After my class at the Dressing Your Truth event last month I had A LOT of questions about how to paint shoes (if you don't know what DYT is you've GOT to check it out. It's amazing). I think people are scared to actually try it for fear of messing up, but it's SUPER easy, trust me. If I can do it, anyone can do it!! It's also super cheap, which I LOVE!! I love going to thrift stores now and looking at the sea of boring black shoes knowing that I can create something unique and fabulous without a lot of money or effort. Gotta love that!
I had to laugh because I had 3 women over a few weeks ago who were wanting to try it. At first they kind of sat there not sure of what to do once they got their shoe prepped. So I said, "Okay, open up the jar of paint and dip your paint brush in there and brush it on your shoe". They kind of looked at me like, "It can't be that easy. Surely there's got to be something harder involved?". But they soon realized that it's so easy that anyone can do it and they're now totally hooked.
My children have even gotten into the whole shoe painting thing and have painted several pairs of shoes already within the last few months.
These are my T3 daughter's tennis shoes that she has worn every day for the last 3 months. She painted them with Lumiere paints. She didn't prep them as well as she should have (she just used fingernail polish remover). I should have used full strength acetone on them and scrubbed all of the wax off of the leather first, which is really important to do with tennis shoes I've since discovered, because the waxy layer can cause cracking. If we had prepped them well first the paint wouldn't be coming off. But she loves them and she painted them all by herself! She told me that she was going to paint them while I went to the grocery store and when I had come home she had created a beautiful pair of shoes. I thought she would just paint it one color, but she got really creative. I think they turned out SO cute!!! She's very proud of these shoes.
I saw a shoe I loved on Pinterest about 6 months ago and brainstormed how I could recreate it.
(This is the Pinterest shoe)
This is what I finally came up with. I painted the shoe using Angelus leather paints and then used a paper doily that I painted gray and glued it onto my shoe (using E6000 glue)....
I've had the before and after shoe waiting until after my class so I could finally finish it, since I wanted to show what was possible with these paints. I was so excited to finally finish them so I could wear them.
Here are the steps on how to paint shoes......
1. First, prep the shoe really well with either alcohol (if it's real leather) or acetone (if man-made leather) to make sure that the paint won't crack when you wear them. This step is super important!! If using acetone for the man-made leather, use gloves and make sure you do it outside. The stuff is nasty.
2. Dip cotton ball into solution (alcohol or acetone) and rub all over the shoe. Let shoe dry.
You'll get the color of the shoe coming off onto the cotton ball. That's a good sign.
3. Paint shoe. I use a fan brush so you don't see brush marks (and it's faster that way). I custom mixed a color using Angelus turquoise and gray and put it into a pot. Then just dip the brush into the paint and start painting.
4. The first layer won't look that great, but be patient. The next layer (or two if needed) will look fabulous! Just let the coats dry really well before you paint another one on. If you get paint in a place that you don't want it, just dip a Q-tip into water and rub it off. It comes right off before it's dry.
(don't be scared - it gets better!)
(See? Only two coats and it looks good)
I used two coats for the blue and two coats for the gray heel. I like using a smaller, detail brush to go over the edges and cover the mistakes I made. You can also seal the paint with the appropriate sealer, or use "Pledge Premium Floor Finish with Future Shine". I almost prefer not to seal them because I don't like the shiny finish when they're finished, but it's a matter of preference. Here's a picture of them all finished. I'm wearing a shoe clip on the back of them that I made, but I've worn them without the clips as well.
And that's all there is to it. Don't be intimidated and know that it's super easy. You can do it, I promise!!! Have fun creating amazing shoes! Here are some other shoes I've done....
The neon colors are much harder to work with unfortunately (like the Parisian Pink I used on the one above). They are watery and I had to add white paint to the pink in order for it to not look totally streaky. I think I used 8-10 layers on this shoe. I wouldn't suggest using the neon ones, but if you are dying to, then be warned that it will take a lot of extra work.
Well, I'm back from the Dressing Your Truth Conference that I taught at last weekend. The event was incredible and amazing as usual. It's so hard to describe how wonderful it is to people that don't go because there is so much love, acceptance and positive energy that is there and it's like nothing else I've ever experienced. So worth it!! I met so many incredible women and teaching my classes was so much fun! (This is me in the silver dress. I look like an Amazon woman in between tiny Sarah and Anne).
