Red, White and Blue 4th of July Fireworks DIY Sharpie Shoes

Nothing says America like red, white and blue tie-dye.  Get the look head to toe with these fun (and easy) DIY sharpie shoes.  Yup, as in the permanent markers.  Who knew you could dye canvas shoes with just markers and rubbing alcohol?  The best part is you can make your own pair of Sharpie tie-dye sneakers faster than you can sing The Star Spangled Banner.  Well ok, not that fast but REALLY FAST.

How to make a pair of shoes look red, white and blue tie-dyed with sharpie markers.

4th of July Fireworks DIY Sharpie Shoes

If you’ve spent any amount of time searching Pinterest for DIY shoe designs at some point you have come across a pair of canvas Sharpie shoes.  Typically you see them as galaxy shoes or rainbow tie-dye shoes.  I wanted to combine this idea and make something patriotic, fun and wearable for the 4th of July.  I can’t show up to the neighborhood parade without the right shoes for Pete’s sake.

DIY This With Jennifer Perkins – Red White and Blue Tie-Dye Shoes How-To Video

Wanna see my daughter’s DIY Galaxy shoes?  Check out this episode of DIY This With Jennifer Perkins.  Not just her galaxy shoes, but also these Sharpie tie-dyed shoes in action!

Be sure to also check out this episode of DIY This where I made DIY Back to School Shoes that look like pencils, notebook paper and even crayons!

Supplies for making sharpie shoes with alcohol.

Supplies for Making DIY Tie-Dye Sharpie Shoes

  • Sharpies (permanent markers)
  • 91% Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Spray Bottle
  • Canvas Shoes

Several questions came up about making these 4th of July shoes and about dying canvas shoes in general.

Will the permanent marker bleed from the canvas shoes onto my feet?  

If you wash the shoes after 24 hours (separately) your feet and socks should be fine.  I’ve gotta say I have not tried this myself so I can’t vouch for what will happen.  I’d also wash the canvas shoes first before doodling on them to remove any sizing or chemicals.

How do I keep the rubber on my canvas shoes white?  

You can always use painters tape to prevent the tie-dye from staining the plastic.  Coating the rubber with petroleum jelly is another idea.  If you want your laces to stay white remove them before you get started.

Can I use any alcohol?

Nope.  You want to use the highest percentage you can get which is usually 91%.  This is what makes your Sharpie doodles turn into tie-dye canvas shoes.

Drawing on canvas shoes with Sharpies in a firework print.

Time to Become a DIY Shoe Designer

So now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to drawing on our shoes with markers.  There is no right or wrong way to do this.  These tie-dye shoes are supposed to have a red, white and blue theme that is sorta like fireworks.  Try mixing dots, stripes, swirls and pinwheels.

Draw on canvas shoes with sharpie pens in red and blue firework patterns.

This next step is going to really surprise you – do the same thing on both shoes.  Crazy right?  I know it blew my mind too. All joking aside cover both shoes with permanent marker designs.

Spray bottle full of rubbing alcohol spraying white shoes with fireworks drawn in marker.

Fill a Spray Bottle With Alcohol 

Now that you have covered the shoes in Sharpie doodles it’s time to get the second step ready – alcohol.  As I mentioned earlier be sure to use 91% which you can find at the drug or grocery store.  Fill a spray bottle or medicine dropper with the alcohol.  If you want to protect the white plastic soles, now is the time.  Place your shoes outside or on some paper towels before you begin.

Alcohol making permanent marker bleed into tie-dye on shoes.

Spray Your DIY Sharpie Shoes With Alcohol

This is the fun (but stinky) part.  As you spray (or drop) the alcohol tilt your shoes so that the permanent marker bleeds in different and organic directions.  Since it is such a high alcohol content and low water they will dry quickly.  I like the look when you spray, dry, spray, dry – repeat until you get the tie-dyed shoes of your patriotic firework loving dreams.  You can also see why I left some of the canvas shoes white to allow for space that the colors can bleed.

Red, white and blue DIY 4th of July tie-dye shoes by Jennifer Perkins

Lace Up Your New DIY Tie-Dye Shoes

After the shoes have dried you can try washing them if you are worried about staining your feet or socks.  I have to say that I have not done this step.  My daughter however does not have galaxy feet after wearing her pair so I am not too concerned.  Lace up your new crafty kicks and get ready to rock the 4th of July picnic.  Maybe you should add some yellow accents or perhaps some glow in the dark paint for later during the fireworks show!

DIY fireworks canvas shoes made with Sharpies by Jennifer Perkins

Red, White and Blue 4th of July Fireworks DIY Sharpie Shoes

I’m pretty smitten on these shoes and gotta tell ya I might be making more for other holidays.  I do love a good DIY shoe project (check out these creepers, Mary Janes and felt baby booties) I’m already thinking deep Halloween thoughts!


Want more Patriotic themed DIY Shoe Ideas?  Keep reading!

How to make tie-dye patriotic 4th of July shoes by Jennifer Perkins

4th of July Flag DIY Canvas Shoes – Did you really think these Sharpie shoes were my first time at the patriotic shoe rodeo?  Come on, you know me and my love of holidays better than that.

DIY Notebook Paper Inspired Shoes by Jennifer Perkins

Notebook Paper Themed DIY Paint Pen Shoes – These red, white and blue slip-ons that look like notebook paper could totally pass in a pinch this 4th of July.  Maybe you could go in with a black marker and write some of the Constitution on the lines?

DIY boating shoes with whales by Jennifer Perkins

Wally the Whale DIY Boating Shoes – Going out on the boat this summer?  Ok, me neither.  BUT if I had a boat somewhere cool like Nantucket I’d be sure to make a pair of DIY slip-on shoes with whales on them to wear.

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