Thursday, September 26, 2013

How I Paint Canvas Shoes

Hey hey!!

 I have been very busy working on some non-blog related stuff and I haven't really had time to post anything new.  Please don't hate me!   Now that I finally have a minute to work on my own stuff  I finally have a little tutorial for you... I'm going to show you how I made these bad boys:

My cousin had asked me a couple of months ago if I would paint her a pair of Toms.  Of course!  She wanted something Totoro.  I searched around until I found this adorable picture:


Now onto the actual shoes...

 Grab a clean/new pair of canvas shoes (Toms, Bobs, whatever).   Next you are going to stuff some plastic bags inside the shoe.

The plastic bags bulk up the shoe and make it easier to draw and paint on. 

 Then we are going to start sketching out the design in pencil.  The perk of pencil is that you can completely erase it off of the shoe if you make a mistake.

Once you are happy with your pencil drawing you are going to go over your design in a permanent, acid-free, waterproof art pen.  As you can see from the above picture I use Staedtler brand pens.  I actually used the .1 size and not the .7.   The .1 is much finer and you'll be able to get much more detail in.

Now that the design is outlined we can move onto the painting stage.  However, before we jump into it I want to tell you what I use and what your options are. 

I use just simple craft paints with a textile medium mixed in.  I basically make my own fabric paint, but you can easily just go buy fabric paint.   If you already have craft paint (or any acrylic paint) lying around it may be cheaper to buy the textile medium and make your own.  However, if you are already buying paints for this, you may just want to buy the already made fabric paint.

Also brushes:

For shoes you are going to need TINY brushes.  Go to your local craft store and ask for detail brushes.  The might look intimidatingly small, but I promise the size will make getting all the little details in so much easier.

Now we can move onto the painting stage.


The painting is more time consuming than it is challenging.  You pretty much just have to color in the lines.  This is also where those tiny brushes come in handy...

WAIT!!! I almost forgot...

The biggest tip I have for painting canvas shoes is to use very small, dabbing strokes.  If you take anything away from this tutorial let that be it.  Because of the deep weave of the canvas you really have to dab the brush in there to get the paint even.   You may have to do a couple of coats of paint to get an even color.  The canvas tends to soak up the paint a bit. 

Just keep painting in the lines until you are finished! 

 Ta da!!!  You're all done.  Let them dry for 24 hrs before wearing them.

I hope you found this helpful!  Leave a comment if you have any questions.

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