Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Crafty Ink: DIY Comic Book Shoes!


My very own X-Men shoes!
A few weeks ago, I posted a link to some absolutely amazing comic book shoes that some enterprising tumblrer had decoupaged.  Now, I tend to collect do-it-yourself projects.  I have dozens and dozens of links bookmarked in the hopes that one day, I'll have the time (and money) to build my own bookcase or make my own tea towels, for example.  But these shoes were different.  I wanted them - no, I needed them.

So I did some research, estimated a cost for supplies, and set aside a weekend to work.  It only took me about $25 and one day to make my own, shown in this photo.  Would you like to learn how to make your own pair?  Then read on after the jump for instructions!

First, you'll need shoes.  I don't do heels, but I found a cheap pair of open-toed wedge shoes - only $15 on sale.  Obviously, it's fine if you buy patterned shoes like these because you're just going to cover the pattern.  You'll want shoes with a smooth surface, like a satiny fabric or vinyl.  Cork works very well for a project like this.  Stay away from fancy trims if you can.  This shoe had a rope trim that was a little tricky but I managed to cover it. 

For a decoupage project like this, Mod Podge is the perfect glue, because it's also a sealer and a finish.  It's sold in craft stores as well as online from retailers like Amazon.  I found an 8 oz. bottle for $5 at Jo-Ann Fabrics, and that was more than enough product for this project.  You'll need a paintbrush or sponge brush to apply the Mod Podge, too.

A true comic book fan will never cut up her own comics!  Instead, check your local bookstore for a few issues that you can tear apart without feeling guilty.  I wanted specific characters from the X-Men comics, so I went online to Midtown Comics and ordered back issues that featured what I wanted.  You can get back issues for really cheap!

Now that you have all your supplies, it's time to start getting creative.  I started by cutting out the images that I wanted.  You're covering a small surface area, but you'll be surprised by how much paper it actually requires.  You'll want to keep the cut-outs small - larger cut-outs will be hard to glue down without wrinkles or bumps.  If you're going with a specific theme, like I did, you might want to plan out where you'll lay the pieces.

Start coating the shoe with Mod Podge, then cover it with cut-outs.  It's easiest to work in sections.  After you attach a piece, set the shoe down to let it dry for a few seconds.  I rotated shoes - add a piece to the left, set it down to dry, add a piece to the right, and so on.

Here's a tip for doing the heel:  Cut the image up into little pieces instead of trying to glue one image around the curve of the shoe.  You can't tell from this photo, but that Marvel logo on the back of the shoe is actually in three pieces, with the bottom two pieces glued on either side of the seam.  By doing this, you'll avoid bumps or tears.

Once you have the shoes covered in comics, it's time to coat the whole shoe in Mod Podge to seal and finish.  I did four layers altogether - overkill, perhaps, but I want to be able to wear this shoes for as long as I can!  However many coats you choose to do, make sure you let the podge dry in between - usually takes like 15 to 20 minutes to completely dry.

That's it!  After $25 and five hours of careful pasting, I now have a fabulous pair of X-Men shoes!  This is such a fun and easy project to do.  And it's a great chance to show off your chic geek side - not to mention your creativity!  You can decorate 'em however you want - go nuts!  If you decide to decoupage your own pair, be sure to share your finished product with us over on Facebook - we'd love to see the results!


  1. Very nice! I did some ballet flats this week with Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics but wish I had found your tutorial. The one I used didn't turn out exactly as I wanted it to..