This post is a very, very long time coming and I am ridiculously excited to share it with you guys today! Of course, I meant to post it earlier…but apparently my computer and camera had other plans. Sorry about that.
Okay, so quick back story: A few years ago, while I was still in college, out of the blue I had this idea to paint my Chucks using some fabric paints I had been gifted a few years back. My mom suggested I start selling the shoes on Etsy, and so I posted the Chucks and a pair of painted TOMS online.
By no means did these babies take off, but I did get a few sales, tons of messages asking if I could send them for free to different people (always a good sign, I suppose), someone asking if she could sell them wholesale and even a review by a prominent YouTube channel. I also received several compliments when I wore different versions out of the house, which always feels good.
Basically, they seemed like a good idea that people liked! But, realistically, they were a very difficult product to sell since each one had to be completely customized and purchased in a specific color and size.
- Sharpie fabric marker in black
- Fabric paint (I use Jacquard Textile Paint)
- Container for water (I used a leftover aluminum soup can)
- Paper towel
If you buy TOMS in a color other than white or the natural (pictured here), I also recommend buying bleach or a bleach pen to bleach the tip of the shoe before painting it.
Gather your paintbrushes, water container and towel. I highly recommend using fabric paints over acrylic paints (which are commonly used to paint TOMS shoes). The acrylic isn’t meant for fabric, so it sits on the surface of the shoe, instead of being absorbed into the fiber.
Pick a corner and begin painting. Use water to blend and bleed the colors together, but don’t worry too much about how it looks since it will be marked up later (unless you like the look sans Sharpie, then run with it!).
Next it’s time to work on the feather pattern. You can pick any pattern you want, but I love this one.
I “painted” these using just a Sharpie Fabric Marker. However, you could also use a tiny pointed sharpie marker for the little lines in the feather, if you wanted to visually break it up a bit better. But it’s your choice! I like it this way because it feels more modern and stained glass-like.
- Tape around the tip of your TOMS (say that 5 times fast) using Duck tape or Scotch tape (artists tape isn’t sticky enough). This will keep the paint from spreading.
- If the cardboard pieces don’t come with the shoe, use rags or old papers to stuff the inside and make the tip sturdy enough to paint on. This also protects the inside of the shoe from the fabric paint.
- Paint watercolor-like blotches on the shoe, using water to help the colors bleed and blend together.
- Allow at least a day to dry.
- Using a fabric Sharpie marker (or other Sharpie, if you can’t find the marker) paint a feather pattern over the watercolor blotches. Make sure to get the insides.
- Spray with a water proof spray to help protect against the elements (though I still advise you keep these as dry as possible).
- Wrap & done!
Now I have a ton of these shoes, but I needed to buy a pair to show you guys! HOWEVER, that also means I have this pair – in women’s 7.5 – for practically no reason. So, I figure, why not just give them away!?
To enter, just follow me on instagram and submit your info below (you have to scroll a bit and hit submit). That’s it! A winner will be picked in about two weeks. Good luck!