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 🙂



Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Shannon says

    12 years ago

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

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

    12 years ago

    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!

  3. Jessica says

    12 years ago

    Love these! What a great way to re=make tired shoes. Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

  4. Jessi W says

    12 years ago

    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. Katie says

    12 years ago

    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!

  6. Betsy @ Romance on a Dime says

    12 years ago

    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!!

  7. Leslie @ ASG in the SLC says

    12 years ago

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

  8. Margo says

    12 years ago

    Oh my goodness, what a crazy fabulous idea, pinning it!

  9. kendra says

    12 years ago

    yes I like!!!!

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