out or even fully designed. But I was shopping for purple satin shoes for my bridesmaids (who will be wearing pale grey), and I thought it would be ideal if my shoes matched theirs but were a different color. The six of us had been going back and forth on quite a few shoe options, none of which were perfect. So when I found these Luichiny heels on 6pm.com, which at the time were only $26.99 plus $5 shipping!, I asked my bridesmaids to buy them.

They looked pretty cute, and seemed the perfect color. Plus, $32 for wedding shoes? Pretty good.

For me, I ordered them in yellow, and I also paid the $26.99--looks like the price has gone up since last week! Funny. Anyway, here they are:
I thought the big roses looked a little tacky in the bright yellow, and some of the comments warned they were more orange-ey yellow than just yellow, which I wanted. I ordered them anyway. I thought about taking off the roses and putting some cute yellow and white striped ribbon bows, or something, or cute shoe clips?

They came. They are ugly. I hate them.

They are an orange-ey yellow, which in the super shiny cheap satin is not nice. The rose is terrible, and I have a hard time visualizing what they'd look like without it, although it does look easy to remove and replace with something cuter.

I worried about what the other shoes were like--would I hate my five bridedsmaids' shoes, also?? They showed up in the mail around the same time, and yesterday my friend and I went to lunch and she brought hers with her: they are awesome!! In purple they are so pretty! It is the perfect purple, and it even looks kinda classy despite the huge flower! I am so excited to see it on everyone. So that's good.

But mine--my first thought was to send them back. However 6pm has a pretty crappy return policy, as a discount site, and from all the online shoe-shopping I've done in the past few days, I returned no results of possible shoes that I really liked. Is there some way I could transform them...???  I'll walk you through my thought process.

The perfect shoe is basically this Nina pump in yellow (it doesn't come in yellow).
The shoe Nina does make in yellow that is an option, although not as cute, is this one:
I don't really like that yellow that much, either, although it's much better than the one I have.  And it's relatively spendy, although if you don't splurge on wedding shoes, when will you?  Still, I'm not about to go buy it immediately.

The other shoe that is okay, but not great, from Nina, is this one:
The satin ribbon looks sort of tacky in the yellow.  I guess I could replace it... eh, I dunno.

Now, $100 for Ninas is more than I wanted to pay, but I would be willing to if they were perfect (they're not).  Even if I raise the bar even more, I can't find the perfect shoe... for example, here are my choices at BHLDN...

These (cute but very orange/mustard-ey and closed-toed, which I don't really want), for like $320.  They are almost the same color as the ones I ordered and don't like, although the fact that Anthro has some this color makes me like it more.  Maybe it's not too tacky after all?  Although it's also the sheen of mine--these are probably silk satin, and mine are cheap weave poly!
Or maybe something like these, also super spendy--these give me an idea for an alteration I could make to the tacky Luichiny ones I have--
Anyway.  I have tried all kinds of shoe websites--Amazon, Zappos, Payless, Target, AMI Clubwear, GoJane, Victoria's Secret, Newport News, Nordstrom... places that might have formalwear shoes in bright colors.  To no avail.  I found these acceptable Nine West ones at Zappos for $59:
But they're leather, not satin, and would definitely need some cute shoe clips.  That's another idea I got from Anthro's BHLDN site: shoe clips, something in this vein:
Could I add something like that to my tacky yellow shoes, in a contrast color?  Could I cut apart the rose and make a self-fabric interfaced bow?  Would my original plan of white/yellow striped ribbon bows work?

The other idea I had was dying shoes, like Payless used to have with their Dyeables line.  They have something similar now but no bright yellow, and none of them are the perfect shape anyway.  So what if I did it myself?  Or if I used yellow fabric spray paint?  I imagine I could find a good style of shoe in white, and spray paint or dye it.  It's sort of a risky experiment, though, so I'd want to do it on a cheap shoe.  Would it look professional?

I don't know what to do.  This whole thing has made me grumpy!!  I figured if there was anyone who could help me, it'd be you readers, you creative and talented craftsladies.  I have a few ideas, but I'm sure you all can think up something I haven't yet.

Please!!  What should I do?!!?!?!?!


  1. I have trouble with finding shoes to fit correctly (narrow feet, and a nerve issue) and also very recently went through the wedding shoe purchasing. My recommendation? Zappos and endless.com both have GREAT return policies, free shipping both ways. Order every yellow shoe that is even remotely a possibility, and try them, what you don't like on screen you may love on your foot. I returned 14-15 pairs of shoes over the course of three weeks, no questions asked, and I have two possibilities with my dress, of shoes I kept.

  2. My first thought was, "How soon is your wedding?" If isn't say, next month, I'd wait a smidge longer and see what comes out for the summer. That yellow you're looking for seems like it will be a fairly popular color at that time and you might have more options then. Even if you wait until then, you'll still have the yellow shoes that you already ordered that you can play with. :) I do like the shoe clip idea in a contrasting color; maybe something in a purple or grey to coordinate with your girls' dresses?

