Makeover a plain pair of canvas shoes with a quirky pomegranate design. This DIY espadrilles upgrade is an easy iron-on vinyl project that takes only a few minutes to make. Upgrade a boring pair of shoes into something to really step out in!
I was lucky enough to find a brand new pair of Soludos Espadrilles at the Op-Shop a few months ago. They fit me perfectly and are super comfortable, but had some slight fading on the front.
Because I don’t ever pass up a good thrift store bargain, I bought them with the idea of embroidering or embellishing them in some way.
They sat around in my craft room for months, and I just found them the other day while tidying up.
Because the weather is getting warmer, I thought it was time to tackle this DIY Espadrilles makeover project so I could wear them this summer.
I was thinking that a fruit motif would be a fun way to upgrade this light blue pair of espadrilles and cover up (or at least distract from) the dirty marks on the front.
After browsing through the hundreds of fruit designs on Cricut Design Space I found these retro inspired pomegranates that reminded me of Marimekko style prints. Perfectly simple for Summer!
I love the look of mismatched shoes – So quirky!
Of course you can make your pair matching if that is more your style.
The bright vinyl really pops, and you can barely tell that the fabric underneath is unevenly faded. A successful upgrade in my books.
How to update a boring pair of Espadrilles with some Iron-On Vinyl
Just a few small scraps of iron-on vinyl is all that’s required to jazz up a plain pair of espadrilles or canvas shoes.
I’ve used my Cricut Joy cutting machine which is compact and ideally suited for this quick shoe makeover project. In the past I’ve used smart vinyl to update a bag with leopard print, but any regular vinyl can be cut on the Joy using a cutting mat.
The stylized pomegranate design can be found on Cricut design space. I mixed a couple of different patterns together to create these 2 distinct pomegranates. I’ve linked to the project file below.
If you don’t like the idea of mismatched shoes, choose just one design and cut it twice for a matching pair.
I used a regular iron to iron-on this vinyl design with mixed results. It took some experimenting to get the temperature on my iron right, but in the end I’m pretty happy with the results.
If you have access to a Cricut Heat Press Mini iron, I’d recommend using that, as it controls the temperature much more accurately and is especially designed to be used with Cricut Iron-on vinyl products.
You will need:
- Canvas Espadrilles or other canvas shoes
- Cricut Joy (or any other Cricut cutting machine) (Amazon US | Cricut)
- Cricut Everyday Iron-on in Wine and Light Pink (Amazon US | Cricut)
- Cricut Joy Standard Grip Mat (or other appropriate mat) (Amazon US | Cricut)
- Cricut Design Space account (free to sign up)
- Cricut access subscription (optional)
- Computer, ipad or smart phone
- Cricut basic tool set (Amazon US | Cricut)
- Cricut Easy Press Mini or regular iron
- Small face towel
- Non-stick Baking paper
Prepare the design for cutting iron-on vinyl
1. Open DIY Pomegranate Espadrilles Project in Cricut Design Space
2. Measure the space on the front of your shoes and and adjust the size of the pomegranate motifs accordingly.
3. Click on ‘Make it’ and select material. Choose ‘with mat’ if using regular iron-on. Make sure you select ‘mirror’ for iron-on vinyl.
Cutting and preparing vinyl
4. Cut vinyl to mat size and affix shiny side down to standard grip mat.
Tip: To save time, adhere vinyl to opposite ends of long mat. When cutting is done on the first colour, just flip and continue with second colour.
5. Follow the Design Space instructions for design cutting.
6. Once the cutting is finished, remove excess vinyl, taking care not to remove any of the design.
7. Use the weeding tool to remove ‘seeds’ from the center of the pink vinyl. Keep a small scrap of adhesive backing handy to ‘catch’ the small pieces you remove.
Weeding the little details is time consuming but worth the effort.
8. Cut the backing sheet around designs to separate.
Ironing on Heat Transfer Vinyl
9. Plug in and warm up your Easy Press Mini or iron and select Medium temperature according to the instructions on the Cricut Heat Guide. I’ve selected the base material as 100% cotton.
10. Firmly pack front of shoes with face towels to create a stable base for pressing.
11. Position first layer (dark red) of design onto front of shoes. The backing film is slightly adhesive so it should stay put, but you can add some washi tape or masking tape to secure if you need to.
12. Cover with non-stick baking paper and press with iron for about 15 sec with constant movement and light pressure. Check that design is adhering, and peel backing while still warm.
Note: I used a regular iron to press my design and it was set way too high the first time which melted the backing sheet. You may need to do a test run with some vinyl scraps to check the temperature is correct before you work on your main project. Too much heat and you will melt your vinyl, too little and the vinyl won’t stick.
13. Once first layer is ironed and cooled down, add second layer (pink) and repeat. Don’t forget to uses non-stick paper to protect the design. The second layer may require slightly less ironing time, so check on it after 10 seconds.
Apart from a little mishap with a too hot iron, it was a quick and easy shoe makeover project.
I’m looking forward to wearing my cheerful DIY espadrilles this Summer!
Have I inspired you to update a boring pair of shoes with some iron-on vinyl?
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