Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shoe Makeover

I love the simple, carefree style of laceless tennis shoes, especially in the summer. They're the best shoes to slip on before running errands, shopping, being outside, or really anything.

I've been drooling over these Keds for a while now...

However $50 for one pair of shoes really isn't in my budget. 

So when I saw plain white Keds knock offs at Walmart for only $5 , I knew exactly what I wanted to do. 

Materials Needed:

  • Plain White or Off White Tennis Shoes (Walmart has them for $5 and Target has them for $9)
  • RIT or other brand Fabric Dye
  • 1.5 " wide Elastic
  • Strong Needle and Thread (in coordinating color)

Although I love the muted colors that Keds sells. I wanted a fun color that popped. What's more fun than sunshine yellow? Perfect for the summer. 

First take out the laces

In a large pot Boil your water. The RIT package says to boil 3 gallons of water and add the whole package. I cut this in half and only used half my packet with 1.5 gallons of water

Rinse your shoes off in the sink with hot water

When your water is boiling, turn it down to more of a simmer and add your dye. Put your shoes in the pot (they won't fit perfectly, you'll have to kind of wedge them in there or just dye one at a time) 

Let them sit, stirring them around every once in a while, for about 10 minutes or until they reach your desired shade. 

Pull them out and give them a thorough rinse in the sink.  Admire that pretty color. 

Now you can either let them sit outside for a few hours to dry or do what I did and throw them in the dryer with a few towels. They'll dry much faster this way. 

Here's how mine looked once dry:
The bias around the shoe didn't take the color as well which turned out to make a really nice contrast.

Now all you need to do is sew in your elastic. The elastic keeps the tongue of the shoe from being too loose and is really necessary to make your shoes laceless.  If you're absolutely not a sewer then you can pick up almost the exact same shoe at Target with the elastic already sewn in for $4 more.

Cut a roughly 6 inch piece of your elastic and pin under the tongue of your shoes. 

Now grab your matching thread and thread it through your needle.

Notice my needle is thicker and stronger than an everyday sewing needle.
This is necessary to get through the thick canvas of the shoes 

Make sure to go through all three layers (elastic, tongue, and the outer shoe)  and sew right along the existing seam. Do this all the way down the elastic and then back up.

Cut off the extra elastic.

Repeat on the other side and for the other shoe and your done!  Admire your hard work.

The day after I dyed my shoes, my sister saw them and asked if I could dye hers as well.  Of course I said yes, afterall it really is a lot of fun.

This is the before of her shoes

A late night run to Walmart and we found this pretty color.

Here's how they turned out

I'm loving that pretty teal color. Hmm what's next maybe a nice coral?

Total Cost For This Project
Shoes-  $5
Dye-     $2.50
Elastic- $0 (since I already had it on hand)
Total: $7.50 woo hoo!

**Update 7/13/11**

Unfortunately, it seems they're not selling these shoes at Walmart anymore, bummer! They do, however, have them at Target still. Get your pair quick, before they stop carrying them!

Linking to...



Kat's Purrfect Boutique said...

Katy, I love the shoes!!! I've been wanting some shoes like that too. They have turquoise ones at payless online, but the style is made to narrow. I have two pairs of slip on shoes from Rite-Aid. First I got navy cause they didn't have black in my size. Then my daughter helped me find the black. I wear them everyday. Someone told me once, the shoes you put on each day tells you what kind of day you are going to have. So, I guess barefoot and slippers aren't good for someone who needs to move forwards. I think my rite-aid shoes area good compromise. lol

Thanks for the comment on my blog. :)

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness- I am obsessed with how cute these are! thanks for sharing! would love for you to come visit me over at brandenjessicakeck.blogspot.com!

Unknown said...

These are awesome. I am so not a fan of Walmart but I think I might have to go there and pick up a pair. GREAT JOB!! Thanks so much for linking up to Strictly Homemade Tuesday. I absolutely love everything you make!!

madison avenue said...

these are so cute!! i love love love the color you chose! i love that you took out the laces and put elastic on instead, what a great idea! thanks so much for leaving such a sweet comment on my blog!! i am following you! you have such a cute blog and i cant believe you have 20 followers since you started blogging this month! come back and visit soon :)


Dee ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ said...

SO cute!!!!!!


Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things} said...

I'm in love with the shoe makeover and will feature this at tomorrow's linky party!!
Thank you so much for linking up to {nifty thrifty sunday}!
I hope to see you again tomorrow!

