DIY wardrobe spruce-up

Spring is all about the new, but sometimes the old has sentimental value or is just too pretty to cast off. Here are five ways to update

Buttoning down

It can certainly be argued that a pair of great shoes can make an outfit. The same is true of nice buttons making great outerwear. Women continue to embrace mens’ looks with the boyfriend blazer, collar necklaces and boyfriend jeans, and the military trend is still prevalent on runways, so why not try giving an old blazer a new button family? The more the merrier and you might just be surprised by the result.

 Tools and materials:
  1. An old blazer
  2. Set of buttons: large ones for the front, and smaller ones for the sleeves and pockets (Fabricland has some great buttons.)
  3. Sewing kit
  1. Replace the front buttons on the blazer.
  2. Replace or add buttons on the sleeves.
    Measure and mark the locations before
    sewing them on so both sleeves look
  3. Add buttons on the pockets.


Cosmic boots

Spring calls for soft breezes and warm colours. Inspired by the Jeffrey Campbell Cosmic Litas, this pair of old boots was revived into a walking galaxy. It’s fun, colourful, and can be worn now and later into the season. It’ll look great with everything from oversized sweaters to simple tanks and Ts. So paint them, and let them work their way into your wardrobe.

 Tools and materials:
  1. Acrylic paint in various colours (our project used red, white and blue)
  2. Paint brushes
  3. A pair of old shoes that need reviving
  4.  Clear varnish (we used DecoArt’s triple thick glaze, purchased at Michaels.)
  5. A sponge
  1. Paint the shoes and vary the shades of the paint as you apply. Do not worry about blending if you want the cosmic print look.
  2. After the first coat is dry, dab additional paint on with a sponge. Start with darker colours and work your way to the light ones. Make it spontaneous and don’t be afraid of the random bursts of paint.
  3. Carefully dab white paint on with a pointed brush.
  4. To protect the paint, spray some varnish on the shoes after the paint has dried. Let the varnish dry for 24 hours.
  5. Wear!


Metallic pants

It might still be chilly outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate spring with some metallic flair. Metallic skinny jeans can be costly, but paint your own and you won’t break the bank to fulfil your shiny needs. There’s something satisfying about painting things that your mother might have freaked out about back in the day.

Tools and materials:
  1. Black, white and metallic silver fabric paint (available at craft stores such as Michaels)
  2. A pair of old pants
  3. A sponge tip brush
  4. Clear fabric varnish (we used DecoArt’s triple thick glaze, purchased at Michaels.)
  1. Apply a layer of metallic silver paint to the pants. Don’t worry about evenly distributing the paint as part of the charm is the unpredictable print.
  2. After it’s dry, mix some black and white into your silver paint and paint over the first layer. Keep your strokes vertical.
  3. Take the silver paint and apply vertical strokes to blend the darker and lighter shades together.
  4. Once you’re done, spray your pants with clear varnish. Let dry for 24 hours. Wash and wear!


Studded Jacket

There are many things you can never have too much of — happiness, cotton candy and studs. As Michael Jackson’s outfits demonstrated, and as Burberry flaunts on its glamorous Prorsum jacket, studs can glam up an otherwise simple coat.

Tools and materials:
  1. An old trench coat
  2. Metal studs (available in craft stores and online at sites such as
  3. Fabric marker
  1. Place the studs one-by-one on the collar of your trench coat. For precision, measure the distance you would like between the studs and mark them with a fabric marker.
  2. After the collar, put a few rows of studs on your sleeves and pockets.


Heavenly new heels

A classic pair of black heels will never be out of style. But they can get boring. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to make an existing pair of classic shoes more dynamic and spring-like. All you need is some ribbons and a glue gun. Spring always features heavy ruffles, so ruffles, ruffles, olé!

 Tools and materials:
  1. A pair of pumps or other shoe that covers the heel
  2. About 2.5 metres of ribbons (satin is best)
  3. Glue gun and scissors
  4. A piece of thick fabric, same colour as the ribbon (this can be flannel, fleece or even fabric from an old sweatshirt)
  1. Start by glueing the ribbon on the bottom of the lift. Fold the ribbon and glue the fold down. Glue each fold a little higher than the previous and work your way up to the top of the lift. Make sure the distance between the folds is consistent.
  2. Cut the ribbon when you have covered the lift in folds (now ruffles) to the top.
  3. Now move to the heel part of the shoe. Use the ribbons to make folds on the back of the heel similar to step 1, but this time on the leather that covers the heel. Glue them in rows and make the distance between the tiers match the ones on the lift.
  4. To make a flower for the outer portion of each heel, cut two circular pieces from a piece of thick fabric. The size of the circle will be the size you want your flower to be. Sew or glue the ribbon onto the fabric. Start from the outside, working your way until you reach the centre of the circle.
  5. Glue the flower onto the outside of your heel (right on the right foot, left on the left foot).

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