Custom / DIY Corks --documented with photos

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Joined Apr 30, 2013
Hi -so I'm sure there will be people who hate this and people who love it, but before all this I just wanna say... If you don't have something nice to say, then just move along. I wouldn't post this here if I didn't want people's opinions (both like and dislike), but posting 'they suck' or 'those look so fake' is kinda worthless to me. Say what you'd change or what you would have done different if you don't like something. K cool

Note1: Pictures are going to speak more than I need to so I'll just list the materials I used and I'll answer questions if people have em.

Note2: Obviously you can use whatever Lebron X's you want -I just liked the red liner & black midsole.

Cork Fabric (<$20 shipped): https://www.inventables.com/technologies/natural-cork-fabric-large-grain-pattern

----Customer service at this site is awesome.

----I bought a quantity of (1), which is ~3ft. It was enough for both shoes and I have enough leftover to do a set of matching Air Lebron 2 slides too.

Fabric glue:
----This stuff is good bc it takes ~5 minutes to set (gives you time to maneuver things)

----It's also good bc it is stretchy and flexible. It doesn't "crack" and will easily bend with shoe leather.

----Also, I used it and I can guarantee it works to glue fabric onto the outside of leather shoes

Adhesive printer paper / Label sticker paper:
----I used this to print out the Nike swooshes and the Lebron logo.

----Then I cut them out, got rid of the part I cut out, and used the 'negative' part as a stencil for painting.

Total cost to me: Used Lebron X Homes off eBay ($120) + Cork fabric ($13 bc I had a coupon) + time.

Pictures.

Base Lebron X Home

This stuff is literally fabric with cork glued onto the outside. It is very smooth to the touch, is not stiff at all, and is very nice to work with. Highly recommended. I don't own actual Corks, but based on photos I've seen I'd say that this shade of 'Cork' is *just slightly* darker.

Made a stencil from computer paper by wrapping it around the shoe and marking/cutting the shape of Cork fabric I needed.

VERY IMPORTANT: It's not a straight line around the base of the shoe. It's sort of 'curved' as you can see. If you don't account for this, the fabric will bunch up in areas when you try to glue it down. This happened to me (didn't get the curve right) and if you look closely you can see a seam in the back (later) where I had to cut the piece in half, take a sliver out, and then reattach together. Lemme know if this doesn't make sense.

Test wrapped to make sure the contour was right. Note the extra fabric by the lace holes -did that so I could wrap it down the inside of the shoe. Gives a nicer look in the end like the cork is more 'continuous' and doesn't just stop at the edge.

Glued down one area at a time. You can see where I had to cut in half here because it was bunching up too much.

Got one all glued down and done. You can see I cut a little too much off the top there (it's hard to measure AND cut while it's already glued to the shoe actually). This isnt a problem tho, the texture of the cork lets you get away with just patching it (seen later).

All done wrapping & gluing. I didn't like the seams in the front so I made 'toe caps'...

NOTE: For the lace holes, I grabbed a pointy soldering gun and burnt holes through the fabric. Came out really cool -goes well with the texture.

Laced up with the Lebron X Home laces.

Stencils...

Paper template for the toe cap.

Test fitting. Modeled after my South beach IDs

Toe caps glued on. You can see the flywire work I was in the middle of. The Homes have orange flywire which I wasn't really a fan of.

SOLUTION: black sharpie. Apparently black sharpie + orange flywire = brown flywire. Again, works nice with the cork.

TO GET THE FLYWIRE BACK THROUGH: Have to cut little slits in the cork fabric obviously where it pops out. To pull it through, you'll need a little small hook you can push through, hook the wire, and then pull back out. I happened to have a little tool like this (seen sorta on the right of the picture), but a crochet hook or something similar will work.

Realized that the laces from my Prisms look much nicer. Also a better shot of the difference between orange and brown flywire.

Wrapped the lace tips in fabric too.