  3. Anonymous3/24/2011

    Since you don't like the ones you have, what the heck ... trying dying them yourself and take off the rose and make your own out of ribbon. What do you have to lose??? Well, of course the $36 ... but you said the return policy is crappy anyway. I follow a blog "Made". Dana might be able to help you out there. I know she actually spray painted a pair of shoes before - think they were faux leather. Good luck!

  4. I've seen some blogs where people have used mod podge and fabric to change their shoes. Worth a try? Good luck! You might also want to try Etsy for actual vintage yellow shoes.

  5. Have you tried Davids Bridal? They have all different cute dyeable shoes, and they definitely have a pretty yellow color... just a thought.

  6. That sucks about the shoes! I love the shape of the nina pumps... would you consider getting them in a different colour than yellow? I wanted a beautiful pair of royal blue nine west pumps but they didn't come in time.... I ended up wearing a pair of black patent pointy toe pumps with a black wood stacked 3.5" heel. They were beautiful, I alreay had them... and I saved $175 by sending the other shoes back. SOOO my suggestion is to look to see if you have any shoes already or buy a pair you are positive you will wear again. I would have wore the blue ones but the mishap helped me stay in my wedding budget.

  7. Yikes, what a dilemma! I too love, love, love shoes and hate it when I can't find what I want... I did a few searches and came up with a couple of links. None are exactly what you're looking for but I thought they might serve as good inspiration or be okay second place contenders. Good luck on the search and I hope these help. Smiles!









  8. I second the idea of finding a pair of satin or silk shoes that you could have dyed in the color you'd like. I've even seen dyeable wedding shoes sold at Payless. Most bridal shops should be able to send out your shoes to have them professionally dyed or there are places you can find online that dye shoes.

  9. I just looked on the Nina site and it looks like they do offer the Electra pump you like in their "design your own shoe" with canary yellow as an option but it's $150 instead of $100 and are non-returnable.

  10. I have had great success painting and dyeing my shoes.

    For painting, I have used Margot Silk Forrest's ideas on her site www.sassyfeet.com. I have used Lumiere's acrylic paints on about 5 pairs of shoes that I like the shape of, but not the color. I love them! Ms. Forrest also does custom work if you want to check it out.

    For dyeing, you do need to start with a fabric shoe that is dyeable. I've done it in a tub with Rit Dye from the drug store, with much success, but I wasn't trying to get an exact color. Dyeing is a crap-shoot and it can be hard to get the perfect shade on your own. It is worth it to check out the bridal shoppes and have it done professionally.

    All I can say, is don't wait until the last minute if it is really important to you...and speaking from experience, don't mention the word "bridal" when you are getting something done...the stores sometimes like to jack their prices!

  11. You could possibly recover them or a pair you like. I love this tutorial but not a fan of the embelishments... but the pink polka dot ones turned out cute!

    Shoe Redo - Pink: http://grosgrainfabulous.blogspot.com/2011/03/shoe-sugar-reader-redo.html

    Shoe Redo Tutorial: http://grosgrainfabulous.blogspot.com/2010/05/shoe-redo-rickrack-posies.html

    Good luck!!

  12. I would try buying a cheapy pair and dying them. I wouldn't buy anything too expensive because you are just going to wear them one time, right? I'll be looking some up and comment with the links if I find any! :D Good luck!

  13. Anonymous3/24/2011

    I would totally go the dyeable shoe route. I bought my wedding shoes on Zappos. They have a couple of shoe lines that are made to dye. Then you just take them to a cobbler or other shoe repair place and they can dye them pretty much any color for you. One note on getting your shoes dyed, my shoes did kinda leak dye onto me. Not so you could see it when I had them on but definitely noticeable if I took them off, but then mine were red so maybe yellow wouldn't be so noticeable. I definitely had red feet for two days and had to throw away my stockings.

  14. not sure how easy it would be to get these shoes shipped to you, but this is a well-known UK brand and they dye your shoes to any colour - you just have to give them a swatch in the colour that you want.


    I bought my wedding shoes from them (via John Lewis, a well known UK department store chain) I then had them dyed black afterwards. They are really comfy!

  15. I feel your pain! I walked away from my perfect wedding shoes, thinking it would be a few years at least before I was engaged (he proposed on Christmas!). I agree with some of the previous comments about waiting a bit - yellow is a great summer color and we aren't quite there yet! My go-to site for shoes is urbanog.com, and they have a huge selection of cute heels every summer.

  16. You guys have such great ideas--keep 'em coming!!

    I will check out those other shoe websites and stores I hadn't thought of (and David's Bridal! duh!).

    Other thoughts I had--if you can dye shoes, can you also bleach them? What would happen if I bleached the ones I have, then dyed them??

    What about fabric spray paint??

    Thanks again and keep 'em coming!!

  17. You could put a yellow bow on the first pair of yellow Ninas (w/out the bow) if you wanted to make them more like the pink ones. Your bridesmaid shoes are super cute!

  18. Oh man. I probably bought and returned 20 pairs of shoes for my wedding, looking for the perfect shade of Tiffany blue. I ended up buying a (gorgeous, perfect) dyeable pair. Then by googling I found a company who you mail your shoes to with a fabric swatch and they dye to match. They were perfect and I was soooo happy with them!

