Andrea Mulder-Slater: The Art of Childhood


Kid Craft: Pump Up Dad's Kicks for Father's Day!

These Shoes Were Made for Painting

Kids painting craft for Father's Day

You can give a dad a necktie; you can give a dad a mug. You can give a dad a hammer; you can give a dad a hug.

Or, you can give a dad a little something different.

This year my daughter and I conspired to come up with an out of the ordinary Father’s Day gift and it didn’t take long for me to convince her that painting a pair of his shoes was the best idea ever.

Deciding which pair to embellish was a no-brainer. 

Behold... my husband's shoes.

Dad's dirty shoes

He knows they are well past their best before date. And he doesn’t wear them anymore. However, because he purchased them - on sale - from an ultra-cool shop in The Netherlands after a delightful lunch consisting of croquettes and kibbling, he WILL NEVER THROW THEM OUT.

If your kids have an dad (or grandfather) with a keen sense of humour and a taste for adventure, for why not make his footwear just a little more fabulous? Just maybe be sure to ask first. Or maybe not. Your call.

Step 1)

Cover your work area with newspapers and remove the shoelaces.

Remove the shoelaces.

Step 2)

Give the shoes a base coat of paint. We used white but any colour will do.
The paint MUST be acrylic. Tempera, watercolour or poster paints will wear off at the first sign of rain. (Water based house paint could work in a pinch).

Give the shoes a base coat of paint.

Step 3)

Once the base coat has dried, start adding colours wherever it makes sense. My husband’s shoes had natural divisions so my kiddo and I just filled in the spaces.

Paint the shoes!

Paint the shoes!

Paint the shoes!

Paint the shoes and let them dry.

Step 4)

Embellish, embellish, embellish. My mini-me wanted to add googly eye stickers. It was a great idea but… not too permanent. So, we compromised and instead painted black circles on white circles. We also added lines, dots and zigzags and – since my hubby is the artistic coordinator for a public garden – we made sure to include some creepy crawly bugs.

Doodle on the shoes.

As a final touch, I pulled out an oil-based Sharpie paint pen. Perfect for adding little details.

Add details with a paint pen.

Step 5)

Let the paint dry and lace 'em up.

Painted shoes are awesome!

Full disclosure: My daughter bailed on me partway through the project, leaving me to finish painting the shoes on my own.  To her credit, she initially jumped in with both feet (see what I did there) and painted up a storm until other things (a bird on the front porch, a rabbit in the playground and Kate & Mim Mim on the television) pulled her away. Because, six year-olds.

Nevertheless, she felt very much a part of the process and for that reason alone, she will force her father to wear these colourful kicks to work, every single day.

And, wouldn't custom painted shoes be a fantastic gift for tweens and teens to make for their fathers? Or (better yet) can't you see this being a terrific activity for kids and dads to do together?

You have to admit, the results are pretty awesome.

From this:

Painted shoes - before.

To that:

Painted shoes - after.

And... he wore them!

Wearing painted shoes.


How to make painted shoes.


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