The up-cycling project turning shoes into monstrous artworks

If you've ever wonderered what to do with your old pair of shoes you just can't bring yourself to throw out, why not consider turning them into monsters?

Wellington's Frankenfoot is part-shoe workshop, part-art exhibition: bringing old shoes back to life in unexpected ways.

Lou Clifton teaches people how to make their own shoes, but for the Wellington Fringe Festival, she's transformed her workshop into a mad scientist's den.

"People kept suggesting that I do some up-cycling workshops, and I wasn't too keen on up-cycling, but I thought 'what is the craziest up-cycling theme I can come up with?'" she told Newshub.

Inspired by her love of trashy, gory, brightly coloured horror films, the Frankenfoot concept was born: re-assembling footwear in odd, sometimes monstrous combinations.

Clifton's held a series of workshops at her Newtown Shoe School, letting participants' imaginations run wild.

"We've got Crocs, mashed with patent dressy classy shoes, mashed with a cowboy boot, and then covered in toys and dunked in paint," she says.

There's a big sustainability message in there too - encouraging people to breathe new life into old shoes.

"All of the shoes I've gathered from the dump or donating from op-shops. About half of them are destined for landfill," Clifton explains.

Frankenfoot originally ran at the Dunedin Fringe, winning "most original concept" in 2016 - this time around, Clifton says the response from Wellingtonians has been overwhelming, especially children.

"Kids are just wild - there's no hesitance, they don't have any worry about being wrong, they just go for it. It's really inspiring," says Clifton.

The creative approach to making crazy new footwear means not all these boots are made for walking.

"Other people have things that there's no way they're ever gonna get their feet into, so it's more like art."

The creations will be on display at Shoe School until March 23 - before they're re-united with their makers.