Shoe Makeover: Tennies to Laced Up Flats
There is something about multicolored leopard print that says “Jen” . Perhaps she was really into Lisa Frank when we were kids or something but every time I see anything with that particular color scheme and pattern I snap it up for my sister. So when I saw these shoes there was no option but to buy them for her. But I didn’t see them actually travelling to her in the same manner they were purchased. No, I had big plans for these shoes.
The kind of plans where someone said “are you seriously cutting up those brand new sneakers right now?” My response: “are you really surprised?”
Now to be honest, this wasn’t the shoe makeover I’d even planned for today. I just went in for new laces for the project I had already begun in the morning but they got pushed to the side as soon as I got home. And you know what? I’m pretty happy with that decision.
Here are the shoes brand spanking new and there’s nothing wrong with them but I have other plans in mind. You can still see the $6 Dollar General tag on them which I thought was a steal!
For this project you will need:
- canvas tennis shoes
- sharp scissors
- x-acto knife
- a round implement (like a mechanical pencil)
- rivets/eyelets and setter (optional)
- 54″ shoelaces
So first things first, we’ve got to get to hacking on these suckers. First using your scissors cut close to the stitched curve for the heel. Try to maintain the same distance for a nice, even look.
Keep cutting until the heel is free. Trim up as necessary to even up.
Next cut out the sides and the tongue. It doesn’t need to be a close cut at this point. We’re just making it easier to get in there to finish and get a clean cut.
Take your x-acto knife and run between the canvas for the sides and tongue and the stitching on the toe portion. You’re actually going to sever the threads that connect the parts we’re working to remove. Work slowly and carefully as you don’t want to accidentally cut into the part that is going to stay.
Next you’ll need to remove all of the thread from this portion. It should pull out really easily. You could even take a bit of masking tape and knock it out really quickly.
Check inside of the show where the fold is. The stitching had previously been holding this fold in. Does yours want to come undone? If so hit it with a small amount of fabric glue to keep the fold inside of the shoe.
Take your knife and run it as close to the rubber sole as possible, trimming the canvas on the sides away.
And look at that! One down and one to go. Continue the process for your other shoe.
Now we’re going to make the holes for our laces. I used eyelets because it looks nicer, but for the most part the laces cover things up to where you could just cut holes in your shoes with your knife and use an anti-fray glue to keep the holes from getting ragged on you.
I found that I had an easier time making the holes if I cut an X with my x-acto knife and then pushed the writing end of a mechanical pencil into the hole to kind of bore it out. My shoes had a strong rubber inside that yours may not have in which case this will prove unnecessary for you.
Here’s where you’re going to place your eyelets/holes on the sides. You also will place two on the toe. That’s 10 holes/eyelets per shoe.
Now comes the fun part. Here is how I laced my shoes for these photos. I played around afterward and there are a bunch of ways you can tie by starting in the front or whatnot. This is why we get the 54″ super long laces so that we only use one per shoe in spite of all of the back and forth and criss-crossing.
Here I wrapped the laces around my ankles.
Here I pulled the laces through the lace up front and tied.
And here I tied a bow at the back of the shoe. Now, the laces were dragging on the ground so I trimmed the laces to a good length and used a lighter to seal them off. I figure this is how my sister will wear them the most, but I got her two pairs of laces so that she can play around with the different ways of tying them.
Aren’t they so cute from the back with their little bows? They remind me of a corset!
So what do you think? Will you be carving on a pair of tennies any time soon? Happy Tuesday and see you next week!