Lynsey is a qualified Graphic Designer, who has a keen interest in art and design. She also enjoys DIY, crafting, photography and blogging.
We all like to have that WOW factor when going out, and what's a better WOW factor than wearing a completely unique piece of clothing or jewelry? Wearing a completely unique pair of shoes, that's what!
This hub will show you how to create your own pair of shoes from your favourite comic, magazine or other images. Anything paper, basically. The possibilities are endless! I will also show you how to make your creation water resistant, so that you can actually wear them outside, without fear of your hard work washing away in the rain!
You Will Need:
A Sharp Scalpel,
A smallish paintbrush, (for applying the glue)
Water Based Polyurethane Clear Gloss (for weather proofing)
And, and old pair of shoes.
A note on the chosen shoes:
Ideally, these should be an old pair that have perhaps seen better days, and I would advise against using a pair of designer heels unless you're super confident!
Also, bear in mind that you will be putting paper on top, along with many coats of glue. This will make the outer shell brittle, so the shoes should not bend much whilst being worn, as this will ensure that the paper doesn't crack, and the design is longer lasting! For example, canvas shoes wouldn't be a good idea, whereas steel toecap boots would work quite well.
Prepare Your Workstation and Plan Your Time
Preparation is the key! Ideally, you should set out at least half an hour per night for about a week to complete these shoes, and at least 3-4 hours for the first night. Leave yourself plenty of time, otherwise you may rush at the end, and mess up the finished result.
Prepare your area- before working, set out everything that you need, so that it is easily to hand. I also covered my desk with paper, because I knew that it would get a bit messy, especially when the glue came out! I also kept a small pot of water handy, incase anything gor stuck to my brush while I was glueing.
Now, you must decide what images you want to use. You can use any image you like- magazines, family photos, children's books- but comic images work well because of their strong colours, and ability to be overlapped nicely.
Begin to cut out sections of your chosen design that you like, and don't worry about it relating. Think more in terms of filling spaces first, and design next. Lots of small images work better than one large one. Keep planning in mind, and have a rough idea of where you will be placing the pieces, as this prevents you from cutting out far too many, and wasting your time. That said, ensure that there are a few small spares, to cover any little gaps later on.
Recolour any Straps and Trims
If you are changing the colour of straps or trims, i recommend doing it before any glueing is done, simply because you can be a little messy, and it will be covered later.
The shoes in this demo began life as a dull grey, and I used a simple Sharpie marker to change the trim and straps to a nice dark red, as this matched the comic art brilliantly.
Bear in mind, that different materials may need another method for colouring, and it may actually be easier to choose a shoe that has a nice coloured trim to begin with, but I had to work with the pair I had. You could also layer over some ribbon or something similar to make the trim or strap look completely different, or if you want really bright colours. Just remember to re-punch any holes in the new layer if you do this.
Start Sticking Your Images Onto The Shoe
Once all the preparation is complete, you can begin sticking the images onto the shoes with mod podge.
I suggest glueing both the shoe, and the image, allowing to go slightly tacky for a few seconds, then securing. I used little clips to hold things in place as they dried, but modpodge is so fast drying anyway!
I also suggest starting from a central location, such as the middle of the heel or toe, and working outwards from that. This prevents any mismatch of images, or blank spots, from being instantly noticed. Be aware that there will be folds and creases, and images will overlap, its just what happens! If you work slowly, and methodically, you can reduce the amount of these little imperfections, but remember that they add to your shoes' uniqueness!
Also, be really careful when glueing to the edges. You don't want glue over your trim, as it doesn't look professional. You want to glue up to the trim, or any other edges, and ensure that spare glue doesn't gloop over the edge. This can take a bit of practice, but its worth it for a non DIY look!
It doesn't matter if the image goes over the trim, as this gets cut away later, just ensure that no glue goes over.
