In a Sisterhood as long-lived as the Red Hat Society, there are bound to be great variations in the lengths of time Members have belonged. Some have been Hatting for almost as long as the RHS has been in existence, while others joined only recently. So it stands to reason that different people own all kinds of regalia of various ages too - especially if said regalia was found at thrift stores or garage sales, as in the case of the original red hat. (We have no idea how old that is.) We Fabulous Founders are also fond of trading regalia with each other from time to time. Of course the age of any item of clothing doesn't matter much, as long as it's in reasonably good condition (or we continue to love it no matter how ragged it's become). And even we ladies of the red and purple try to be as "green" as possible, don't we?
With shopping being our official sport, each of us has probably added to our regalia collection now and then, although that can get expensive in a hurry. But I'm willing to bet that we all have one or two items that have seen better days. Different types of clothing can be rejuvenated in different ways, all of which have been tried by one Member or another. Dyeing, spray painting, gluing on decorative trim, altering, etc., can all extend the life of hats, dresses, pants suits and the like.
But what about shoes? Comparing anything to "an old shoe" is a well-known put-down. When a pair of shoes becomes too scuffed or discolored it's usually considered dead. But....not so! Queen Jeanette Darlington, AKA "Rocket Scientess", (of both Special Mamas, and Time Tramps, West Hills, California, U.S.) occasionally holds workshops, which she refers to as "Costume Kindergarten," in order to teach Hatters how to craft, rescue, re-imagine or invent items of regalia. And she has given me permission to let all of you know how to perform miracles with your old shoes - by painting them.
Here are her simple steps:
Wipe leather shoes with rubbing alcohol or shoes made from man-made material with acetone.
Using special paint (called "Lumiere") carefully "lay on" color, actually brushing as little as possible. If you can't find this paint at your local art supply store, you can get it online.
Seal with Future Acrylic Floor Finish (also called "Pledge with Future Shine Premium Floor Finish.
See? It's literally a matter of 1 - 2 - 3! Of course, there's no reason you need to stop at just painting the shoes a nice solid red or purple. Why not paint swirls, polka dots, or anything else that catches your fancy? And a trip down the aisles of your local hobby store will provide you with plenty of inspiration for gluing on little extras, such as pompoms, sequins or fabric flowers.
Now comes step 4: Waiting until someone asks where you got your gorgeous "new" shoes. You get to dazzle them with both your thrift and your creativity!