20+ Ways to Spruce Up your Shoes (with tutorials)

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Mod Podge

All DIY-ers know that you can mod podge anything. It’s a favourite in our arsenal of tools. The holy grail is of course either Mod Podge Matte or Mod Podge Gloss.

Look at the different mod podge designs below!



IronSpy Tumblr

What I love about this DIY is that it requires ONLY 3 things: Mod Podge, your heels and comics!

It is a 4-step process! How easy is that!

  1. Cut up the comic pages into jagged, odd shapes and use mod podge to stick it all over the heels.

    This will be a generic background. Cut up bigger pieces and paste them over any gaps or desired area on the shoes.

  2. Finely cut out special features such as speech bubbles or characters as the final touch. This will be the feature that stands out the most on your heels.

  3. Coat your shoes in Mod Podge (either matte or gloss) and leave to dry overnight.

    Coat a second layer and leave for a day.

Pro Tip: Stick the pieces on the heels and edges first. Try to avoid pasting bigger strips on the curved areas to prevent any bumpage.


A Beautiful Mess

Cut out your favourite designs from magazines and mod podge it. I love how adding the marker illustration gives it such a whimsical touch!

Harry Potter


This list ain’t complete without a Harry Potter-themed Mod Podge!

PRO TIP FOR ALL MOD PODGE SHOES DIY-ERS: Always choose a less ‘bendy’ shoes when you embark on such projects. The more ‘bendy’ the shoes, the faster the mod podge will wear and tear.


I just love, LOVE ombre designs. You can achieve this iconic look by either spray painting or dip-dyeing it! If you want an INTENSE ombre design, go for the spray paint. If you want a softer, pastel ombre design, go for dip dye!

Spray Ombre

The best part of this tutorial is how EASY it is!

You’ll just need 5 materials: Any black glossy shoes, sandpaper, shoes stuffing (any loose paper to fill your shoes), Vinyl spray paint (white and colour of choice), transparent clear gloss.

REMEMBER, the material of your shoes matter when you spray paint it. I had a DIY failure when I tried to spray paint a Dr Martens shoes, so don’t be like me guys!

This is a 5-step process!

  1. Rub the area on the footwear that you want to paint with sandpaper.

  2. Stuff the shoes with paper and spray paint a white layer on the desired area.

  3. After the white paint has dried, spray paint the same area with a colour of your choosing.

  4. Wait for the paint to dry and spray a clear, glossy sealant over it.

  5. Let the shoes dry overnight.

Dip-Dye Ombre

Pastel lovers would go crazy over this dip-dye method!

You will need any white canvas shoes, 1 package of Rit dye, salt, 1 bucket, Elmer’s glue and paper towel. Other than Rit Dye, I also quite like Tulip’s range of tie-dye! Check out the tutorial!

Glitter madness

DIY Glitter ShoesSource: Kelsey from Flickr 

I was initially unsure if glitter and shoes would go well together because it’s just SO messy and will it even last?! It’s so easy to mess up with glitter, but this particular tutorial by Something Turquoise is so meticulous and neat. All glitter freaks should check it out!

You know I always love short tutorials that have less than 10 steps and materials.

You will just need a pair of heels, Mod Podge in Glossy Finish, Fine Slime Glitter of your choosing, paintbrush, small container and a wax paper as your work surface.

Something I would improve on for this tutorial is to stuff your shoes with paper for easier clean up later!

There’s 6 layers of glue and glitter in total:

  1. Paint the first layer of decoupage glue generously on a small section of the shoes. Work in small sections.

  2. Shake glitter over the glued area liberally and tap the shoes to remove excess.

  3. After doing these 2 layers for the whole shoes (or the desired areas), repeat steps 1-2 again.

  4. By now, you should have 4 layers of glue and glitter already. Time to seal it! Paint TWO coats of decoupage glue to seal the glitter, with 1 hour of drying time in between each coat.

  5. Let it dry overnight.

Pro Tip: Make sure you paint the glue evenly and smoothly to prevent any wrinkles or lines.

Tassel it

Tassel Shoes

Tassel shoes

Honestly WTF has an awesome tutorial on how to add tassels to your sneakers and this is such a pretty idea!! I’m not used to braiding threads, so this might be a little challenging for me. But once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze!

You will need sneakers, 8 3.75″ luxe cotton tassels, 6 skeins of DMC Matte Cotton thread (I’m so noob that I had to google what a skein in. It’s just a bundle of thread, haha, I gotchu my fellow noobs), 1 yard of wax linen cord, tape, fabric shears. Check out the tutorial!

Fringed Leather Tassel

This is less challenging than the tassel sneakers in my opinion because you basically punch a hole in the shoes, thread through it and glue the fringed leather pieces to make a tassel.

This tutorial used these materials: Canvas shoes, Crop-a-Dile Big Bite, Eyelets, Leather glue, 4 pieces of fringed leather, 2 thin strips of leather.

They MADE the tassel from fringed leather. So creative! But if you guys don’t want to DIY the tassel, I’m pretty sure you can replace the fringed leather with a cotton tassel. That will be even easier!

Lace-up Sandals

 DIY laced-up sandals

I am a sucker for sandals where you can tie around your ankle. It just looks so chic! But a pain to put on and take off. It’s great for special occasions! Check out how you can DIY your own lace-up sandals with tassels in this tutorial: DIY Tassel Sandals by Honestly WTF

The Hand-Painted Ones

No list would be complete without including hand-painted designs!


