How to Make Comic Book Shoes

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About: I'm a designer, writer, and artist based in upstate NY.

When I was a kid, I loved reading Archie Comics. My mom would buy one for me whenever we could go to the grocery store. I’d get my grubby, chubby hands on it and read the whole thing in one sitting. Now that I’m a little older, my tastes have changed — now I’m more into shoes than comic books. After all these years, I still have several issues of Archie Comics. I grabbed an old pair of shoes from my closet and decided to transform them into something completely different using my old comics.

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Step 1: What You'll Need

If you want to do something similar, you’ll need a pair of shoes (leather, patent leather, vinyl — not fabric), Mod Podge, some comic books, a paint brush you probably don’t care about, and a craft knife.

Step 2: Cut Up Your Comics

I cut my comics three ways: by panels, by sounds (bam! crash! whoosh!), and by quotes. Whatever way you decide to cut up your comic book, make sure you have plenty of little pieces. (And make sure there’s not a fan on nearby to scatter all of them around. I know this from experience.)

Step 3: Start Mod Podgin'

If your shoe has laces like mine did, make sure to remove them before you start. Open your container of Mod Podge and dip your paint brush in. Dab a healthy amount over the back/side of the shoe — that’s where you want to start. Place your first piece and paint over with the Mod Podge.

Step 4: Add More Comic Pieces, Add More Mod Podge

Keep doing that for awhile. And then keep doing it some more. And don’t worry — the Mod Podge will dry completely clear.

Step 5: Cut Off the Excess Paper

When you’ve finished gluing comic pieces onto your shoe, paint on a couple more coats of Mod Podge. That will seal everything in. Let them dry for 30 or so minutes. Once they’re dry, take your craft knife (like an X-ACTO knife) and cut off any excess comic book paper along the edges.

Step 6: Next Shoe

And then decoupage the other shoe!

Step 7: And You're Done!

Once they’re both completely dry, put the laces back in, put the shoes on your feet, and show every person you’ve ever met because these shoes are the bee’s knees. You may also want to spray them with some clear coat if you plan on wearing them in the rain.

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    37 Discussions

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    Sally35

    Question 8 months ago on Introduction

    When I make boots or shoes where the shoe bends my paper lifts.

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    mpena0123

    9 months ago

    can you do this on fabric shoes like vans?

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    skistler

    2 years ago

    I've made these, about a year ago, and to answer the question that doesn't seem to be quite answered in this thread: They are incredibly stiff and crack wherever they bend. They do NOT hold up through bending. But they are way cool....

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    Dorion

    2 years ago

    I wonder if the Mod Podge/paper will crack across areas that flex, like the toe.

    4 replies
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    ellygibsonDorion

    Reply 2 years ago

    The area doesn't flex. It was stiff like a boot before I glued onto it. The only areas that flex are near the ankle/laces.

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    Dorionellygibson

    Reply 2 years ago

    Okay, well, the question wasn't "what part of this boot flexes," but "how does the treatment hold up under flexing."

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    ellygibsonDorion

    Reply 2 years ago

    If the area doesn't flex, the paper will not crack.

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    jeaninetr

    2 years ago

    They look great. How does the color hold over time? Is there something you can use to prevent them from fading?

    1 reply
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    ellygibsonjeaninetr

    Reply 2 years ago

    See last step. I suspect spraying them with some clear coat would do the trick.

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    czarnian

    2 years ago

    HEy. I'm from Chile, and we don't have Mod Podge. What should I use instead?

    5 replies
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    LemmeAczarnian

    Reply 2 years ago

    I googled this for you: Homemade Mod Podge Recipe. To make a jar of fake / homemade Mod Podge you need 1 cup of glue and 1/3 cup of water. These proportions are perfect – don't mess with them.

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    RagbearLemmeA

    Reply 2 years ago

    Does the leather shoe AND the glue mixture remain flexible enough to not crack when the shoes are used for walking?

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    czarnianLemmeA

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you for finding the time to answer me. For "glue" are we talking the white stuff preschoolers use to glue things on paper, right? kinda thick and glossy flaky finish...

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    TheresaB5czarnian

    Reply 2 years ago

    I think you're referring to paste. Glue is liquid. Here in the US the best known brand is Elmer's. If you google Elmer's glue, perhaps you'll recognize the type of bottle it comes in.

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    nrainhamczarnian

    Reply 2 years ago

    There are different formulations of Mod Podge (see:

    http://modpodgerocksblog.com/every-single-mod-podge-formula-explained) and the one for fabric allows the item to be washed. If you're going to make your own Mod Podge recipe I would suggest you make a fairly thick consistency, like the Fabric Formulation. Good luck!

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    woodlouse

    2 years ago

    What a great idea to refresh an old pair of shoes or boots. Wonder if the same effect could be had on a waistcoat, now that would look cool!

    1 reply
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    thundrepancewoodlouse

    Reply 2 years ago

    if you were "mulberry", you'd probably already have one!:^D great idea!!

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    EmmitS

    2 years ago

    If your comics are collectible, you can make photocopies.

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    lana.w.reed

    2 years ago

    These are so neat! I am going to give it a try... THANKS.