Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cheap Shoe Makeover

So I bought these shoes for $3 at Walmart to go with a dress, and ended up not wearing them. I would never wear plain white flats otherwise, and these looked so cheap...probably because they were. I have seen painted shoes before, and I didn't have much to lose, so I decided to try a makeover. They turned out so well that I decided to share how to make them!

Large flat paint brush
Small flat detail brush
Acrylic paint
Paint sealer
Ugly pleather/synthetic shoes
Bows/charms/whatever to decorate

Make sure your shoes are clean before you start, so the paint will stick.
I just used some plain acrylic paint I had from Joann's:

And this great multi purpose sealer I got there as well.

I also had a flat tip paint brush, about 3/4" wide, and another about 1/4" wide. I used the large brush over most of the shoe, and the smaller one for the edges so I didn't smear paint on the fabric edge or the rubber.

Ok, so start with one coat of paint. Doesn't need to be even, and you can spread it thin. The first coat doesn't stick well, but that's why we do more than one.

Next, add another coat. You can put it on a little thicker this time, since it will stick better. It might look good enough, but we will do one more coat for insurance.

Finally, do a third coat. This should give you an even color all over.

Let your paint dry completely, and then move onto the sealer. It comes out white, but it dries clear. Brush it on thin, and go slow. It might bring up a little of the paint and look like it will be uneven or bubbly, but just brush in long, even strokes and it should look ok when it dries.

Next are the bows. I had a rectangle of wool felt, and I cut it in half to make two 3"x4" rectanlges.

Put two folds in your rectangle and pinch to make a bow. Take a 1/2" strip of felt and wrap it around a few times, stopping in the back.

Run a few stitches through the back of your bow with some embroidery floss (floss is made up of 6 strands, but I only used 3), making sure to catch both the bow and the strip.

If you want to sew on a charm, you can do that, too.

To sew your bow onto your shoes, use a needle with a big eye and a sharp point. You may want to grab a thimble to push the needle through. Starting on the inside of the shoe, go out through the pleather, catch the back of the bow, and go down and back through the pleather. Put about 3-4 loose stitches in, and carefully pull all the stitches taut and tie a few knots in your thread, and cut.

All done with your new shoes! I am really pleased with how these came out, and now I am going to scour my closet to see if I have any other shoes I can paint!

I wore these today to see how they held up, and despite rubbing them together and running into things, they have no scratches. That sealer is the key, it really makes them look nice and durable.


  1. Very good result :3
    Thx for your tute !


  2. Love these! Have shared your link on my blog today:

  3. Thanks for sharing. I think this could lead me to cheap shoes indeed. These could also generate some stylish shoes also

    shoe deals

  4. Omigosh, you went from $3 shoes to designer-looking ones! How smart! Whatever made you think of this? And how did you know not to give up after the first layer of paint, let alone the whole idea?

  5. PS How did you find shoes for $3? Do they sell shoes for $3 very often? Heck, I don't get that deal at thrift shops!