Coloring! My Pointe Shoes?

I’ve got a ballet performance of Sleeping Beauty this Saturday, and I just learned that my piece is on Pointe. For those who are not dancers, this is when the ballerina is on her toes in shoes much like wooden blocks.
This year, after three years in a row of dancing The White Cat, I’m Bluebird. This is traditionally a male part, but my studio (excluding Hip-Hop classes) is all female. We bring someone from outside the studio to be the prince.

So my shoes have to be blue for my part.

I’m going to share how I did this.

 First I did some research, and found out that there are multiple ways to color a pair of pointe shoes. Because they are paper mâche, I was very hesitant on some of the options, including Rit Dye.
I opted to color them with Sharpies, since I know someone who has done this a few years ago when she was Carabosse. (Again, for non dancers, she is the equivalent, or rather the original, Maleficent.)
You could also use a floral spray for a more even paint job. I haven’t done this, but it seems a better option than Sharpie if the shoes must be a light color.

If its a dark color, coloring in the same direction seems less important since people will only see them from the stage. Even so, I tried to keep the same pattern.

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I used three markers to do both shoes (including the shank) as well as the ribbons and elastics. It depends on the size of your shoe, of course, but I think four markers would be the most you’d need.

A comparison of the colored shoe to its naked twin.

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  Completed on the top.

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I went ahead and did the shanks, since I thought it would look better to have the shoes one solid color. I did this part last, since they were a bit dirty.

This is the inside of the shoe. I colored a bit into it, because it bunches a little bit when I have them on and you can see the inside. I plan to color it a bit further. I recommend considering this.

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If possible, try to color it a few days before the performance, to let the ink wear off.

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I’ll try to update on Sunday concerning the show and how the shoes worked!
Have any of you had to color your pointe shoes? How did it go?

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3 thoughts on “Coloring! My Pointe Shoes?

  1. Pingback: Sleeping Beauty and the Sharpie Shoes (2014) | LaChatBlanc

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