A pair of bronzed baby shoes is a treasured reminder of an infant's first steps, and can be displayed along with family pictures and other mementos. Bronzing your baby's shoes at home allows you to add a creative and personal touch to this process. Bronzing supplies are available online, in your local hardware store, or may already be stored in your basement or home craft kit.
Before starting the bronzing process, shoes should be cleaned thoroughly using denatured alcohol. Denatured alcohol is a common solvent made from ethanol. Purchase it at any hardware or large discount store.
Use rubber cement to keep shoelaces in an attractive position on top of the shoes. If the laces aren't glued in place, they may droop during the bronzing process.
Awl (Pointed Tool)
You'll need awl (a sharp spiked tool) or the bottom of a screwdriver to puncture a tiny hole in the sole of each shoe. If you don't have one in your home tool kit, buy one at any discount or hardware store.
Fish Line or String
Find piece of fishing line or sturdy piece of string to thread through the shoe soles This will enable you to hang the shoes out to dry after you've applied the bronzing solution.
Mix bronze powder and quick-drying varnish to a paint-like consistency. Since the solution dries immediately, don’t prepare it until you’re ready to use it. Read directions carefully before mixing the powder with varnish. Some powders contain sulfuric acid or other powerful chemicals. Read all label precautions before preparing the solution.
There are some premixed bronzing solutions on the market. They usually come in large jugs of one gallon or larger, and don’t contain cyanide or other harmful chemicals.
Camel Hair Brushes
Camel hair paintbrushes can reach the nooks and crannies that other brushes miss. A variety of these brushes, in different sizes, are necessary to fully cover the shoes with bronzing solution. Larger brushes work well on shoe tops and bottoms, but you’ll need small brushes to coat the hard to reach inside corners.
Metal sealer, available from a hardware store, will give bronze shoes a glossy sheen. It can be applied to dry shoes with a camel hair brush.
Burnt Umber or Black Oil Paint
Black or umber colored oil paint adds an antique finish to bronze baby shoes. A small tube of artist paint from any art supply store, mixed with bronzing solution and applied to the shoes, will give them an "old" look.