I have been labeled many things since starting this blog. For example, I have been called
It was not until last month that Sandy, from Sandy’s Birkenstock Boutique, told me that I was a “Birkenstock Diva”. She did so in a fun and joking way, after I had just confided in her about my wild and crazy idea to customize my rivet Birkenstocks.
I am totally and completely obsessed with Birkenstock’s Crafted Rivet Collection this season. The aesthetics of small crafted rivets and the larger disc rivets add so much elegance to their classic sandals and clogs. Simply put, rivets are riveting!
My first pair of rivet Birkenstocks were the Avario Gizehs.
The Avario is a greyish color upper with beautiful metal rivets adorning the t-strap. Absolutely eye catching. I love the Avario color, it is the perfect neutral and goes with anything.
My next pair was the crafted rivets in the Boston model, also in Avario. I love wearing Bostons in the fall and winter. When I saw the Bostons adorned with gorgeous rivets, I had to purchase a pair ASAP.
I felt like Birkenstock FINALLY designed a Boston with some feminine aspects to it and I was not going to let these sell out before I added a pair to my collection. Plus, buying them in the summer would give me plenty of time to break them in for the Fall.
I loved my Avario Gizehs and Bostons so much, that I decided to buy them in the rose color as well. Birkenstock was only offering these beauties in two colors for Spring/Summer 2018, and the addict/connoisseur/collector/Diva in me, had to have both/all/everyone ever made.
I searched high and low for the best price for the rose color rivet Birkenstocks. I found some online and snagged them. I was stoked to receive them. However, I was filled with disappointment when I opened the box and saw the rose color leather in the flesh. The first thought that came to my mind was Pepto Bismol.
Not the color pink that I want for my shoes. I do not want to be reminded of heartburn, indigestion, nausea, upset stomach, and diarrhea every time that I look down at my Birkenstocks.
The retailer from where I purchased the rivets in rose leather did not accept returns. No problem, I thought, I will list them on Poshmark and eBay and they will sell like hotcakes. Goodness was I wrong!! For weeks I had a pair of rose Gizehs, Arizonas, and Bostons cross listed on Poshmark and eBay. They sat and sat AND SAT on Poshmark and Ebay. No one liked the pink. No one would touch them. Just like no one would want to touch a rancid piece of moldy fish for fear of food poisoning.
At one point, I even had these rose rivets listed at bargain prices. STILL, no bids, no offers, and very few likes. I suppose “Pretty in Pink” is too 1986 for today’s generation of strong, independent women. If the Pepto shade of pink was not what made people avoid these rivets like the plague, maybe it was the white soles that soured people’s stomachs. You all know how I feel about white sole Birkenstocks and, based on the comments that I have received, I am not the only one who feels this way.
One night, just before falling alseep, a light bulb went off in my head.
I could dye/paint/color the leather and have them resoled!!! The pink was light enough that I could color them just about any shade darker that I desired.
I emailed Michelangelo at Custom Made Birkenstocks and asked him if he could dye the leather when I sent the Birkenstocks to him for recrafting. Michelangelo was willing to do the recraft, but wanted me to color the Birkenstocks....after I removed the soles. This meant I was going to need to cook my Birkenstocks! (COOKING??!! OH NO, my Birkenstock addiction has taken on a whole new level!)
I called Michelangelo to discuss this further. He gave me very clear instructions on how to remove the soles off my Birks at home, using my oven. I know, I am "cooking" Birkenstocks…but it won’t upset your tummy. Bear with me….I promise that this is going somewhere….
He also recommended that I consider using Tarrago shoe cream to color my Birkenstocks instead of using leather dye. He advised that Tarrago has a high pigment content in the cream and would likely stain the pink nubuck well, without the mess of dyeing leather. The best part is that Tarrago has over 96 colors of shoe cream from which to choose. That is 96 colors better than the current Pepto Bismol pink on the Birkenstocks in question.
I had a project to do and it was going to take several steps to complete.
ITEMS NEEDED FOR PROJECT
REMOVING THE SOLES
It was a fairly easy process to do at home. The only obstruction that I encountered, was when the toe post melted on the Gizehs. At first I was frustrated by the melted toe post, then I realized that I was given the opportunity to change the toe post from the awful white to anything else!
COLOR/STAIN THE UPPERS
Once the soles were removed, the artistic process began. This was the easy part. I chose a unique color for each shoe.
STEPS TO COLOR THE SOLES
The shoe cream was super easy to use. It stained the uppers just like the color in the bottle. There was no guessing what color the shoe cream might end up looking like, as you might experience with leather dye or leather paint. The shoe cream dried much quicker than leather dye or leather paint. Plus, the cream was a breeze to clean up. Any cream left on the rivets was simply wiped off with a rag, leaving no stains. If any of the cream dripped onto the footbed, I was able to wipe it off with a cotton ball and non acetone nail polish remover. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
SHIP BIRKS TO CUSTOM MADE BIRKENSTOCKS FOR RECRAFTING/RESOLING
The leather color cream dried so quickly, that I was able to ship Michelangelo the Birkenstocks on the same day that they were stained. Michelangleo had the resoles and recrafts sent back to me within a week! He suggested that once I received his shipment, that I seal the color on to the leather uppers to prevent fading, scratching, or peeling.
I already had a bottle of Frye Suede and Nubuck leather protector on hand. I have used this product on my Frye boots and it works just as Frye states “This water-based, non-aerosol spray pump is specially formulated to protect suede, nubuck and other breathable fabrics from any discoloration or staining. Specially formulated to minimize any change in color or texture of the leather or fabric.”
From personal experience, the spray had never ruined a pair of my Frye boots and I was confident that it would work well on my Birkenstocks. I sprayed each pair with the protectant and let the uppers dry overnight in the garage.
THE FINAL PRODUCT
These unsettling pink leather Birkenstocks with rivets, spent more time listed on Poshmark and eBay, than it took for me to complete the aforementioned project. Within less than two weeks, my three pairs of Pepto Bismol pink Birkenstocks, had a complete makeover and were priceless. These Birkenstocks, which I could not resell for the life on me on Poshmark and eBay, now had people drooling over them. I customized these riveted Birkenstocks to the color palette that should have been offered by Birkenstock in the first place.
Here are the before and after pictures:
I could not have completed the customization of my Birkenstocks without the help of Michelangelo! As always, a huge thank you to Michelangelo at Custom Made Birkenstocks for his ongoing attention to detail and his high quality craftsmanship, as well as his GREAT suggestions!
The Birkenstock Avario rivets are amazing. However, the Pepto Bismol pink ones with white soles are stomach churning awful. I am no Birkenstock Diva. A Birkenstock Diva would rudely demand that someone cater to her request to create these Birkenstocks that I customized. No, I am not a Diva. Rather, I would like to think of myself as a Birkenstock "Color Artist".
After all, I was able to take three pairs of acidosis pink leather Birkenstocks and tailor them to my style, simply by changing the colors. The colors that I stained these Birkenstocks are a million times more soothing and digestible compared to the original Pepto pink leather. The color stains that I selected, helps to showcase the rivets and make they stand out in a very unique way.
Birkenstock, I am more than happy to offer you color suggestions for upcoming releases. Clearly, I have the talent for it. You know how to contact me.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: If you happen to be a size 38, and want to try your hand at this craft, I have a pair of rivet Madrids that I just listed on eBay. Grab 'em before they are gone and make they any color that you want. Here is the link.
My friend liked my customized rivet Birkenstocks so much, she requested that I color a pair Hunter Green for her. Who's next? What color would you select? Message me.