Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lace Stencil Canvas Shoes with Simply Spray (DIY)

Love canvas shoes? Hate how quickly they become dingy? Then this project is for you!

Simply Spray was kind enough to send me two cans of fabric paint for my not-so-fresh looking espadrilles.  Two scraps of lace and some masking tape create the perfect stencil to make your shoes beautiful again.   Here's how:

You will need:
two colors of Simply Spray fabric paint
masking tape
lace scraps (one for each shoe)
hair dryer
paper towels

This lovely pair of worn canvas shoes is from Goodwill.  Be sure to pick a light colored pair of shoes.  Simply Spray works just like regular fabric dye: you can't dye dark fabric lighter without bleaching it first. On dark shoes the dye will not be visible.  Before painting your shoes, wash them in the sink with a scrub brush to remove any dirt and allow them to dry completely.

**If you are painting inside, put down newspaper OVER a sheet of painting plastic or a garbage bag. The spray is much thinner than spray paint and may bleed through paper and stain the floor. **

Test your paint on paper or fabric.  Use a light color for the entire shoe and a darker color for the pattern.  My shoes are charcoal gray with a plum design.  Look here to check out the available colors.

Use painting or masking tape to protect any sections of the shoes that you don't want to paint.  Tear the tape into small sections and, using your finger tips and nails, make sure all edges are sealed against the fabric to prevent the dye from bleeding.  My tape wasn't secure, causing splotches on the insides of my shoes.

After taping, you are ready to paint!

Place the shoes at least one foot apart on the paper.  This will allow you to spray the shoes from every angle without moving them.  Plan to apply at least two coats of paint, rather than one wet and runny coat.  This will prevent excess paint from pooling up in little nooks and crannies.  Allow the shoes to dry overnight.  They need to be completely dry before adding another color, or the colors will bleed and blend together.

Once the shoes are dry, its time to add the lace stencil.  Do not remove any tape yet; keep it on until the very end.  To help the shoe maintain its shape, stuff paper towels in the toe.
Lay the lace over your shoe.  Once you are happy with the placement, flip the shoe over and pull the lace until its is taunt.

Hold it in place with tape.  Check to ensure that the lace is pressed against your shoe.  The design will be fuzzy if you have any space between the two.  To fix any spaces where the lace isn't touching the canvas, stuff more paper towels into the toe.

Above and below the lace, add a strip of tape, then cover the rest of your shoe.  The only exposed surface will be the canvas underneath your lace stencil.

To use the stencil, you must spray the shoes with several very thin layers of paint.  If your layers are too thick, the paint will seep through the lace and bleed.  The design will be warped or- if too much paint is used at once- there will be no design, just a solid strip of color.

<----see how thin the first layer of paint is?  Try to make each layer of paint this thin, adding as many coats as needed.

Between layers, blow dry the lace.  This is very important as it will prevent the lace from becoming saturated with paint.  I blow dried each shoe for about two minutes, or until the paint was dry to the touch.  Add another thin layer and repeat.

Here are the shoes after five layers.  After one last very long hit with the hair dryer, I slowly peeled away all of the tape.

Notice the dye that bled inside the shoes.  When I do this again, I won't bother taping up the inside, no one sees it anyway.
Allow the shoes to dry for 72 hours before wearing or washing them.

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