SHOE MAKEOVERS: Paint Them

This week (and probably some of next week), I'm working on transforming a new pair of beige faux Jeffrey Campbell Lita's into silver glitter and chrome boots. They will be fantastic, and I promise to wear them a few times, just because, and definitely on stage with League of Space Pirates. I'm working a tutorial for them, as I complete each step. Expect to see that late next week, with plenty of photos to show each step. In the mean time, grab an old or new pair of shoes and give them a makeover. Since I'm discussing shoes this month, some of my favorite shoe makeover tutorials for painting your shoes. I'm starting with something simple, and then delving into the complicated in other posts. All are great and achieve different looks.

The easiest shoe makeover (besides switching out the laces of lace up shoes), is using paint. You don't need to be an exceptional painter. You just need to be willing to grab the paint and go. A little paint can totally transform a pair of shoes. There are some basic things to keep in mind when you are painting shoes. If they are slick, like a rubber, PVC, leather, vinyl, or patent leather, you will need to rough up the surface before applying paint. You should use fine grade sand paper to do this. Be gentle. Otherwise, you don't need to treat the surface, but you will have to use a fabric paint, or a paint with a fabric medium added to it. You can seal the shoes afterwards, and choose a gloss, satin, or matte finish. You can also embellish them...which we will get to later in a different post. I'm sharing many different looks and techniques used to transform shoes with paint...and a little creativity.



THE BASICS
The easiest way to transform a pair of shoes is painting them a solid color, or doing color blocking.

Kathy Cano-Murillo of The Crafty Chica transformed her Nana's metallic shoes, black. She used Tulip's Soft Fabric Paint. I love how simple and effective this was. Though of course Kathy and I both love glitter, this transformation made these flats more practical for the next day's need.


Allison of Dream a Little Bigger followed the seams of these canvas shoes to create Faux Saddle Shoes. She used a Sharpie for fabric, but you could easily use a paint pen or a small brush and black acrylic fabric paint. Saddle shoes are a classic shoe. It's a style I wore a lot as a kid, but I realized much later in life that I wasn't an average kid. Petticoats and saddle shoes, in the 80s? I've love the 50s and 60s fashions since I was a small child, so it's no wonder to me that I gravitate to it as an adult. You could reverse the black sections to where the large white sections are, for an oxford look.


Meg Allan Cole Crafts shows us how to add Colorblock Toes to Ballet Flats. These appear to be cotton, which makes them porous. The layer of Mod Podge does help the paint not seep into the fabric. I recommend using an acrylic paint for the color. You can either mix your chosen color of acrylic paint with a clear mixing medium for fabrics, or you can use acrylic paint made for fabrics. Either one will help the paint adhere better to the fabric of the shoes, therefor being more durable to wear.


Meg Allan Cole Crafts used a similar technique to do Neon Colorblocked Heels. If neon isn't your thing, then try a different color. Jewel tones are classic colors that tends to work well season to season. They are still colorful, without being over the top bright.


FLORALS

I'm very girly. I love florals. To me, they never go out of style. There are many different florals, from realistic, to stylized. Stylized will always be easier than realistic florals. They are more fun to do too, as you can put your own creative touch on the designs.

Kathy Cano-Murillo of The Crafty Chica was inspired by Oil Cloth flowers. She redid a pair of leopard print wedges into Oil Cloth Shoes, on Latina Lifestyle Blog. This floral looks complicated, but Kathy breaks down the design well. She used Tulip's Soft Fabric Paints to create the design. These paints are formulated to work on fabrics, so they will be very durable on fabric shoes. For added durability, she coated the designs in a clear varnish.


Alisa Burke is a talented painter. She used her skills to take a pair of brown shoes and make Painted Wedge Sandals. This floral design was pulled from Alisa's own flower design style. Again, this floral looks complicated, but after you see how she does the design, I know you'll be able to do it too! The floral design is has abstract and sort of "messy" shapes. This is excellent for anyone of any painting ability, because any "mistakes" can easily be turned into a flower or bud. If you aren't steady with a small brush for the details, try using a fine paint pen. They work great for drawing finer details! They are a bit pricey, but they last a long time and can be used for many projects.


A couple of years ago, I redid a pair of wedge sandals that I purchased with the intention of giving them a paint makeover. For Skull-A-Day.com 4.0, I created Dia de la Abby: #15 Skull with Tiger Lilies Shoes. Technically, there are two skulls, but when the shoes are side by side, they appear to be one skull. I used photos of tiger lilies as a reference, but my flowers are definitely stylized. The are based on tiger lilies that I've been drawing for years. These shoes are very porous, a soaked up a lot of paint. If I had known about Meg's trick with Mod Podge, then I probably wouldn't have had that problem. I used acrylic paints for most of the design. I used a paint pen to paint the fine details of the skull.

I've been drawing and painting for most of my life, as I'm sure both Kathy and Alisa have. However, don't feel like you can't do it too. Start with something small, and work your way up. You can even make sample drawings and paintings on scrap paper or fabric before attempting it on shoes. Take your time! That's the most important thing with any project like this. Don't rush, or your results will looked rushed and sloppy. Also, if there is a mistake, let the paint fully dry, and then paint over it. If you try to correct it while the paint is still wet, you will likely not be able to, as the replacement color will mix into the mistake color...just making a blended color. 


DRAWING

If you want shoes with even more details, break out the paint pens and fine line brushes for a "drawn" look. If you have an easier time drawing than painting, then the paint pens are the perfect match for you! Otherwise, small paint brushes, and acrylic fabric paint will do just fine.


Katie Bush of The Daily Telecraft created Mystic Shoes inspired by a Mara Hoffman pair of shoes. She used a cheap pair of canvas shoes, acrylic paint, a fine paint brush, and a pencil to create these fabulous shoes. There are a few other materials too, but those are the basics for achieving the design. I tend to wear flats a lot for doing errands quickly, so this is a great way to jazz up some boring flats...or any other pair of canvas shoes.


Christy Kurtz on Refinery 29 created DIY Missoni Shoes inspired by Missoni's classic chevron stripes. Missoni had a resurgence in popularity a few months ago with their launch of a limited line for Target. However, to me a chevron is a classic design. Christy used fabric markers, but you can use paint pens or fine paint brushes and acrylic fabric paint instead. You can use any colors and chevron height you wish. The nice thing about a Missoni chevron, is that the rows aren't all the same height. This is great whether your a beginner or a pro.


Jillybeans on Craftster shared how she made Zentangle High Heels using a paint pen and some design references. These designs remind me of The Doodle Daily, which has over one thousand of these intricate doodles. Again, doodling and making zentangles are a great way to create a one of a kind design on a pair of shoes...or anything else. It's therapeutic  and when you're done, you have a great piece of artwork to share...in this case, two pieces of wearable art.


Of course, I couldn't resist including a skeleton inspired pair of shoes. Corvus Tristis transformed a pair of plain canvas slip-ons into Spooky Shoes. The nice thing about drawing on canvas shoes with a pencil is that you can erase any mistakes. If they don't erase easily, they should wash out. For a precise design like these foot bones, you will need to draw them 1st, using medical reference drawings as a guide. Acrylic fabric paint, and paint brushes are needed to fill in the black areas. For me, these are something I would wear any time of the year, but yes, they would work for Halloween too. Frankly, that's just not as fun as wearing them year round.


OTHER TECHNIQUES

What about something a little different? Perhaps these are just the odds and ends that didn't fit into any of the above categories, but they are still equally fabulous.


Kristen Turner of Glitter 'N Glue used Tulip's Beads in a Bottle to create Faux Studded Shoes. Studs are a huge trend, and one of my favorites. Though, I've loved studs for years, I'm always happen when some of my favorite things become trends. I'm not one of those people to complain about a subculture thing becoming trendy and mainstream...because just as quickly as it came popular in mainstream fashion, it's going right back out...and I'm getting awesome fashion pieces to add to my wardrobe. For example, spiked and studded shoes. My lovely husband bought me a pair spiked and rhinestone heel peep toe wedge shoes a few months ago. They are sexy and make me feel tougher...or just instantly hotter. I love seeing Kristen's safer interpretation of the studded shoe trend by using the dimensional beaded paint to create "studs". This product beads up upon application, which mimics expensive beaded embroidery, or in this case, studs. Also, using this product saves labor and time...and possible flesh scraping of adding real studs to your own shoes. You're able to add the "studs" anywhere you want on the shoe uppers, and create different patterns. Tulip's Beads in a Bottle comes in many different colors, so you could do a more colorful design, or use multiple metallics.


Beth of September Girls Do So Much created Space Shoes inspired by the galaxy trend. The galaxy trend is something I covered a couple months ago, but is something to me that will always be awesome. I'm a geeky lady, so anything space makes me instantly happy. I love that Beth took that trend as inspiration and transformed a pair of canvas sneakers into space shoes! Follow her steps carefully, and you can create your own pair! Again, as I mentioned before, if you feel something doesn't look right when you're adding the layers, let that layer fully dry before trying to cover up a section you don't like. This is great if you want some of your colors to have more definition vs. blending, too.


As a proud cat lady, I've been coveting the cat shoes by Charlotte Olympia, since I 1st saw them months ago. I was overjoyed to see that Erica Domesek of P.S I made this had made her own version, a Kitty Loafer. She uses dimensional paint, leather scraps, hot glue, and a bit of quirky creativity to turn a pair of loafers into a pair of shoes fit for any cat lover. If you would like your fabric kitty details to last longer, try using an industrial glue, which is always stronger than hot glue. For the loafers, try getting faux suede or velvet ones, for a "soft like a cat" feel. Instead of real leather, you can use thin faux leather or PVC. PVC comes in many different textures, colors, and finishes. It's a great animal friendly alternative to leather and suede.


That is it for now. I will do another post some time this month about shoe makeover techniques. Not sure when that will be, but I will get to it! Also, look out for my own shoe redo tutorial. It will be glittery and shiny! Definitely worth the wait...well at least I think so!

Comments

  1. I used marker and acrylic on a white canvas shoe but what type of spray do I seal it with? Is it the same spray that you use for sealing charcoal drawings?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great question. I'm not familiar with a best way to seal them. I'm working on a batch of shoes and will test out sealing, which I'll post about. I suggest doing some online research. There are many canvas shoe tutorials that have a variety of sealing methods.

      Delete
  2. I have a pair of sliver metallic shoes (cloth type). How should I prep them (before and after) to get the best results?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you use fabric paint, there isn't any prep. Fabric paint will adhere well to all fabrics.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. That's a great question. I have painted rubber toe caps with Tulip Soft Fabric Paint and it adhered well. However, I haven't worn the shoes enough times since then, to see how well it hold up. It's worth a try.

      Delete
  4. i have a pair of fabric shoe but my fabric paint (rozetta fabric paint) it's not create any difference it mix the colours and not adhere with it what can i do????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For color to really stand out the shoe base color should be white or a pale color. Dark colors need to be painted white first before adding your chosen color. The best fabric paint I've used on shoes is Tulip Soft Fabric Paint. It has thick smooth opaque coverage & doesn't crack from wear.

      Delete
  5. I have a pair of white satin and lace shoes. I was wondering what do I use to colour them. I want to make them a solid pink colour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tulip Soft Fabric Paint would work well. You can thin it with water for a more dyed look. The paint adheres to fabric well & is flexible.

      Delete
  6. hello! i have beige faux suede boots that i wanna paint black, but fabric paint is hard to come by where i'm from. would watered down acrylic paint work? thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fabric paint is the best paint to use on shoes. However, if you can't find that, add a fabric medium to acrylic paint. This will make the acrylic paint flexible and adhere to the fabric better. You will lose some opacity with this combination, so you'll need more paint layers.

      Delete
  7. Is fabric paint better to use on shoes than leather paint? I still haven't found the shoes I want to use. Whether they will be leather or faux leather will depend on the cost.
    Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've only painted on faux leather/vinyl and used fabric paint. I have no experience with anything involving leather.

      Delete
  8. My fiancè want to cover a pair of black patent Dr Marten boots with velvet . What glue would be best ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry I can't be of help. I've only painted, glued glitter & small objects to shoes. I have no experience with covering shoes with fabric.

      Delete
  9. Abby, How do I paint white sandals that are vinyl/non-porous. Fabric paint? Acrylic?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sand the fabric with fine sandpaper, to make it have a texture. Use Tulip Soft Fabric Paint in the color of your choice, to paint the fabric. Add any details you want after the paint is dry. This brand of fabric paint is flexible, durable & adheres to porous & non-porous fabrics well. If you're doing layers of paint with details, use a clear spray or paint on sealer for more durability.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have a friend who just decorated a pair of shoes with tulip paint, but she did it in globs (she lined the shoe with red paint to make it look like dripping blood but it is raised kind of like the studs are on the flats). Does anyone know if the tulip paint will last long like this? I was thinking of doing something similar, but I feel like the paint will start to just peel off after wearing the shoes a couple times. Here is an image of what I mean about the paint. http://i.imgur.com/x066eV3.png

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It should be fine. I used Tulip Slick to adhere googly eyes shiny wedges. I sanded the shiny surface to make the paint adhere. If you shoes aren't shiny, the paint will adhere fine without sanding. It bonds very well. Test the paint on some paper before the shoes, so it flows well.

      Delete
  12. i would like to paint on black shoes as i want a black surface behind the picture and the design is only small. What paint and sealer do i use and what is the best type of high heel do i use to paint on?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Use Tulip soft fabric paint. The paint is flexible and durable on shoes. You can mix the colors to get your desired shades for your design. I recommend a matte (no shine) faux or real leather high heel. Sealer isn't needed, but you can use any spray sealer.

      Delete
  13. I ordered some patent leather kitten heels from China and I believe the true color of them was misrepresented. I wanted fuchsia or hot pink, and instead, they are a coral color. Since these shoes are patent leather/glossy, what paint is best to use to change the color? Or what is the best ovetal solution to make them hot pink? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's where a paint makeover can get tricky. Nothing will stick to glossy surfaces, so the surface must be roughed up with sand paper 1st, before any fabric paint will stick. You won't be able to keep the shiny patent leather surface. In this case I'll leave the choice up to you. Personally, I'd keep searching for the hot pink patent leather shoes of your dreams.

      Delete
  14. I have a pair of faux suede beige boots and I was wondering if there was any way I could remove the suede finish so that it is shiny and then dye it black?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry. I don't have any experience with altering suede, and can't direct you to a good tutorial. You'll have to do some research yourself. I only bought my 1st piece of suede 2 days ago.

      Delete
  15. If you could please give me a step by step process if possible or suggest a YouTube video that shows a tutorial. Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi, I have a pair of shoes which have a tan colour in like a swade ( not sure how to spell that) & they have a pink colour on the toes part which is like plastic patent,what I any o do is change the patent pink bit to the shoe so wondered if someone can advise me on what I would need to use to achieve this paint / dye wise ?? Many thanks,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For the fabric, it's spelled suede. I understood what you meant though. For the patent toe, use fine sandpaper to remove the shine & give the fabric texture so the paint will adhere. If your color change is to a light color (not sure what pink shade it is now) paint the toes with white Tulip Soft fabric paint (this paint is flexible & great for shoes. Let this layer dry before painting your desired color of Tulip Soft fabric paint. The white helps cover the pink & give a blank canvas for any color. If you want a dark color (ie. brown or black), you can skip the white & just use the dark color. Use thin coats, so they dry fast & smooth. Hope this helps.

      Delete
  17. Hi Abby,thankyou so much for your advise that really helps,the only thing is where can i buy this tulip paint? Thankyou,jackie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can find Tulip Soft fabric paint at JoAnn & Michaels craft stores. It's also available on the company's website www.ilovetocreate.com

      Delete

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...