Customize Your Shoes With Mod Podge!

I saw the COOLEST idea on Pinterest the other day; it was a tutorial for making your own Mod Podge shoes!

Yes. Mod Podge shoes!!!

So, a bajillion thanks to Ashley at Make It And Love It for the awesome original idea and tutorial. Because who doesn’t love Mod Podge (and shoes)?!

I fell in love with the project just from seeing her photos, but I was actually a little worried that it wouldn’t be the easiest to recreate because her shoes looked so professional. But man was I wrong! Except for the time it took for the Mod Podge to dry completely, the whole project took about an hour and was super simple. And mine turned out pretty awesome too!

Give new life to an old pair of shoes with fabric and Mod Podge!

This project is cool for several reasons…

  1. You can use pretty much any pair of shoes you want and it will work! I made a pair of ballet flats because those are basically my go-to shoes. I wear a pair most days because you can dress them up for work, and I don’t fall right over in them like I would if I wore heels :-)
  2. You can use any fabric you want! Just remember that the looser the weave the more the color of the shoe will show through. Because I used a loose-weave gingham, the black of the shoes showed through a bit making the whole thing darker than the original fabric. But if I had used a regular cotton fabric the black wouldn’t have shown through as much, if at all. Just remember what color your shoes are when choosing your fabric and choose something tightly woven if you don’t want the shoe color to show through. How cool would it be to Mod Podge some lace onto a pair of shoes?!
  3. Mod Podging the shoes doesn’t change how comfy they are (or aren’t)! I chose a super comfy pair of shoes for this project, but I was a bit worried that when the Mod Podge around the opening dried it would make the shoe uncomfortable to wear. It totally didn’t; I’ve been wearing these shoes all weekend and they’re just as comfy as they were before the Mod Podge! So make sure you start with a comfy pair :-)
  4. You can use the leftover fabric for matching accessories! I’ve fallen in love with little fabric flowers recently. Now that my hair is short I have this desire to make fun little bobby pins, barrettes, and headbands, and now I have extra gingham fabric I can do just that, and they’ll match my shoes!!!

To customize your own pair of shoes with Mod Podge you need:

  • a pair of shoes (I found these super comfy flats at Payless for $9)
  • Mod Podge (I used Outdoor Mod Podge because it is waterproof; I don’t expect to wear these in the rain or anything, but it will be nice in case the grass is damp :-p)
  • about half a yard or so of fabric (however much you need to cover both shoes)
  • a foam brush
  • an exacto knife
  • scissors
Give new life to an old pair of shoes with fabric and Mod Podge: Supplies

I found it was easier to do one shoe at a time, so these instructions will just be for one shoe, and then you can just repeat to make the other!

Step One: Cut out a piece of fabric big enough to cover the shoe. You can be fairly imprecise here; just lay the fabric over the shoe and cut out a general rectangle.

Step Two: Cut a slit in the fabric over the opening of the shoe. You want to leave the fabric whole over the toe, but split it in half to cover the sides. Start at the heel and cut right up the middle until you are half an inch away from the beginning of the toe of the shoe. (See picture below)

Step Two: Cut a slit in the fabric

Step Three: Cover the toe of the shoe in a thick layer of Mod Podge.

Step Three: Cover toe with Mod Podge

Step Four: Cover the toe of the shoe with your fabric and press it down firmly. You want the fabric to be stretched out and laying flat everywhere so that it doesn’t bunch up and pucker near the sole. Also, if you’re using patterned fabric like I was be careful to keep your lines straight :-)

Step Four: Cover with fabric

Step Five: Cover the sides of the shoe with Mod Podge and press the fabric onto the shoe. Keep making sure the fabric lays flat and the lines are straight. Just a quick note here…depending on the material the outside of your shoe is made of, the Mod Podge may dry super fast. These shoes are some sort of fake leather and I only had about 30 seconds to move the fabric around and get it straight and flat after I pressed it onto the Mod Podge. Leave about 2 inches uncovered near the heel so you can make a nice seam.

Step Five: Cover shoe leaving last 2 inches at heel

Step Six: Cut one side of the fabric so it covers the heel and goes about half an inch past the heel seam. Apply Mod Podge and press the fabric down.

