This past weekend, we took Alex to the Vans store to pick out a new pair of shoes. He originally chose a brightly colored pair and just when we thought we were done, the Vans employee that was helping get Alex fitted said, “You know, a lot of people like to buy the plain white slip-ons and use fabric markers to create their own design.”
Alex’s eyes got huge and bright. He was sold on the idea! So we bought a white pair of shoes and headed home with only a vague idea of how we would paint them. We knew that since his latest and fiercest obsession is Minecraft, the design of choice would likely be something from that game.
This morning, we headed to Hobby Lobby to grab some fabric markers and chose several shades of green, a gray, and a black. Minecraft fans, I’m sure you see where this is going.
Yep! Creeper shoes-ssssssss. For non-Minecrafters, Creepers are the worst of the bad guys. They hiss, they blow you up, and they….well, they creep. Not necessarily in that order.
I’ve put together a little step-by-step of how I decorated these for Alex. It’s extremely simple, but definitely plan on spending a good chunk of your day working on them.
For starters, gather your few supplies.
- White canvas shoes. We used Vans, but TOMS or any other similar shoe will do.
- Small straight edge. I used a popsicle stick to pencil my grid. The width was idea and the small size made it easy to work around the curves of the shoes.
- Pencil. Just a regular ol’ pencil will do the trick.
- Fabric markers. You can buy packages of many colors, or in some places you’ll find them sold individually. We found the individuals at Hobby Lobby.
- Waterproofing spray for shoes. This isn’t shown because I haven’t picked any up at the store yet. I plan to use the type they sell with camping gear.
Grab your popsicle stick (or similar item) and, starting from the tip of the toe, start drawing your horizontal lines. They don’t have to be perfect, but the neater you make them, the easier the coloring part will be later.
Once you’ve finished that set of lines on the front section of the shoe, start your vertical lines. I made the mistake of started on the side of the shoe (you’ll see my mistake in the following picture) and I had to erase the best I could and start over in the center to ensure I drew out a straighter grid.
Continue with your vertical lines until your shoe looks something like this. For size reference, these are men’s size 6 1/2. How in the world is my baby boy wearing men’s shoes already?!
Now, turn the shoe around and do the same thing on the heel section of the shoe.
Repeat grid on other shoe. Duh.
Oh, and when you’re beginning your horizontal lines be sure and make them match the other shoe so that your Creeper faces won’t be way out of whack in the end.
Not that I learned the hard way or anything.
It’s time to color! I recommend starting with the back of the shoe while you and your markers get to know each other. Some of the colors will bleed over into the others a bit and, while this isn’t completely avoidable, it’s good to get a handle on that before working on the front of the shoe. I followed no particular pattern with my colors. If you want to get super picky with it, there are a ton of Creeper images on the interwebs to guide you in your endeavor.
Once you’ve completed the back, turn them around and do the face next. Here’s how I fit them into the grid:
After you’ve filled in the black facial features, just have fun filling in the rest of your squares! I started with the ones nearest the face and worked my way out to the edges.
You’ll notice that these are far from perfect and there are quite a few spots where the colors bled, but you know? I love them just that way and Alex is thrilled to death with them.
Alex opted to keep the side panels of the shoes solid white. Personally, I would have have gone black for practicality, but I won’t be the one wearing them.
Also, after I get the waterproofing spray, I intend to not only spray the outer part of the shoe to protect the design, but also the inside. I’m hoping that will help with any sweaty feet issues or paint staining the socks.
Like I said, this is a super simple tutorial, but it earned me tons of hugs today and lots of “Mom, you’re awesome!” and “I love you! Thank you so much!” Hope you enjoy making your Creeper shoes!