Labor Day is around the corner, which means this is your last week to wear those white canvas sneakers until next Memorial Day if you’re a traditionalist. Personally, I’m not, so I’ll be sporting my white Converse low-tops until my toes crave the warmth of wooly socks and boots.
But if you’re bored after a summer of kicking it in plain white sneakers, then by all means it’s time for a change.
Instead of a trip to your local shoe store, maybe popping over to the closest art supply store is more your speed. Crafty moms and DIY bloggers have been sharing some super cool sneaker makeovers lately using little more than paint, tape, and brushes. If you follow their tutorials, you’ll not only have a pair of custom kicks , but you’ll probably save a couple of bucks, too.
Also, before you attempt any of the DIYs, I recommend tossing your canvas sneakers into the washing machine for a quick cleaning.
OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD SNEAKER DIY
You’ll never guess what Time for Tea used to make these galaxy print sneakers. Give up? The watercolor-inspired background was created with Sharpies and rubbing alcohol. Seriously! Throw on a couple of white paint splotches for stars, and you’ve got yourself a pair of DIY cosmic kicks. We think they’d be dreamy even without the starry overlay.
EASY OMBRE SNEAKER DIY
If simple is more your style, follow Oleander and Palm’s lead and add an ombre accent to your white sneakers. Her shoes look like they were dip-dyed, but the colorful coating was created with two shades of purple spray paint — plus some dark green for the bead accent. The tutorial is easy enough that slightly older kids can probably take the lead with just a little supervision.
A MINECRAFT MAKEOVER
You probably won’t want to run errands in these Minecraft sneakers, but you might be able to motivate your kids to come along if they’re wearing them. As the parent of a preschooler, I admittedly don’t know much about Minecraft except that Minecraft-inspired products are everywhere from backpacks to free printable lunchbox notes. So it’s only natural that a Minecraft DIY be a hot sneaker makeover for kids this year. I’ll bet you’ll win some major points for making these sneakers with — or for — your kiddos.
Studded Converse sneakers are the epitome of cool, but hand-applying traditional pyramid studs can be a pain — literally. However this pair from A Beautiful Mess uses flat back studs and super strong glue, so you won’t tear up your fingers or feel the stud backs through your shoes. Just be sure to take Elsie’s advice and apply the glue in a well ventilated space. Because of the seriousness of the glue, I’d add that this is a DIY project only for older kids and adults.
I wrote about the pineapple trend several months ago, so I’m happy to see that one of our favorite tropical fruits is still in fashion. They aren’t as easy to draw as, say, oh… oranges, but I Spy DIY simplifies the process on her version of DIY pineapple sneakers. The gender-neutral pattern would work on any style of boys’ or girls’ sneakers, although I think the Chuck Taylors give the pineapples a bit of edge.
SWEET TREATS FOR YOUR FEET
Now these two sneaker makeovers speak my love language: Frozen desserts. Lexy from The Proper Blog (above) went the dairy route with ombre ice cream cone sneakers, while Carrie of Dream Green DIY (below) made fruity popsicle sneakers. Carrie’s sneaker makeover requires more of a steady hand (those popsicles are painted on) although her instructions aren’t the least bit intimidating. Still, it’s probably not a craft for elementary-aged kids. Younger kids, however, will get a kick out of applying the ice cream stickers used to make the white silhouettes on Lexy’s sneakers. Just don’t let them stand too close while you make the ombre effect with spray paint.
COLOR INSIDE THE LINES
These ultra-cool kicks are described as a summer sneakers DIY on What I Wore, but swapping the neon paint for jewel tones will give them an on-trend early autumn look. Using five colors like Jessica did creates the sneakers a stained-glass effect, but minimalists might want to try a single color for a more monochromatic look. This is another DIY sneaker makeover that requires some patience and a non-shaky hand.
A PAIR OF SPARKLING SNEAKERS
You know Dorothy would’ve much rather pranced around Oz in these comfortable glitter sneakers from The Crafted Life than in her delicate ruby slippers. It probably goes without saying that crafting with glitter is MESSY — and these decoupage sneakers require a lot of glitter. So if you’re going to try decorating your sneakers with piles of glitter, take deep breaths while you’re crafting. Maybe the look on your child’s face when you present her with real princess sneakers will be worth the hours you spend vacuuming the trail of sparkles she leaves behind. (Although according to Rachel, the decoupage does a great job of sealing the glitter).