Step-by-step tutorial on painting custom portraits shoes

Check out my step-by-step tutorial on painting custom portraits shoes here where I painted portraits of Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

Zombie Feet

Another fun way to design your canvas shoes is by tracing your feet on it and turning it into ZOMBIE FEET. Check out my step-by-step tutorial on painting zombie feet on canvas shoes here!


 Japanese Wave inspired Chucks

Hand painting doesn’t have to use a lot of colours. Check out this tutorial where he ONLY used white paint for the design.

Did I mention that I really love Japanese designs? It’s so beautiful.

For this tutorial, you need a black fabric marker, fine paintbrush and white fabric paint. Find a simple design where the white paint and the colour of your shoes would match it.

  1. Outline the design in black marker.

  2. Paint the design using the white fabric paint. You will need to repeat this step another 3 times to make the design POP. Don’t be shy to use water to dilute the paint.

  3. Seal it with clear spray sealant.

Paint Splatter


As the name suggests, you literally splatter on the white shoes. Tutorial in the description above.

This turned out so SO well! I would totally rock these shoes!


Top 3 DIY techniques for galaxy shoes

There are so many ways you can paint galaxies on your shoes. Check out my article on the top 3 techniques on painting galaxy on shoes here!

Studs & Stones

This is such an easy way to add a punk rock element to your shoes! Why didn’t I know about this earlier?!

Studded Sneakers

Honestly WTF

You will need a pair of sneakers, 150-200 cone spikes (colour of your choosing), E6000 adhesive, a disposable container or popsicle stick (to squeeze the glue on) and toothpicks to spread the glue on the studs.

Studded Heels

Studded Heels

You can stud up your heels too! Look how badass it looks! Check out I Spy DIY‘s tutorial on how to add these studs to glam up your heels!

Star-Studded Sandals

Also, experiment with different types of studs! HonestlyWTF blog used star studs and it looks celestial! I realised I have been referencing this blog a lot on this list, but it’s not intentional at all! I picked out designs that I’m drawn to. I guess we have a similar taste then hehe.

DIY Star Sandals Tutorial by HonestlyWTF

I am so majorly inspired! There are so many things you can do with studs!


Gaby Burger

Switch up studs for stones if you are feeling up to it! You can even make designs out of the stones. Get your creative hat on!


Floral Vans Restyle by Always Rooney

I have NO idea that we could iron-on a design on shoes! All you need are canvas shoes, iron-on printer paper, shoelace of your choosing (Always Rooney used leather cord), and a design that has transparency. What I mean by a design with transparency is that the background is transparent, so it’s not a block of image. The transparent format to save in is PNG. (image.png for example)

  1. Print out the design on the iron-on printer paper.

  2. Cut out the design based on the sections of the shoes that you want to paste on.

  3. Stuff your shoes so that it’s easy to iron on the shoes.

  4. Iron the design on the shoes. Take your time with this so that the design properly transfers.

  5. Wait for it to cool down before peeling away the paper.

  6. Voila! It’s done!

Pro Tip: If you mess up, simply iron another design on top of it.


Wedding shoes are really expensive. But what if you can glam up your plain shoes to make it wedding-ready? Here are some of the best ideas for DIY wedding-ready shoes!

Gold Tip


The original site for this tutorial, SwellMayde, doesn’t seem to be around anymore. But this image is self-explanatory!

You will need a pair of plain flats, Krylon Metallic Gold spray, paper, pen, scissors and a clear, glossy spray sealant.

  1. Wrap your shoes in the paper, over the desired area where you want the gold.

  2. Draw the outline of the shape that you want on your shoes.

  3. Unwrap the paper and cut out the outline.

  4. Now wrap the paper back on the shoes securely, and cover the rest of the shoes. You might want to tape the paper down on the flats.

  5. Spray the Metallic Gold paint over the exposed area.

  6. Gently remove the wrapped paper.

  7. After the paint has dried, finish it with a clear, glossy sealant.

  8. Dry overnight.

Laced Up

lace covered wedges

Source: lambsandivydesigns.com on Flickr

All Laced Up by Kollabora did an amazing tutorial on adding lace to your shoes and it only needs THREE materials: Heels, E-6000 glue and lace appliques. It is literally a case of pasting the lace appliques on your heels. SIMPLE AF!

Embellish that ish

DIY wedding heels

Source: Parekh Cards on Flickr

I love, LOVE this design. And the awesome thing is that we can definitely DIY this! Check out the tutorial by Brit+Co! It is GORGEOUS. I am pinning this DIY tutorial for my own wedding!!

All you’ll need are: Lace Appliques, Flat backed crystal/rhinestones & gold gems (Colour of your choosing), E6000 glue, scissors, toothpick.

Check out the tutorial! It’s so simple but the result is AH-MAZING!

Or maybe you can try out rhinestones and pearls to make a classic design in this tutorial by Something Turquoise!


Hope this gives inspiration to anyone who’s looking to spruce up their shoes! I certainly am inspired and am itching to spruce some of my plain, old shoes!


Have you tried any of these tutorials before?



Looking for ideas on how to give a glow-up or spruce up to your shoes? Check out more than 20 tutorials on how to makeover your shoes here!  #diyshoes #paintingshoes #customshoes #customcanvasshoes #harrypotter #zombieshoes #craft #diy #shoesart #canvasshoes #portraitshoes #portrait #modpodgeshoes #comicshoes #ombreshoes #glittershoes #tasselsandals #studdedheels #ironon #weddingshoes #embelisshedshoes

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