Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tutorial: Hand Painted Canvas Shoes

A few months ago my mom and I found these shoes on Pinterest. Now, I'm a Rangers fan. But my mom is a RANGERS FAN. Serious.

So she has been teasing me about painting her some shoes off and on since we saw these shoes.

My mom has never worn Toms before, and 44-54 dollars seemed a little steep for shoes that I might very well ruin. Because let's face it, I am, admitttedly, a self-proclaimed terrible painter. So me messing up 50 dollar shoes was very likely.

So after a few months, my mom and I actually started looking for similar shoes. I finally stumbled upon these at Target.

*Please forgive the poor quality photos. I took these before I had a digital camera. And can't retake them now that the shoes are done...and no longer in my possession.

Not much to look at. But they are similar to Toms and were only $16.99. We could deal with me messing up 17 dollar shoes.

So after googling my little heart out trying to figure out if I should use Sharpies, Paint Pens, Acrylic Paint, or Fabric markers...I finally got started. I'm no expert on this by any means, but for those of you out there who might want to try this yourself, I'll take you step by step on how I chose to do them.

First, I drew a sketch on paper of what I planned on doing to the shoes. I am much better with pencil, paper, and sharpies than paint, so the sketch looks better than the end result of the shoes.

The flag is definitely off centered..but this is what I was hoping for.

Just as a side note, if you're up for trying this yourself, I would suggest not doing stripes. (At least, if you are impatient like me.) It's really hard to draw long straight lines on shoes. For me, anyways.

I finally started on the shoes. First, I drew the sketch in pencil on the shoes. I did my best to draw lightly, because pencil doesn't exactly erase off of shoes. (It helps to stuff at least the toes of the shoe with newspaper, plastic grocery bags, etc so that the shoes will keep their form. )


Pretty hard to see, but I think you get the idea. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to draw on the shoes.

The next step is probably not necessary, but it was helpful for me. I'm sure there is something better suited to use, but I decided that since my favorite thing to use is Sharpie, I would trace my designs with it. So I traced over all of the pencil in the color of Sharpie I would paint each design. I used my ultra fine tip Sharpies, for finer detail. Plus, the normal Sharpie markers seem to bleed more noticeably.

*My mom did discover that the sharpie will bleed when washed. At least the red one did. She has pink tinted shoes to show for it.

I was still nervous at this point about trying to paint the shoes. But I finally decided I liked the look of acrylic paint the best, so I went for it. I already had a ton of run-of-the-mill acrylic craft paint, but decided that acrylic paint used by actual artists would be better for this. There are several different types and brands of artistic acrylic paint to choose from, you can find them at Michael's, Hobby Lobby, etc. (I honestly just opted for Liquitex because it was the cheapest.) Acrylics aren't really made to paint on fabric, so I picked up some Fabric Medium at a local art supply store. It's supposed to help make the paint softer and keep it from cracking. I'm not sure it'd did that, but it was worth a shot. And because, as already stated, I'm not a good painter, I found a paint brush with very short, stiff bristles. It made it much easier to control where the paint went.

Nervously, carefully, and as slowly as I could handle, I started painting. I started with the lightest color and worked my way to the darkest. It took several coats to make sure everything was covered, but I was relatively pleased with the end result.



As with all craft projects, there are definitely imperfections. But I think they turned out well. The only problem: my mom hasn't tried them on yet.

Let's just hope they fit!

*They did fit!

Update: Here is another pair that I made using the same method. I like these much more.