How to Customize Your Shoes

Making basic shoes more appealing and unique with customization is a terrific idea. For all those who enjoy DIY projects, giving an old pair of shoes new life could be a difficult but creative task. This article will provide you with some suggestions on how to give your shoes a fresh look. Additionally, we’ll demonstrate how to paint, embellish, and even cover them with fabric or glitter. Shoe customization is not limited to old shoes, you can also customize a new pair of shoes and get it designed as you like.

Materials You Will Be Needing

artist’s fist in paints with brushes

A terrific way to develop your artistic skills and create apparel that suit your particular taste is to design and paint your own custom shoes. However, you might be wary of potentially damaging your shoes if you’ve never attempted personalizing a pair of sneakers before.

It can be easier to get started without worrying about making mistakes if you are aware of the materials you’ll need and have a basic understanding of preparation and painting processes. A few of the general supplies you’ll need to start making your own custom sneakers are listed below. Note that you won’t be needing all of the materials listed below because the materials that you will be needing are dependent upon the material of the shoe that you plan to customize.

  • Paint: When worn, low-quality paint frequently peels and chips. Acrylic paint of a high caliber will adhere firmly and last a lot longer on your shoes.
  • Paintbrushes: A good set of paintbrushes is crucial for creating precise designs with only a few brushstrokes. If you want to work on minute details, you must have detail brushes.
  • Heat Gun: Paint layers will set up more quickly with a heat gun.
  • Fabric Medium: The use of fabric medium will enhance the adhesion and flexibility of the paint when painting soft fabrics like mesh or canvas.
  • Tape: The simplest technique to keep paint from spreading to undesired parts of the shoe is to use masking tape to separate specific areas of your shoes.
  • Leather Preparer and Deglazer: The first step in customizing any shoe is to prepare it, and leather preparer and deglazer will do this by removing the shoe’s factory finish, which will make it easier for paint to adhere.
  • Cleaner: To keep your paint finish clean and preserved over time, you’ll need a brush and shoe cleaner. If not, grime and filth can eventually cause your paint to peel and chip.
  • Water and Stain Repellent: A water and stain repellent, when applied correctly, creates an invisible protective coating that deters water and stains to keep shoes dry and clean.
  • Acrylic Finisher: Following the completion of your custom finish, acrylic finisher offers a clean finish and protective coating.

Ways To Customize Your Shoes

custom made shoes

After you have gathered all the materials that you will be needing, it’s time to get creative. Besides sneakers, you can also customized other types of footwear. For the ladies, you can even customize your pumps.

1. Doodle on canvas shoes with permanent markers or fabric markers

Make sure the shoes are clean before you begin to doodle. If you are concerned about making mistakes, it helps to first lightly draw out your design in pencil. You can use a variety of colors in outlining your design or just one, like black. If you are using more than one color, start with the lighter colors and work your way to the darker colors before adding your outlines.

2. Add some embellishments to the front toe area

A pendant or brooch can be attached to the front of a fancy dress shoe using super glue or an industrial-strength glue. Use some large, stylish clip-on earrings or shoe clips for a non-permanent option. Just slide them over the front of the shoe so that the design is directly over the toe area. Whatever embellishment you decide to choose, just make sure that they match.

3. Change out plain shoe laces for a shiny ribbon

Using the old laces as a measuring tool, cut some satin ribbon that is between half and one inch (1.27 and 2.54 centimeters) wide. The ribbon should have both ends cut at an angle. To prevent fraying, use fabric glue or super glue to seal the edges. Instead of using traditional shoelaces, lace up your shoes with the ribbon. Any color of ribbon will do, but it may look best in a complementary or contrasting color.

4. Glue rhinestones along sandal or flip flop straps

To secure the rhinestones, use super glue. The stones shouldn’t extend past the strap’s width. Use a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, but aim to arrange them in a pattern rather than randomly. They will appear more professional as a result.

5. Wrap ribbon around the straps of a pair of flip flops to make them look more dressier

A long ribbon’s end should be superglued to the bottom of a flip flop strap. Similar to that of a candy cane’s swirly design, wrap the ribbon around the strap. As you wound the ribbon around the strap, try to slightly overlap it. Cut off any extra ribbon when you reach the flip flop’s other end, then secure it to the strap’s base with superglue.

6. Painting canvas and fabric shoes

Painting your shoes is a fantastic way to express your personality. Although it might not work on leather or other materials, this technique will work well on canvas and fabric shoes. But remember that paint adheres to fabric better than it does to plastic, leather, and other materials.

7. Add glitter to shoes

Any pair of shoes may be made to look fancy by adding glitter. You can sprinkle glitter all over your shoe or just a little section of it (such as a heart or star shape). When glittering a pair of high heels, you can leave the rest of the shoe plain and only glitter the sole.

8. Cover ballet flats with fabric

You can alter the color and pattern of your shoes with this method. This method is best used on a simple pair of shoes with as few seams as possible, like ballerina flats. It is not recommended for sneakers.

9. Add Designs to Flip Flops and Sandals

This method is an easy way to spruce up a basic pair of dress sandals or flip flops.


  • Use all the tools and materials responsibly.
  • Wear gloves as they will not only protect your hands but will also help you out.
  • Keep it simple; it doesn’t have to be perfect.
  • Plan ahead; failing to do so could result in your shoes being ruined.


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