They asked me to teach a refashioning class at the event, which I was super excited about since I love that topic and am always brainstorming how I can make something better or get it to work. It has been a lot of fun (and super time consuming) experimenting the last 6 months using different paints, techniques, and brainstorming to figure out what works well and doesn't work so well in regards to refashioning.
I wanted the women that came to get some really useful tips on how to change their wardrobe easily from something that didn't work with their style, to something that was perfect for their type (see Dressing Your Truth to learn your type of beauty and how to dress it), and to be able to do it fast and for super cheap. I was especially excited to share what I learned on painting designs on T-shirts, painting jeans to be the right type (yes - I did say painting :D), and changing the color of shoes, which opens up a whole world of possibilities! So many women told me after seeing my display table out in the hallway that they thought it was just going to be a "crafting" class so they didn't go to my class, but if they had known what I was going to be teaching they would have been there. That was really unfortunate because I taught and showed examples of how to use fingernail polish, special paints I found for painting fabric, and leather, etc. I had really great feedback about my classes which I was grateful for, especially after spending hundreds of hours experimenting and thinking about it.
One of the things that people loved learning about in my class was how to add designs to clothing. As I experimented with different paints to see what I liked the best I came up with several things.
Probably the easiest way, and the best as far as the colors available, is to use fabric medium added to acrylic paint. I took a plain T-shirt, which was incredibly boring in my opinion, and added a fabulous design so now it's something I wear often and don't have to feel blah and boring when I wear it. (oh dear, is that a spot on my nice shirt? Oh well, it's going to be covered up eventually anyway)
Buy a cute stencil from the craft store along with "fabric medium", which is a watery, milky consistency. Add one part fabric medium to one part acrylic paint and mix well. I used a foam brush. And yes, I should have used a paper plate but I was lazy and grabbed the first thing I could find.
For these shirts I actually used a beautiful metallic paint from Modern Masters called "Metallic Paint collection" in some great T2 colors. I also added some silver glitter paint from Jones Tones that I found HERE, which gave it a beautiful sparkly effect.
Put cardboard or something thick in between the layers of the shirt so it doesn't bleed through to the back. Nothing like having nice spots on the back of your fabulous creation. Trust me, I learned the hard way on that one.
For best results, use spray adhesive on the back side of the stencil so it doesn't slide and you get a nice clean line. Place stencil on shirt where you want the design to be.
Just dab the paint from the foam brush all over the stencil. Not too thick, but you want a decent layer.
Keep painting until you have it the way you want it. I wasn't very careful to let each one dry first. I'm more of a "don't want to spend lots of time on this project" kind of a girl, so I just did it really fast.
I added the pink one on there because I thought it needed some pizzazz.
I really like how it turned out. The first one was so easy that I pulled out several more shirts that evening and decided to do those as well. (notice the tree top cardboard in there? I had to take out all of the apple juice cans from the box because I couldn't find any other cardboard to use. Whatever works, right?)
This is my favorite stencil. I think it has probably about 50 layers of paint on it now from all of the paint I've used over the last 6 months....
I have no idea what all of those dark spots are on the picture, but they're not on the shirt, I promise.
The design kind of looks like an owl....
I think I did a total of 4 shirts in about 90 minutes. Not bad for an evening!
I hung them all up to dry and didn't wash them for a day and a half. It says to wait 48 hours, but I get impatient. They turned out just fine and there was no fading. Whew! The fabric feels a little on the stiff side, but it's nothing bad. I like things super soft and comfy but it doesn't bother me at all.
As I was doing hours of research on this I wanted to see if other fabric mediums would be better and I read several really good things about GAC (which stands for Golden Acrylic Mediums) and that it stays really soft and doesn't get hard like the other fabric mediums. It's kind of expensive, but I bought it anyway because I wanted to test it out and be knowledgeable about the subject. After using it I found that it wasn't any better than the cheaper stuff, so don't spend your money.
Stay tuned for more posts on some of the things I taught. Changing color of jewelry, paint shoes using what the professionals do, flowers, etc.