DIY Hand Embroidered Watercolor Shoes

After making the DIY Galaxy Shoes I fell in love with the process of making art on canvas shoes.  It’s so much fun to create and also to wear around!

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Galaxy shoes

We have a Walmart across the street from us and, I admit, we go there sometimes. At my last visit I found canvas shoes, they are regularly priced at $5.88! I was so happy because that meant I could experiment more with decorating them!

This time I wanted to try my hand at embroidery and some possible watercolor effects. Since I have already done a similar DIY I am going to share with you some tips that I learned while decorating these. If you want to see the complete process that I used please check out my DIY Galaxy Shoes post.

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Supplies!

You will need Sharpie markers, and rubbing alcohol and an eye dropper to do the watercolor effect. You can also use fabric die and dip the shoes into the die. For the embroidery you will need a needle and embroidery floss.

Hand embroidery!

Super simple, and the canvas is PERFECT for embroidery, it’s thin enough to get a needle through and you are able to take a pencil and sketch a simple design to follow.  It makes it 100 times easier to sketch a little drawing on the canvas then you can just follow along the lines you already drew out.

Keep it simple!

If you have never embroidered before I would stick with something simple. Like a flower, a geometric shape or like in my example I used an eye. I thought the embroidery would be a lot harder than what it was, it was pretty simple and it turned out good, not perfect, but pretty good.

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Watercolor effect!

I got this effect by drawing in ovals and squishy shapes randomly on the shoe.  I made sure to leave a lot of white space.  When you leave white space it allows for the sharpie ink to spread out onto the white canvas. Make sure to put a big drop of rubbing alcohol in every sharpie spot so it bleeds out and gives that beautiful watercolor effect.

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Fill it!

You also need to completely fill in the ovals that you are drawing. Don’t leave streaks or marks inside because those will not blend that well when you add the rubbing alcohol.  The picture above shows if you do not fill it in all of the way it will show through the same after the alcohol is applied. Unless you want it to look like that I would say take the time to fill everything in and it will blend really well.

Layer it!

If you are not satisfied with how it turned out you can let the alcohol dry and then draw again to blend out more to get closer to what you are looking for.   You can add as many layers as you want until it looks how you want it to. In the picture above I added another layer to fully blend the colors.

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Let it Dry!

Make sure to let your shoes dry before adding another layer. If you do not do this it could ruin your markers, and it will just not work.

Clean up!

Use the rubbing alcohol on the rubber edges to remove any sharpie that may have gotten onto the rubber.  A lot of people will tape it off, but it comes right off with rubbing alcohol so no need to tape.

Work Outdoors!

I would also suggest doing it on the back porch or outside because the sharpie smell and rubbing alcohol can get annoying after awhile.  It’s better to be in a well ventilated area, like outside.

That’s it for my tips on decorating white canvas shoes in this style.  This is a great craft for teens to do, and would be fun for a birthday party or just during craft time.

Happy Crafting!

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