Monday, November 28, 2011

An Antique Assemblage Tutorial, a Trash to Treasure Stor

We are doing a bit of restoration on our 100 year old home, which unfortunately, entails crumbling plaster here and there.
So, this little tutorial was born out of  lovely finds that appeared among the crumbled plaster in the bottom of the livingroom wall...true story! Imagine our amazement, pulling little bits of history from the dusty mess. We found a well worn antique corsage, an antique boy's collar, and an antique child's shoe and wooden thread spools. I didn't take photographs of each find as it came to us, but I did get a shot of the antique child's shoe that looks to be from the late 1800's. It looked pretty sad. Full of sand and dusty mess~
concealed shoe before
concealed shoe after being cleaned and stuffed
I imagine the life this little concealed shoe had. Handed down from child to child to child.  Repaired over and over and over again with patches and tiny nails, until one day, lost to time. Only to be rediscovered over 100 years later, in a very unlikely place! So, being the sentimental and quirky peeps that we are (my husband and I), we wanted to preserve the find somehow, in a creative way~
SO, here is what you need for the tutorial:

an old shoe
some tissue paper for stuffing the shoe
a small chunk of floral foam
some stiff wire
this and that
some old stuff
maybe some moss if you'd like
your imagination
an old photgraph (I'll send you one if you'd like!)(I have lots.)

Directions in a "nutshell"~
First, clean your old shoe as well as you'd like it to be. We wanted ours to keep the shabby chic look, so i just brushed it off well and applied a bit of vaseline to clean the leather a bit.
Then stuff your shoe to the desired plumpness up to the bottom of the heel. Cut a chunk of floral foam, and carve it a bit to fit inside the top of the shoe so it is kinda snug.
After putting in the floral foam, apply wire to your objects by hot gluing them on, or wrapping it around. I used a piece of wire bent in the shape of a "U" to add a chunk of old lace.~

I added some additional old looking velvet violets to the corsage we found in the wall, took a long piece of wire and wrapped one end around the bunch. Trim it a little and stick it down into the floral foam and adjust to taste.
To add the photograph, I curved  a piece of stiff wire into a long "U" shape and hot glued it to the back of a cabinet card (an antique photograph on stiff cardboard.) The "U" shape gives the photograph two prongs to put into the foam so it has more support. I then covered the wire with a piece of paper so it would look better from the back.~
My husband wanted to somehow incorporate the antique little boy's collar, so i added a dab of hot glue under the back fold of the collar and added it to the end of another piece of wire...then into the floral foam.
the "foof"
Then I added a few more violets here and there,  and bits of floral moss peeking out from the buttons of the shoe, and here and there along the edges. I made a "foof" (my made up word) of shabby chic-ish dark green silk organza. It adds dimension and a bit more shape and fill to the arrangement. To make a "foof" of your own, gather some organza or lace in a pleasing bunch, then twist the wire tightly around one end. Fluff it to desired foofiness and stick into the arrangement to give it a bit of fullness.~

and here is the finished product~
Antique Shoe Arrangement
I hope this maybe inspires you! You too can make something from an old shoe and a bunch of old junk.
See you again soon with some fun vintage photo booth photo printables for collages and such. You will want to see these!
Blessings and Light to You and Yours,


  1. Finding these treasures must have been so cool. I love the idea you preserved them this way what a wonderful idea to do. I love it you need to post it on a national magazine find one so we can say we say it here first. I will tell everyone about this I just think it is so cool.

  2. How can you not just go wild over that precious shoe! Love what you chose to do with it as well Jennifer! Take care and have a lovely day....
    Tina xo

  3. Oh My Goodness! How fun to find that!

    We have always lived in old houses and we are always remodeling them. Once we found a bunch of medical stuff, but sadly at the time I couldn't think of what to do with them. That was before collage and assembled art became popular and I wasn't creative enough to think of it myself. :)

    I'm still looking for a bag of gold to appear in my walls.. :)

  4. I am so tickled by this! what an amazing find, and you preserved it so authentically and lovingly. Great job!! ~Mary

  5. what a treasure you found and then to honor it in such a beautiful way! thanks for sharing this.

  6. Wow wow wow! How cool is it you discovered these in your walls!! It's like, if these walls could talk, and they do!! I looove what you created with the "words" you found... A little story boot. The tacks on the bottom make me teary! So precious.

    Omg, that sewing table in the first pic - I have (or had) that saaame one!! The veneer was coming up & I bought it to fix it up, but never got around to it. I had it for prob 3 years & just recently re-donated it. Soo cool that you have the same one!

    You're amazing! You inspire me to ASSEMBLE!

  7. Hi,
    The shoes are put in the walls for luck. Are you going to put it back? Are you worried about the luck factor? Can you swap it for a new shoe? Gotta keep the shoe in the wall luck thing going, right? Just sayin...
    Marleve :)


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