Sunday, 9 January 2011

canvas shoe makeover tutorial

Hello lovelies

Have you been enjoying your weekend?  Have you made anything?  I've been making lots of things.  Lots of things which are not for sale.  It makes me happy to have time to make things for myself and my loved ones.  I still haven't booked any markets for this year and you know what... I'm not fussed at all.  There's no hurry for me to compelled to do so either.  It feels great.

I've been engaging in some back to school shopping this past week as my 5 year old starts school this year.  While out shopping last week I picked up some plain white canvas shoes at Kmart for $3.  I couldn't go past them.  Then I had an idea... let's snaz them up a little.  They are for my son after all and he does like lots of character in the things he wears.

They turned out so well, that I thought I'd share this tutorial with you in case you feel the urge to transform some plain canvas shoes in works of art for your (or your kids) feet.

What you need:
Let's get started:

My son is into the grungy kind of design... lots of skulls, splats, stars and that kind of thing.  So I started out by taking a pencil and roughly sketching some designs lightly on each shoe.  Using a pencil means that you can fiddle around until you are happy with the design, rubbing out any parts which you're not happy with. 

Once you've finished this part, take a black Pitt Artist pen and go over all of your pencilled-in sketches.  Make sure you use nice even lines so that the design looks neat.  I went over each outline a few times to ensure I had nice thick black coverage.

Be careful when you are using the Pitt Artist Pens as they can smudge or transfer onto your hand while they are dry. They are a unique ink formula which means they can be blended when they are wet and a permanent once dry.  Once you have all of your outlines in place, let the ink thoroughly dry.  If you start using colours before the black ink dries, it will bleed into the coloured areas (like you can see in some parts of my finished shoes).

Using as many colours as you like (I had the 24-pack of Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens so I had fun using many different colours), start adding colour to your designs.  But also make sure to let your colours dry especially if adding a few different colours into one design - remember they bleed into each other (see the blue green and yellow rings in the below photo for example of what I mean)!
I chose to leave the area in between the pictures white, but you could colour in between in grey, black or your child's favourite colour.  It's up to you!

If you're stuck, here are some design ideas to get you started:
  • trees, sun, grass, house, sky
  • graffiti
  • birds
  • monster face including razor sharp teeth and crazy eyes
  • polka dots
  • cupcakes
  • bows
  • skulls and cross-bones
  • stars
  • cars

And voila... you have some funky one of a kind shoes which look like they cost a lot more than $3!  My son LOVES his new shoes and wants to wear them to child care.  Had to let him down gently and tell him that they're only for "going out".  I know that if they go anywhere near child care they will get trashed within a day.
So what do you think?  Will you try some yourself?  They're fun, cheap and easy to do.  If you do, I'd love to see them (send me a link)!
P.S. the canvas shoes are in the current (Australian) Kmart catalogue which is on sale until 12 January... so hurry into your local Kmart store and pick up a pair quick-sticks!


  1. hey can u please give me some design ideas. The theme that i wanna do is Marine Life. I quite lost when to draw the design. ;'(


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