How to Paint on Canvas Shoes

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Honor the fruity mascots of spring and summer and make painted shoes featuring pineapple and banana silhouettes in just seven steps. There's even a printable template for you to download, making this project an easy one to tackle one lazy weekend. All in all, your new shoes should take just an hour or two to complete, and afterward you'll be enjoying them season after season.

(Image: Carrie Waller)
(Image: Carrie Waller)

Things You'll Need

  • Black fine-tip fabric marker
  • Fabric paint, in yellow and green or acrylic paint mixed with textile medium
  • Plastic paint tray
  • Detail paintbrush
  • Clear waterproofing spray (optional)
(Image: Carrie Waller)

Step 1: Print and Cut Out the Fruit Templates

Download and open the printable banana template and the printable pineapple template on your computer. Print each template onto card stock, scaling the artwork down to roughly 8 percent, although this may depend on the size of your shoe. Use scissors to cut the template down to a small rectangle, leaving about 1 inch of paper border around the fruit silhouette. Carefully cut away the black part of the fruit printout with a razor blade or craft knife.

Tip

  • We made the printable template extra large so that you can use the stencil on anything from canvas shoes to large-scale wall art. The possibilities are up to you — just edit the scale on your printer settings when printing from your computer.

(Image: Carrie Waller)

Step 2: Trace the Banana Template

Lay the cut banana template on top of your canvas shoe. Trace the outline lightly onto the canvas using a black fabric marker. Lift the template, lay it on a different area of the shoe and trace again. Leave about 3/4 inch of space between each banana. Repeat the steps until you have achieved the desired pattern, turning and flipping the template as you go to create a random look.

(Image: Carrie Waller)

Step 3: Paint the Bananas Yellow

Squeeze a bit of yellow fabric paint onto a plastic paint tray. Use a detail paintbrush to fill in the center of each banana template, from the stem all the way to the bottom of each piece of fruit. If the ink from the marker bled a little bit during Step 2, paint up and over the line a small fraction with yellow pigment, thus creating a crisper black outline. Do not let the paint dry before moving on to the next step. You'll have about 20 minutes before the paint starts to dry out, so work within that timeframe.

(Image: Carrie Waller)

Step 4: Paint the Banana Stems Green

Before the yellow paint has a chance to dry, squeeze a bit of green fabric paint onto the plastic paint tray. Use the same detail paintbrush to add a bit of green on the stem of each banana shape, beginning with the first banana that you painted yellow. Start your paintbrush at the top of the stem and gently sweep down. Because the yellow paint is still wet, it will naturally blend slightly with the new green paint, giving the illusion of a real banana's graduated coloring. You do not need to clean your brush in between, because the idea is to blend the colors slightly. When finished, allow the paint to dry for one hour.

(Image: Carrie Waller)

Step 5: Repeat the Steps for the Pineapple Shoe

While the banana fruit shoe is drying, pick up the second shoe and begin repeating the steps, this time with the pineapple template. Lay the template on the shoe at random angles and trace the edges of both the round section and the leafy section with a black fabric marker. Then, go back and paint the large round section of each pineapple yellow, and paint the leafy stems green. There is no blending required with the pineapple, so clean your brush completely with water in between colors. Allow the paint to dry for one hour.

(Image: Carrie Waller)

Step 6: Add Finishing Details

When the yellow and green paint on both shoes is completely dry, use the black fabric marker to add details on top of each piece of fruit. For the banana, start your marker at the end of the banana and slowly draw an arched line toward the stem, stopping it just before you get into the stem. Connect the line with the edge of the banana just beneath the stem. Repeat on each banana. For the pineapple, create a diagonal crisscross pattern across each round pineapple section. Repeat on each pineapple.

(Image: Carrie Waller)

Step 7: Allow the Ink to Dry

Allow the black ink from the fabric marker to dry completely for one hour, and then the painted fruit on each shoe will be waterproof and ready to be shown off outdoors.

Tip

  • Spray the pair of shoes with clear spray-on waterproof solution specially formulated for fabric shoes. This will ensure that both the paint and canvas remain clean and unstained while out in the elements.

Additional Project Idea

(Image: Carrie Waller)

Looking for more project ideas? While you're at it, you can paint a canvas tote using the same materials.

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