Sunday, July 19, 2015

How To: Paint Canvas Shoes

So I went to see Fall Out Boy on their Boys of Zummer Tour in and it was the best day of my life. I got up to the front of the pit and Patrick Stump looked right at me (okay maybe he didn't, but don't break my fangirl heart). Needless to say, I am still not over the fact that I finally got to see my favorite band live.

Anyways, before I went, I decided to paint some FOB-themed shoes for myself and my friend to wear during the concert.

And now I want to share with you how to make your own painted shoes. Here's how I did it:


  • Canvas Shoes - Any color will work. I got mine at Walmart for about $10. You could also use Vans, Converse, or Toms.
  • Acrylic Paint - I don't have a particular brand that I use.  However, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you use acrylic. Acrylic is plastic-based paint, so it will withstand more wear and be more resistance to water compared to other types of paint.
  • Paint Pens - You'll want these for the small details and outlines. You can use a permanent marker, such as a Sharpie, but in my experience the ink may turn blue or run if wet.
  • Paint Brushes - Make sure you use synthetic bristles suitable for acrylic paint.
  • Pencil - Use a white colored pencil for black or dark colored shoes. 
  • Newspaper/Plastic Bags - To stuff the toes of the shoes
  • Water, Palette/Plate, Paper Towels - You're painting, so you'll need this stuff.
  • Acrylic Primer (optional) - I didn't prime my shoes, but if you want to apply less layers of paint, priming might be the route to take.
  • Painter's tape (optional) - Although I recommend that you tape the soles of the shoes, it ended up leaving residue on the rubber that was very difficult to get off, so that's why it's optional.

Planning your design:

  • Find your inspiration. If you're not making them for a particular event, then pick something you like such as a fandom, a band, an appealing pattern/print, quotes, etc.
  • Do some sketches. Draw out your shoes and then sketch potential designs.
  • Only plan a design you'll feel comfortable painting. If you don't have a lot of painting experience, you don't need to try to be a Picasso. Most of the time, simple is better.
  • Still need some ideas? Click here for some inspiration from my Pinterest.

Prepping your shoes:

  1. Remove shoe laces.
  2. Stuff the toes of the shoes. I used plastic grocery bags because I didn't have any newspaper on hand.
  3. Tape off the rubber soles (if you choose to). If you do tape off the soles, I suggest you use a gentle painter's tape and don't leave it on the shoes for more than 2 days. If the tape leaves residue at the end, like it did on mine, a few treatments with GooGone will eventually take it off.
  4. Sketch your design on the shoes. If you're using a normal pencil, press lightly because the lines will show through the paint. If you mess up, you can erase it off.
sketch your design

Painting your shoes:

1.  Apply your base layer of paint (if you are priming your shoes, this is when you'll do that). You'll notice this layer will soak into the fabric, but don't worry, it will fill in as you add more layers. 

***NOTE: Do not wet your brush during the base coats. Water will dilute the paint, and make it harder to cover the canvas (especially if you do not prime first)***
here's after 2 coats of paint (sorry i switched shoes here, i forgot to take pictures while making the first pair)
2.  Apply 1-2 more base layers of paint until the color is solid and no longer being absorbed by the material. Make sure you let the paint dry between layers.
3.  After the base color dries, it's time to add your details. Use other colors to add shading and depth to your design or to liven it up a bit. You can use water on your brush here.
added some details to the flowers 
4.  Use the paint pens to outline and add the smaller details. I also used the pens for writing words and drawing the FOB logo on the shoes.

***NOTE: If you mess up, just paint over it. Use can also use a paint pen the color of your shoes to refine the edges of the design where the color bled or smeared.***

5.  Remove the tape and stuffing, put the laces back in, and wear your new kicks everywhere!!!

Here's how mine turned out:

My shoes:
Mine feature some of my favorite Fall Out Boy lyrics from their Boys of Zummer setlist. The toes say "American Beauty / American Psycho" because that is the name of their most recent album.

Shoes for my friend:
My friend is not as into Fall Out Boy as I am, so I made hers floral with the FOB logo. Her favorite color is pink, so I worked with that.

--The Informed Artist

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Blog Redesign Update

Good morning blogosphere!

I'm excited to post an update about the redesign of my blog! 

Right now I am working on what content I want to bring you guys and what my brand will be.

Here's a look at my notebook where I am jotting down my ideas:

As you can see, it's a bit messy as I toss around a bunch of ideas... But in the end, I hope to have a great new design with lots of new content.

