If you want to remember your tot's tiny little feet forever, you can capture a pair of his baby shoes in bronze. Bronze shoes not only last forever, but they also make great paper weights. You can spend a lot of money getting your baby's shoes bronzed, or you can do it yourself without too much trouble.
Clean the Shoes
Clean your baby's shoes thoroughly with a damp rag, and dry them with a soft cloth before starting the bronzing process. If there is polish or a waxy buildup on the shoes, swab them with denatured alcohol to remove the gloss.
If you are planning to use your baby's shoes as a paper weight, you will want to make them heavier by filling them with plaster of paris. Wait approximately two days after pouring the plaster before bronzing the shoes. Skip this step for lighter shoes.
Make a Handle and Mix the Metal
Before you start the bronzing, make a tiny hole in the tip of the shoe, and thread a piece of dental floss or sturdy string through the hole. This will give you a handle to hold onto when you are bronzing the shoe. Mix together a quick-dry spar varnish and metallic powder of copper, pewter or bronze. When the mixture is smooth, it is ready to apply to the shoes.
Apply and Dry
Use a camel hair paint brush to apply the bronzing to the shoes a single coat at a time, inside and out. (If you have poured plaster inside the shoes, you can just paint the top and outsides.) Once the shoes are painted, use the handle you created to hang them to dry in a well-ventilated place. After they are completely dry, go over any bald spots once more until the finish is smooth and glossy. If you want to create an antique look, mix a few drops of oil into the bronzing mixture, and paint the new mix into crevices during the final coat. Repeat the drying process.
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