I’ve looked at buying shoe lasts many times, but always felt that they may not fit my feet terribly well. Made to measure is such a good way to go, but probably costs more.
The first thing I did was order some alginate. This is the stuff that dentists use to make moulds. It is quick setting and seemed to be just the ticket. I had no idea how much I needed so ordered three bags, thinking I might have enough left for Mark (I didn’t!).
The next thing is to get two boxes that fit my feet with an inch spare all round. If you live in Australia and are doing this, may I suggest going to Bunnings and trying on boxes? So much fun and the looks you get are so worth it! No photos of that escapade!
One of my boxes fitted perfectly but the second one was too long, so Mark did a little modification. May I say at this point that, as in most things, I could not have done this without my husband’s help.
Mark painted the inside of the boxes so that they wouldn’t absorb the liquid from the alginate. Plastic wrap or plastic bags would probably work well too.
The feet had to be coated in vaseline and I enjoyed this stage very much. I though I was being clever by putting plugs between my big toes and the next toe so I could have a gap in my last. Didn’t quite work as I planned, but a bit of carving, and the end result was satisfactory.
This is the first bag of alginate. It went all lumpy. It sets really fast and should not look like this.
It should look smooth like this one.
Mark got out the big guns for mixing!
and it’s beautifully smooth. But we had air bubbles, which shouldn’t happen.
I only had to stand for about three minutes before it was set.
See the air bubbles? Caused by the mixing process. I’m not sure how you could mix a whole bag without getting air bubbles though.
And we have a pair of moulds!
Back to Bunnings for plaster of Paris, which again got mixed with the big mixer and then poured into the moulds.
Here they are sitting in the sun in our back lane for a preliminary set. We then moved them to a warm spot for 24 hours.
The moment I had waited so impatiently for. I was trying not to get my hopes up as I am mentally permanently scarred from trying to make a body double, and I didn’t want it to end the same way.
So far, so pretty good.
I have a foot. The air bubbles have caused holes in the plaster, but that doesn’t matter at all.
A pair of misshapen feet – years of wearing high heels shows clearly. As does every wrinkle and vein, which is all very confronting! Please note that I have a gap between my toes for thong style shoes, the plaster had to be scraped out.
Here are the halves of the two moulds. We thought we would keep them but they shrivelled as they dried and then went mouldy, so they went in the bin.
And here they are! My feet in all their glory.
Mark loves them and having made a pair of shoes with them, I can attest that they work perfectly. The toe piece looks like its in slightly in the wrong piece and that’s exactly what’s happened. I followed the pattern instead of checking the position on my own feet, however, it moved into a better position as I wore the shoes.
This is the Atelier Louise Silver Sands Sandal, which I really like.
Katherine and I showing our finished sandals.
I decided that I really needed a denim pair, so I wrangled the pattern pieces from the scraps from some jeans that I’d made my denim wreath from.
I haven’t worn these for any distance yet and don’t want to get them grubby by wearing them around in the bush, but first impressions are that they will be really useful.
I have more planned so stay tuned!