Graffiti Shoes (A Tutorial)

DIY Graffiti Shoes Tutorial via

My daughter is outgrowing shoes so fast I can barely keep up! Now I just stock up on plain converse style sneakers and we decorate them ourselves to make one-of-a-kind, personalized “art” for her feet. We get compliments on them wherever we go! People always ask her to stop so they can read the words.

Materials needed:
:: Glittery puffy paints
:: Sharpies and fabric markers
:: Acrylic paints or fabric paints

For this pair of graffiti shoes I started with a plain pair of black shoes:

Step 1: I covered the edges of the white rubber with scotch tape (which sticks well to rubber)….

….and then added the masking tape to cover the larger areas. I put crumpled up paper towels in the inside to keep paint out.

Step 2: I used gesso to cover the shoes in white splotches, but you can use white acrylic or fabric paint.

Step 3: I started randomly covering the shoes in various bright colors…..

……and adding some white back in.

Step 4: I brought out the sharpies:

I added words around the shoes in black marker and then used different color sharpies to color around them.

Step 5: I used a small paint brush to keep adding in bright colors. The key is to just keep layering and changing your mind on words and colors……like graffiti. Great graffiti is made of layers over layers over layers!

Step 6: I used a silver metallic sharpie to clean up some of the edges of my images and words.

Step 7: Once the main portions of the shoes were finished I used a glitter puffy paint and made rows of dots along the toe (note: you will have to scuff the toes and prime first for the paint to stick)……

…and randomly around the shoes. Let these dry and they will be a big glob of shiny glitter!

The finished shoes!


DIY Graffiti Shoes Tutoria- Shoe Makeover via



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About Ashley Hackshaw

Living a simple, creative life in #smalltownusa Bryson City, NC. Renovating a 1960s ranch house and an old train depot. Thank you for reading! Read more in my about section. 


  1. 1
    Veronica says:

    You are too creative! I might have to make some for my nieces and nephews. Thanks!

  2. 2

    so adorable! would it be ok to make a pair of these in size 10… i could pull them off right?

  3. 3
    Forever You says:

    2 days ago I was at the target and seen some pretty simple one color snickers! I thought that I would love to decorate them for Polina! So THANK YOU Ashley for reading my mind! I want to try this sooooooo bad!

  4. 4

    ADORABLE! I can't wait to make a pair for each of my kids. Reminds me of the sequin shoes my mom made for me when I was a kid…only these are way cuter.

    Loving This Mom Stuff

  5. 5

    LOVE THIS, Now I must make some!!

  6. 6
    The Studes says:

    this is so fabulously 80's I did this to my shoes in school.

  7. 7

    shut the door. those are the cutest thing ever!!!

  8. 8

    Loving these…can't wait to make some graffitti or even "made to match our awesome LBB outfits" shoes!

  9. 9

    I've seen so much of this type of thing lately, I knew you'd be a wealth of information, as usual!! Where do you get the shoes?

  10. 10
    Marjorie says:

    So cool! I must do this!

  11. 11

    that is So awesome, I already have some shoes in mind to do this to! thanks for the tutorial!

  12. 12

    100% cool Ashley :D

  13. 13
    Oh Holland! says:

    What a cute idea! My mom bought my daughter some Converse knock-offs at the Family Dollar for $5. I'm going to have to see if they have more.

  14. 14
    ellzabelle says:

    AMAZING! Made me smile. Sienna is a lucky girl! Now I have to find some cheap sneakers to decorate for summer. Excuse to shop, love it. Thanks!

  15. 15

    sienna is so going to grow up to a totally unique fashion guru…amazingly koooool!

  16. 16

    this is just amazing love the idea. thank you for sharing.

  17. 17
    kasiabear says:

    love love love this idea.. this will be great for the converse style shoes that just get handed down to little brothers and need a bit of a lift… how fantastic!! can't wait to give it a go!!

  18. 18

    My daughter would DIE if I let her color on her shoes! SHe would be in heaven! We might have to use this as a fun summer activity!

    Thanks for the idea. I am going to be featuring it on my blog!

  19. 19

    I am so heading out for a pair of sneaks so I can do this! Thanks so much for always sharing such great ideas with all of us:)

  20. 20
    Audra Lynn says:

    i will definitely be trying these out for my neely. i love them!

  21. 21

    super fun!!!

  22. 22

    OOOOBBBBSESSED!! I'm making these ASAP! I love these so much. You're a creative genius!

  23. 23

    These are so fun! I love it!

