Here’s my latest craft: Tie Dye Shoes, but with Sharpies and Rubbing Alcohol!

I have had these shoes for 21 years (and no, I am not exaggerating!). They were white shoes, but the years were not kind to them in back of my closet. Even after washing them in the washing machine, they were yellowed and stained. I thought about tossing them, but… well… as anyone who knows me can attest, I really have a hard time throwing stuff out.  So, I thought I could repurpose them for some summertime fun.

I have done the sharpie/alcohol method on tee-shirts already (tons of fun and a great craft for kids or the young at heart) but never tried it on canvas shoes.  I figured this was the perfect opportunity and if I goofed them up really badly I’d have another pair of gardening shoes so no waste.

Since I was at my folks doing some gardening and crafts, I commandeered my Mom’s sharpies and then put in swaths of color, trying to have some sort of similar pattern between shoes.

After I colored it all in (which lead to some staining on my hands) I used a really light spray of alcohol to make the colors run and blend for a water-color-y/tie dye effect, but that didn’t do squat.  I took them home with the intention of tinkering with them more only to discover I had misplaced Mom’s tiny squirt bottle of alcohol (sorry Momie!) so had to use what I had on hand which was a much MUCH more generous spray nozzle. That did the trick; the colors blended much better!

NOTE: Unfortunately more alcohol also lead to lots more color on my hands and everywhere else, so just be aware how messy it can get when the rubbing alcohol is flowing!  But, more rubbing alcohol takes it right off the skin, so just keep some rags handy if you are dousing the project for a true color bleed.

Were I to do it again, I would have left a larger white area around Tweety and Sylvester and between the bands of color and then really drenched it with alcohol for a softer blend and pallette. In the end, though, I’m pretty pleased with how vibrant and fun they look….  Not bad for a pair of shoes I was about to relegate to garden work.

Now I’m ready to go to the Large Flowerheads or some other Groovy music festival 🙂

If you are interested in giving this a go, you can check out this post for further intel and ideas!