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How to Embellish and Paint Leather Shoes

Margaret has worked in the fashion world as well as the business world. She enjoys sharing her passion for fashion, crafting, and marketing.

Learn how I created this fabulous fashion makeover that transformed a pair of boring beige leather comfort sandals into fashionable footwear with simple painting, stenciling and embellishing techniques.

Learn how I created this fabulous fashion makeover that transformed a pair of boring beige leather comfort sandals into fashionable footwear with simple painting, stenciling and embellishing techniques.

Give Your Old Shoes a New Lease on Life

Do you have a closet full of old shoes that are perfectly wearable but look a bit tired or outdated? Turn them into stylish custom designs with a little fabric paint and maybe some trim for an extra special touch. Just changing the color can make an old pair look like new, and it's quick and easy to do if you know the right technique.

You can also pick up an inexpensive new or used pair of shoes at a discount shoe, vintage, or second-hand store and transform them to reflect your own sense of style.

Customize Shoes to Match a New or Favorite Outfit

Choose a pair with a shape you like and use the easy painting and embellishment tips and techniques in this tutorial to transform them so they match or complement the outfit perfectly.

Transform a pair of plain black or white pumps into something spectacular by adding stripes painted with acrylic paint between strips of masking tape. Easy and fabulous!

Transform a pair of plain black or white pumps into something spectacular by adding stripes painted with acrylic paint between strips of masking tape. Easy and fabulous!

The Great Shoe Makeover: Paint Yourself a Closet Full of Fun, Fashionable Leather Shoes, Sandals or Boots

In this easy step-by-step tutorial on how to paint leather shoes, I'll show you how I turned an old, boring pair of beige leather comfort sandals from ho-hum to fabulous. Along the way, I'll share some simple tips for breathing new life into old leather or manmade leather boots, shoes, sandals or handbags or adding some fashion flair to new but ordinary bargains with new colors, trims, and other great details. You can even mix a custom paint color to match a favorite or special occasion outfit!

All you need is some acrylic fabric paint, a couple of paint brushes and some simple supplies like painter's tape, alcohol, and cotton balls to transform ordinary, boring leather shoes and accessories with new fashion colors or colors that match a special outfit.

These step-by-step instructions also explain how to adapt the prep for this painting technique if you're painting manmade rather than genuine leather.

Prefer your accessories to be artsy or to have more bling? Kick it up a notch by adding embellishments like rhinestones, faux gems, ribbons, lace, feathers, fabric or other fun trimmings to your custom painted leather shoes.

Ready to learn how to turn your old shoes, sandals, boots, purses, belts, and other leather accessories into your own one-of-a-kind, custom designs? Let's get started!

Old beige leather comfort sandals prior to being painted and embellished

Old beige leather comfort sandals prior to being painted and embellished

Can These Boring Beige Comfort Sandals Be Transformed from Ho-Hum to Hot? See for Yourself!

Finding extra-wide sandals that fit are comfortable enough for my "problem feet" is always a major challenge. Finding ones that also look attractive and fashionable is more like Mission: Impossible.

My old, worn and matronly looking beige leather sandals were what are euphemistically called "comfort sandals," which is marketing code for low heeled, ugly, clunky and totally devoid of style. They also were the most comfortable shoes in which I had ever walked, with a thick, flexible sole that cushioned my feet. So I decided to take on a seemingly impossible challenge: turning my beat-up, boring, but oh-so-comfy sandals into fun, stylish footwear.

The Best Book on How to Paint Leather Shoes and Embellish Them

I did a lot of research up front so I wouldn't risk ruining my most comfortable sandals. "Sassy Feet" by Margo Silk Forrest and Destiny Carter quickly became my go-to reference resource for information on leather painting and embellishment for this project and others. If you're going to buy only one book on how to paint leather shoes, manmade leather shoes, and fabric shoes, make it "Sassy Feet."

The Best Paints for Painting Leather and Manmade Leather Shoes

Photo of Jacquard Lumiere and Neopaque acrylic paints and Crafter's Choice brushes.

Photo of Jacquard Lumiere and Neopaque acrylic paints and Crafter's Choice brushes.

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