Easy Painterly Shoe Makeover

Transform a boring pair of shoes into something worth stepping out in. This is a quick and easy shoe makeover project that only requires a few household supplies.

DIY easy shoe makeover

I bought them a while ago with the intention of jazzing them up (because they remind me of jazz ballet shoes) but never got around to it. After a week of constant wear, they were looking a bit shabby.

Inspired by some pretty printed leather brogues I’ve seen around, I improvised with what I had on hand (the kiddos markers) and gave my old shoes a new look.

I love an easy wardrobe refashion project and this one really hits it out of the park. It’s quick, cheap and the transformation is so worth the small amount of effort.

Give it a try!

You may also enjoy:

Makeover a Boring Pair of Shoes with a Water Colour Design

painterly shoe makover for spring

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Don’t discount a comfortable but boring pair of shoes. With a little bit of creativity you can add a whimsical touch to your wardrobe and give those shoes a painterly watercolor inspired makeover.

You can use any markers you have available. Permanent markers like ‘Sharpies’ will result in a more durable finish. But in a pinch, water-based markers work fine. The shoe polish top coat seals in the colour and keeps them looking vibrant.

This technique works best on natural un-coated leather that will absorb ink. If you have shoes that are shiny with polish, try using a leather deglazer to remove the leather coating before adding colour.

You will need:

Shoe makover - before

Hint: Test markers on an inconspicuous area of the shoe first (like on the tongue) to ensure your markers are compatible with the shoe leather.

How to:

Shoe make over - how to

1. Clean shoes and remove laces.

2. Decide on your design (do a little test run first on paper) and start colouring.

3. When complete, coat with a thin layer of shoe polish and buff of gently with a soft cloth. The colour of the leather may deepen slightly.

4. Re-lace and enjoy your new pair of shoes!

The little park opposite our flat in London is full of pretty white daisies. Apparently it’s been the first week of nice weather this summer and everyone is out in force soaking up the sunshine.

painterly shoe makover for spring
Read about our travels in London over on My Poppet LIVING.


  • Tonya says:

    Cute! I wonder whether fabric markers would work well on leather too?

  • Sarah Helene says:

    How creative! Love your “painted” pair of shoes. . . PERFECT for summer days about the city & countryside! Thanks for sharing! Sarah in Minneapolis

  • Bee Lady says:

    If I were to make something like this, it would look like a three year old got a hold of my markers and colored on my shoes! They look great! Very creative.

    Cindy Bee

    • Suzanne says:

      Lol let a three year old at them. You would have a unique colorful pair of shoes and a proud kid artist!

  • Elsie Pop says:

    Lovely upcycle – the result is gorgeous! xx

  • jet says:

    i love your shoes, so smart to use sharpies, lately i have done a shoemakeover for plants to hang in.
    Because i will hang them out side on the balcony they needed a good weather proof painting and finished.
    I need now to wait for the summer time, here it is winter.
    And finding a persone that will drill holes;-D
    but yours are awesome as well and perhaps one day i will try this out .
    thank you for the sharing and the tute:-D

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