1 x pair of platform boots sans heel – available through Ruby Fashions at E-bay. However due to some issues with postage and after sales service, I cannot recommend them and do suggest you shop there at your own risk.
They are available by auction – anywhere from 1.99 Euro to however high they go; or if you get them on buy it now they are 140 Euro approx – reduced from 218 Euro. Please remember these are not of a high quality; they are not leather; and are not worth the high ‘Buy it Now’ prices.
For those who marvel at the ability of some to walk in these, get a pair and have a go yourself. They are VERY easy. Nothing to shout about at all – for those who feel they completely lack skill.
They are available in mid calf, ankle and knee high. Red, Black and White. I know there is another supplier with nicer colour ways, but I have yet to locate them. I have the style numbers so I will look around and let you know.
1 x 100mm x 9.15mm length of Balsa Wood – $10.50
Paper pattern – the top part of the platform is slightly larger than the base so you will have to measure carefully the diameter of the platform. The shoe size I modified is a 37, quite small and I imagine the platforms are not the same size as the shoes increase in size. I will upload an image file of the pattern I used, and you can modify that to fit the size of the platform on your boots.
Selleys All Fix Bond $15
18 fluted wooden pegs 12mm in length (pack of 100 only for $10)
1 x Flat wood rasp $20
1 x Round wood file $12
Coarse, medium and fine sandpaper $5.00
Wet & Dry Sandpaper $5.00
Hacksaw – Junior version $4.50
Hand saw – ummm. Garden variety $85.00
Acrylic paint of your choice (the fumes of the oil based stuff kill me so I use it sparingly) – $5
British Paints Polyeurathane High Gloss finish – $32
High quality (not cheap craft fur) fake fur. It really makes a HUGE difference if you want to use it. The white fur comes in at about $60 a metre, as does the beige. However, since you use so little it might be possible at your fabric supplier to only buy a 10-20cm width, which reduces the cost considerably.
Measure 19mm from where toe platform meets the upper at intervals around the platform. Join the line. This is your cut line. Ensure the measurements on both platforms are the same.
Using the saw of your choice – cut the platform. I used my garden saw. lol
Fill the holes of the platform with All Fix and push the pegs into the holes. Clean up any excess glue. Stand boots upside down so gravity can do its work.
Wait. Drying can take up to 24 hours depending on the weather. I didn’t take a photo at this stage, so what you see above, actually contradicts the method. Don’t worry, it’s a photo from a little further along the way…
CUTTING WOODEN COLLARS
While you’re waiting for the glue to dry take your hacksaw and cut around the pattern lines. As you can see, I’m very conservative with this, as I believe it’s easier to take off; but not so easy to add back on.
Slide the upper collar onto the platform – and then glue all around it, and slide the lower collar onto the platform. They should be a nice tight fit, fill any gaps with the All Fix. Let dry.
SCULPTING THE COLLARS – TAKE OFF METHOD
As you can see from the images (hopefully) the majority of the top layer is angled to meet with the lower portion of the bottom collar. This is done to form a “hoof” shape.
As this is done by eye no two pair of boots will be the same. Brilliant!
It took me a few hours to shape the heels to satisfaction. As you can see, the next step in the process is creating a nicer shape up the back of the boot and removing the harsh line between the wood and the original heel material. I sanded back the wood to smooth before I began the next step.
SCULPTING THE HEEL – ADD ON METHOD
It’s important that you only ever apply thin layers of the All Fix and allow them to dry in between. I took a good quality flat sable brush (15mm wide) and applied a thin coat of All Fix over the whole platform, and up the back of the boot. I allowed this to dry. You will see there is a gap that needs to be filled with All Fix to create the smoothness up the back of the boot.
This will take 24 hours to dry and should not be touched or sanded until you are sure it’s completely set. Continue to add thin layers of the All fix, until you have a smooth and pleasing line up the back and joining sides of the boot and added platform. You can sand this until it is completely smooth and correct any bumps or unpleasing lines at this stage.
PAINTING & DECORATING
As if this isn’t my favourite step!
I started by applying a base of acrylic undercoat to seal the base. I applied this over the platform and existing heel. Then, I tried a beige colour, a sand colour – natural horse hoof colours and it wasn’t so pleasing to my eye. I bit the bullet, got out the silver paint and went for it. Between each layer, the paint was fully dried and lightly sanded.
I applied three coats of the final colour (making about 7 in all but you don’t have to do that as it’s probably overkill).
Then I applied a British Paints Polyeurathane High Gloss finish. I applied 4 coats allowing each to dry in between, and lightly sanded before the next layer was applied.
I have “The Craft Cupboard Nirvana” here. I do quite a bit of sewing and creating and already had the fake fur. I do say above to make sure you use the really good quality fake fur (approx. $50-70 a metre) over the craft fur (approx $14 a metre) as it gives a better result. I can’t stress this enough!!!
Stick it where you think you want it. That’s about all I can say to you. I think we all have different ideas about this subject. I love the feather footed Clydesdale horse. So, my inspiration comes from the furry-footed horse, more than the shorter haired varieties.
As with all projects, the end result is really up to the person with the tools in their hand. This is not the definitive tutorial for modifying existing boots into pony heels; just another one. What I offer here is simple methods, simple tools and the skill, care attention and success of your project – is really your call.