How to Customize your Kicks & Trick Out Your Sneakers with Elmer's Painters

A few weekends ago, the family and I were in San Francisco and came across a few stores selling canvas shoes with custom artwork.  It was my youngest daughter who remarked, "Hey, we could do that!"  So when I had the opportunity to write a craft tutorial for Elmer's using their Painters Opaque Paint Markers, I knew right away what I'd be making.  I already use Painters on glass, plastic, fabric, paper and wood.  So, why not canvas shoes?

What I love most about Elmer's Painters is that I have much more control than I would with a paintbrush.  They're so easy to use, especially for those of us born without the Rembrandt gene.

Customizing your canvas kicks is easy, inexpensive and fun. 

Everything you need to make totally custom, rockin' sneaks can be found at your local Walmart store.

Here's how it's done...

Custom Painted Sneakers
with Elmer's Painters


A pair of canvas sneakers
(I purchased mine for $5 at Walmart.)

Elmer's Painters Opaque Paint Markers in colors of your choice
(Elmer's Painters come in different tip sizes and color collections.  There's a fine tip, medium tip and calligraphy tip.  I recommend the medium tip for fill-in.)

Elmer's Painters Opaque Paint Marker in Black, fine tip for outlining (individual makers can be purchased at Walmart for $1.97/ea)

A disappearing ink pen
(Found in the sewing department.  Use the purple side.)

Scotch Guard Fabric Protector Spray

Let's get started...

Step 1:  Decide on a design.  The shoes I made were for my daughter who requested a skull on the toe and flames on the side.  I found some pictures online that she liked, then printed them out to use as a reference.  Remove shoelaces from shoes.

Step 2:  Once you've decided on your artwork and how you want to lay it out, sketch your design on the canvas shoes using the purple side of the disappearing ink pen.  You don't have to worry about making a mistake or re-drawing because the ink will disappear (times may vary depending on brand).

Step 3:  Once you're happy with your sketch, go over your design with a fine tip Painter's marker.

Step 4:  Add color.  I love that Painters can be blended to create a gradient.

Step 5:  Fill in the background using a medium tip Painter.  Use the fine tip for the smaller areas.

Step 6:  Spray with a coat of Scotch guard.  Dry.  Repeat.  Re-thread shoelaces (or add some colorful ones) and enjoy!

You can stay up to date on all the creative happenings at Elmer's on Facebook and Twitter

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™. #CBias #SocialFabric

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