Step Six: Cover one side of the heel

Step Seven: Cut the other side of the fabric one inch past the middle heel seam of the shoe. Fold half an inch of fabric under at the edge to hide the raw edge, then apply Mod Podge and smooth the fabric down onto the shoe. Make sure to keep the raw edge folded under to make a nice seam at the back.

Step Seven: Fold over raw edge and cover heel

Step Eight: Trim away the excess fabric using your scissors. You don’t need to be extremely precise here either. For the bottom of the fabric just run the scissors along the sole of your shoe as a guide (you will cut this fabric more exactly later on). For the top of the fabric just follow the curve of the opening of the shoe, leaving about half an inch. Then cut slits in the fabric in the curve of the toe so that you can fold the fabric over without stretching it.

Step Eight: Trim fabric and cut slits in toe

Step Nine: Apply Mod Podge to the under side of the toe of the shoe; fold the fabric over and press firmly. Another quick note about your shoe material here…the inside of these shoes is a thick, padded, synthetic canvas type of thing and the Mod Podge had a hard time sticking to it. So unlike doing the outside of the shoes, I had to be very careful to make sure the gingham stayed stuck on the inside and didn’t peel off.

Step Nine: Fold fabric under in the toe

Step Ten: Continue applying Mod Podge and folding the fabric over around the opening of the shoe. You can see in later pictures that I was clearly not a perfectionist about this part (I mean really, it’s the inside of the shoe; it’s only visible if you aren’t wearing them!) I left uneven and frayed edges on the inside mostly because I was too lazy to trim it all and make it nice, but you definitely should if you want a “cleaner” look on the inside :-)

Step Ten: Fold fabric over the opening of the shoe

Step Eleven: Using your exacto knife, trim off the excess fabric at the sole of the shoe. Make sure your knife is SHARP for this part! Don’t worry if there is a little bit of fraying at the edge; that will get fixed when you Mod Podge it down. Once your fabric is trimmed down, apply Mod Podge and press the edges down. Smooth it out to keep it from bunching up and tuck any frayed edges in (I just used my fingernail to press the edge of the fabric into the crease above the sole).

Step Eleven: Trim excess fabric around the bottom

Step Twelve: Cover the entire shoe in a thick layer of Mod Podge. Allow it to dry overnight (I let it go about 12 hours) and you’re done! I still had a couple of frays and edges around the bottom of my shoe that I hadn’t tucked in yet when I took this picture, but it’s easy to finish tucking it all in at this point before you let it dry.

Step Twelve: Apply one final layer of Mod Podge

Mod Podge always weirds me out a bit because of how white it is when you put it on. I’m always worried it won’t dry clear, but it always does, and these shoes were no exception. I think they turned out great!

Give new life to an old pair of shoes with fabric and Mod Podge!

Yeesh, another loooong tutorial! But I promise (if you even made it this far) that this is a super simple project. It took under an hour to finish both shoes, and then I just let them dry overnight.

Have you done anything fun with Mod Podge recently? Have you ever customized your own shoes? I used to draw on my vans with Sharpies way back in high school, but I like this style of customization better :-)

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Hi, I'm Jessi! Welcome to Practically Functional, a blog about real projects that real people can actually do! You don't have to be a pro in order to craft or do DIY projects; Practically Functional is full of projects for everyday life that anyone can do, regardless of skill or experience! Whether you're looking for fun crafts, DIY projects both big and small, gardening advice, cleaning tips, or quick and easy recipes, you'll find them here! Follow the step by step instructions in every tutorial, and don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions! Make sure you subscribe to free weekly emails so you don't miss a single tutorial!

Comments

  1. Leslie @ ASG in the SLC says

    What a great tutorial, thanks for taking the time to put it together & share it!

  2. Betsy @ Romance on a Dime says

    This looks so easy!! I might just keep my eye out at garage sales, now that I know I can do this. Thanks for the tutorial!!

    I'm pinning this. Thanks for linking up at Romance on a dime!!

  3. Katie says

    Ok, I cleaned out my shoe closet and got rid of a bunch of shoes, but saved two pairs that are in decent shape and that I love but the fabric is frayed and ratty, because I saw the same Pinterest tutorial you did. I wasn't sure it was an easy enough project for me, but if you say it is, I think I'll give it a try! ^_^ Thanks, Jessi!

