Nostromo Crew Costume — First steps with the shoes

In my last post I mentioned a few alterations that needed to be made to the PF Flyers.  The first steps are to remove the branding from the shoes and get the colors right.

Using a seam ripper to rip out the stitching on the PF Flyers medallion.

Using a seam ripper to rip out the stitching on the PF Flyers medallion.

Removing the PF Flyers Logo Medallion from the Uppers

This was by far the easiest alteration to make.  Just a little bit of work with the trusty ol’ seam ripper and the medallion just peels right off.  There was a little bit of adhesive underneath that left a small yellowish stain on one of the shoes, but I plan on wearing the shoes around so they don’t appear brand new anyway, so I guess the dirt just has a head start.

Removing The PF Flyers Logo from the Heel

Cutting away the little green logo on the heel of the shoes.

Cutting away the little green logo on the heel of the shoes.  Above it you can see the ribbon running up the back of the heel that will get painted white.

The little green logo on the back of the heel had to go.  I couldn’t tell if it was heat bonded into place, glued, or whatever, but in any case the solution was the same:  cut that sucker off.  I just did my best to cut it off with my trusty pocket knife.  Something with a little thinner blade (X-Acto knife) might have been a better choice, but I keep the blade sharp, so it did a decent job.  I actually cut the little logo off of two pairs of shoes, since my wife is also making a pair, so by the time I got to the fourth shoe I think I hit on the technique to use.  The thing that seemed to work best was to get a cut under one corner so that you could lift it up.  Once you are able to get that corner up you can keep a little tension on it, like you are trying to peel it off, and just keep the knife slicing along the intersection so that you are basically “skinning” it off of the heel.  Be careful though, on one shoe I pulled a little too hard and pulled up a little bit of the white rubber underneath, exposing a tiny dot of what looks like fabric underneath.  What I was left with doesn’t match the texture of the rest of the little rubber strip running around the bottom of the shoe, but it is a very small patch and it almost imperceptible from any distance.

Painting the Heel Ribbon White

The next step was to cover up that red, white, and blue ribbon running up the rear of the heel.  I picked up a little bottle of Tulip Soft Matte Fabric Paint in Glacier White at the local JoAnn fabric and craft store, and proceeded to paint over the ribbon.  It is always more difficult to cover darker colors with white, so the name of the game was just to be patient and apply multiple thin layers until the ribbon was the same color as the rest of the shoe.  In the end it ended up taking four coats.

I think I have sourced the supplies I need to add the D-Rings for the lacing.  As soon as they arrive I am going to test them out.  I still have to decide if I want to add that third vent hole to the sides.  If I can find eyelets that will look like the ones already on the shoes I will probably end up doing it.  That is assuming that I can get the eyelet attachment tools to work on a shoe that is already assembled.  I guess I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it…  Below you can see the before and after shots of my efforts so far:

The heel of the PF Flyers, showing the logo that needs removal, and the ribbon that needs to be white.

The heel of the PF Flyers, showing the logo that needs removal, and the ribbon that needs to be white.

The back of the shoes after removing the green logo and painting over the ribbon.

The back of the shoes after removing the green logo and painting over the ribbon.

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4 Comments

  1. Ever end up painting these? I’d love to see them after a day or two of wear.

  2. They have actually been painted. The paint seems pretty durable, but I haven’t worn the shoes much. I hate to say it, but those are some of the most uncomfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. At this point they still aren’t complete. I’m trying to source some new D-rings because the ones I got are too long and meet in the middle when the shoes are tied. I’m probably going to have to get metal ones and paint them white.

  3. Hey Chris!

    This looks like an amazing project – one that I’m deciding to take on for myself. Wondering if you can help me with a few things, since you seem to be very experienced in making these (I really liked your sections talking about problems you ran into!).

    – Shoes: I’m going for PF Flyers Center Hi in white. PF Flyers shoe models don’t seem to very complicated at all, so I am positive this is the same one they would have used in the movie, albeit an older model (year seems to make the most difference as to variance between models).
    – D-rings: You didn’t follow up on your comment, but did you find better D-rings than the ones you linked?
    – Screws: I found the Chicago screws you referenced, and I really like them. How’s the plastic holding up, though, and does it match the theme of the shoes? Also, what diameter did you purchase? I found them in 3/16 in, 1/4 in, and 3/8 in.
    – D-ring straps: I couldn’t find the poly webbing in white, so did you find white webbing or paint it?

    Thanks in advance for any advice you’ve got, and I hope you see this!

  4. Hello Krystian,

    I never did find any better d-rings. Everything I came across would have had the same issue as the plastic ones currently on my shoes.

    The plastic Chicago screws have held up really well so far. I don’t really put these shoes through too much abuse though, but honestly I think the d-rings would fail before the screws. The ones I used were the 3/8 inch diameter.

    The link I had in the article for poly webbing originally had white available, so that is what I used. It seems like after two years some of these links aren’t good anymore.

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