Friday, May 27, 2011

Two Ways to Revamp Canvas Shoes

A few months ago my friend Kolby (Ape Island Index) and I discussed the best way to remove an image from canvas shoes.  We both got a sweet deal on some shoes but they just weren't exactly what we wanted.  After some brainstorming I decided that what I was going to do was simply paint mine.  I'll show you what Kolby did a little later.


I got these shoes 3 and a half years ago at a consignment sale for 50 cents or a dollar, I don't really remember.  I love toile but really what in the world are you going to wear it with.  Remember the Project Runway disaster with Peach's toile pants that Ivy ruched?  What was she thinking?  Anyway... back to the story... I got these for my daughter but she outgrew them before I could put her in them.  They are way too girly for my son so they needed a manly makeover.  Here's what I did -

Step 1:  Remove Laces.

Step 2:  Carefully paint shoe using acrylic paint.  You can tape it off if you don't have a steady hand.  If you are impatient like me and make a mess (like in the photo above) simply use a q-tip and nail polish remover to remove any mistakes from the rubber.  I even painted over the metal lace holes.  The paint doesn't stick to this so I just scratched it off.

Step 3:  Be patient and let it dry before you put the laces back in.  I wasn't and got some paint on the laces.  Bummer.  That doesn't come off.

So simple right???  Thirty minutes later I was squeezing those fat baby feet into the shoes.  Love the makeover.  Love the squishy baby legs more.

Now, back to Kolby's shoes.  He didn't like the color and he wasn't sold on the pattern.  Here's what he did.

"I tried bleach, oxy clean, hydrogen peroxide. I should have tried some paint remover for automotive paint but didn't. I tried dying the pattern with RIT dye and that didn't do anything. So I took some dark blue RIT dye and taped off the parts I didn't want dyed like the rubber sides of soles and stuff and put them in a bucket. The turquoise part ended up a good looking navy blue color. I put some leather laces in em and wear em quite often because now they aren't so festive. People compliment me on them but they are mostly girls so maybe they just want my girly looking shoes?"
His before:
The After:

I think they look awesome and not girly at all.  The pattern is much more subtle and the color is fantastic.  Make sure you check out his blog, Ape Island Index.  He's so funny and very talented.  He builds cars and makes creme brulee!  What's cooler than that?  Nothing. 

So, there you have it.  Two ways to revamp canvas shoes.  Next time you see a pair on sale and aren't sold on the color/pattern you now know what to do.

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