I got these super bright shoes from my mom, and like they say in Curious George, “that’s a lot of yellow for one person.” While my mom could pull it off, I would most likely blind people.
But the shoes are easy on, easy off and quite comfortable, so I toned them down a bit with a trendy floral using Mod Podge photo transfer.
DIY Shoes with Floral Photo Transfer
To make your own photo transfer shoes, you will need:
– A plain pair of canvas shoes (I can’t find these yellow ones online, but there are tons of colors and options available in stores.)
– A photo printed on an ink jet printer. I did a Google search for florals and looked for one that went with electric yellow.
– Foam brush
– Masking tape
After spending approximately 3 million years trying to cut a piece of paper into the right shape, I had the brilliant idea of using tape. So. Much. Easier.
Using your tape stencil cut shapes for the tops and backs of the shoes. The tops of the shoes are slightly different, but instead of making another tape stencil for the second shoe, just flip the first one over.
Apply a heavy coating of the photo transfer on the top of the paper where the ink is and then apply it to the shoes. Use your fingers to flatten it and get out any air bubbles.
Then wait 24 hours for it to dry. Yes, this is killer. For immediate gratification crafters (like me), having to wait a whole day is torture.
When time is up (yay!), take a wet sponge and apply it to the paper. It doesn’t need to be sopping wet, but you want to make sure it’s saturated. Grab a cup of coffee and wait 2 minutes.
When you come back, peel off the outside paper. Do this gently with a wrung-out sponge—if you get too vigorous you’ll pull off all the color. Let the shoes dry and seal it with a coat of glossy Mod Podge.
If you want an easy first photo transfer project to start with, try a tote bag. I downloaded a free screen saver and printed it on my home printer. It was the perfect starter project!
DIY Floral Canvas Shoes FAQ
What kind of printer should I use for this project?
You’ll need to use an inkjet printer because the ink is what gets copied + transferred to your surface of choice.
Can I use scrapbooking paper instead of printing my own paper?
You need to use a picture from an inkjet printer. You can test out the scrapbook paper on a scrap piece of fabric if you’d like, but you can also simply make a color copy of your favorite paper/pattern instead.
Will any kind of Mod Podge work for this DIY?
I’ve only tried this project with Mod Podge photo transfer, which you can find online and at most craft stores.
DIY Floral Canvas Shoes
- plain pair of canvas shoes
- Mod Podge photo transfer
- photo printed on an ink jet printer
- foam brush
- masking tape
- Create a tape stencil for the parts of the shoes where you'll be adding the pattern. Using stencil, cut shapes in the paper for the tops and backs of the shoes. The tops of the shoes are slightly different, but instead of making another tape stencil for the second shoe, just flip the first one over and use as your guide.
- Apply heavy coating of Mod Podge photo transfer on the top of paper (where the ink is) and then apply it to the shoes. Use fingers to flatten it and get out any air bubbles. Allow to dry for 24 hours.
- Take a wet sponge (not sopping wet but still saturated) and apply it to the paper. Let sit for 2 minutes.
- Peel off the outside paper. Do this gently with a wrung-out sponge, being careful to not pull off all the color. Let shoes dry and seal with a coat of glossy Mod Podge.
What kind of paper did you use to print on? These are fabulous. Thanks Mary
These are wonderful! I’m wondering how they hold up to the elements and wear.
Marie Hodge says
Hello, I have a question can I use this on any surface shoe? I’m making a pair for a friend of mine and it has to be a specific image I believe the shoe he is purchasing is leather like material.
Stephanie Gerber says
It might work – you might research the Mod Podge photo transfer a bit more, they probably give information on what type of surfaces work best. Good luck!
Did you use a certain type of paper or did you just use regular paper for the picture?
Do we need two different types of mod podge? And does it have to say photo transfer on it? I have mod podge that my aunt had bought for a photo to wood transfer, but I’m not sure it actually says thats what its for.
You might ceck out Plaid online for more info – you only need one form of ModPodge but I’m not sure if wood transfer will work the same.
Well the mod podge says all surfaces on the back in an instructions sort of area.
I can just go ahead and give it a whirl. The shoes only cost a dollar since I got them at a thrift store for an experiment pair.
Do you think this would also work with gel medium? It’s also a transfer product but i dont know if it is the same as mod-podge transfer.
You know, I’m not sure – is the gel specifically for photo transfer? If so, then it might work!
Well i successfully transferred a photo to a canvas with it. Might try the bag thing first, ruining a pair of shoes would be a shame.
Do the pictures that you want to transfer need to be laser printed/copied ??
It needs to be an inkjet printer because the ink is what gets copied. I’m not familiar with laser printers but if it uses an inkjet then it should be fine!
That is so awesome Julia! Thank you so much for letting me know!
Julia @ FaveCrafts says
Hi Stephanie – Not a problem! If you are interested in working with FaveCrafts (we publish full craft tutorials for everything from crochet to paper crafts), feel free to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
The masking tape tip is a lifesaver!!! Very clever :-)
Wondering if you could use scrap book paper also?
You need to use a picture from an inkjet printer – I’m not sure if scrapbook paper is printed that way? But you could make a color copy of it.
Amy Anderson says
These are so delightful! I love them and can’t wait to feature!
Thank you Amy! That’s a great compliment from the MP expert! :)
lindsay @ Delighted Momma says
What?! Get out! This is the cutest/coolest thing! I would totally wear those and I want a pair! Catching up on your blog and loving so so much.
Jamie @ Southern Revivals says
That is awesome!! I want some!!
These are so cute! What an original idea. I love it!
That it such a great idea, I never would have thought of that! I was wondering what you were going to do with those bright yellow shoes-I think even mom would prefer your design over the straight yellow. Good job sis :)
Jo Ann Nelson says
I know how special these are because they were your moms. How great is that! I do know how hard it is to loose that special person in your life and cherish those items that meant so much to them. Hang in there. Hugs, JoAnn
Thank you Jo Ann :) I love wearing her things even tho it can be so sad. But it’s a nice way to keep her close!
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
Oh wow they look great! I’m not good at waiting either Stephanie. I don’t think it’s in my blood! Is photo transfer modpodge different to regular modpodge?
Oh my gosh — genius. This project is too cool.
northern cottage says
these are soooo darling…I’m so impressed with you! great project and those flowers are the BEST – I’m soooo ready for spring!
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
wow i am really impressed!
That turned out amazing! I love, love the pattern you chose! Looks like they were meant to be like that!
I love your panache Steph, and what a beautiful model.
Jolleen The Graffitied Gardenia says
Julia in West Des Moines says
I own a pair of bright yellow shoes and I love ’em! Only they’re more of a bright mustard then that neon yellow
Well that’s just handy! Very cute result!
And I like Anne’s idea about picking up some shoes for little ones and letting them decorate their own shoes! What a fun idea!
Wow, this is so neat. I could see thar mod-podge medium being used for all kinds of things, but you were so right to use them on these shoes. They turned out fantastically.
Anne @ Domesblissity says
You’re just a little bit too clever. What a great pattern to match. I must admit. I did pick up a little pair of white sneaker for my daughter when she was about 3 or 4 and I let her go crazy on them, drawing flowers and ponies etc. They were kind of cute.