How to Decorate Converse Shoes
Converse sneakers are hot again! Every few years their popularity skyrockets, even though they've been around for nearly 100 years already. One of the reasons is that they're so easy to personalize. Sure, you could shell out $70 or more for a pair "customized" at the factory from a limited palette of options. Or you could buy a plain pair on sale and make them completely unique, for half the price. Which sounds like more fun to you?
The greatest advantage of decorating your own Converse is their material: they are quite literally a canvas for you to decorate and design however you like!
Glitter and Sparkles
If you've got a Bedazzler or other jeweling tool, you can add gems or studs to your sneakers fairly easily. You can even do it with a craft knife and needle nose pliers, if you have a lot of patience.
If you just want a little sparkle fast, you have other options. You'll need Mod Podge and fine glitter.
- Make sure your shoes are clean if they aren't new. Once your shoes are glittered, they will no longer be washable.
- Pour some Mod Podge into a small bowl, and add glitter. You should use about a 2:1 ratio of Mod Podge to glitter.
- Use a small paintbrush to paint some or all of the canvas on your Cons with glitter. Continue until your shoes are sparkly enough to make you happy!
- You can add flat-backed rhinestones to the toe cap with spray adhesive if you need ALL the sparkle.
Paint Your Converse
One off the cheapest ways you can completely transform your converse is with acrylic craft paint. Do NOT use washable paint, or your masterpiece will wash away the next time you step in a puddle!
- Wash your sneakers if they're dirty, or the paint won't adhere properly and the color won't be true. Make sure they're fully dry before getting started.
- Gather your supplies. You'll need acrylic craft paint, brushes of various widths, water to rinse your brushes, and newspaper or a drop cloth to keep your workspace clean.
- Decide on your design. If you're a great artist, you may want to paint a fantastic scene or copy a famous work of art. (How amazing would Van Gogh's "Starry Night" be on your All Stars?) If not, try stripes, polka dots, geometric shapes, or an abstract design.
- Get started painting! You'll see that the paint sinks in a little, making the canvas stiffer than before, but the shoes will still be comfy. If you're painting on black, you may need to use a primer or white paint as a base coat. Let your sneakers dry fully between coats.
Another way to personalize your Chucks is with decorative laces. You can buy laces in any color of the rainbow. Shoelaces also come in different width and shapes: round or flat, skinny or wide, and even curly ones that you don't have to tie!
You can even make your own special laces. Take a pair of flat white laces and dip dye them in various colors, or paint them with fabric paint. (Acrylic craft paint won't work well with the laces because the paint won't absorb well, and could rub off.)
When I was a kid I braided together multiple strands of embroidery thread like a friendship bracelet and used those as laces. Use what you have around the house, and be creative!
More Ideas for Decorating Converse All Stars
You can use several of these techniques at once to truly personalize your Cons. Here are some more ideas:
- Paint your sneakers first, and then add glitter in a contrasting color.
- Have friends sign your sneakers with a Sharpie to remember a special occasion.
- Sew or hot glue ribbon, lace, or rickrack trim to your sneakers.
- Use tie-dye to drip dye the canvas of your sneakers. If the color is too vibrant, drip a little bleach on for a different effect.
- Use Inkodye and the power of sunlight to print a photo on your sneakers from a small film negative.