Peggy said...

These are so incredibly great!! Now I can have a pair of salmon colored shoes as well as brown plus a bag to match... yep I love brown keds but can never find any!! Once again thanks for the great idea!!

Allison @ little lovelies said...

These are adorable! Really clever idea. I might brave Wal Mart just to pick up some of these shoes. Thanks for a great project!

Whit said...

I am so in love I have to try this thank you so much for sharing. I pinned this.

A mommy's life...with a touch of YELLOW

Jess said...

OH MY GOODNESS. I love these!!!! I teach 6th grade and my pair of pink sneakers are a HIT with my kids. I'm loving the aqua...and maybe purple...oh the possibilities are endless!!

Jill said...

I bookmarked this! Great job and I'll have to try it :)
~ Jill from 'Just Dream, Jelly Bean'
new follower
(come and visit sometime!)

Life With Lucy said...

SO stinkin cute! I love both of them. I most definitely want to give this a try! Thanks so much for sharing!

The "Boutique" Girls said...

soooo Awesome, I'm so going to have to make me a few pair. Thanks for sharing:)

Nike@ChooseToThrive said...

Saw this on Ucreate and am IN LOVE! I'm so making these for me and my girls in more colors than I'm willing to admit to here. :) Thank you!

Brown-Eyed Girl said...

those are smokin'! I LOVE them!

Rachel // Maybe Matilda said...

LOVE it! I'm definitely going to try these out! Awesome idea!

Rachel @ Maybe Matilda

Ashley said...

this is great!!!!!! I LOve them.....so awesome

Janet said...

omgosh i'm totally trying this! AWESOME!!!


Desiree @ The 36th AVENUE said...

Brilliant! You should share this at my "Share Your Awesomeness" link party tomorrow night... Great idea!

Amber D said...

Just tweeted this what a great idea!

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

OH I AM SO SO SO doing these for me and my girls this summer!! A D O R A B L E -- thanks for the tutorial!!!

Heather said...

So glad I saw this post, my vans just died on me and I was going to finally take the plunge and buy some more and now I don't have to.. I could buy 4 pairs of shoes instead. :) Thanks for the AWESOME idea!

Unknown said...

Oh' I love the yellow Katy! Thanks so much for sharing this with us. What a great money saving tip. That's really neat how the binding on the edge didn't accept the color so it still stayed white. And I had lacing up tennis' in the summer, such a cool tip. Well I'd better head to Walmart so I can have the hottest shoes around.

Hugs...Tracy :)

Unknown said...

Just wanted to let you know I am featuring you at MMM this coming week :) Feel free to grab an I was featured button!

Unknown said...

I've never really liked these cheapy shoes but I am in love with this idea, thank you so much :)

Nicole @ Sew Much Sunshine said...

Just happened upon your blog (love it!). Your newest follower. Can't wait to try this project! :)

Tiffany @ Eat at Home said...

I found you via pinterest the other day. Ran out and bought myself a pair from Target, which already had elastic (yeah, because I don't sew!). I used the same turquoise dye you used for your sisters. Love them! Thanks for the tutorial.

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic and I can't wait to try this!

MJ said...

I absolutely love this and Im so in need of some cute little slipons for the summer. I love flip flops but not so good for my flat feet.

I love the yellow and I really love your sisters tattered style Keds with the rubber toe kick.

Awesome post...I will have to try this.

Art By Amber M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Art By Amber M said...


I bought the ones at Target and the dye like your aqua in lime green (from Walmart). I like that the ones from Target already have the elastic, but I also like the fact that they have white holes instead of the goldish ones that the Walmart shoes have.

Nicole @ Sew Much Sunshine said...

PS-Loved this so much I featured it on my blog today! All credit to you of course :)

I think I'm going to make pale pink ones! ♥

50s Housewife said...

Love! I'm going to dye some shoes today! :)

Retro Wifey said...


Kate @ craftwhatever said...

I can't help myself...these shoes are adorable! I am adding them to my Craft Bucket List. And I linked to your tutorial on my blog. Love your idea. Can't wait to make it!

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic idea! Thank you for sharing this.
And Oh so thrifty! Like your blog.


Ashley Ziegler said...

Can't wait to make myself some of these! :)

Newest follower:)
- Ashley

Sara said...

Love these shoes!!! I can't wait to make some for my daughter and I.

Rose and Heather said...

you have some great ideas! I am going to try this one too.

