4 step DIY: Hand-Painted Shoes

This DIY article is for all the parents who have seen a super cute hand-made anything at a local artisan fair. For those of you who think to yourself, “I bet I could make that”, or “wouldn’t that be a fun summer craft project.” That is until you leave and realize you don’t really know where to start and wonder how much time or materials you will actually need.

Or maybe you are like me and have a kid’s birthday coming up and despite your shopping efforts you have yet to find the perfect shoes for your little one to wear on their special day.

You have come to the right place: Making an adorable pair of hand-painted shoes does not have to be a far-fetched idea. With a few inexpensive materials, versatile techniques, and some inspiration from your little one you will be ready to paint some shoes. Keep reading and you will be making something awesome in no time.

 4 steps to DIY Hand-Painted Shoes

STEP 1: Get Inspired

  • I will tell you how I draw my inspiration….I ask my son. Well, actually I don’t really have to ask so much as he constantly tells me what he would like me to buy or make for him. So rather than look for inspiration, just listen.
  • Pac-Man is my 6-year-old son’s favorite thing right now. (Thanks to Netflix) So naturally, he has been asking for Pac-Man everything. My 11 month old on the other hand, does not ask, but his excitement towards all things cookie monster has inspired me.
  • Of course, I trolled Pinterest for some visuals until I felt ready to get started. Check out some of my Pinterest inspiration here.

 STEP 2: Gather your materials

DIY-Shoes - MaterialsDIY-Shoes - Shoes

  • Shoes (Zoodles carries TOMS which are 40% right now!!! Other options include Hobby Lobby which sells some slip-ons for under $10 and Wal-Mart has slip-ons for under $5.)
  • Acrylic Paint, Sharpies, Paint Pens (choose one or use all 3)
  • Brushes (if you opted for paint choose 1 medium round, 1 small round liner, and one medium flat)
  • Modge Podge (clear protective finish)
  • Pencil
  • Water, palette/paper plate, cup & Napkins (if you are going to be painting)

 STEP 3: Plan and Practice

DIY-Shoes - DotsDIY-Shoes - Color Block2

  • I always sketch first but depending on the complexity of your idea, you may or may not have to.
  • It is good to decide which colors you will use before you hit the craft supply aisle in order to avoid unnecessary expenses. (aka craft supplies you may never use and could make you feel guilty for not being more crafty when you see them in the junk drawer)
  • Practice your choice of technique.
    • Beginner Techniques (no drawing skills needed, kids can do these)
      • Patterns
        • You can make simple geometric patterns with paint markers.
        • For quick and uniform dots use a Q-Tip dipped in paint.
      • Color Blocking
        • Divide your show and paint in large solid areas of color.
    • Intermediate Techniques
      • Outlining
        • This takes some patience but even the funnies looking flowers look better with an outline.
        • Paint Pens or Sharpies work best for this.
        • Use a small round liner brush if you have a steady hand.
    • Advanced Techniques (these take a little more resilience to master)

STEP 4: Make Something Awesome

DIY-Shoes - SketchDIY-Shoes - Color Block

  1. I usually sketch my basic idea super lightly on the shoes with pencil. (paint or markers are usually opaque enough to cover light marks)
  2. Fill in large areas of color first.
  3. Allow your layers to dry (acrylic dries fast)
  4. Add shading or details.
  5. Allow your final design to dry at least overnight.
  6. Use a flat brush to coat everything you painted wit Modge Podge.
  7. Allow to dry before wearing, 24 hours to be safe.

DIY-Shoes - DetailDIY-Shoes - Modge Podge

Hooray you did it! You can cross one summer craft idea off your list. You should be proud of yourself. (I was proud of myself just for buying the supplies.) Don’t forget to take lots of pictures of your creation to share with all your friends on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. #makesomethingawesome #RGVTotsTweens

DIY Shoes-3 DIY Shoes-2 DIY Shoes-1

Follow me on Facebook or Instagram for more of my finished DIY projects.


Audrey Cisneros




P.S. Don’t forget to stop by Zoodles for their Summer TOMS sale.

Summer Hours: Monday – Saturday 10AM-6PM

4300 North 10th St., McAllen, TX


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