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DIY Tie-Dye Watermelon Shoes

Photograph by Ruby Wright

This summer my daughter and I are going to be rocking some pretty cool canvas shoes. We love spending time together doing crafts and DIY projects. Our latest obsession is decorating canvas shoes. She requested our next project should be watermelon shoes and I couldn't disappoint!

I knew we had to go tie-dye with this project because it just screams summer. It's been trendy for as long as I can remember. Usually shirts, bags, and other clothing items are tie-dyed. We knew transforming boring white shoes to summer-ready kicks would not only be cool but so cute! Our DIY tie-dye shoes have already been a hit!

The cool thing about tie-dye projects is there's no pressure to be perfect. Your shoes won't be identical but hey, neither is fruit! When you split fruit open, it's hardly ever perfectly symmetrical, right? Tie-dye makes creating fun, messy and the results are amazing. With just a few supplies, we created our tie-dye watermelon shoes. Here's how you can create your own, too!

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DIY: Tie-Dye Watermelon Shoes


Photograph by Ruby Wright
  • Tie-Dye kit colors in green and pink
  • Black puffy paint
  • White canvas shoes
  • Large rag (one you don't mind trashing; it will get messy)
  • Gloves (usually included in kit)
  • Painter's tape

Before you start let's get a few things prepared:

Photograph by Ruby Wright
  • Add water to both your tie-dye color bottles.
  • Prepare your area with your large rag. TIP: Fold a few times over so that you have a great layer of protection. Tie-dye will seep thru the cloth.
  • Wrap the rubber sole around the shoe with painters tape. (Tie-dye will stain the rubber otherwise.)
  • Remove the laces from the shoes.
  • Put gloves on.

Step 1: Apply the pink tie-dye to the front of the shoe. Use your hands to press in the color. Always apply to the front and pull the color back to the middle of the shoe. You want to create an ombre look of the color going from dark to light. Don't forget to add some color to the tongue of your shoe, too.

Photograph by Ruby Wright

TIP: Add some tie-dye to your rag and press the shoe. It gives it a cool effect and helps distribute the color more evenly.

Step 2: Grab the green tie-dye and begin with the back of the shoe. Try the dab technique to get the ombre effect but in a smaller area. Think of watermelons: tons of pink, a little white and some green.

Photograph by Ruby Wright

Step 3: Place your shoes in an airy space. Allow them to dry 4-6 hours or overnight.

Photograph by Ruby Wright

Step 4: Remove the painter's tape. Using black puffy paint, add 8-10 seeds on the front of the shoes over the pink tie-dye.

Photograph by Ruby Wright

Step 5: Add the laces and rock your new watermelon shoes!

Photograph by Ruby Wright

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