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Welcome to the inaugural session of Trick My Kicks, a series about all the “geek fabulous” things we can do to express our geeky little hearts via footwear. We’re talking shoes, ladies. Comic book shoes. Steampunk shoes. Cosplay shoes. “To the bat cave (office)!” shoes. Shoes in which we can go on epic quests. Shoes to take us on adventures. Shoes that just look freaking awesome. Kicks. Flats. Heels. Boots. Our beloved Converse. And everything in between. This is the place where our love for shoes, our love for all things geek, and our ingenuity meet for coffee. Join us!
This tutorial happened by accident. Despite its rather inauspicious beginnings, this is a great project and you should definitely try this at home. I saw (several) pins on Pinterest detailing how to cover pumps and flats with everything from newspaper to comic book pages to pictures of family members. They all had similar instructions… most of which required a lot of time and effort. I’m lazy and don’t really wear heels. So I acquired the bare minimum supplies and decided to make my own comic book converse. (Please note: these are knock-off Chucks because I wanted to practice on kicks I didn’t regularly drop a fortune on acquiring. They came out so fabulously that I’m showing you my first attempt. Actual Converse are about to experience awesome…)
Without further ado, here is my lazy DIY comic book Converse tutorial.
- Modge Podge (matte or glossy, your choice)
- Small sponge tipped paintbrush
- A pair of Converse
- A comic book of your choice. One that is partially destroyed already is great since the book itself wont survive this project.
- X-acto knife or box cutter
- old news paper or paper towel, basically something with no extra fluff, to protect your workspace
- Modge Podge Clear Sealer (optional)
- Prep your workspace by covering it in news paper or equivalent and laying out all your materials. This is important because once you start applying glue you wont want to pause very long to find things.
- Take a page (or multiple pages depending on the surface area you wish to cover) and shred it with your hands. You can make even pieces or make them more haphazard, its a personal choice. I like mine to be varying shapes.
- OPTIONAL- if you are like me, you don’t just want to pile random things onto your shoes. So take a moment and loosely plan how you’d like to arrange your pieces. Hold them up against the shoes, etc. Don’t worry if some hangs over the edge, as long as the glue stays in the lines you can cut the extra off later.
- Lay down a layer of Modge Podge using your brush. Note: if the Modge Podge gets on a part of the shoe you don’t want it on, clean it quickly with a semi-damp cloth. Once it dries, it’s on there.
- Lay your comic book pieces onto the shoes however you like, take this opportunity to adjust them if needed. After the next step, there is no going back.
- Allow the shoes to dry for about 10-15 minutes. If you have any overhang do NOT trim it yet. Just make sure it isn’t actually glued down anywhere it ought not to be and leave it alone.
After a few minutes, paint another layer of Modge Podge on top of the comic book pieces. Make sure it’s a nice thick layer, but also as smooth as possible.
- Have a cup of tea and watch a show or something. The shoes need to dry for a while. I waited about 45- 60 min between layers. The bottle says 15-20 min… but I used pretty thick coats.
- Once they are dry… repeat steps 7 and 8.. like 5 times. Make sure to let them dry between each layer of modge podge you apply. I put a total of 6 layers on my shoes.
- Finally (and optionally), spray a layer of clear acrylic sealer over the shoes. If you have fabric on parts of the shoe, like my knock off chucks, make sure to only spray the rubber bits. I used a piece of printer paper like a shield. Overspray is a bitch.
Pro tips: After the first two top coats, I started making the layers a bit thinner to avoid excessive build up, but don’t be stingy because shoes can really take a beating and we don’t want them falling apart. Also, after the second top coat had dried, I took an X-Acto knife and trimmed the excess paper from around the edges of my shoes before applying the final few coats. If you are magical and have no excess paper, obviously you don’t need to do this. After my very last coat I let them dry overnight. I did this because I was tired, in reality an hour or two would have been sufficient.
That’s it! You’re done! Go forth into the world and be complimented on your badass shoes and be prepared to have everyone and their brother ask you to make a pair. No, really. I’m about to make some for my brothers. I wonder if I should use bar top lacquer, I don’t think Modge Podge will survive two, very active, preteen boys…