There are tons of useful tutorials about painted sneakers online. Pinterest has thousands of posts, many of which are extremely detailed and very well done. I was in a rush to come up with a last-minute birthday gift for a friend of mine who literally has the cutest wardrobe and accessories, but nothing one-of-a-kind.
I absolutely love how these came out, as my first attempt in painting sneakers my way. While I love using Pinterest for idea inspiration sometimes, I’ve actually wanted to do this for a very long time.
I’m not sure if I should’ve kept going, or kept the white parts white as I did. I think these would’ve looked even better if I’d had the time to fill them up. The good news, though, is that this gift took me all of an hour to make! (Thank you, Mother Earth, for letting the sun shine that day, for super fast drying time!)
Okay, so without further ado, here’s how you make painted sneakers:
- 1 pair canvas sneakers – any color will do, I just chose white for this particular project
- Acrylic paints (made for textiles) in chosen colors – I decided on a two color palette with two additional variations
- Black oil-based Sharpie – extra fine point
- Scotchgard or Krylon Clear Matte Spray
- Assorted paintbrushes
- Pencil – I prefer mechanical pencils because of the fine lines that can be covered with paint, but any sharp pencil will do.
- Start by wiping down the sneakers with a damp washcloth or rag. Don’t saturate them, but make sure to swipe off that fuzz that’s on them if they’re brand new. If they’re used, you may want to wash them or scrub them well and let them dry – but the good news is that you can paint over any stains!
- Lightly sketch your design on. I say this because if you decide to change your mind later on, the pencil will be hard to remove (you can do it with a very clean eraser, but it’s a pain in the you know what). I didn’t get any photos of this step, but I will next time, I promise!
- Next, block out your base colors. For me, it was the lighter blue and the darker green. Just fill in the spaces and don’t worry if you lose some of your sketched design – you’ll remember it. ;)
- Once you’ve blocked in your colors, it’s time to fill in your design! I chose to keep it pretty simple, and only added some darker blue streaks coming from the center of my flowers out to the tips. In this case, using a combination of long, sweeping strokes plus short spiky ones added more depth to the flowers.
- After that, I let the paint dry thoroughly in the sun. You could use a hair dryer to speed it up too, but the point is that you want to make sure all the paint is dry before the next step.
- Take your oil-based Sharpie (I prefer the extra-fine tip, since it gives me more control with a finer line to start with), and outline all your elements. This adds some definition, but also helps cover up any jagged lines. Make your lines as thin or as thick as you like.
- I also used my Sharpie to add some details to the flowers, such as the super short lines coming from the centers, and a few long, sweeping lines to add even deeper dimension to the petals.
- You can clean up any mistakes with more paint. Add on to your design as you see fit – nothing is off limits! Oh, and don’t forget to sign your masterpiece!
- Spray the shoes completely with Scotchgard or Krylon spray to seal them. Otherwise, the first time these babies get wet, they will lose their fresh look!
- Once again, set in the sun or use a hair dryer to get everything dry, and you’re finished!
I’d love to see your designs… If you upload to instagram, tag me @larakulpa!