Crafty Kicks: 7 Ways To DIY One-Of-A-Kind Sneakers

I love to dress up my shoes, because store-bought pairs can be so generic. Here are some of my favorite ways to take plain footwear from so-so to bell-o in an afternoon: 

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1. Shoe 1

Smoking slippers like these coral ones are great looking on their own, and they're a staple for any classic wardrobe. But to add a little pizazz, glue a tassel in a contrasting color to them. I found this tassel at M&J Trimmings. Make sure to glue your tassels on with a strong glue for the type of tassel and shoe material you are using. I used E6000 multipurpose adhesive for a nice strong hold.

2. Shoe 2

Plain white sneakers can be so dull, so paint them to jazz them up a bit! I used acrylic paint mixed with a fabric gel, so they stayed flexible. Tape off any areas you don’t want to paint. Glue on a letter or number that means something to you. I found these #8s at M&J Trimmings

3. Shoe 3

I love Aztec prints because they are bold, graphic and most of all easy to reproduce! You can take a pair of espadrilles and draw equally spaced lines on the front with with a pencil. Then using acrylic paint with fabric gel medium added, paint geometric shapes in each line. Make sure that each line is a different color. Pretty soon you will have a rockin pair of shoes!


4. Shoe 4

Don’t forget about your soles! Louboutin made the colored sole famous, but you can take it one step further and make a real statement with your soles! Tape off a geometric shape (you can use a ruler to make sure your lines are equidistant), then tape off the areas you don’t want to paint. Using a store-bought spray paint, spray your soles! Allow them to dry, and get ready to do some high steppin'.


5. Shoe 5

A classic canvas sneaker can get a whole new look by painting them to look like an oxford! Use a pencil to mark your lines and then with a thin paint brush, paint within the lines using acrylic paint with fabric gel medium. Add white details over the dried paint to make them look even more oxford-like.


6. Shoe 6

I even made a pair of winged shoes for my son, Yagüez. Here is what you will need: a pair of sneakers, thin but strong elastic to fit throught the holes for laces on the sneakers, a hot glue gun, a needle and thread, vinyl for the wings, plastic backing for the wings, and a grommet set with hammer. 

Here's How I Made Them: 

Step 1: Start with a pair of sneakers that you like — lace ups are ideal!

Click through for the next steps >>>

7. Shoe 7

Step 2: Purchase elastic that fits within the holes of the shoe, then use hot glue (and a few stitches) to secure the elastic to one side of the shoe.

8. Shoe 8

Step 3: The elastic in the shoes should look like this. You can have fun and use colored elastic, but I selected grey for a more monochromatic look


9. Shoe 9

Step 4: Trace the shape of your desired wings onto paper using this template. Make sure that the holes line up with the holes on your sneakers for your laces. This is really important!


10. Shoe 10

Step 5: Cut out your template, and place it over your vinyl. Trace the shape (especially the holes), and cut out your wings. I chose to do two wings — one on top of each other — for more drama and dimension. Glue your winged shapes to a sturdy plastic backing with a glue gun on a high heat setting.


11. Shoe 11

Step 6: Next stack your wings on top of each other, and, using your grommets and hammer, install grommets where the laces holes should be.

12. Shoe 12

Step 7: Put your elastic through the holes on your shoes and the wings. Tie a strong knot on the outside of the wing and trim any excess elastic. Now take them out for a test flight!

13. Shoe 13

Turn a plain pair of Mary Janes into something ready for the fiesta. Using a hot glue gun, glue a ball-fringed trim in a coordinating color, to the inside of your Mary Janes! I found this trim on Amazon