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DIY Custom Canvas Sneakers

DIY Custom Shoes

Add a pair of custom kicks to your spring wardrobe with an adorable pair of DIY customized canvas sneakers.

This DIY is simple to do but does take some time to place and apply all of the mini designs. We had so much fun with this project and are so thrilled with how our new shoes turned out! Keep reading to get all the details you’ll need to make your own pair.

You’ll need:

  • A pair of plain canvas sneakers (we used plain white canvas sneakers, but you can do this project with whatever color you prefer!)
  • Cutting machine (we used a Cricut Maker for this project)
  • Heat Transfer Vinyl – we choose Siser Easyweed Electric in Rose Gold
  • Weeding tool
  • Heat press or iron
  • Heart SVG cut file (download here)

Step 1: Design

Upload your SVG file to Design Space or Silhouette Studio and resize it to fit. We wanted a bunch of tiny hearts so we resized our heart to .5” and duplicated it. For reference, we cut 60 mini hearts and ended up using 56 of them. Because we used a heart design, there is really no need to mirror it BUT remember to mirror your design before you cut if your design calls for it!

Step 2: Cutting

Place the vinyl on your mat (shiny side DOWN) and press the GO button on your machine to begin cutting. We stuck with a light grip mat for this project.

Step 3: Weeding

Once your machine is done cutting, remove the sheet of vinyl from your mat and cut away the area with your design. Use your weeding tool to weed away the excess vinyl.  Do a little happy dance at how easy these mini hearts are to weed!

Step 4: Press

Here is where things get a bit tricky.

  • To start, place the mini hearts on one side of your shoe to get an idea of the layout you like.
  • Remove the hearts and preheat the side of the shoe you are starting with, being careful of any rubber area so that nothing melts!
  • Next, you will start placing the hearts again for application. Start with a few hearts at a time – we started with 5 - and press them on according to the vinyl directions.
  • Then just keep repeating that process until you’ve got the look you want!
  • There are a couple of caveats we should mention with this project:
    • As you apply more hearts, be careful not to touch the hearts you’ve already applied with the iron as it could cause them to melt or wrinkle. The good news is that if this does happen (it happened to use more than once!), simply use your iron to reheat the damaged heart until it begins to easily peel away from the canvas. Then you can remove it and apply a new heart in its place/
    • While we always recommend using a heat press for heat transfer projects, because of the size and shape of shoes, using a household iron (or even a mini iron if you have one) will work best for this project.

That’s it - your new shoes are ready to wear!  

As always, if you give this DIY a try be sure to share a picture in the comments below, we’d love to see your projects!


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