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How to Paint Canvas Shoes the Easy Way!

Painting shoes canvas can be an easy and fun craft. Grab some chalk paint and learn how to paint canvas shoes for any occassion!

Besides Christmas, my second favorite projects to make are patriotic crafts.  I love showing off pride for our great country.  You might remember my reverse canvas with a free SVG cut file I made a while back.

In the past, I have made a few Proud To Be An American shirts (free cut file) and a baby 4th of July outfit, but this year I’m going to the feet.  That’s right, some fun patriotic shoes!

This was the first time painting shoes and it was so easy.  Really, I promise!!  No fancy cutting machines needed for this project so anyone can make these distressed flag shoes.

Aren’t they fun?

patriotic shoes pin

I made a full narrated video tutorial link at the bottom so make sure to watch it.  I also have printable directions for how to paint canvas shoes at the bottom of the post.

In the video, I demonstrate how to paint just one of the shoes, but simply do the process on both of the white shoes at the same time. 

Materials Needed for DIY Patriotic Shoes

I love using chalk paint for so many different projects because I think it’s the best paint to work with. It goes on easily, cleans easily, and gives the best results. I haven’t tried painting on leather shoes but if you thin down your chalk paint and add thin layers of paint, it should work!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from Amazon, and/or I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my links (purple text).

Prepping to Make Distressed Flag Shoes

If you have 1/2 inch painter’s tape, you can skip this step.  If you are using 1 inch like I did cut the tape in half.  I laid mine down on a mat and used a ruler and X-Acto knife to cut it right down the middle.

cutting painter's tape in half
patriotic shoes diy using painter's tape

The first thing you’ll want to do is tape off the areas you don’t want to be painted. With white shoes, our base color is going to stay white.

Place one strip of the painter’s tape down the middle of the shoe.  Apply another right next to it and another right next to that one so there are three in a row.

painting shoes

The middle serves to keep the exact spacing between the striped lines.  Take off the middle strip and place it on the opposite side of the strip next to it.

painting shoes

Keep placing strips of painter’s tape next to each other and pulling up the one in the middle on both sides of the shoe. 

Make sure to watch the video, if this part seems confusing.  This is what your shoe should end up looking like with all the tape on it.

patriotic shoes diy

You can add a strip of painter’s tape around the bottom on top of the rubber soles if you are a messy painter like me!  Push down the painter’s tape as well as you can on the canvas shoes.

Painting Shoes Canvas to 4th of July Shoes

Now, start painting the white stripes with red chalk paint.  Try not to go under the blue tape.  You can fill in the whole space or leave some spots if you want more of a distressed look.

painting shoes canvas
painting shoes canvas

Once you have everything painted, pull off the blue painter’s tape.  Chalk paint dries pretty quickly so I pulled mine off right away, but you can wait a few minutes. 

Just make sure not to get paint on your fingers and touch the shoe with it!

patriotic shoes using chalk paint

Viola!   Stripes are appearing!

patriotic shoes

Now on to adding stars to our 4th of July shoes!

Apply the foil stickers onto the small area heal of the canvas shoe in any pattern you like.  Push them down as well as you can on the canvas material.

painting shoes canvas
painting shoes canvas for 4th of July

Then paint over them gently with blue chalk paint.  Try not to let the edges lift by being rough with the paintbrush.

4th of july shoes diy
painting shoes canvas

It’s up to you on if you want to paint the bottom of the shoe or the top ridge.  Totally personal preference!  That’s what makes making things yourself so unique!

Wait a few minutes for the paint to dry (no heat gun needed!).  I used my Cricut trueknife (XActo) to lift up a corner of the star and then gently pulled it off with my fingers.

4th of july shoes hand painted
flag shoes

That’s the beauty of distressed, it does not need to be perfect!

flag shoes

Once the paint is fully dry, you can lightly sand the chalk paint if you want to add a more distressed look.  If you want the vibrant colors, simply leave it how it is.

flag shoes with distressed chalk paint

Quick and easy and a great way to add character to plain shoes!  Now you have some fun patriotic shoes to wear for 4th of July or really any time of the year!

4th of july hand painted shoes
painting shoes canvas

How to Paint Shoes Video Tutorial

You can hop on over to my YouTube channel to watch the full detailed narrated tutorial on painting shoes if you would like to watch the steps in action.

If you’d like to share or save this post for later, simply hover over the top left of the image below and PIN It now!

painting shoes canvas pin

And here are the printable directions…

painting shoes canvas

How to Paint Canvas Shoes Tutorial: Easy & Fast!

Yield: 1 pair of shoes
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $10

Show off your American pride with this easy to make patriotic shoes!



  • Paint Brushes


  1. If you are using 1 inch painter's tape, slice a few pieces in half with an XActo knife and ruler. If you are using 1/2 inch tape, skip this step.
  2. Starting down the middle of the surface of the shoes, place a line of tape.
  3. Put two more lines of tape right next to the first one, lined up even with each other.painting shoes
  4. The middle line is used to space the lines at evenly. Remove the middle piece of tape.painting shoes
  5. Keep repeating this process until the entire shoe is covered with 1/2 inch spaced out tape.patriotic shoes diy
  6. Paint all of the exposing white areas with red chalk paint. Then peel off the tape. Stripes!
  7. Place foil stars around the heal if any configuration you want.
  8. Paint over the stars with blue chalk paint. Let paint dry and gently peel off stars with tweezers or Xacto of july shoes
  9. If you'd like a more distressed look, lightly sand the paint and you're done!
  10. Enjoy your new 4th of July shoes!


Make sure to watch the full video tutorial to get a better idea of how to apply everything.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Thanks so much for stopping by and I’d love to hear if you have other shoe painting ideas that you’ve tried on your own shoes!

Have a creative day,

leap of faith crafting

Angie Holden

Thursday 16th of May 2019

Fab idea! Thanks for joining!

Leap of Faith Crafting

Thursday 16th of May 2019

Thanks Angie! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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