When I was a kid, we used to be able to buy the plain white canvas shoes from the dollar store for about two bucks a pair. It was how we got through the summer. They didn’t last a long time with all the running around we did, but mom just bought us a new set every few weeks, and we could wear them out with impunity. One of our favorite things to do was to decorate our new shoes in fun ways.
We tried various painting techniques – from splattering them with neon colors to brushing on glow in the dark paints in fun patterns. But as I got a little older I took more time in making them stand out from the crowd. A favorite was to take a sharpie and write out various words and phrases in beautiful calligraphy. The shoes were lovely and really different. Sometimes I’d paint designs to make them look more expensive. There came a time when I started feeling a little ashamed at my cheap shoes and wanted to hide the fact they came from the dollar store.
Of course now I relish a great deal. And while I can’t find them for $2 a pair any longer, I still think they’re pretty inexpensive if you look in the right places. And they are GREAT for crafting!
Just look at how we’ve done them up for the Fourth of July!
And it couldn’t be simpler.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 pair of white canvas shoes
red paint (acrylic or fabric paints work great)
star stencils or stickers (optional)
The options with this really are pretty endless. You can choose to do both shoes the same way or make them different. One shoe could be all blue with white stars and the other could be red and white stripes. It’s up to your imagination.
I chose to do the left foot with the whole flag represented and the right foot with just red and white stripes. I think they turned out great!
All you need to do is remove the laces and then tape off the shoes how you like. Then paint!
For the stars, you can use a stencil to paint over the blue. Or you can pre-draw the stars and then paint them in afterward (this may take a few coats!). Or if you want to make it SUPER easy, just lay a few star-shaped stickers down on the white canvas BEFORE you paint, and then remove them to reveal the white star-shaped area of the shoe! EASY PEASY!
These really are super cute and functional! You can wear them for the Fourth of July, Memorial Day or even Veteran’s Day! If they start to wear out, you can fill them with dirt and make them into a cute planter. Again, your imagination is your guiding force here!
The best part of all is that you can make these SUPER quickly. They can take as little as 20 minutes to paint, and then you should leave them about 5 hours or so to dry (overnight is better). So there’s plenty of time to get them done before your Independence Day celebrations!
Give it a go today! You can make the whole family matching shoes!
And if you are looking for other patriotic gear that you DON’T have to make yourself, you can check out the super cool Tipsy Elves, which has a ton of awesome stuff that even Uncle Sam couldn’t ignore!
They sent me this ridiculously OTT American Flag Onesie, and it is so much fun! The only downside is the kids want to get in there with me (there’s plenty of room!).
And I REALLY love this American Flag Sweater which looks super cute with shorts. If I’m honest, it’s slightly too hot for a sweater right now, but it’ll be great in the autumn! And I still wore it to the office last week, as it was just too cute, and we have air conditioning. 🙂
So I’m all ready to celebrate my country in style! I hope you are, too!
Katie Reed is a passionate writer and mother of four vivacious boys from Salt Lake City, Utah. Drawing from her own journey through TTC, pregnancy, and the joys of raising children, she offers a wealth of insight into the world of motherhood. Beyond her heartfelt tales, Katie delights her readers with family-friendly recipes, engaging crafts, and a curated library of printables for both kids and adults. When she’s not penning her experiences, you’ll find her crafting memories with her husband and sons—Dexter, Daniel, Chester, and Wilder.