Metal embellishments can turn a boring pair of leather boots or heels into statement pieces, but you need to use the right type of glue — not every type of glue is strong enough to create a permanent bond between your leather shoes and the metal embellishment. Fast-drying superglue and contact cement work well, but dry fast. This means that you should figure out exactly where you want to place the embellishments before applying the glue and attaching the metal to your leather shoes.

Things You'll Need

Clean the area of the shoe you plan to attach the metal to with a leather cleaner. Work the leather cleaner thoroughly into the leather and wipe away any remaining product. Leaving behind cleaner or residue can compromise the glue’s ability to attach the metal securely.

Wipe off the metal’s surface with a damp rag to remove any dirt, oil or impurities.
Map out where you’d like to attach the metal embellishments to the leather shoes. Mark the spots with a single dot using a black permanent marker. If embellishing black leather, use a silver permanent marker.

Apply a thin layer of quick-drying superglue or contact cement formulated for use on leather products to the metal and leather. Quick-drying superglue creates a strong, waterproof hold.

Hold the metal against the leather for three to five minutes, or longer if directed by the manufacturer’s label. The longer you hold the metal and leather together, the stronger the bond between the two materials will be.

Set the leather in a cool, dry place and allow the glue to set and dry for at least 8 to 12 hours, or as directed by the manufacturer.


  • Wear rubber glove if working with quick-drying superglue. If any comes into contact with your skin, rub the affected area with an acetone nail polish remover.

  • Check the glue’s label before using it to determine if it’s safe and if it is intended for use on leather.