Introduction: School Pride Shoes

About: I adore instructables and use it when I'm playing with ideas for my students (I'm a certified art teacher and the Art Director for a children's summer camp). I have found that it fuels my creative process as …

Instructables inspired me to venture into shoe painting.  I've witnessed many a great shoe art grace the instructables virtual gallery and I thought to myself, by golly I should give that a whirl!  Here we have my first attempt!

I'm an art teacher for an elementary school and I'm always in sensible shoes, more often than not tennis shoes.  I was at the local discount store and they were selling shoes at a ridiculously low prices and I made my move.  I bought several pairs but for my first adventure into shoe painting I decided to make some school pride shoes to run around the art room in.  I believe teaching children to be proud of their town and their school will help them move forward in their education. 

So hang on to your hats instructavillians and I'll share with you just how I made these crazy loud shoes!

Step 1: Materials Needed

Canvas shoes
Acrylic paint (colors of your choice)
White and black paint pens
Paint brushes
Clear spray paint

Step 2: Base Paint

Decide what color your shoes need to be.  Our school colors are Red and Blue so I decided, why not make one red shoe and one blue shoe.  I gave it a couple of coats to ensure the red was a nice bright red and the blue was a lovely hue.

Step 3: Draw Out Your Design

Our school mascot is the red hawk.  The Jr. red hawk is the mascot for the Elementary school.  I decided to make our mascot painting the over all school mascot.  Think of it like a child looking at his or her future.

I drew straight onto my shoe with my white paint pen looking at a sketch I drew.  If you feel confident in your abilities, go for it!  (remember if you goof up you can ALWAYS paint over the paint pen and go at it again.)

Now, you might say to me, Miss Poofrabbit, alas I can not draw or the thought of free drawing it on freaks me out.  (I promise you that you can, but that's an entire other instructable that one day perhaps I will write.)   However, if in doubt, let me tell you a quick way to transfer a printed image.

Print out your mascot to the size you need.  Cut very close to the image leaving only a little bit of paper around the edge of image.  Flip the paper over.  (so the printed image is now on the table.)  Take a soft leaded pencil and place graphite all over the back of the image.  The more graphite the better this will work.  Once you have finished flip it over and decided where you want it on your shoe.  I would take masking tape and tape the top and bottom of the image to the shoe to help hold it in place.  now take a dull pencil and trace over the printed image. What's happening you might ponder?  As you are pressing you are transferring the image using the graphite you laid on the back of the image.

Once your image is transferred trace it with a paint pen.

Step 4: Paint by Number

Ok so it's not really paint by number, it's more like paint by coloring book.  Fill in the colors of your mascot as needed.  Start with your light colors then move to darker colors.  I would suggest allowing a little drying time in between colors if you are going for a very graphic look.  (Meaning you don't want to mix the colors)

Because these are graphics, looking very much so like our actual mascots I needed them to look flat and pop.  A sure fire way to make something look flat flat flat....put a black line around it.  With my black paint pen I outlined the images and tossed in some detail.

Step 5: Details

I decided the back of my shoes needed the school letters and of course art, I mean I AM the art teacher.  I'd hate for people not to realize that when walking behind me. ;-)

You will also notice I made some color changes, I just wasn't pleased with some of my colors.  In small areas I ran back out to my handy dandy local discount store and grabbed a few more paint pens. 

Once you are all finish, take the shoes outside and hit them with a few coats of clear spray paint, just to ensure the paint doesn't attempt to escape.  (paint pens are a REALLY thin acrylic paint, more about that in Tips & Tricks)

Step 6: Rock Out Your Shoes!

All done, toss the shoes on and go!  I've been wearing mine on Fridays, the kids think they are great. 

You could wear them to the game, create them as a class project, get a whole bunch of friends to do the same things (I'm currently painting another pair for the gym teacher, I'll post those here when I finish).

Just have fun with them!

Step 7: Tips & Tricks

  • If you want to ensure you do not get paint on parts of the shoes you can mask it off with tape.
  • Paint pens are wonderful, but keep in mind they are a very very thin acrylic paint, meaning they can chip  or rub off with wear.  Best to use for small details not the whole shoe, unless you spay paint them with clear paint a ton.
  • Do not be afraid to try!  They are shoes, and in good news, acrylic paint is opaque, if you make an error let it dry and paint right over it, no big deal.
  • Transferring an image is possible and super easy if you are fearful of jumping both feet in.
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