Does require hot water and using dye which can stain clothes or furniture.

IMPORTANT TIP: Buy shoes one size larger than your actual size because they will shrink slightly. SEE THE VIDEO HOW TO.

The great thing about being a DIY’er (Do It Yourselfer) is that when you can’t find something the way you like it, you can try to make it yourself. That’s what we did with a pair of plain Toms canvas shoes. I love Toms’ slip-on canvas shoes because they are comfortable and flexible. I use them to dance in and play in. I also love them because every time we buy a pair of their shoes they give a pair of shoes to a child who needs a pair but cannot afford any. And, that’s just plain nice.

Here is how I did my makeover on the white shoes you see below.

Oh, do I have plans for you shoes!

Oh, do I have plans for you shoes!


In a big metal bowl or bucket mix RIT DYE in the color of your choice according to the directions on the bottle. We like the liquid dye because it is a little less messy and the colors seem more intense. Btw, we did not make the water super duper hot because we didn’t want to shrink the shoes too much or loosen the glue from the shoes, plus we wanted it to be safer for kids.



Using metal tongs, dunk the shoes into the dye bath. If you do not want the white rubber sole to be colored then you will need to hold the shoes in the dye upside down but keeping the sole out of the dye bath.



Once the dye has penetrated the shoe material enough, you can remove your shoes from the bath. Remember that the color will not be as dark as it looks now when it is dry. Rinse with cool water. Let the shoes dry in the sun outside. You might have to wait overnight for them to dry depending on the weather where you live.



Once shoes are completely dry you can use fabric glue to glue on felt appliques, rhinestones or whatever else you like.

Toms shoes are great for dressing up and down and jumping up and down!

Toms shoes are great for dressing up and down and jumping up and down!

Yep, they look good upside down, too!

Yep, they look good upside down, too!

Hope you enjoyed this project. You can WATCH THE VIDEO HOW-TO to get more specific instructions. We’d love to see your shoe makeover if you do one. You can share it on our facebook page. Wanna see another post with Toms shoes? Check out how my friend Pearl and I styled them with repurposed reusable bags to make a fashion statement. Just click on the post: KID STYLE WITH MOM’S SHOP BAG

More tips:
You can sometimes find canvas slip-on shoes at Target, too. And, pirate, circle and flower appliques look just as great as hearts.

More resources:
Dress w/ oranges on it and striped blue skirt from Crew Cuts/J.CrewKids.