DIY Crystal Dr. Martens

Last year I was given a pair of patent white, 8-hole dr. Martens by a friend. They were factory second’s so not as perfect as ones you would buy from a store but still comfy and durable enough to wear on a regular basis. The term on which she agreed to give them to me was that I would do something to them to make them more attractive and get some wear out of them. I must admit they sat in the bottom of my wardrobe for a few months before I finally decided what I should do with them. The idea came to me in fall when brogues were in but I couldn’t quite decide if they were “booty” enough for every day wear and I discovered that crystal-encrusted items don’t have to look tacky.

I decided to cover the toe and heel of the boots in black diamante, with the shape on the toe slightly resembling wing tips. I was quite pleased with the outcome so I decided to photograph the process and do a tutorial for anyone else who would like to decorate some old shoes.

This is what they looked like when I got them.

I started by forming the wingtip design on the toe.

Then I started covering the rest of the area.

When they were done I replaced the dirty white laces with black ribbon laces which looked much better. I got impatient and wore them out a couple of times in this state which is when I realised that this ribbon was too thin and frayed a lot so I decided to change it.

I replaced the laces with a polka dot grosgrain pair that came as a spare with the new docs I got for xmas (they also came with black grosgrain laces). I really like the look of the thicker grosgrain lace but I’m not sure the polka dot is right for these.

I also bought some clear enamel which I painted over the crystals to keep them in place. A couple of coats should do it.

I then started on the back with some larger crystals first and then placing the smaller ones in between them.

When you first paint the enamel on it will look quite white (like on the boot on the right). Don’t worry, it dries clear.

I finally bought a roll of black grosgrain ribbon! It was actually to use on products for the new Eustratia range I’m working on but it happened to be exactly same width as that used as laces on my docs.

I cut the grosgrain into a fork and burned the ends to stop fraying.

probably need straightening out a bit but they look something like this!


and this is what they look like on my foot. I hope to get some nicer pictures wearing these out soon! If anyone else tries customising their shoes I’d love to see pics!

p.s. I’ve only just noticed today that Dr. Martens are releasing a Swarovski scattered style! They are nice but I don’t think I’m going to have £450 to spend on a pair in the near future so I’ll just stick to my customising 🙂



  1. Dina 7th March 2012 / 2:50 pm

    What glue did you use to glue the crystals on – just normal superglue?

    • aestheticcontradiction 7th March 2012 / 7:10 pm

      I just bought self-adhesive crystals. Admittedly their glue isn’t always very strong but after they are covered in two coats of enamel that doesn’t matter 🙂 I have also tried gluing crystals with super glue in the past and found it quite time consuming so I think this way is better unless there is some reason why you would prefer not to put enamel over them. x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *