Skull-A-Day 4.0 - Tutorial - #15 Skull with Tiger Lilies Shoes

As summer comes to a close and Fall starts, I'm happy that school is starting know for my sanity...or to educate the kids, like my daughter. Back to School shopping can be very expensive, but one way to get around that expense is to shop at thrift or consignment shops for basics. Then you can alter them with inexpensive materials and make them one of a kind creations. This is a fun project to do with your kid, or if your kid is old enough to be responsible with supplies (probably 10+, but you be the judge of that), then you can just give them supplies and let them get to designing.

For this project, I wanted some wedge sandals with Skulls on them. Follow the tutorial to see how I took some basic wedge sandals and made them into Skull sandals.

  • Basic Shoes - These have a fabric covering the heel/platform that is like Burlap. You will need shoes made of or covered with some type of cloth (not leather, suede, vinyl, or PVC), because the paint will adhere the best.
  • Pencil and eraser - For lightly drawing the design on the shoes
  • Paint - Fabric Paint or Acrylic Paint with a fabric medium
  • Paint Brushes - Small and Medium
  • Paint Container - This can be a palette, a paper plate, small paper cups. I use little paper cups that are supposed to be for water...or Jello shots...tiny snacks. I use one for each color and reuse them when I have another paint project.
  • Paint Pens - These are great for small details. I also used them to lightly sketch out my design. For this project, I used Black, White and Orange
  • 2 Long Laces - The pair of shoes I bought had white grosgrain ribbon, but it was worn out and I also wanted to change the color to black, so it's easier to just replace it. You could use grosgrain ribbon (it's bound on the long edges and sturdy), jersey knit fabric (you would want to bind the raw edges by either hemming them or making a tube. Jersey is t-shirt fabric, it's really soft on your legs.), PVC...what ever you decide, make sure it's small enough to fit through the existing lacing channels and comfortable on your skin. If you have trouble getting your chosen laces through the channels, try pulling them through with a crochet hook.
  • Paint Sealer - I used Matte, but you could use Gloss if you want.
Optional Supplies:
  • Glitter - Sparkles are always good. Use Tulip Fashion Glitter Bond to adhere to glitter. This glue is specially formulated for the name says.
  • Plastic Jewels - Best to use E6000 to adhere these
  • Sequins, beads, ribbon, charms...etc. - you probably will want to hand sew these on. My shoes, have an open weave of fabric that will allow for easy sewing.
1) Remove laces from shoes.


Pippi, my furry assistant, finding a new use for the old laces.
2) Using the paint pens, sketch out your design. The back ground of my shoes will be black, so it will cover up any unwanted sketch markers. With that being said, be careful in the skull area and any light colored area (the skull is the light one for me). Make sure you are using paint pens that are the same or similar color as the paint color you will use to fill in. I tried to use a while paint pen to sketch out the skull, but my pen wasn't flowing right, so I used the black on the areas that would be black anyway. I drew my skulls at an angle towards the inside, so when I have the shoes side by side, there is one skull...half on each shoe, but when I'm sitting with my legs crossed (I know, bad for my back, but it's comfortable and natural now, because I've been sitting that way since I was a child.), you can see the full skulls.

3) Using the acrylic paint, fill in your sketched areas with the colors you want to use. I painted the lily with the orange. After that dried, I mixed yellow and a little orange to use for the lighter area. I used a small paint brush to paint these areas. As you can see, my shoe has a textured fabric, so the small brush was useful to get into the pits of the fabric. Also, it's good for small areas of your design.

Right Shoe - Inner Side

Right Shoe - Back at an angle

Right Shoe - Outer Side

4) After your base has dried, fill in your back ground. I used the small brush and black paint for this. It was tedious and I'm still finding areas that need more paint. The tediousness was due to the texture of the fabric, not the design. Lesson learned.

You can also paint the foot area of the shoe. When I painted the trim at the top, black paint got onto the foot area, so I decided to paint the foot area. If you are not using sandals for your project, obviously, this area wouldn't show, so painting it would be silly. I don't know if the paint will rub off on my feet or not, but I will see later. Should you paint the foot area, use a medium brush. I added a bit of water to the black paint to make the coverage smoother. I don't want paint bumps rubbing on my foot.

I also painted the straps of the shoe. Step 4 basically equals a lot of black paint was used...a lot!!!

5) After your back ground is dry, you can add the details. I used a black fine tip paint pen to draw the details on the skull and lilies. I used a small brush and green paint for the leaves. vines and flower filaments. I used the black paint pen for the veins on the leaves.

Left Shoe - Inner side at an angle

Left Shoe - Outer side
So pretty!

6) Cut your new laces and string them on your shoes. You're done!

Backs of shoes. You can see how the skulls look together.

On my feet with the new laces wrapped around my ankles.


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