Unknown said...

These are sooo cute! I want to do some for my son now! I just came across your blog from UCreate and I love it! also my sister just graduate from A&M... And we live in Houston!


Melissa said...

I love how the trim turned out lighter - one of the best things about creating your own project, lovely surprises!

richardwilkins said...

I'm gonna try a pink dye on my old and rugged tennis shoes and I'm excited what it looks like.

anjali said...

katy these are gorgeous…thanks for sharing….love turq shoes

ian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

hiii, i was stumbling and saw this! i love it! i'm from argentina and i think that its incredible how internet can do this haha...
my question is.. how did you do to leave the top of the tongue and the other part white?
hope you could understand me, im sorry for my english :S
my e-mail is pauhorrocks@hotmail.com

ZaY said...

Ahh I love these :) I just made a pair for my sister for christmas. They're red. She loves black and white and red shoes so i figured I'd make these and put some zebra stripe soles in them. Thank you soo much Katy you're brilliant.

ZaY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alyssa said...

Wow I absolutely LOVE these!! I really love the yellow you used..I'm thinking I want to try it with a red or coral color. Eeeeek I'm so excited! Hahah awesome! :)


kasey said...

I just discovered your blog! I'm planning on doing this project tomorrow. And guess what?! Wal-Mart still had these shoes for $5! I found them in the.clearance aisle. I'm dying them gray and I'm going to do the faded tshirt one too!

Madeline Hunt said...

I just did this tonight!!! My shoes haven't dried yet but I can't wait to get them. They turned out so adorable :0


Andrea (http://eagleRowe.Etsy.com) said...

K-mart has a version of these for $7 :)

Anonymous said...

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tasmin skye said...

I bought a pair at Walmart today! They are currently yellow and waiting for me to sew elastic to them. Thanks for the tutorial! So cute! ;)

Kirby said...

I love these! I have made two pairs with the shoes from Target that already have the elastic and my sisters loved them and are making their own now! Such a great idea and so much better priced than actual Keds! Thank you for posting this!

Barb said...

I especially love your sister's shoes, all worn in & comfy. I would suggest trolling Goodwill, etc for a good deal on keds-style shoes.

Reem said...

Love this! I recently have dyed my son's shoes navy blue, they turned out nice but the white bottom of the shoes have turned purple, not sure if it was the kind of dyed I used or what. Do you know how can I fix this or have you ran into similar problem?? Thanks you so much!

Janelle said...

I always wondered how laceless shoes stayed on people's feet so easily, because they sure never did for me. Now I know!

Libby said...

I just discovered your blog via Pinterest surfing, and I love it! Such great ideas. I have a pair of no lace shoes like these (from Old Navy), but they're on their last leg. Now I'll be able to make a new pair! Thanks a million!
Can't wait to try all of your ideas!

gml said...

Absolutely MARVELOUS, smashing idea and great colors! Thanks for the tute, too!

vicky said...

I love this project, it's like having a whole new pair of shoes! I wonder what else you could glitter-ize... :)

Unknown said...

I went to Walmart last night and saw the shoes. I remember seeing your tutorial a while back so I got some to try. They have both with shoe laces and without (ones without doesn't have the holes for the laces tho). I got both and cannot wait to try! I think I paid 5.87 for each pair..6 to be exact (plus tax). Anywho, you still cannot beat that price!! Have you ever tried the RIT liquid dye?? Just curious to how it will turn out?? Thanks for sharing!

SapphireStacy77 said...

They have them at Kmart as well for very cheap because we just bought 30 pair for a dance routine for the studio I costume for.

Holly- Cutie Pie Cottage said...

Love! ♥

Unknown said...

The sneakers at Target have the elastic already inside the tongue. One less step.

Unknown said...

The sneakers at Target have the elastic already inside the tongue. One less step.

Heather said...

What a super inspiration! I love how you chose bright colors that pop! I am so glad I found this post so that I can totally rip-off your original idea for all my summer shoes. :D

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you have done good job its really informative for me.
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Unknown said...

Very informative article on selecting shoes. I will keep these tips in mind for myself.


Unknown said...

Agreed with Mark here. Those KSwiss sneakers are really something to look at. Especially if you're into sports, some tennis shoes to checkout: http://www.kswiss.com/men/footwear/court-performance?id=33&limit=all

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Unknown said...

Has anyone else had a problem with the soles dyeing too? :(

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