Shoe Makeover: Painted Faux Saddle Shoes Tutorial
The very first shoe makeover I ever shared on my blog was faux saddle shoes. They did really well but the design was pretty basic. Using only a black fabric Sharpie, I made myself a faux pair of something I wanted badly but didn’t want to spend $50 on. And in the end, it was for the best because I wore the shoes maybe twice before giving them to my sister where all the unwanted made-over shoes go.
And my sister loves them. And these saddle shoes she loved and wore and washed so much that the black sharpie all but came out of the shoes. The saddle parts were a light gray at best. So I decided to make her a new, more durable pair with a bit more interesting detail. Now if you want to see those first fake saddle shoes, you can see the DIY here, but I assure you these new ones are much more impressive!
I decided this go that I’d use fabric paint which is far less likely to wash out after multiple wears. I also decided that these shoes needed some cute little dots just like the faux painted oxfords I shared last year to give them a little extra pizzazz. But most importantly, I mixed up how I placed the saddle marks. Want to make some of your own? Let’s get it.
For this project you will need:
- white canvas sneakers
- black fabric paint (I used Tulip soft fabric paint in black)
- paintbrush (I like a firm brush meant for fabric painting)
- cotton swabs
And here is the obligatory before picture. Nothing special, just a pair of cheap tennies. The toe on the right one is kind of dent in, but it’s late in the season for these types of shoes and you’ve got to take what you can get. Be sure to grab a pair now if you want to make some for Halloween (can you say perfect addition to a poodle skirt?)
Make a little puddle of your fabric paint and dip your brush in. We’re going to go around the piping on the shoe, the eyelets and follow the shape that the toe portion makes where sewn on top of the body of the shoe.
You can use your fingers to lift/pull back the piping a bit to get a nice, clean edge. Also clean your brush fairly regularly to keep nice, clean lines. As the paint loads up on the brush, it pushes toward the handle and makes heavier strokes than it did in the beginning.
See in the pic how I’m not going onto the toe of the shoe? That’s where the black will end. It falls neatly in line while you’re painting.
Also, if you get paint on your eyelets it’s not a big deal at all. Use a cotton swab to remove the paint. I find that if I try to remove the paint right after my mistake I tend to just move the paint around. But if I wait just a little bit, say a few minutes, as it dries up a bit (but not all of the way) it cleans up much easier.
To finish off the middle sections, take your brush and paint a slightly curved line. Start it right where the stitching for the heel meets the sole of the shoe and go upward.
When finished with one side of one shoe, use it as a guide for your other shoe. This helps to maintain more consistency than if you painted each shoe willly nilly.
To finish paint the back with a little stripe. You can make it straight up and down or you can curve the edges as I did.
To finish up, take your brush and make sweet little dots all around. If you use a small brush and just barely dip it in the paint each go, you’ll have fairly uniform dots without any effort.
Let them dry all of the ways and then get them laced back up.
And while I said that these were my sister and I originally meant it, the second I put these suckers on my feet I decided that I was just going to have to make another pair for her!
Hoping you love these easy and super sweet kicks – and don’t forget if you want to make a pair for Halloween costumes, but the shoes NOW!