  4. Jessi W says

    It's totally easy enough! When I saw her pictures I was a bit bummed cuz a lot of people do awesome crafts, and when I try to recreate them they are just…messy. But these really do turn out as well as the pictures!!!

  5. heather @ new house, new home, new life says

    Wow – what a great idea!!! Back in the day, probably before you were born, we used to dye our shoes to match our outfits. This is way cooler because you can use a pattern. Love it. And great tutorial too!

  6. says

    OMG. Thank you for linking this up on Milkandcuddles.com! I LOOOVE this! I am pinning and trying it! Thanks for linking up such a sweet post!

  7. says

    This is just too clever! I would love to have little shoes to match some of my shirts. Just popping over from One Artsy Mama to see how you made these:) I would love for you to share this at Freedom Fridays. So hoping to see you and your cookies there!
    PS Now following via Linky

  8. says

    Holy cow, I am going crazy with ideas of how many different flats I could make for myself. You are super creative, love it! Here from the blog hop and now following, would love for you to come visit :)

    Tanya

    • says

      Haha thanks Tanya! That’s definitely the coolest thing about this; it’s so versatile! I’m following you via Bloglovin’!

  9. says

    They turned out great!! I’ve seen people do this in blogland but I have been scared to do it. Maybe I’ll take the plunge soon :)
    Found you at Delicately Constructed btw

  10. says

    Don’t laugh but I have never worked with Mod Podge:( This might be a great time for me to be brave and try it because I do love this idea with shoes:) Thank you for sharing at Freedom Fridays. I appreciate you coming and supporting Freedom Fridays Blog Hop!

  11. says

    I’ve got loads of pairs of ballet shoes where the fabric is coming away from the sole at the front, do you think I could mend them by doing this? Your shoes look fantastic!

  12. says

    Wonderful tutorial and awesome shoes! Thanks for taking the time to show us exactly how it is done! Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy. Hope to see you again soon!

  13. T'onna says

    Cute shoes! I have a pair of shoes that are still kinda new, but I scuffed the toe. I could give them a makeover! thanks for posting!

  14. Amy says

    Now I wish I wouldn’t have passed up those comfortable but ugly white clearance flats. Darn it, back to the store for me. Super cute idea, thanks for sharing.

  15. says

    OMG, I used practically the same fabric as you for my Mod Podge shoes, but mine didn’t turn out as well as yours. I am going to have to keep experimenting. Thanks for the post.

  16. says

    Hi Jessi! These shoes are adorable! Thanks so much for sharing the “how to”s with us. Your photography is great too. Congrats on being one of the winners at the CSI Project!

  17. andrea says

    You make it look so easy i’m tempted to give it a try. The Ballet flats you made look great, however knowing my clumsy hands mine will end up puckered and look like they were made by a 5 year old.

  18. ngnrdgrl says

    These turned out fabulous! I love them! Now I’m going to be keeping my eye open for comfy flats that aren’t pretty to make the beautiful!!! 😀

  19. CeeBee says

    Thanks for the great tutorial. Just had one question, since I don’t have Mod Podge in my city, could I use some industrial glue to stick the fabric? Will it not work if I don’t add the last layer of glue you did on top of the fabric?

    • says

      Sure, another type of glue will probably work! You can also buy Mod Podge online and have it delivered, if you want to try getting some that way. What’s nice about Mod Podge is it will soak through the fabric so that it works to hold the fabric onto the shoes and it works as a layer of protection on top of the fabric. That last layer of Mod Podge is just to protect the fabric, so you could skip it, but I like the idea of a little more protection. :-)

  20. Silke says

    Great shoe tutorial to cover scuff marks on any older pair of shoes. I will have to give this a try, it looks super easy. Thanks.

    • says

      Hmm, good question! I’m sure that the Mod Podge would stick to it, but I know water isn’t good for suede shoes so it might ruin the suede. Though if you’re covering it in fabric anyway it shouldn’t matter! :-)

    • says

      The whole project took about an hour, plus another few hours for the Mod Podge to dry completely. So I’d say each shoe took about 25 minutes to do all the work, but then you need to let them dry for another few hours.

  21. Cherie says

    Really like this project. I have loads of old flats I never wear that need updating. Time to hunt for some awesome fabric! Thanks for the inspiration.

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