Archive for the ‘Do It Yourself’ Category

Hand-painted Sneakers

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

If you’re looking for a craft that is as fun to wear as it is to make, then try your hand at making your own custom hand-painted sneakers. There’s no end to the interesting and decorative designs you can create, since you’re limited only by your own artistic talent and creativity. These fun sneakers are so much more interesting than the plain white ones you buy at the store. You might have so much fun making these wearable pieces of art that you’ll want to make a pair for everyone in your family.



Materials You Will Need

  • 1 pair of sneakers (plain white canvas sneakers work well, but you can use any style or color that you prefer)
  • Fabric paints in a variety of colors
  • Acrylic paints in a variety of colors
  • Several small artist paintbrushes
  • Permanent markers in a variety of colors
  • Small plastic or glass bowl
  • Paper towels
  • Shoelaces
  • Embellishments such as ribbons, sequins, or lace scraps (optional)
  • Waterproof craft glue (optional)

Preparing the Sneakers

Before you start painting your sneakers, take the laces out of the shoes. If you plan on using the same laces once your sneakers are decorated, then simply save them. You might also choose to use colorful or decorative laces instead.

Choose one or more base coat colors for your sneakers. Using a paintbrush, mix acrylic paint and water in a small plastic or glass bowl until it has a thinner consistency. Use this thinned paint to give your canvas sneakers a base coat of color. Alternately, you could use several different colors to paint your sneakers. Let the base coat paint dry.

Decorating the Sneakers

Once the base coat is completely dry, you can start to think about how you’d like to decorate the sneakers. Add decorative details using various colors of fabric paint. You can use a combination of plain, metallic, glossy or sparkly colors to create the look you want. You can also decorate the rubber parts of the sneakers with various colors of permanent markers if desired to add an even more eye-catching look. Let the markers and paints dry completely. Once everything is dry, you can add more decorative details through the use of ribbon, sequins, glitter and other embellishments. Use waterproof craft glue or a hot glue gun to attach the embellishments. There really isn’t a right or a wrong way to decorate your sneakers – just go with the flow to create a personalized look.

Finishing Touches

Once the paint and glue have dried, you can add any desired finishing touches to your hand-painted sneakers. If you’ve decided to use the original shoe laces, make sure they are clean and in good condition. Paint them if desired, or add embroidered detailing. Or, replace the original shoe strings entirely. The shoestring style that is designed to look like a set of springs can be a lot of fun to wear. Once you’ve finished decorating your sneakers, slip them on and have fun.

Monogrammed Etched Glass Vase

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Monogrammed vases can add a very personalized and decorative look to your home. Although you could certainly buy an expensive monogrammed vase in a store, it’s actually quite easy and inexpensive to make your own at home. All you will need is a container of glass etching cream, a glass vase, and an assortment of basic household supplies. These beautiful vases also make wonderful gifts.

Materials You Will Need

  • Glass etching cream
  • Glass vase (vases with straight sides are easiest to etch)
  • Clear plastic contact paper
  • Alphabet stencils
  • Sharp craft knife
  • Wooden Popsicle stick
  • White vinegar
  • Several soft cloths
  • Thick piece of heavy cardboard


Clean the Vase

Cleaning the glass vase will allow the contact paper to stick more securely to the surface, creating crisp etched lines. Using a soft cloth, wipe the entire outside of the vase with white vinegar. Dry completely with another soft cloth.

Read the Etching Cream Label

There are a number of different kinds of glass etching creams on the market. Some are designed to be used once and then discarded, while other creams can be reused. Some creams are also designed to be used with stencils or contact paper, while others are better used with resisting gels. For this project, choose an etching cream that will work well with contact paper or stencils.

Create the Contact Paper Stencil

Using alphabet stencils, trace your monogram onto a piece of clear contact paper. You can choose to do only the first letter of your last name, or make the traditional three letter monogram combination. Once you’ve traced the outline onto the contact paper, place it on a thick piece of cardboard on a protected table surface. Use a sharp craft knife to cut out the stencil. You will be using the outside pieces of the stencil, including any centers of letters such as “O” or “A”.

Affix the Stencil to the Vase

Carefully peel the backing off of your contact paper stencil, sticking it to the outside of your vase. Make sure to line the letters up carefully so that your etched monogram will be straight. Peel the backing off of any letter centers, sticking them onto the glass surface in the proper position. Press the contact paper down firmly so that there aren’t any bubbles, gaps or wrinkles. When finished, you will have contact paper covering the outside edges of your letters, exposing the glass inside the letter stencil so that it can be etched.

Etching the Monogram

Once your stencil is securely in place, apply the etching cream with a wooden Popsicle stick as specified on the label. Allow it to remain in place for the specified amount of time. Then, remove the etching cream or rinse as instructed. Check to make sure that all areas of the monogram are evenly etched. If not, you can repeat the etching process to make the resulting effect more pronounced. When finished, remove the clear contact paper. Wash and dry the vase carefully. When finished, display your monogrammed vase and enjoy.