Testing out my paper cut out stencils to make sure they weren't too thin and didn't bleed through. Literally just googled a Nike check, used a photo editing program to scale two sized checks (one for front & back), and printed out on adhesive label-making printer paper. In this shot, I had only used printer paper, but later I gave up on the printer paper & used the label paper.

Done, only thing left is paint (& the other lace tips).

Adhesive logos attached. Also made a lebron logo for the tongue.

Put each shoe in a grocery bag, tied it / sealed it off, then cut holes by the areas I needed to paint. Tape around the edges to keep everything else clean.

AND.......... FINISHED PRODUCT.

They're my favorite Lebrons to date, and that's saying something bc I love my South beach IDs too.

Future plans:

---Add some more detailing.

---Gold lace locks from some Lebron X Elites or USAs.

Any questions or comments feel free to post up. Compliments & criticism welcome, just keep any hate to yourselves. I took the time to do this, document it, and share my experiences so anybody else who liked them could do this too.
 
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Joined Apr 30, 2013
Very cool! Do you plan on adding details with the vents like the real corks?
Yea I've thought about it, but in the end I didn't really intend to 'replicate' the corks ---more I just liked their idea and ran with it. I agreehey're definitely looking 'bare' right now, especially on the inner parts.

Eventually I'll do some extra detail work on there, but I'm not sure I'll if I'll do the 'vents' or something else. For example, I covered up the hole at the end of the laces by the toe ---not sure whether to do the '4 small hole vent diamond' like on the Corks, or to just open it up like the normal Lebron Xs, or just leave it as is... I'll post up if I do anythin
 
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Joined Feb 3, 2006
While the DIY concept is cool, the color way with the cork idea is not my cup of tea.

The cork was well done though, and for that alone, props.
 
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Joined Apr 30, 2013
lol 'all the detail' that I lost was pretty much just triangles around the sides of the shoes. AND I'll definitely add some more "detail" in the future (maybe similar to the triangles, maybe not, dont know yet), but for now they are at least wearable. And speaking of wearability-- I wore them to the gym today-- seem to be holding up great. Getting that flexible fabric glue was definitely a good call, they bend & flex no problem. Not sure how they'll handle a rainy day, but it can't be that bad.

Thanks for the good feedback everyone
 
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Strong work fam. Let us know how it's holding up after multiple wears. I'll would be interested if you decided that you would work on some pairs for other peeps. Lmk. Repped.
 
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shoe is mad overrated but I like the work you did. good job 8)
 
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Joined Jun 12, 2012
Naa man, I'll never criticize a person for taking the time to create something special... Good work. Respect :nerd:
 
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Joined Apr 30, 2013
Preciate all the love thanks again.

Probably not going to have time to take custom jobs unfortunately bc I'm in med school and this was just my personal therapy during study breaks.. But I posted this so others could do it too (and remember, all it takes is less than $20 of fabric and that glue). Plus you can do this on other shoes/hats/slides or even make a wallet out of it. Lots of possibilities.

One more cool thing about that glue: its the kind that bunches up and rolls away if you rub on it with your finger. What I'm saying is with a little bit of effort, I could take all the fabric back off and be back to normal if I didn't like it. The only stuff I can't really undo is the flywire color change or burning the lace holes bigger.
 
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Preciate all the love thanks again.

Probably not going to have time to take custom jobs unfortunately bc I'm in med school and this was just my personal therapy during study breaks.. But I posted this so others could do it too (and remember, all it takes is less than $20 of fabric and that glue). Plus you can do this on other shoes/hats/slides or even make a wallet out of it. Lots of possibilities.

One more cool thing about that glue: its the kind that bunches up and rolls away if you rub on it with your finger. What I'm saying is with a little bit of effort, I could take all the fabric back off and be back to normal if I didn't like it. The only stuff I can't really undo is the flywire color change or burning the lace holes bigger.
bruh, Doctors are always good at whatever they want to do, passionate ******
 
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Joined Jan 17, 2013
I wanna try this so which colorway would look the best? I have the Floridians, carbons, dolphins, and volts. Please help!
 
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