{Hannah} These Boots are Made for Walking

And that’s just what they’ll do! One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.

Winter means boots, but it also means salt.

It gets onto everything, and can damage leather if left on too long.

I gathered some shoe cleaning supplies, like vinegar to remove the salt, and leather lotion to condition.

A little bit of vinegar on a paper towel easily removed the salt and dirt. I let the boot dry as I moved onto the next one.

Then I lightly covered each boot in leather lotion, let it dry, and buffed with a clean cloth.

Are you ready, boots? Start walkin’!

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{Hannah} The Other Shoe

It’s probably only a matter of time before this blog gets renamed to “House Home Hannah and Heels”, because I spend an awful lot of time talking about shoes! So much so, that I finally gave in and created a “Shoes” category for posts.

Anyway, it was only a few wears after I fixed the right shoe, that the left heel started feeling loose. At least I knew what to do this time!

Sure enough, there was a broken screw in this heel, too! Now it has me wondering if the issue isn’t the shoes, but me…

I scraped away at the plastic like my brother had done, and tried to grip the exposed screw with needle nose pliers. I kept trying with the pliers sticking up, but then realized it was much easier to grip the screw with the pliers sideways.

Hard part over!

I bought a few new screws at my local hardware store. The two new screws are on the left, compared to the original on the right.

Then I spread lots of Shoe Goo onto the shoe…

…and held the heel firmly in place while I screwed in the three screws.

Ta da!

Not just one, but two fixed shoes!

{Hannah} Another Screwy Project

It’s no secret I love shoes. I also like shopping on eBay. A year ago, I had ordered a pair of shoes in a style I already have and was excited for them to arrive. So excited that I didn’t even try them on for a few weeks! At that point (and since I had already left positive feedback), I felt like I couldn’t ask the seller about an issue with the shoes: that the right heel was a little loose.

I wore them a few times, but never felt very comfortable with the wobble in the heel. So they sat in my closet until a newer pair of black heels wore out. Then it was time to investigate and address the problem with these shoes.

Shoes are made in a relatively straight forward way, and I knew that there would be screws or nails holding the heel to the sole. First step was carefully peeling back the cushioning in the sole to reveal them.

The white paper was also easy to remove, as were the three screws.

Huh.  The top screw was shorter than the others, and one screw had broken off in the heel.

If you ever wondered what’s hiding under the heel, you’re in luck!  Also, it’s worth noting that the heel in this shoe happens to be painted plastic, and the wobble was with how the heel was attached. Other heels may be wood or covered in leather, and the break may be on the heel itself, which could make replacement a more challenging.

I brought the shoe home with me when I went for the holiday, hoping that my dad or brother would have the tools to remove the stuck screw part.  Luckily the screw had broken off at the point where it went into the plastic.  It took a little effort, but my brother was able to chip away at the plastic enough to get a grip on the broken screw piece with pliers!

Once it was out, it was time to get a replacement screw.  My dad and I stopped at Ace Hardware on the way to the airport, and an employee helped us find the right screws.  My dad suggested I get two as long as I was there, and the employee suggested another type of screw as well.  For all of fourty cents, I had some screws to take back with me and try in my shoe.

I preferred to use the middle two screws, so I tried those out in the shoe to make sure they’d work before I proceeded.  Then I broke out the Shoe Goo glue to help hold things together.

Using a toothpick, I spread some of the Shoe Goo onto the shoe where the heel goes.

Then I carefully screwed the heel back on.  I couldn’t wait to try them on! Sadly, the heel still wasn’t very firm.  I took out the short screw that was on top, and put in the other replacement screw from the couple I had bought.  I tightened all three screws as tight as I could, and finally the shoe feel a lot stronger!

The last step was gluing the paper and sole back down.

Now I have a nice new-ish pair of pumps to wear!  As well as the shoe-saving scene from The Wedding Planner stuck in my head (it’s at the 30 second mark).

{House} Secure Shoe Storage

I like shoes, and I have a lot of them. They’re stored on a shoe shelf over a closet door. I haven’t been using the hooks to hang it that it came with, but some L brackets mounted with 3M Command strips and attached with twist ties. Hey–whatever works!

Last week, the shoe shelf seemed a little off, and I realized it had started to pull away from the door.

I thought about remounting it with Command strips, but didn’t think that would hold. So I upgraded to screws.

It took a little bit of strength to get the screws in, but now it’s very secure.

All that’s left is to load my shoes back onto it!

{Hannah} Just the Tip

Before I moved to New York, I used to frequent the local cobbler and liked the work he did.  After a bad experience (or two) at a cobbler in NYC, I researched how to replace the heel tips on my shoes myself.  Turns out, doing it myself is much cheaper, quicker, and less damaging to my shoes!  Win win win!

Enter: a pair of basic black pumps in need of new tips…

…and a pair of vice grips.

It just takes a minute to adjust the vice grips to latch on to the tip and hold securely.

Then–using the minimal amount of upper body strength that I have–I pull really hard until the tip comes out.  Sometimes it helps to twist slightly to loosen the tip from the shoe.

For replacement tips, I like the Supertap tips from this retailer on ebay, as they’re $1 each (I buy them in packs of 10), come in various sizes and colors, and are rubber, which I think makes for a better heel tip than the plastic ones.

It’s hammer time!

Ta da!  Basically brand new shoes.

Now they are ready for another week of hard working and walking around town!