Cut off any Excess and Tidy Rough Edges
After allowing an overnight drying period, you can now cut off any excess images using your sharp scalpel. I say sharp, because it is important to have a new blade on the scalpel. If you don't, the images will tear, and it will look messy.
To trim the edges, simply use the stitching, or the groove around the trim as a guide. Push your nail into the groove so that you have a line to follow, and run over the line with the scalpel. Any spare paper should come away. If it is still stuck, it is possible that the glue has leaked, so gently scrape this away with the blade.
Don't worry if little pieces here and there come slightly unstuck- you just re-glue it.
Coat The Images in Multiple Coats of Glue
Now that everything is trimmed, your shoes are nearly done. You just need to protect them. To do this, simply paint layers of mod podge onto the images, and allow to dry between coats. I painted on 2 thin coats per night, for about 3 nights.
The glue that I used created a shiny look on the shoes, and this is because it was a gloss finish mod podge. It is possible to get matte finish, or even glitter finish, it is totally up to you!
The purpose of this is to seal the images, and make sure they are stuck down.
Apply the Waterproofing Varnish
Well, I can't really say waterproof, because I haven't had the guts to test it, but it is certainly water resistant.
You simply paint over a couple of coats of water based polyurethane clear varnish and allow to dry well between coats. I also dripped a small amount inside any creases to stop the water damaging the shoes from the inside out.
This step is optional. If you are making the shoes for a one off occasion, I wouldn't bother waterproofing them. But, if you plan to wear them a few times, it's definitely the best option to ensure longevity.
Wear Your Shoes!
Now your shoes are wearable! Bear in mind that as lovely as they are, they are paper. They will crack, especially wherever the shoe bends from walking or dancing. It's no big deal, just put another seal of modpodge and varnish on, and you're ready for the next party!
© 2013 Lynsey Hart
Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on October 03, 2014:
I'm so excited for you, moon! After it's all done and you just do a coat each night, that's the easy part! I love mod podge too! It's my favourite, and a little goes a long way! You can get so many different effects too! Will experiment with them over the years I'm sure! Enjoy! Remember you can do this with pretty much anything- I've done a compact mirror and a handbag, too!
MoonSpirit13 on October 02, 2014:
Started my shoes today! And you were absolutely right about setting aside 3-4 hours. I'm officially in love with Mod Podge. It was tricky at first because I had a hard time with keeping the edges glued down on the curves, but after going over it with Mod Podge, it smoothed out. This is the best craft project I've ever done! I'm so glad I found your article.
Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on October 01, 2014:
The comics I used were of the thicker variety and I was also concerned about this. The good news is that the thicker ones are less likely to tear when wet, so you can move the images about.
The other news is you may have creases- I think this just adds to the character, but remember to coat these areas well- paying attention to underneath.
I would recommend covering the area to be decorated with glue first, then cover the back of the image.. Finally cover over the top. The image will be saturated, and in a thinner comic this could actually cause tears. Good Luck!!!!!!
MoonSpirit13 on October 01, 2014:
That's good to know! I'm really excited to get started on this…I bought some Mod Podge glue and some Mod Podge acrylic finish spray today. I have another question: the comic I purchased is a bit thicker and more glossy than I expected. Will this be a problem? I'm worried about it not sticking properly.
Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on September 27, 2014:
The bendiness will probably be taken out of them during the process- you will have hard ballet pumps. Waterproofing is a must in the UK, definitely!! Let me know how you get on, and feel free to ask any questions that I maybe haven't covered yet :)
MoonSpirit13 on September 27, 2014:
Great instructions! I never thought about the waterproofing part. I'll be sure to add that to my list of supplies….although I'm a little bit worried now because the shoes I bought are bendy ballet shoes.
Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on September 15, 2014:
Hi Yasmin! Thanks for your visit, vote and comment!! I love using comic books in upcycling- the only thing is it makes the shoes a wee bit stiff, but let's face it- heels are uncomfortable, anyway! Let me know how you get on :)
Yasmin Crawford-Hunt from Shenyang, China on September 15, 2014:
I would never have thought of doing this with shoes, they look great! Will definitely be giving it a go! Thank you for the hub, voted up and awesome.
Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on March 16, 2014:
Thanks so much for your compliments! I hope you enjoy making your own shoes! :-)
Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on March 15, 2014:
I like your creative hub about How to make comicbook shoes. Thank you for teaching how to create a new fashion. You are wonderful.
Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on August 15, 2013:
Yeah the process is fairly simple, and as long as you finish it properly, it should last. It's also a good way to use up old comics or even (a favourite of mine) rock magazines! I've seen frames, glasses cases and even coffee tables done like this! Good luck! :)
Rebecca from USA on August 14, 2013:
Fun fun fun idea! I gotta try this. My friend did a sort of project like it with a breakfast tray and a comic book, it was really cool.
Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on April 19, 2013:
Thanks! I was totally wanting to make sure i put as much information as utterly possible on it, so that people knew that a wee mess-up wasn't the end of the world :)
Holly Kline from South Jersey on April 19, 2013:
Insanely cool project! I'm dying to try it. Thanks for a great hub, the tips are great!
Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on March 29, 2013:
I was glad to wake up to so many comments on one wee hub! Tammy, I would love this to be a HOTD, but I can only hope! Thanks for your support :) Riotgrrrl, thanks for the share, I'm glad you're impressed! I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities to wear shoes like this. Cab, funny you should mention that, I had a tiny bit of help cutting sections out, simply because I was under a tight time restraint. And if anyone tries it, share a wee link with your results?
Corey from Northfield, MA on March 28, 2013:
Very cool shoes. I would never have thought of doing this but it seems like a lot of fun. Could be a fun craft to do in a group; have over some friends and comic book your shoes while hanging out and having a glass of wine. Thanks for sharing this.
Anon from UK on March 28, 2013:
These are absolutly stunning shoes!!! :-) How creative are you?! wow! well done!! I will be sharing this page on facebook and with my friends! (I just wish i'd discovered this a few days ago as i'm going to a cartoon character themed rock / metal night and I just know these would have gone down a storm!) xx
Tammy from North Carolina on March 28, 2013:
This is one of the most beautiful and creative hubs I have ever read. These look amazing! This looks like a Hub of the Day to me. Great work!
Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on March 24, 2013:
Why thank you :)
Callum on March 24, 2013:
I have seen these in person and was gobsmacked by the level of detail and quality of these.
A huge amount of hard work went into this and they are outstanding!
Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on March 21, 2013:
yeah I've linked it to a p age that I intend to make my business page- just haven't got round to it all yet! thanks for that :)
Sarra Garrett on March 21, 2013:
This is a really cool idea! You could make a business out of this. Voted up and shared.
Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on February 08, 2013:
Thanks! Glad you like them :)
Frangipanni on February 07, 2013:
Ohhh these are sooooo cool. What a great idea. I just love them! Thanks very much for sharing. I have up voted .
Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on February 04, 2013:
Awesome! Thanks :)
Leanna Stead from North Carolina, United States on February 04, 2013:
I'm sure it will! I shared it on my Facebook as well -- I have a ton of friends that I know will love it. :)
Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on February 04, 2013:
Thanks so much! As an arty person, the tutorials already out there were still a bit sketchy, so I totally aimed this at the novice! Hopefully it will encourage creativity elsewhere :)
Leanna Stead from North Carolina, United States on February 04, 2013:
I am totally sharing this -- voted up immediately. What a great Hub!
Your instructions are really well-written and the images are well-done; you took care of everything from beginning to finish and maintenance. Perfect. :)
Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on January 27, 2013:
The idea wasn't my own, but I found that there weren't many quality step by step DIYs out there :) thanks for the comment and the recommendation!
frankieonfire from Duluth, MN on January 26, 2013:
Awesome Hub! I am bookmarking this so I can make these shoes! Great Idea!