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15 Creative Ways to Upcycle Old Pumps

Even if you appreciate high heeled shoes in terms of the way they look, not everyone actually enjoys wearing heels. Perhaps that’s why there are always so many in thrift stores or sitting at the backs of people’s closets! We might not actually wear all of the shoes we’ve bought or come across, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still have a use for high heels anywhere in our home. Believe it or not, they make awesome tools for upcycling and DIY décor pieces!

Are you also obsessed enough with high heels, whether you wear them or not, that you’ve been intrigued by the idea of crafting with them? Then we have a feeling you’ll find these 15 awesome DIY upcycling ideas for old pumps pretty neat!

1. High heel mini cactus planter


Do you have an old pair of pumps where the heel and platform are still in tact but the straps were broken or didn’t fit properly? Well, you could throw them out, but where’s the fun in that when you could turn them into a craft instead? High Heels Daily shows you how to remove the top of the shoe and turn the bottom, at the deepest part of the sole, into an awesomely kitschy little planter that will look awesome on the side table, mantle, or your dresser.

2. Decoupage comic book heels


Are you hoping to upcycle the heels in a way that will let you keep wearing them, or perhaps even let you wear them even more? Well, here’s a basic technique that you can use with any design but that, in this specific example, comic book lovers will be particularly excited about! Curbed Earth shows you how to use decoupage to do a double upcycling and transform a pair of pumps in a really fun way.

3. High heeled table lamp


Have you always had a penchant for really kitschy décor pieces that other people might find ugly because you find endless charm in their uniqueness? In that case, you might be one of the few people to love this hilarious high heeled table lamp project from Junque Pro! This is really one of those projects that you could get as creative with as you please and make all kinds of variations with. We like the idea of making it with a slightly out of style shoe so the piece looks vintage.

4. Hand painted peacock heels


Here’s a project that artists will be particularly excited about! If you have a steady hand, lots of patience, and a pair of heels that you think you’d wear more if they weren’t so plain, hand painting your shoes is a great idea! Check out how Custom Made added character to these white pumps by painting a peacock across the toes and up the sides.

5. Painted and embellished Dr. Who heels


Are you totally intrigued by the hand painted shoes idea but you’re not sure a peacock is quite your style because, if you’re going to go to the bother of making things and dressing up, you’d rather something that suits your “nerdy chic” style a little more? In that case, we think you’ll feel inspired to recreate or make your own version of these hand painted Dr. Who pumps from Doodle Craft! We totally adore the idea of adding a bow at the toe so it sits where The Doctor’s bowtie would

6. High heel book ends


Perhaps you have a pair of heels that you’re keen on upcycling rather than getting rid of but your crafting time is pretty limited so you need a project that’s very simple to make happen? Well, if you’re also an avid reader, then we think we might have found the project for you! High Heels Daily suggests setting them up as book ends for some extra sassy décor.

7. Western style embellished heeled boots


Classic pumps aren’t the only kinds of heels we’ve found in our closet before that we’ve wanted to upcycle and embellish in order to give them a new lease on life! We definitely went through a heeled boot phase that left us with a few good pieces that we just wanted to add a bit of character to and this tutorial from The Look Factory gave us the inspiration we needed to make it happen. We love that you can add as many feathers, belts, and bits of material you want in this Western inspired style until you’re satisfied.

8. DIY paint and glitter ice cream heels


Are you still enamoured with the idea of painting your own heels but your skills aren’t quite so detailed and you’d rather make something a little more cartoonish and pop art anyways? In that case, we have a feeling you might prefer painting yourself a pair of sparkling ice cream inspired heels instead! Absolute Beauty n’ Bows shows you how to make the shape and add the glitter to get this extra fun effect.

9. DIY glitter heels


Speaking of glitter, have you been scrolling through this list so far just looking for ways to incorporate glitter into your upcycling projects in whichever ways you can because that’s your favourite look? Then why not try a DIY upcycling project that really lets glitter take centre stage? Make Something Mondays helps you create a pair of shoes that sparkle just as much as your personality.

10. Feathered DIY heel centre piece


Are the shoes you have in mind so scuffed and old that you just know you won’t wear them again, but you’re still that fun party girl who hosts dinners and things, so you still think there’s a place for them in your life? In that case, we’d be willing to bet that you’d find this feathered high heel table centre piece design from The Breast Cancer Charities pretty neat indeed! Grab your glue gun and whatever fancy, sparkly trinkets you want to add and get to work!

11. R2-D2 heels


Maybe you like the idea of making yourself some novelty, nerdy chic shoes but you’re not a big painter, even though you’re comfortable doing other type of crafts? In that case, we have a feeling you’ll get a kick (no pun intended) out of these Star Wars inspired R2-D2 pumps from Bit Rebels! They show you how to cut and attach pieces of felt and plastic in the right shapes and place to make the toes of your shoes look just like the little robot.

12. DIY wood and leather sandal heels


Perhaps the bottom of a pair of pumps is still in tact and totally wearable but you’re not very into what the top or actual shoe part looks like anymore? Then try recycling it in a way that you can actually still wear! Instructables suggests and guides you through the process of using leather thongs and straps to make a pair of sandal heels instead. We know this isn’t really the season for them, since it’s finally fall, but you’ll be all set with a new pair of totally unique shoes by summer if you make them now!

13. Pumps with glitter soles


Do you adore the idea of adding glitter to your shoes for a little extra sparkle but you’ve seen countless people in glitter pumps and you’d rather put a unique little spin on yours? Then try glitter the soles of the shoes instead, just like Akki Dokie did here! Their tutorial shows you how to make the glitter stick on the bottom of the shoe in a way that lets a shine peek out in an eye catching way as you walk.

14. Colourful pom pom heeled sandals


Are you still looking for a design that’s actually wearable but a little more unique, and maybe a little more fun and colourful than what you’ve seen so far? In that case, we think you might enjoy this funny little pom pom toe strap idea from Honestly WTF! They show you how to make a collage of differently coloured pom poms all across the toe in a way that’s surprisingly easy but will definitely stay together.

15. Lace-up Louboutin knock offs from heeled boots


Perhaps your favourite kinds of upcycling projects are always the ones where you transform something old into a recreation or something designer in order to save yourself money but still have lovely things? In that case, we have a feeling you’ll be very intrigued by this step by step guide for transforming an old pair of black ankle boots into a pair of cut-out Louboutin inspired sandals, just like Flashing Diaries did here!

Have you upcycled and repurposed your old high heels in other awesomely creative ways that you don’t see on our list? Tell us all about how you did it or link us to pictures of your work in the comments section!