It started on Pinterest, like almost all crafty things in my life a brief scroll through Pinterest led to a full-fledged obsession. I ran across some amazing custom painted shoes and decided since my budget couldn’t fit such fabulous kicks I would instead embark on the quest to make my own. Although in every other area of my life I suffer from complete lack of confidence, in crafts I always seem to overestimate my craft abilities. Luckily this project actually turned out to be pretty easy (with a couple of little cheats).
To start I bought some inexpensive white canvas shoes from my Local Target. I think they were about $15. Lots of the ones I saw on Pinterest were name brand shoes like Converse or Vans but I didn’t want to chance screwing up $40-60 dollar shoes. I’m craft confident but not craft cocky.
First I painted the canvas shoes with Gesso (a canvas primer you can pick up at most craft / art stores) over the areas I was planning on painting, then let it dry completely before anything else.
I taped off the parts I didn’t want paint on and then painted on my back ground.
I used acrylic paint (also from craft stores) since it dries quickly and is water resistant when dry (I’m super tempted to use science to explain to you why here but I will resist in interest of brevity and keeping everyone’s attention).
Now for the fun part! Characters!!! Emperor’s New Groove is one of my all-time favorite films and I think one of the most underappreciated Disney movies. I have a circle of friends who spent most of a year watching this movie on repeat and can basically act it out verbatim from start to finish. Since there wasn’t a single image of Emperor’s New Groove shoes on all of the Internets that I could find I became obsessed with the idea of making a pair for one of my favorite people as a birthday surprise.
Although I have been known to draw somewhat convincing stick figures in my time I knew that the Disney characters were so iconic anything I drew even slightly off would be glaringly obvious.
So instead I came up with the idea of tracing the characters from coloring books I had around the house. In case you are not the kind of adult that has several coloring books you can always do an image search for the character you want as a coloring page. (I found coloring pages to work best since the pictures are usually simplified and flattened making them easier to translate into tiny paintings).
I just cut out the images, placed a piece of tracing paper between the image and the shoe (I used the kind I could erase with a pencil eraser) and then traced the image (ran my pencil over all the lines on the image) which then transferred all the lines onto the shoe where I wanted it.
Next I found it easiest to draw over the lines with a fine tip permanent sharpie followed by the fun part of adding color with paint. I used pretty small brushes and just filled in the lines, I used pictures off the internet as color reference or I just watched the movie again (such a hardship I know).
Once the paint dried I traced over the black lines again with the fine tip permanent sharpie.
I added some embellishing touches and once everything was completely dry I sprayed both shoes with Scotch Guard to waterproof them.
Then “Boom Baby” they were done! I also repeated these steps for a pair of Little Mermaid shoes for myself.
I’m pretty happy with the way they turned out and will probably be making a few more in the future. They should definitely be fun to wear around the Disney parks the next time I go and I might even try to get Ariel to sign my Little Mermaid ones.
What do you guys think? Any questions?