When I started my project, I had one pair of plain white shoelaces and one pair of plain white canvas tennis shoes, little kids size 1. I also purchased permanent, waterproof markers that do not 'bleed' when used on fabric, there are many sizes and colors available.
Step 1: Hand Colored Laces
Color block by color block, I transformed the laces from white to RAINBOW using fabric makers.
Step 2: Choose the Theme and Go With It!
You can choose any subject matter, color, pattern, text or graphic that you like at this stage, pretty much anything goes...just use your imagination! I picked a character that's popular as a children's cartoon and toy brand. Once you've chosen the theme for your shoes, research the subject wherever you can and assemble a compilation of words, pictures and ideas. The internet hosts a treasure trove of imagery, graphics and texts, so that's where I started!
Step 3: Layout and Graphics
After you assemble your collection of pictures and ideas, begin adding them to your shoes where you think they look or 'fit' best...I usually do a light sketch with pencil before I add any permanent inks, just to be sure everything is in the right place!
Step 4: Fill Your Space, Draw and Seal Your Work
Add whatever images you'd like to your shoes...
(because I had drawn the rainbow and sunbeams on the left shoe in this case...I added clouds, lightning bolts and raindrops to the right shoe, that just 'made sense' to me... )
When you're sure that your drawings are finished, SEAL your shoes with acrylic sealer. I also sealed the shoelaces because I hand colored them. Use multiple coats of sealer to be sure the graphics will remain colorfast if you choose to wash your shoes. I also use at least 1 coat of weatherproofing spray sealer.
Step 5: Add the Laces and You're Done!
I laced these shoes differently to show off the shoelaces! The child that got these shoes was beyond excited, she loved them so much that she actually cried happy tears! It's really fun to create custom shoes, it's also a lot of fun to wear them!! ?