DIY Oxford

Is it really that bad to lie? These shoes are liars. Pretenders. Fakes. Faux is a nicer word. But at the end of the day, they are not what they are trying to look like they are.

And I am okay with it.

Because they cost me less than 10 bucks. And they are cute.

Is it really a lie if the lie is so obvious, that  anyone can spot it? Like these DIY Oxfords. You know they are not really oxfords.


I was raised by a liar. The best liar. He told me a whopper that was so obvious I should have spotted it.

I didn’t.

I was a grown woman before my husband spotted it for me. And had great fun pointing it out to me. To this day, it is one of “our” stories. Every couple has those stories you pull out at parties when you want to be entertaining. Because the truth is, it is down right funny. Laugh out loud funny. Hysterical, really.

Even I have to admit it. Even though it makes me look like a ditz.

Here’s the deal. I grew up a very rich kid. And I didn’t know it. Had no idea.

Because Dad lied.

I believed a whopper the size of a whale until I was a grown woman. I defended this lie vehemently because I believed in it so much.

It all started when we were having dinner with friends.

I am sorry, you came here to learn how to make a pair of oxfords. Start with a pair of plain white tennis shoes. I got mine at Walmart for 5 bucks. Take out the shoelaces.

I was telling our friends at dinner how much fun we used to have as a family living in Southern California going to Catalina Island for the weekend.

In our boat.

My husband was interested in the details. Where did we sleep?

On the boat.

He is thinking ski boat, where the seats pull out into beds. No, I tell him. There were beds. Real beds. He thinks there is a small cabin below deck.

I tell  how my dad was an amazing boat driver. Mom used to bring her card club friends out on the boat when it was her turn to host. Sometimes one of the cards would float away in the breeze. Dad was such a good boatman, he could get close enough to the card floating on the water so that mom could lean over and pick it up.

My husband is not interested in Dad’s captain abilities. He is stuck on card club.

You are stuck on shoes. So am I. When I found this post from Amy Belgradt at Mom Spark, I knew I needed to make a pair. Pencil in your design on the shoe.

“How could they play cards on the boat?” My hubby wants to know. “On their laps?” he asked. No. Folding tables. We set them up on the deck. My dad was crazy, amazing piloting that boat.

My husband is not interested in Dad. He says, “Did you say tables? As in plural, more than one?”

He is annoying me with his attention to trivial details. Yes, there was more than one. Three, maybe four. I don’t really remember.

He interrupts me again.

He feels three or four card tables on the deck means this is a really big boat. It was seafaring. It was bigger than a ski boat, but not huge, I tell him. I have moved on to telling him about the time we saw whales on the way to Catalina.

By the way, you are going to need acrylic paint, paint brushes, and spray protectant for your shoes. This project is so easy. Just paint the shoes. You can add fabric medium to the paint, but I didn’t bother. I used a light kahki and white paint.  Paint your shoes following the design you drew. I dipped the end of the paint brush into paint and dabbed it on to make the dots. I got a little seasick and started following the stitching line instead of the paint line. It adds character, see? I painted the tongue last. Let the paint dry a few hours and then seal with spray for shoes following the directions. I used Kiwi Protect All Rain And Stain Repellant .

Now my husband wants to know what we did if we had to go to the bathroom while we were making the trip, or in the middle of the night. The boat had a small bathroom.

I try to get the conversation back to the whales.

“Boats don’t have bathrooms. I think it was a yacht.”

My husband has a thing about interrupting good stories.

Little girl that I was, I thought the whales were small islands. I spotted them first and pointed them out to my dad. They were big enough you could walk on them. Dad was kind of nervous about the whales.

“What about eating?”

He was interrupting again! Annoying much?  The whales weren’t eating. They were just swimming.

“No, what did you eat on these weekends to Catalina?” he wanted to know. Abalone. My dad and his friends loved to catch them and cook them up fresh, but I thought they were rubbery and gross.

“Where did they cook them?”

Now we were getting to what my husband was driving at. “Was there a kitchen on the boat?”

Of course not! There was, however, a small sink, fridge and stove that Mom and Dad called the galley.

“That’s a yacht!” My husband is persistent.

I explain the technicalities as Dad explained them to me. The official length for a boat to be a yacht is 43 feet. Our boat, The Ranger II, a top of the line Hatteras, was 42 feet and therefore under the legal limit to be considered a yacht.

That’s a whopper.

A whale of a tale.

I bought it hook, line and sinker.

I guess Dad thought that snooty girls who knew the truth were worse than down to earth girls who were gullible.

So he lied.

And I believed it, well in to my twenties.

If I tell you that oxfords are technically a low heeled shoe with laces, therefore these shoes legally qualify as oxfords, do you believe me?

This Pin Rocks!

This post appeared first as a guest post on It All Started With Paint.

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  1. Classic and snazzy! Great idea. ~ Mary

  2. I nearly gasped when I saw these. They are adorable!

    • Thanks Jessica! I get comments whenever I wear them. They are so cute with a variety of outfits.

  3. I love the way you write, interweaving the story with the DIY! very fun and entertaining, plus a great project!

  4. Sheila Falcucci says:

    I enjoyed the story and commend your dad for raising you that way

    • Thanks, Sheila. Our father was an amazing dad! All three of us are so grateful for so many things about being raised by him.

  5. Thanks for the wonderfully creative craft! I love it and am going to make it as soon as possible :) I thought I should let you know that I’ve shared it in a round up post on our blog today.

    • Thanks so much Jenni! I am glad you like the craft. Glad to be included in the roundup, thanks for coming by to say “hello” and let me know.


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