How to Make Tie-Dyed Shoes With Permanent Markers

Tie-dyed clothing never seems to go out of style. Blasting onto the scene in the sixties, it seems that we can never get enough of these colorful designs. Over the years, tie-dyed items have come a long way from the traditional T-shirt. I’ve seen so many tie-dyed items including tote bags, scarves, bedding, paper goods and shoes. This summer, my daughter and I decided to jazz up some $5 white tennis shoes (or sneakers, depending on where you live) that we found at the local craft store. It was the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon. The following morning, we went outside to complete these masterpieces. I’m thinking that we are definitely going to have to do this craft again with friends. These shoes are my daughter’s own wearable piece of art.

Because I was doing this in the living room and I would lose my mind if my carpet ended up tie-dyed in only one spot, I first laid down a flattened plastic grocery bag  and then doubled up two pieces of paper towel and put them on top of the plastic bag. The idea, which worked extremely well, was that the paper towel would absorb any run-off liquid and anything that soaked through the paper towel would simply hit the plastic bag.

Materials Needed

  • white shoes
  • permanent markers
  • rubbing alcohol 90%
  • straw
  • painter’s tape

Begin by taping off the rubber soles on the shoes with painter’s tape to prevent the markers from bleeding onto the rubber.

Using the markers, add colorful designs to the shoes. We used fireworks as our inspiration.

Dip the straw into the top inch or so of the bottle of rubbing alcohol. Hold your finger over the top of the straw. Once above the marker design, release your finger and let the alcohol begin to blend the colors. You may need to apply the alcohol more than once to the design to achieve the blending look you desire.

Set the shoes aside to dry. Once dry, remove the painter’s tape and relace the shoes.

Once laced up, take your latest works of art for a spin. You might even be tempted to make another pair before summer is over!

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