Boredom is bad for you.
Doodling, on the other hand, has been officially sanctioned and hailed for its many psychological benefits.
This tactic has saved my under-stimulated brain from destruction more than once. And these shoes elevate doodles from a last-ditch defense against boredom to a wearable art form.
This project was inspired on a long train ride, when I spotted a girl coloring shoes with Sharpies to stave off boredom.
I have years of practice drawing flowers, paisley and puzzles in notebooks, so it was easy to create these designs.
Granted, I haven’t worn these shoes with every outfit. But after three years, they look every bit as good as the day I finished them.
So I’m ready to call this experiment a success and offer up the secrets of my method.
- Canvas shoes
- Tiny paintbrush
- Acrylic paint
- Fine-tip permanent marker
- Scotchgard spray
First, remove laces and draw your design with pencil (mechanical is best).
Then take your paintbrush, squirt a small amount of paint, and fill in the designs with color.
This project doesn’t require much paint. I used the leftovers from four tiny bottles my sisters bought for another project (mixing to create more colors), and I didn’t run out.
Also, I used a black paint pen for the background. You might find this easier than using a tiny brush.
Then, use a fine-tip permanent marker to outline your shapes. It’s still important to paint carefully, but this goes a long way to cleaning them up.
I left the stitched sections of my shoes white for greater contrast. To make the edges sharp, I lifted these pieces with my fingernail and painted underneath.
When finished, spray with Scotchgard to protect your masterpiece. I especially wanted to keep the white sections clean and bright—and it worked!
Obviously, this project takes many hours.
The process is relaxing—like doodling—but I have refused all requests for custom, crazy shoes. I’ve told you how to make your own, so go for it!
Although, if I could sneak this project into lectures and meetings, we might have a deal.