How to Customize Your Own Canvas Shoes

Give me a pair of slip-on shoes and you’ve got yourself one happy Mama. Better yet, slip on shoes for the whole family! (Who has time rip and stick velcro? Or even worse tie laces.) I have several pairs of canvas shoes and I wear them any time the temperature is above 40 degrees. If I am feeling especially fancy, I might even shave my legs or something to keep the hairy ankles from making an appearance. (Okay, I’ll only shave from the knees down. It still totally counts.)

I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford name-brand shoes as quickly as I can wear them out, so when I came across these beauties at the store “where things are generally a dollar” for $6, I could NOT pass them up. But when I got them home… they looked awfully plain. Just black… nothing that said “these shoes hold the promise of an awesome day”.

How to Customize Your Own Canvas Shoes

Thank goodness for cheap acrylic paints! I’m going to show you how to customize your own canvas shoes! Here’s what I grabbed:


  • Two shades of teal/sea foam
  • Two purples
  • Navy
  • White
  • Creamy yellow

Also, a scrap of jersey fabric I had lying on my sewing table and a cup of water for paint dilution.

There are two ways to go about this blending and blotting. You can either squirt paint directly onto your surface and then blot with a damp cloth, or you can dilute the paint in a shallow dish/pie plate and then blend/blot with the fabric. Either way works!

Start with your lightest color. This is crucial. If you start with a dark color on dark fabric you’ll never see it. I am showing you on paper so you can see each color as it was applied.



Turquoise, meet Teal.


Throw in some Purple.


Then some navy as well. There is no wrong way to do this. The idea is to just smush the paint around and leave areas where the colors are more concentrated that blend into others. Best part? If your colors start to run together too much, blot some more!


Grab your smallest paint brush. (Or if you don’t have paintbrushes… I bet you have an old toothbrush laying around somewhere!)


Drag it across your space scene and while it is still wet, smudge with your fabric. If it has other colors on it, no problem! It will help blend your “space dust”.


Smudgey-wudgey. Time for stars!


Add dots of varying size to imply stars that are near and far. I really like that bigger one near the top.


Here is my right shoe with some “space dust” before I smudged it.


And after.


These shoes are not water-proofed unless you rub some beeswax on them. Otherwise, once the paint dries, you are all finished. And you’ll have a snazzy, one-of-a-kind pair of shoes!


Time from start to finish: 1 Hour

Cost: $0, I used what I had on hand. Acrylic craft paint can be found for less than a dollar at hobby stores. 

Comment below with pictures of your own shoes!



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