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6 Tips for Beginners on Personalizing Shoes

6 Tips for Beginners on Personalizing Shoes

There's something unique about personalization that draws many people to it. In fact, there's a psychological effect that's associated with it.

This is one of the primary reasons people love to customize clothing, particularly shoes. But not everyone knows the best way to go about it.

Not sure where to start? Don't worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let's take a look at everything you need to know about personalizing shoes.

1. Choose Your Shoe
As you may expect, one of the most important steps in the shoe customization process is deciding what type of shoe you’re going to personalize.

The shoe’s material will highly influence how the process is completed. For example, working with leather is far different than customizing canvas.

Although not necessarily common, it’s possible to damage the integrity of the shoes' material if you use the wrong substance on it. Similarly, you may not get the results that you want.

For example, leather is notorious for being difficult to dye.

2. Plan Your Outcome
Even if you’re planning on freehanding a design on your shoe, it’s still important to have a goal in mind before you begin. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting lower quality results due to mistakes that were made during the process.

The outcome that you strive toward doesn’t have to be complicated, though. It could be as simple as taking a completely white shoe and painting the logo red in order to achieve a custom look.

Regardless of what you choose to do, you’re far more likely to get the look that you want if you can visualize the finished result.

3. Choose Your Method
Once you’ve decided how you want your shoe to look after the process is complete, you can then decide what kind of method is best for your needs.

For example, spray paint will provide a different look than dye will. Painting by hand will give you a different result than the other two methods.

The ideal method for you will depend on a handful of factors:

Your margin of error
How quickly you want to be able to complete the project
Your personal ability to apply a detailed design to the material
It’s not very likely that you’ll get your intended outcome by using acrylic paints to customize a shoe if you aren’t experienced with painting, for instance.

4. Gather the Materials
Once you’ve decided what you’re going to do, you’ll need to acquire the appropriate materials to ensure that everything turns out the way it should.

In general, you will need the following:

The medium you’re using for your design (paint, spray paint, etc.)
Products to clean the shoe beforehand, such as acetone or leather preparer
Painter's tape
Cotton balls or rags
Rubber gloves
Afterward, you can begin to prepare the shoe for your project.

First, you'll want to clean the shoe thoroughly and remove any debris that could interfere with your project. This is achieved by using cotton balls or a cloth to apply the required cleaning solution.

Then, let the shoes completely dry. You can use painter's tape to cover up any areas on the shoe that you don’t want to modify.

Newspaper can be balled up and placed inside of the shoe to ensure that it maintains its shape while you’re working. When applying paint, let each coat dry completely before applying an additional one.

After you apply the final coat, it’s recommended to let it dry for at least an hour before attempting to remove any of the tape you have on the shoe. Then, allow another 24 hours for the paint to cure.

5. Take Protective Measures
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when customizing their shoes is failing to take the necessary protective measures to preserve their work.

Similarly, failing to properly treat the material before applying paint could give you results that are drastically different than what you were going after.

Fortunately, protecting your design is relatively easy and is achieved by applying a sealant over the entire shoe. It’s imperative, though, to use a sealant that’s designed for your shoes' material— otherwise, you run the risk of undoing all of your hard work in seconds.

6. Strive to Improve
Even for those who are experienced in creating art, it’s highly likely that your first few projects won’t turn out quite the way you wanted them to.

This is normal, though, and you should use these situations as a form of learning and strive to improve in areas that you haven’t mastered yet. Hand painting, for example, requires significant fine motor skills and is one of the most difficult ways for most people to customize shoes.

To help speed this process up without having to spend hundreds of dollars on new shoes, you can customize old shoes that you may have lying around your house in order to practice. Or, you can purchase cheap shoes that are made from the same material that you’d like to get better at customizing.

Over time, your results will improve with each project, so don’t be discouraged if your first custom pair isn’t on par with something that’s professionally done.

Properly Personalizing Shoes Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn't have to be.

With the above information about personalizing shoes in mind, you'll be well on your way toward getting the aesthetic you're after as easily as possible.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.