I Love to Create: Customizing Your Kicks

Two book reviews in one week, crazy I know. However, this week’s episode of I Love to Create just fit in so perfectly with a book in my review que I had to combine forces. The book is Altered Shoes: a step-by-step Guide to Making Your Footwear Fabulous by Marty Stevens-Heebner. The project is making your own customized Mary Janes. Ya see, the two go together like PB&J.

I first met Marty on the set of Craft Lab when she was a guest and we clicked immediately. When I discovered she was doing a book about customizing shoes with paint, glue and decoupage I knew she was my kind of gal. A quick trip through the I Love to Create website and you could easily make almost all of the projects in Altered Shoes. The Over the Rainbow Slip Ons could be taken to an all new level with Tulip X-treme Paint. Tulip® Glam-It-Up!™ Iron-On Crystals would work perfectly on the sassy Viva Las Vegas Stilettos. Grab a bottle of Collage Pauge Instant Decoupage to make the Safari Sneakers. Fabric Fusion Glue would adhere the fabric to the shoes on the Crazy Quilt Granny Boots. The list of cute customizable shoes in the book goes on and on.

The other thing I love about Altered Shoes are the anecdotal stories sprinkled throughout from various people in Marty’s life. I’m proud to be one of those people. There is a whole page dedicated to my three favorite pairs of shoes: my Jeffrey Campbell Pencil shoes, pink Old Gringo cowboy boots, and Adidas rainbow tennis shoes. The story mentions that I have over 200 pairs of shoes, I’d like to state for the record that this has been whittled down to make room for baby. I only have 4 door hanging shoe racks and 1 closet of shoes left. I have not counted, but I know that I edited out quite a few.

Today on I Love to Create I am going to be branching out and making my own shoes. My inspiration came from a pair of shoes by the brand Camper. With the help of some silhouettes from Complete Embellishing, I whipped up my own version in no time flat. Grab yourself a pair of white Mary Jane’s and play along.

1 Pair Cotton Mary Janes
Tulip One Step Fashion Dye
Black Craft Felt
White Craft Felt
Fabric Fusion Glue
Clothes Pins
Pinking Shears

You might want to dye your shoes outside and put down a trash bag as a drop cloth as not to make a mess. Follow the instructions for the Tulip One Step Fashion Dye which is basically add water to bottle and shake. It was like using hair dye in a box, super easy.

Once your dye is mixed and your gloves are on saturate your shoes. Make sure to get a nice even coat. The white plastic soles of the shoes repelled the dye which is exactly what I was hoping they would do.

Once your shoes are totally covered in dye put them in a plastic bag and wait 6-8 hours. Next wash your shoes using cold water and just a little soap.

I scanned in the silhouettes & frame from Kayte Terry’s Complete Embellishing to use on my shoes. I printed them out and used scissors to cut out the couple and used pinking shears to cut out the frame.

I used Fabric Fusion Glue to first adhere each white profile to the black frame and then the entire thing to the toe of the shoe it’s self. Clothes pins were used to hold everything in place.

After about 24 hours your glue should be totally dry and your new shoes should be ready to wear out on the town!

If you are thinking of customizing your own kicks might I suggest picking up a copy of my friend Marty Stevens-Heebner’s Altered Shoes. The book got my wheels turning and inspired my new mary janes with a Jane Austen feel.

Suggested Shoe Reading:
Altered Shoes – Marty has a whole web page about her fun book!

If It Ain’t Broke Spray Paint It – When my sister Hope Perkins does not have a pair of shoes to match her outfit, she grabs a can of spray paint.

Mad for Plaid: Use masking tape to make custom plaid sneakers.

Crafty Graffiti – Make custom graffiti Vans in the Craft Lab with Traci Bautista and I.

Felt Baby Booties – Make your little whipper snapper customized booties.

11 Responses to “I Love to Create: Customizing Your Kicks”

  1. JustATish

    Great fun!

    it has been a tradition in our house since my daughter could hold a paint brush to paint me a pair of tennis shoes every year. Even now – she will be 27, i still get a painted pair of tennis shoes. I dont’ get them every year since we have moved over to canvas chuck taylors and they last longer.

    I never have a bad day when I wear my ‘happy shoes’

  2. Jennifer Perkins - Naughty Secretary Club

    I love that idea, I will be putting Tallulah to work on this ASAP. I have never painted any shoes for mom, but my sister and I have adorned shoes with paint and pens since I can remember. I know when I was in Jr High I would always get a pair of white keds for all my friends to sign. I still have them stuffed away in a closet at my parents house. When I was in High School I would collect

  3. Michelle

    i love taking a stencil and spray painting through them. especially a nice vintage filligree pattern! the best is when the pattern i have on my shoes is seen on my bag or even on my necklace! it’s fab! i make my own jewellry and this supplier, Stones and Findings, has the greatest filigree pendants

  4. Anonymous

    Thanks for your nice sharing first.I don’t know if you are shopping online or not.I always do this.
    I think it is a very convenience and save time way to buy goods.

  5. FURYous1970

    I've been painting/doodling on my Converse Chuck Taylor and NBA high-tops since I was in high school. Now my kids are in HS and doing the same thing!

  6. FURYous1970

    Used to have a few black and navy blue fabric Mary Janes. But I haven't seen them anywhere lately. I absolutely loved them. I painted cat faces on the black ones and wrapped the tail around the back. Where on earth did you find them?
    Let me know if they're still available. My email: FURYous1970@yahoo.com


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