Shoe Makeover: DIY Faux Painted Oxfords
I’m really digging the whole oxford trend right now. Maybe it is because my mom was rocking the androgynous look way before it was cool or because I love Diane Keaton, but I’ve always had a thing for women wearing men’s apparel and making it feminine and beautiful.
My favorite pair of oxfords I have are men’s solid tan suede and so cute but I’m crushing on all of the super cute two toned oxfords like these and these. Since those suckers are so far out of the budget I decided to make my own out of a pair of cheap tennis shoes. I’ll be rocking my new kicks while saving up for the oxfords of my dreams!
Want to make your own faux painted oxfords? It’s really easy. You will need:
- White Tennis Shoes
- Water Soluble Fabric Marking Pen
- Fabric Paint OR Acrylic Paint + Fabric Medium
- Paint Brushes, Small and Medium Sized
- Wet Rag
Step 1: Purchase cheap white tennis shoes. They sell these ready to mark up sneaks just about everywhere. Check big box stores, super stores and discount shoe stores for great deals. I got these for $5 from Wal Mart. The only prep step is to remove the shoestrings.
Step 2: Use a water soluble fabric marking pen to draw out the oxford design on your shoes. Remember oxfords have dots all around them. First mark up either side of the lace eyelets. When I was a kid I had oxfords that had markings like shown in the pic above. I LOVED those shoes and so I decided to mimic the style here. Continue drawing out the design on the toe, sides and heel.
To get some ideas, do a Google image search for “oxford shoes”. You can either mimic the style of a single pair or mix and match parts of the designs that you like of multiple pairs!
If you’re not sure about the fabric marking pen, they can be purchased at hobby stores and some superstores. They are blue and most actually say “water soluble” directly on them. They run about a buck and wind up coming very handy if you’re the crafty kind! They also sell disappearing ink style fabric pens. Only use one of these bad boys if you can work very quickly or your design just might disappear on you!
Step 3: Now it is time to start paint up these faux oxfords! Use either fabric paint or you can purchase acrylic craft paint in one of practically a thousand colors and add “fabric medium” to it. Fabric medium is sold in a bottle that looks just like the acrylics and are often to the side in a section just for specialized acrylic additives. You will need to purchase fabric medium from a big craft store.
Use a smaller brush to begin painting to outline the shapes and circles of your design. You can then use a larger brush to cover the big expanses that need painted to make things go a bit more quickly, but take care to go slowly enough that you’re keeping paint off of areas that you don’t want it, like the rubber soles. Have your wet cloth on hand to clean up any mistakes that happen along the way.
Step 4: Paint the tongue of your shoe to match and allow the shoes to dry fully, at least a couple of hours.
Step 5: Take your shoes and give them a quick run under a cold tap. The water will remove all of your blue markings from where you drew on your design. Allow to air dry at least overnight. When dry, relace those bad boys and get to stepping!
And that’s that! There are tons of ways to make these shoes your own. Dye the canvas first for a bold color statement! Use a sharpie marker to color the rubber sole if you’re not digging the white. Change out the shoelaces! Go crazy with your color palette – how about navy and hot pink or black and gold? There’s no reason why these kicks can’t be 100% suited to your personal taste and wardrobe!
If you want to tackle this project but you’re not much of an artist, don’t worry. If you make a mistake with the fabric pen, either run under the tap to start from square 1 or use a wet rag to “erase” your mistakes. You don’t need to be a fantastic painter either… This is like paint by numbers. Take your time and use small brushes. Keep your wet rag on hand to clean up mistakes.
Once you knock out these you just might want to make another pair… Be careful, though – DIYing your own shoes is terribly, terribly habit forming! Until next week!