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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Old pointe shoe crafts


Sockerbit

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Sockerbit

My two daughters have been on pointe a combined 12 years now, which means we have a box of HUNDREDS of dead pointe shoes that I was not allowed to throw away. In my quest to declutter with my COVID time, I'm researching different crafts or keepsakes I can make with these formerly toxic footwear (the smell has abated somewhat over time :)) Some have ribbons, some don't. Any suggestions of crafts, and if so how to make? I've seen the wreaths on Etsy, but no instructions.

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I'm not the best person to reply to this, but....

At one time, I decoupaged my DD's first set of pointe shoes (also a friend's set, and a niece's set), then put tulle inside and hung them on ribbons to display in their rooms. 

But, honestly, after hanging for a few years, we threw them away... Once my DD reached about 15, and was dancing "for real" on pointe, my DD wasn't interested in displaying ballet things anymore, and other than their tiny size, her first pair weren't feeling particularly special (and I, myself, am not sentimental of stuff like that, so I was on board with the trashing).  We eventually threw away all the others.  Like your DDs, she saved her pointe shoes for awhile... but I never understood quite why.  After amassing a large box (and when she was moving out to her training position at 17), I asked if she wanted to still keep them and she said no, so they were promptly trashed. 

She does still have one pair of signed shoes, from a favorite dancer and former teacher, but she doesn't display those anymore either.  At one time, they just hung from her bedpost.  Now, that one pair (and some signed ballet books) are in a box in the basement.  I am not sure when/if they will ever move to her apartment.

If you're interested, the decoupage is easy -- there are instructions online -- just requires "modpodge" paste and brush, some pretty paper (I used printed napkins), scissors and lots of time.

Good luck!

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I have a dancer who is saving all of her old pointe shoes, too - but I also had a runner who saved all of her old running shoes and racing spikes for a long time. I'm a photographer, so I took all of her racing spikes and formed her graduation year with them on a nearby trail, took a photo of just the shoes and then took her photo with the shoes - made for a fun portrait memento (we also tied them all together and used them as "garland" for her high school grad party, and then I asked her to donate them to an organization that takes gently used shoes (runners wear them them until they are "dead" also, but usually there is a LOT of wear left for just everyday use)). My suggestion - make something fun like the wreath or a pointe shoe tree, and instead of keeping a large shoe sculpture of any sort, take a quality photo of it and then have THAT matted and framed. Great memento without taking up a lot of space. We'll do something similar with my dancer's shoes at some point (no pun intended!). (and I'm going to add that I'm so thankful that my son never saved his soccer boots or his running shoes and spikes - soccer boots do not smell good once they are well used. At all)

 

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