In this post I will show you how to transform a plain pair of shoes into your own unique creation using just paint, paper and glue. This project will take you 4-6 hours from start to finish.
Tools and materials:
- An old pair of shoes: leather works best, avoid suede or fabric
- A couple of medium-size flat paint brushes, an old kabuki brush
- Scalpel, nail scissors
- Paper towels, soft cloth, newspaper
- White acrylic paint or acrylic primer
- Sanding block, fine grade sanding paper
- Patterned paper napkins: the three main places where I source these are Ikea, Flying Tiger and online sources such as Napkin Shop on Ebay.
- Glue: I recommend “Mod Podge outdoors” for this project
Decide on your pattern: random torn pieces work best and are easiest to apply.
Starting from the border of the shoe, paint a very thin layer of glue, pat down a piece of paper with your finger and lightly brush a layer of glue on top. Do the same with the next piece, slightly overlapping on the previous one. Alternate between shoes if the surface starts getting soggy. Avoid touching the pieces of paper you’ve just glued as you may lift them. Once the whole area is covered, allow to dry.
Paint a thin layer of glue all over. Allow to dry: you may notice that this top layer stays tacky for quite a while, as it takes 2-3 days for it to “cure” and dry completely. After that your upcycled shoes are ready to wear and be admired!
Below you can see several stunning examples of work by students who attended one of my shoe decoupage workshops. None of them had previous experience of the technique, which they learned under my guidance over the course of a four-hour class. Interested in attending one of my upcoming creative courses? Find details and see next available dates here.