I am tentatively planning to launch my new design at the beginning of July.

I will have more news to come along with some sneak peaks at future posts in the next few weeks!

-The Informed Artist

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Updated: Where have I been?

Update: So in November I said I would have more posts coming soon, and well, that has not happened. However, my blog has not been forgotten!

I am beginning plans for a new design and have a craft post that needs to be written.

So with that said (or should that be "with that written"?), I am signing off to start re-inventing my blog.

--The Informed Artist


Today is the first time I have logged on since March. I feel really bad about abandoning my blog. So here is a shameless plug for my most recent Craft Break: DIY Hobbit Hole in a Jar.

I am going to make it a goal to get back to posting. But look for a re-design sometime in the coming weeks. I think the reason I abandoned my blog is because I set very lofty goals that I do not have the time to reach (being in college really does absorb a lot of time).

I will be posting some artwork, crafts, and photos!

If you have any suggestions for my new blog design, leave them below!

--The Informed Artist

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Hobbit: DIY Hobbit Hole Jar

With the release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies coming to theaters soon, I decided what more perfect birthday gift to make for my Tolkien-obsessed friend than a hobbit hole in a jar? This artificial terrarium specifically features Bag End, the home of Bilbo Baggins.

Okay, so I will admit, I am not the biggest Hobbit/Lord of the Ring fan. I have read the first and second LOTR books, watched the first movie, and watched the first two Hobbit movies, but that is the extent of my knowledge. However, this is my friend's favorite series and so I knew this would be a meaningful gift.

So here below I have posted a few pictures of the finished product. Unfortunately I don't have pictures for the steps, but if you would like written instructions, I can provide them.
Front view of Bag End. Photo credit: Allison Gens
Close-up view of the front of Bag End. Photo Credit: Allison Gens
So I am a little bit crazy and decided to take this craft to another level: Making the inside of Bag End. Here are a few images of the inside of the house.
Back view of Bag End. Photo credit: Allison Gens
Close-up view of the inside. Photo Credit: Allison Gens
I took this jar a step further, and with the help of my dad, we installed a solar-powered (that works in indoor light too) into the jar lid so that it would illuminate the front at night!

Lit-up jar. Photo Credit: Nick Burch
And here's a look at the lid that I made to put on the jar in case he decides not to light it up anymore. I based it off the original cover of The Hobbit. Since I do not have Photoshop, I had to make this entire image on Powerpoint using basic shapes and editing the points, which took an excessive amount of hours, but was entirely worth it.

The jar lid. Photo Credit: Nick Burch
So there is my Hobbit Hole in a Jar.

--The Informed Artist

Monday, March 10, 2014

Quote of the Week: March 9-15

"Dream big and dare to fail" -Norman Vaughan

Here is a good motivational quote for this week. It reminds me to not give up on my dreams, and that failure is not a setback, but something to overcome.

What does this quote mean to you? How will you live by its message?"

--The Informed Artist

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Coffee Shop Thought: Coming Soon!

Happy Thursday everyone! I am getting ready to begin posting Coffee Shop Thought Thursdays. I will post bi-weekly thoughts to reflect on and respond to. My goal is that you will participate with comments and share what you think.

Now for an update on the progress of my blog:
Starting a new blog is a challenge, but I am so ecstatic that I have reached over 500 viewers in my startup month. You are the reason why I want to keep delivering great content, and I am slowly getting my blog on track. It has been difficult with my busy schedule, but I am dedicated to get my blog content up and running.

Right now, I am working on designing logos to make my content identifiable. I will then begin the process of web design to make my blog seem less like a template. My last step will be reaching social media. I plan to create an Instagram and Twitter account for The Informed Artist. You can already find me on Pinterest by clicking here or at the "Follow Me" box in the right-hand column.

--The Informed Artist

Monday, March 3, 2014

Weekly Quote: March 2-8

image: Allison Gens
"I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward"
- Charlotte Brontë

I am starting my very first Weekly Quote with a quote by Charlotte Brontë and one of my favorite pictures I have ever taken (I even submitted it to National Geographic for the Your Shot contest, see that here).

This quote is a really good quote to live by. Looking upward can mean following God, or it could mean keeping your head up, or it could mean living in the moment that you are in now. It truly has an interpretation to whoever reads it.

What does this quote mean to you? Comment below if you want to share!

--The Informed Artist