Although I'm a fan, I'm not a great collector of the 1939 MGM film version of The Wizard of Oz. But there is something fascinating about the ruby slippers! The last pair offered at auction sold for 2 million dollars (Correction - the shoes did not actually sell at auction, the reserve was not met - check the comments below for further info on this), and they are one of the most readily recognized Hollywood props. Four original pairs are known to exist, but the fate of one pair is unknown, since it was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum several years ago.
This year I've been working on replicating the slippers in order to have a pair in my collection. Creating slipper replicas is a popular hobby among Oz collectors, and people approach the project in a variety of ways. Methods and materials can be hotly debated, as to what is most accurate to the original shoes, but in each case the end result is a shining pair of ruby slippers.
My goal was to try making the shoes along the same lines as the originals. This means creating silk overlays which are hand sequined and then attached to the shoes. I'm no stranger to time consuming projects, but I have to say that I've found this to be one of the harder things I've tried - I just don't seem to be naturally compatible with sequins!
The most important part in my mind is finding an appropriate pair of shoes. It's possible to have a custom pair of shoes made for this purpose, complete with an outer lining of fabric for sewing on sequins, but I wanted the look of an actual vintage shoe. It's surprisingly difficult to come up with the right heel height and style of shoe, but I finally did run across a pair that is almost perfect. The original shoes vary a bit from one to the next, and range from size 5 to size 6. I'm using a pair of size 5 1/2 silk pumps, from the time period of the movie. After removing the shoe clips, they were ready to be colored red and turned into a pair of the most famous shoes in history!
Now I just have to finish the other shoe....