  24. 24

    This rocks! I love this.

  25. 25

    Those are cute. I have a question on your silk screening. Did you make your own screen and if so would you be willing to do a tutorial on how to make it?

  26. 26

    So cute! Love it!

  27. 27

    Those are really cute! I wouldn't have guessed you could do that with sharpies. We have some shoes that have grease stains on them- the graffiti idea would be great for covering up the stains.

    Thanks for sharing!

  28. 28
    Ashley O says:

    I love these!! My daughters nickname is Boo too (she looks a little bit like Boo from Monsters Inc.) and these would totally fit her personality! Thanks for the great idea!! :)

  29. 29

    These are sooo cute!! Very GOOD idea!! I have two little boys and of course clothes get handed down to my youngest and my oldest would love this, but Im wondering if they would be as cute for them as it is for your little girl, well i will try.

  30. 30

    aaaaaahhhhhh!!! you rock ashley!!! :) seriously! i looooooove these! my daughter really likes "twinkle toes" shoes, but i have held off getting them for her…and now…oh my gosh…how much fun is it for her to design her own!?! :)

    as always, thank you for sharing with us! :)

  31. 31

    Oh wow, these are stinking adorable, Ashley! What a unique tutorial, and I love how oldschool it feels! Brings back memories! :o)

  32. 32
    TheBlackForrist says:

    Never thought it could be so easy to create a custom pair of shoes. Brilliant! thanks for sharing!

  33. 33
    sneezerville says:

    one word…FUN!

  34. 34

    These are fantastic. I think my little guy will look great in these.

  35. 35
    Cowboys Youth Football Program says:

    Holy Goodness Ashley! My seven year old has ruined the $40 Twinkle Toes (similar concept) that my mom bought her and she has been begging me for more. I just can't justify spending $40 bucks on shoes right now when she will just kickball and jumprope them to shreds this summer. SHE. WILL. DIE. when I let her paint on some shoes. You are a genius woman. A genius!

  36. 36

    So, if I like the way mine comes out do you mind if I sell similar on my etsy site (with design credit to you?)

  37. 37
    1 Funky Woman says:

    I'm a size 9 if you were wondering, lol! I want a pair for me! I am so going out to and getting all the stuff to do these! Where did you get the shoes?

  38. 38

    Love this project, my niece is coming tomorrow and will be in town for a week, PERFECT timing!! Have a great weekend!

  39. 39
    Karla Doodlebug says:

    Yep we will be running out to find some cheap shoes this weekend! What a great idea!

  40. 40
    Pati @ A Crafty Escape says:

    Love this and will definitely try and link back. Thanks for the idea!

  41. 41
    CraftCrave says:

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [16 Apr 02:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  42. 42
    1happymommy says:

    ADORABLE!!! I have two boys, but I'm on a mission to find a little girl to make these for.

  43. 43

    Okay, these shoes RULE! Great way to add personality to those cheap, bland shoes that I can afford. And maybe it'll be tacky, but I'm DEF doing a pair of these for myself, too.

  44. 44 says:

    Whoa…! These are SO. COOL. Thanks so much for the fun idea, I'll be linking.

  45. 45
    jo_annie says:

    These are AMAZING!!!

  46. 46
    Jessica says:

    I love these! My daughter's named Sienna too!!! We thought we were being so original, but I keep running into Siennas everywhere :)

  47. 47

    I am so in love with this shoe. I actually made a similar type of shoe for my girl based on this idea. I put it on my blog and of course credited you back.


  48. 48

    I think my teenager would love to do this to some of her sneakers and it would save on the cost of new Ed Hardy's!

  49. 49
    Valerie says:

    My bunny’s shoes were too tight yesterday, as was my budget and I picked up a pair of her older brothers old tennis shoes I thought Wait a minute!…..didn’t lil blue boo do something with shoes? FABULOUS idea! Can’t wait to upcycle these awesome shoes and bunny will be so happy to have new comfy shoes! GREAT idea!

  50. 50

    Okay seriously I am LOVING the fact that I stumbled upon your blog. I love all the unique and cool ideas and that you do them WITH your daughter. What an awesome way to teach your child to be creative and have fun at the same time…oh and reuse, recycle, upcycle and that the “cool” stuff isn’t always bought at the stores! Thank you so much for all this inspiration – my girls are going to love doing all the projects I have floating around in my head now (not to mention me)!

  51. 51

    Great sneakers — what do you prime the rubber toe with so the crystals will stick?


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