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DIY Oilcloth-inspired Hand-painted Shoes

You will impress your friends with these DIY Oilcloth-inspired Hand-painted Shoes. I love Mexican oilcloth and think it deserves to be celebrated more than just for table covers or tote bags! How about high heels? I literally can’t wear these shoes but I did gift them to a friend who can. My purpose in painting these was to carry out the beauty of the designs and patterns into something fashionable.  I’ve been wanting to recreate the look on something wearable but wanted a bit of practice before I dove into a big piece.

Here is how to paint oilcloth-inspired flowers! I love this pattern, but you can check out any other oilcloth designs to create your own look.

SUPPLIES for Oilcloth-inspired Hand-painted Shoes

Shoes with a porous surface. Anything too slick might not hold the paint too well, they could peel.

Painted Oilcloth-inspired Shoes by craftychica on Jumprope.

Painted oilcloth shoes supplies

Shoes. Any shoes will work. I bought these heels at the thrift store and knew they would be perfect for my trial run! To do this, you can use any kind of shoe – even sneakers. Just look for something that has a nice smooth surface. And it helps if they are in good shape.

Fabric paint! This is different than craft paint. Craft paint will scratch and peel off. Fabric paint or even multi-surface paint will grip to the surface much better. You can use craft paint if that is what you have, but I would apply double paint on sealer.

– Tulip Soft® Fabric Paint in assorted brights (you’ll need more than what is shown in the picture above): You’ll need a light shade and a darker shade of each color (or you can mix with white). 

– Tulip Soft® Fabric Paint in black and white. I use these colors to highlight and accent.
– Fine liner brush.
– Medium round brush.
– Water.
– Brush-on varnish.
– Fine grade sandpaper if your surface is super slick (vinyl, patent leather)
Photo from Oilclothbytheyard.com

Study the cloth.

This is the pattern of oilcloth I used. Study the flowers! See how everything has a white background? That’s because the color is printed on top of the white background. Create your flowers in the same way. You’ll need to paint this white layer first, using your medium brush. Let it dry completely. Doing this will also help your colors look brighter.
TIP: If your fabric surface is super slick, lightly sand the areas you are going to paint. This will help the paint grip even better! You can use a nail file if you don’t have sandpaper.


Wipe down your shoes with a damp cloth. Make sure they are nice and clean all over. Even on the bottoms!

Oilcloth-inspired shoes in progress.

Keep it going!

This is what my shoes looked after I added the white. I added designs for flowers and greenery.
Next, you want to fill in with a LIGHT base color. Light blue, light pink, light yellow, etc…  we are working in layers, it will all pay off, I promise! What we are doing is reverse-engineering the process to achieve the look.

TIP: Don’t paint all the way to the edge of the white. You want to leave a border of white, this is what will make it look like real oilcloth. That little halo will bring it all to life!

Painted oilcloth shoes in progress.


Let the light base colors dry. Using a fine liner brush, use the DARKER shade of color to add flicks of thin strokes going out to the edges of the petals. 

TIP: Water down the paint just a bit to make it more fluid, the strokes will come out smoother. you want to kinda flick your wrist to get these strokes. Practice on scrap fabric if you feel uneasy.

If you feel frisky, add a third darker color in the center.

Next, add thin black strokes.

Add a center bud, repeating the process – light, dark strokes, black strokes.

Anytime you feel lost, simply refer to the oilcloth.

Painted oilcloth-inspired shoes

The last step for these DIY oilcloth-inspired hand-painted shoes is to use a head pin to add white dots in the center of each flower. Let dry and add a coat of brush-on water-based varnish to all the painted areas. It’s not necessary if you use fabric paint, but I do it anyway, especially if you plan to wear your shoes a lot!

Painted oilcloth-inspired shoes.



How to paint oilcloth-inspired shoes! #craftychica #paintedshoes


Thank you for reading my post about DIY Oilcloth-inspired Hand-painted Shoes!


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