  19. Kathleen at Grosgrainfabulous.blogspot.com did a month of 'Shoe Sugar' where she made all sorts of adorable embellishments for shoes, check it out if you haven't already! Those yellow ones you bought would be fairly minimalist without the flower so you could go to town with some kind of pretty clip.

  20. So sad that the yellow ones you ordered are cheesy looking because they are DARLING in the photo! Glad the purple ones are cute at least!

    I saw someone else commented on Dana's MADE website about her spraypainted shoes--I think that would be fun to try. Also I bet you could make a super cute embellishment clip for them (I've seen adorable ones on Emersonmade). I love the chiffon "poms" on a pair of my pumps.

    Have fun--don't stress over it!

  21. Anonymous3/25/2011

    Burdastyle have a tutorial about covering any shoes: http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/fabric-covered-shoes-make-your-own and Grosgrain has a shoe-decorating thread: http://grosgrainfabulous.blogspot.com/2011/01/shoe-sugar-month.html
    Love your blog!

  22. Hey,

    whay don't you try to cover the shoes with fabric that you like. There is a tutorial in burdastyle: http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/fabric-covered-shoes-make-your-own

    Good luck,


  23. I'd go to dsw.com to see if there is anything on the website. I know how you feel about finding the perfect pair of shoes. My perfect pair were a white satin kate spade slingback for $320. Instead of giving up my arm for a pair of shoes, I found a pair that were the right shape and added bows to match my dress. Also got them dyed the perfect white. Believe it or not, not all whites are the same!

  24. Anonymous3/25/2011

    What are the chances of taking off the big yellow flower from the ones you already have and replacing them with a shoe clip? I've never done a shoe surgery before, so it might be more trouble than it's worth. I really hope everything turns out ok. -heidi


  25. I love the pink ones! Are there any colours that would work in that one or are you set on yellow? The yellow slingbacks are also great looking!

  26. Shoe surgery--yep, that's what I think I'll have to do. Or spend the big bucks. I'm thinking about the various shoe clips I could make... maybe test-bleaching the fabric from the rose if I take it off?? Pretty risky, and it's not like I'd wear them for anything else if they turn out bad.

    Bleaching and dying shoes... hm....

  27. P.S. Thanks for the new online shoe shopping outlets!!

  28. This probably sounds harsh--but don't freak out about the shoes. There's so many bigger fish to fry as you think about your wedding day :)

  29. Anonymous3/25/2011

    If you were to bleach the yellow shoes you might have a decent chance of at least lightening the yellow if not getting them white again. If you try that I would use those bleach pens since the bleach in them is more gel like and you don't have to bleach the whole shoe. You would have to be very careful to not leave the bleach on too long or risk the fabric just falling apart, but if you can't return and aren't going to wear them as is, then why not try it.

  30. Just an FYI if you get any shoe dyed, whether professionally or done yourself, you need waterproofing spray, like Scotchguard. You can get it at Lowes, or Home Depot.

  31. Monica3/25/2011

    I managed a bridal store for 10 years. Two brands that we carried were Coloriffics and Touch Ups. Both catalogs can be found online and they are also readily availble in bridal stores (usually $40 - $50). I customed dyed shoes and could match any color sample that you brought in. Just make sure that you mention if the wedding is outdoors as the natural light would change the color - sometimes drastically!
    As someone mentioned the dye is water-soluble. We never did the waterproof thing - it helps a little if they were to become wet but there still maybe spotting. Waterproofing would also prevent you from dyeing them any other color. Keep in mind if you do re-dye them the new color does mix with the exisiting color not just go over top the color.
    You mentioned bleaching - it can be done as a last resort. Use a very weak solution. All of the color does not come out and it also makes the satin feel rough. Plus, they smell like bleach.
    If a color is too bright you could try brushing baby powder to tone it down a little.

  32. Kathleen over at the Grosgrain blog had a great post on painting shoes:


    She also did a month-long series of what she calls "Shoe Sugar" - various shoe clips and embellishments that are REALLY cute. I'd recommend searching her site for ideas. I think she even shows you how to recover shoes with different fabric.

  33. Have you considered blue shoes? That's what I picture you wearing!

  34. Lela Rose, the bridal designer, has a line of satin bridal shoes, dyeable in 64 colors, available at Payless. You can go here to see the styles: http://www.unforgettablemoments.com/

    There is a search to find the nearest Payless store which carries her Unforgettable Moments line. There are 3 shades of yellow available.

  35. I had the same problem finding shoes. I wanted purple retro style ones to go with my retro dress. 36 hours before the wedding, I STILL did not have shoes. Stumbled in to Naturalizer, and found THE perfect pair. I was surprised at how many cute shoes they actually had. And comfortable for wedding use. :)

  36. Wow! Those wedding shoes are absolutely stunning and elegant. Thanks for sharing. I so like the pink shoes.

  37. After getting such collection you don't need to add something. They all contains enough beauty to gleam your beauty.



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