Well, I don't really have much of a back story here other than I accidentally washed white shoes with black shoes and they gave birth to a Frankenstein pile of garbage. Now these are old school canvas shoes that I had bought at Wal-Mart about two years ago. If my memory serves me correctly I think they were $10. But anyways, the shoes were badly damaged and I knew for a fact I wouldn't wear them in that condition. So I figure with a little bit of know how and some basic material I could have a potentially epic pair of shoes here. So here is what I bought and what you will need if you are planning on tackling your own canvas shoes.
1x Pair of Canvas Shoes (Mine had no laces thus making a larger working canvas but any canvas shoe will work)
1x Pack of non-washable permanent markers (I personally used a multi-color pack of Bic markers from Wal-Mart $7)
1x Can of "Water Proofing" spray (I obtained a great deal at shoe show in my local mall for about $6 -- SOFSOLE SILICONE WATER PROOFER)
Now like I said my shoes were damaged badly so I don't know how long the overall shoe will last me but my first step was to wash/bleach them to a clean surface. (This took me about 3 good times because again, they were almost black.) If you just bought the shoes you won't need to do this but if you have wore them several times outside or for yard work you might want to go ahead and clean them just so that when you start the design process you will have a clean slate free of chemicals or oils.
Step 1: Cleaning
As I stated before if you are just now taking the shoes out of the box you can pretty much skip the cleaning step. Go ahead and plan what kind of design you would like on your shoe.
For those who are still with me at this point lets get started. We want the shoes to be as clean as possible so that the markers can have a nice even color and that the actual drawings will hold up better. If there are outside contaminates present such as grass, mud, oils etc... the marker will not hold to the canvas thus ruining the entire project. This could very well be the most important step in the process.
I recommend using a empty bathroom or kitchen sink because using a washing machine can separate fabric from the canvas. I put the canvas shoes in my kitchen sink with about half a cup of bleach and dawn dish washing liquid. I let them soak in the water for roughly 30 minutes. I then proceeded to clean them off with an old dish rag. I did this process twice and my shoes were bad so normally the 1 time would take care of any normal wear. Let them dry naturally.
***in the picture here you might see that my insole fabric has separated from the sole of the shoe, thus don't use a washing machine or drying machine --- I speak from experience***
This is my results. There are some "faint" staining still present but as long as you can get them close to white as possible is all that matters. Trust me this is impressive compared to how they looked.