Brighten up your footwear by decorating canvas shoes with sharpies and alcohol

I created these amazing rainbow coloured shoes by decorating canvas shoes with sharpies and alcohol. All you need to do is colour in your plain white shoes with alcohol based markers, and then add rubbing alcohol to blend the colours.

Decorating canvas shoes with sharpies and alcohol
Decorating canvas shoes with sharpies and alcohol

What you needTo complete this project, you will need:

  • Some plain white canvas shoes
  • Some colourful sharpies or other alcohol based markers
  • Rubbing alcohol or surgical spirit
  • Tape (optional)

 

What you need
What you need

First, remove the laces of the shoes so they don’t get coloured. At this point, you could also tape up the rubber soles of the shoes to protect them too. However, I had difficulty making the tape stick, and in the end, I managed to avoid getting the colour on them relatively easily even without the tape.

Remove the laces before beginning
Remove the laces before beginning

Before you start, think about the pattern you want to create. I wanted to make a rainbow design, going from the front to the back of each shoe. I prepared the colours I wanted to use before starting to colour.

Preparing the rainbow colours
Preparing the rainbow colours

I started to colour my shoes at the front, working with each colour on one shoe and then the other. This allowed me to keep the design on both shoes as similar as possible. I made small, irregularly shaped blobs. There is no need to be too neat as the colours will all run into each other in the end anyway.

Colouring in the canvas shoes with sharpies
Colouring in the canvas shoes with sharpies
Colouring in the canvas shoes with sharpies
Colouring in the canvas shoes with sharpies
The shoes coloured in and ready to be blended
The shoes coloured in and ready to be blended

Once you have coloured in the whole surface of both shoes, you are ready to apply the alcohol. I used a paint brush, but you could equally use a spray bottle or a dropper to apply the alcohol. Add plenty of it so that the colours run together.

Apply the alcohol to blend the colours
Apply the alcohol to blend the colours

 

And that’s it! Leave the shoes to dry completely before re-lacing them. I was so pleased with the finished effect made with my rainbow colours. I think they go perfectly with my tie dyed t-shirts.

Decorating canvas shoes with sharpies and alcohol
Decorating canvas shoes with sharpies and alcohol

 

Decorating canvas shoes with sharpies and alcohol
Decorating canvas shoes with sharpies and alcohol

 

Decorating canvas shoes with sharpies and alcohol
Decorating canvas shoes with sharpies and alcohol

You can also use this same technique to decorate other items. Try it on fabric, to make an interesting piece of artwork, or to decorate other clothing or accessories. Here is a bag that had a simple black and white pattern, that I coloured in using this technique.

A bag decorated with sharpies and alcohol
A bag decorated with sharpies and alcohol

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