I am pretty much the last girl on earth that you'd see squealing over a pair of shoes. However, today's submission hit all the right buttons when it arrived in my mailbox. Nice heels? Check. Open toe? Check. Covered in panels of Warcraft comics? Check. ... say what? I did the biggest double take in the world when I realized these are actually pieces and panels of the official Warcraft comics, artfully applied to a pair of shoes. As a comic collector, I can safely say this is probably the coolest use for old comics that I've seen to date.
Rhonda Vandeputte has been creating all kinds of crafting projects for a very long time, and her experience definitely shows here. From the carefully chosen panels to the flawless application, these shoes aren't so much footwear as they are fully functional and wearable art. Rhonda was happy to send in pictures of the process in the gallery below and happy to chat about the creation of this fabulous footwork as well.
World of WarCrafts: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your history with gaming, and what drew you to Warcraft?
Rhonda: I've been into video games for as long as I can remember. I still play the original NES and Atari on occasion, but I'm also into Xbox and PC games. My (now husband, then fiancé) would always geek out over World of Warcraft, so I figured I'd see what the buzz was all about and make an effort to share interests. He taught me the ins and outs of the game -- then lo and behold, I got hooked real fast! We now spend a lot of time playing the game together.
How long have you been crafting? What got you started with it?
I pretty much grew up on video games and crafts, so it only seemed logical to someday merge the two. A lot of my other crafts are video game-inspired. I honestly wouldn't be able to pinpoint how or when I even started with either. I have many obsessions. They just happen to be two of them!
I absolutely love those shoes. How on earth did you come up with the idea for them?
I've tried my hand at so many crafts throughout the days that it seems like I'm always looking for something new. Regardless what I may be doing at the moment, my brain is somehow always scheming up new ideas. I loved the idea of custom-made shoes, but I couldn't paint for the life of me (though the people close to me somehow disagree) ... I figured decoupage would be a better playground for me, so I decided to experiment. I was actually quite surprised how well my first pair turned out. It was a pair of Harley Quinn heels. I learn many of my crafting techniques from YouTube, actually. It helps watching tutorials from other people to see what works and what doesn't. It works much better than reading it out of a book.
The process itself is pretty basic, but it can get quite tedious and messy. You would obviously need a pair of shoes, Mod Podge sealer/glue -- different finishes are available, depending on the look you're going for -- a paintbrush, and comics.
The first part would be to cut out images from the comic books that would look good around the shoe. An Exacto blade might be useful to cut around particular shapes. Then, you'd need to cut out small, rectangular pieces. Using the Mod Podge glue, the rectangular pieces would be glued around the edges of the shoe. Then the images that were previously cut out would be carefully laid out to fit and glued around the remainder of the shoe. It should be applied with a thin coat of Mod Podge three to four times, and let to dry for at least 48 hours before wearing.
I love the comics myself, and I have a collection of my own. I can't imagine cutting them up, even for a fabulous pair of shoes! Did you use real comics or printouts?
To be honest, taking a pair of scissors to a comic book gives me a bit of a nervous twitch! I had to close my eyes the first time I did it. ... and of course, offer a moment of silence. Ha-ha. I use real comics, but I only use cheap or used comic books that aren't exactly in the best condition. I make sure to keep my collections and crafts separate!
What was the most challenging aspect of creating them?
The most challenging part of creating the shoes has to be finding appropriately sized graphics and laying them on in such a way that it doesn't crinkle. ... that, and trying not to get too distracted by reading the comics and admiring the artwork to actually finish the project!
I've had a hand in almost every other crafty venue there is. Only two other creations so far have been Warcraft-related. My husband and I have a temporary long distance relationship, so I made a Hearthstone for him made out of polymer clay so that he could always come back home. I also made a pizza with a Horde symbol on it, though I still need to experiment to come up with a way to make it look a little more fantastic. My favorite crafting outlets have to be crochet amigurumi (this one is by far my favorite), perler bead art, T-shirt mods, and custom cupcakes.
If people wanted to jump into creating customized shoes, what advice would you give them?
Start with something you would be proud of wearing, instead of aiming for what you think everyone else might like. It'll only get better from there. And ... be prepared to run many beta tests to get it just right!
Thank you so much for the submission, Rhonda -- and if you finish any other cool crafts, be sure to drop us a line and let us know!
If you'd like to see more of Rhonda's fantastic crafting work, you can check out her gallery on deviantART.
World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including arts and crafts, fan art, WoW-themed recipes, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by emailing email@example.com with your not-for-profit, WoW-inspired creations.