Turn a pair of plain canvas shoes into colorful works of art with this easy tutorial for Sharpie Tie Dye sneakers!
I am hooked on Sharpie tie dye you guys. HOOKED. I made a custom mermaid tote bag a few weeks ago and I’ve just been itching to try this fun tie dye technique again, so today I made these colorful, happy tie dye canvas sneakers!
I bought a boring pair of white sneakers on clearance at target several months ago and I’ve just been waiting for the right idea to come along to customize them.
- Plain White Canvas Sneakers
- Sharpie Markers
- 91% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol
- Medicine Dropper
You can use a lower percentage rubbing alcohol, but the ink will not spread as much, so I do recommend getting the 91%. It’s available at almost every drugstore or grocery store.
You can buy medicine droppers in the medicine section of the store too, if you don’t already have one at home.
Step 1: Remove the laces from the shoes so they don’t get ink on them.
Step 2: Use the Sharpies to draw a design all over the canvas part of your sneakers.
Step 3: Fill a medicine dropper with rubbing alcohol and drip it onto the design. This will make the colors spread and run together and look like tie dye!
It’s that simple! You can customize these in so many different ways just by how you draw the design on, what colors you choose to use and how much alcohol you drip on.
I love this tie dye technique because it’s WAY less messy than traditional tie dying and is much easier to control the design and outcome.
This same technique can be used on any cotton or canvas fabric item… shoes, bags, shirts, hats, and bandanas would all be adorable!
Watch the technique in action in this short craft video:
I’ve gotten a few questions about if the dye is permanent. Yes! It’s permanent once it’s dry. I haven’t had any problems with it bleeding onto my socks. If you are worried about the dye running or fading, you can try soaking the shoes in a vinegar/salt water bath to “set” the ink.
Other brands of permanent markers may work, but I haven’t personally tried them, so you’ll have to experiment at your own risk. You can always try it on a piece of scrap fabric.