Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Experiment with metal foil

This is going to be a long post. I decided to try something new and wasn't sure how it would turn out. I ended up fixing things a few times when everything didn't go quite as planned.

To start with, I made a pattern for the soles (the doll is the 16" Miss Piggy). Then I cut the soles out of metal sheet (0.3 mm thickness, cut with shears) and bent them to follow the bottoms of the doll's feet.

The other parts of the soles were resin castings I had made earlier. A pair of platforms and heels.

I used hot glue to attach the platform parts to the metal soles. At this point I realized the sides would need something to cover them and make them more even. The resin castings were made using a latex mold, so they had some bumps.

I had this thick and stiff leather that hadn't been useful for anything else, but I thought it would make an even surface for the sides and undersides of the soles. So I cut suitable pieces and glued them on the soles. Again, using hot glue. Actually, everything that required glue in this project was done with hot glue. The new hot glue gun is so handy.

Then I glued the heels in place. These soles were to be covered with metal foil all over, so all pieces needed to be in place before starting that.

The metal foil came from chocolate wrappers. It seems that those all have the inside covered with paper nowadays. Probably some food safety issue. Anyway, the paper had to go before the foil would be usable for two reasons: 1) the foil was too stiff, and 2) the foil had some text embossed into it and that had to go. So, I soaked the foils in water overnight to soften the paper.

When the paper was all soaked and soft, I used my thumbnail to scrape it off. That was slow and tedious work, and the paper started to dry after a while, so I had to put the foil back to water occasionally.

It was impossible to remove all traces of paper, but I got off enough of it for the foil to be usable. I also thought that the glue would probably take better with some traces of paper still left on the foil.

Then I glued the foil on the soles. Unfortunately, even with the leather, the surface was very uneven.

I had been hoping to have the foil to be the finished surface, but it just didn't look that nice. So I decided that I had to do something else with these. But first, I cut insoles out of gold-colored leather and glued them in place. I usually use a neutral light color, but I thought this fit the soles well.

I decided to use this gold-colored decorative plastic band for the straps and cover as much of the sides as possible with it to draw attention away from all the unevenness of the foil surface.

Here are the shoes with the straps glued in place. After this I glued some strings of those decorations to the sides of the heels. I also glued pieces of leather under the heels and platform parts to make the soles even and help keep the shoes upright when they are not on the doll's feet.

Finally, here are some photos of the finished shoes on Miss Piggy.


Terri Gardner said...


The grandmommy said...

I would love to make the heels but a little intimidated! They are so pretty!