Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Little Man's Knock-Off Vans {Tutorial}

I am a Target girl through and through. It's a rare week when I don't stop by my favorite store (and an even rarer week when I get to do it alone). But, unfortunately, there are some things that my beloved store doesn't carry. Like the ingredients for my homemade laundry soap. So I have to make a trip to good ole Wally World...please don't tell Target. I'm not sure she would understand.

This last time I made the trek to Wal-Mart, I stopped by the shoe section looking for some cheap water shoes for the kids to wear at the splash pad and came across these: 

These cute little canvas sliders were only $5! So I snagged a few pairs. But I got to thinking that they looked pretty....uninspired. Boring even.


Which got me wondering how to transform them into something more "little man" appropriate. I decided to use stencils, fabric paint and Sharpies and make them kid-friendly. And bonus: a craft project for little boys!!!  {Moms of boys, you know what I am talking about. There are about 5 million cute crafty projects for girls and like 12 for boys.}


The first pair I made were these construction truck inspired shoes. My little man is turning two next week and we are having a construction themed party for him, so I decided to make him some shoes for the party. (Hey, girls have tons of party shoes...maybe it's time for little boys to get in on that action.) I used my Silhouette to cut out the shapes from vinyl to use as a stencil. The only snag: vinyl doesn't stick very well to canvas. I had to use spray adhesive to make the vinyl stay in place. Which was kind of a hot mess.

I used about six coats of white fabric paint because apparently canvas is also very absorbent. The shoes turned out really cute but I figured that there had to be a slightly easier way to go about decorating the remaining shoes.

Which is when I decided to use Sharpies. They worked great! I used my Silhouette to cut out stencils from heavy card stock and just traced around the shapes...

...then colored them in. I really like the fine tip Sharpies. They outline very cleanly and the colors are very vibrant.

I used the silver metallic Sharpie for the skull and crossbones and I really liked how it turned out. Very Ed Hardy. Or Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Whichever.

Another great thing about using the Sharpies: instant gratification. No waiting for paint to dry. The shoes were able to worn right away. Which was good because my little guy was ready to put them on.

My little man was so excited about these shoes. His favorite pair is the shark and fish pair.

My daughter loves the skull and crossbones pair and has asked for a pair for herself. I think it's because she really loves Peter Pan right now and she thinks Captain Hook is hilarious.

And I really like the construction pair.

All in all, $15 for three pairs of cute, trendy, summer shoes is such a steal! This project (the Sharpie part anyways) took no time at all and made my little man so happy.


And the possibilities are endless. I am already thinking about other shoes to make for my little man: dinosaurs, robots, outer space, cowboys...whatever his little heart desires. Hooray for crafty projects for boys!

What decoration would the little man in your life love to see on his shoes?

Do you have a project you want to share? Don't forget to link up with us at 


  1. Oh my goodness these are adorable!!!!! I cannot wait to make my little one a pair! Please come link these up Wednesday at Hope to see you and the awesome shoes there!!

  2. These are so, so cute. My cousin has a little boy and I know she would love to make these for him. Thanks for sharing.