DIY Sparkle Pumps

Sadly, I can only blame one of my problems today on the design house of Nina Ricci and the jeweled ankle strapped lovelies that will set a girl back $1295.

Even if I couldn’t come up with a good reason on why that is a crazy number to spend on one pair of shoes, my husband will. So I have set out to show how easy it is to make this design-inspired look, for an amount even a husband could love.

Items Needed: 


  • A pair of your favorite heels or ballet flats
  • 2 of the same rhinestone necklaces with rings connecting the sections on the back (There was a lot to chose from at Forever 21 and H&M. Another wonderful resource for inexpensive costume jewelry is The Antique and Resale Shoppe at 7214 N. Harlem Ave, Chicago)
  • A pair of needle-nose pliers
  • A set of small silver jump rings, 6mm (Michaels Craft Store, 2231 Willow Rd., Glenview)
  • One pack of Metallic Elastic Cord (Hancock Fabrics, 565 Waukegan Rd., Northbrook or anywhere selling sewing supplies. If you cannot find metallic, just use a thin black or white cord)
  • Beacon Quick Grip Permanent Adhesive (I bought this at Hancock Fabrics, but you can buy a quick drying, clear, permanent adhesive that bonds metal at any craft store)
  • One pack of Dr. Scholl’s Molefoam sheets or Moleskin Padding (the stick-on pads for the inside of your shoes)
  • Small scissors
  • A Sharpie
  • Optional: several small jeweled clip on earrings and pins

1. Pick a spot in the middle of one necklace to start taking it apart. Take your pliers, and start to open one of the loops on the back to open. If it breaks, like mine did, it can be fixed later.


2. Take the halves and wrap loosely around your ankle with your shoes on, and your foot flexed.  You want to find the length of necklace that you need to hang softly around your ankle, like an ankle strap, but need to make sure that it’s not too tight when you walk. Count how many links need to be taken off and mark on the back with a Sharpie. You want to preserve the existing necklace closure, so the links should come from the center of the necklace.


3. Use the same technique to remove the links. If your connectors stayed intact, you can connect them and close them up again together with the pliers. If yours broke, you can either glue the sides back together, or can use several jump rings to connect to the nearest intact rings. I used the rings, and then added glue, just for good measure. Let this dry.



4. Cut off about an inch and a half of the silver elastic cord, and about an inch square of the moleskin padding. Twist the elastic to make a small loop, and overlap the ends. Stick the loop onto the sticky side of the moleskin pads and apply adhesive to reinforce, then stick into the inside heel of your shoe, and let dry.


5. Once the pad is dry, string your necklace through the loop, and place the closure at the back of your heel, or at the inside of your ankle.



For an additional glammed up option, you can attach clip on earrings and jeweled pins to the front side of your rhinestone strap; use anywhere from three to five overlapping on each shoe. Both sides do not have to match (they don’t in the designer version). This is also a great option to dress up your shoes if you cannot find two rhinestone necklaces to use for the ankle strap. If this is the case, simply use a thin velvet or silk ribbon in lieu of the necklace, and attach the pins and earrings.


When you don’t feel like using your sparkling ankle straps, tuck the loops into the moleskin, or tape them down, and take out the rhinestone strap. You have not done anything to permanently alter your shoes—you’ve only created more options to wear them.

Now when my husband asks if I’m sporting a new pair of shoes, I can honestly say “These old things?” and finally mean it. Well done.