Learn how to cover shoes in fabric with Mod Podge and leftover scraps! This is an easy fashion project for adults and beginning crafters.
Skills Required: Beginner. It helps to have some basic experience with decoupage since you’re going to be gluing the fabric down and around the curves on a pair of shoes.
We’ve done a lot of projects here on the blog, but sometimes I realize that we have some “holes” so to speak. There are so many Mod Podge projects that one could do in a lifetime . . . and I don’t want to miss any!
Can you believe it?
Me either. We’re about to remedy that today with this fancy and fashionable tutorial. If you’ve always wanted to re-do a pair of kicks, this is for you.
DIY Fabric Covered Shoes
Before you begin, here are some FAQs that apply to Mod Podge shoes. You can learn from my mistakes! Simply check out the questions and answers below, or if you scroll down to the bottom you can get the tutorial. But I promise, these are valuable.
What type of fabric do I need to cover shoes?
I find that the best fabric is a medium weight (or lighter) cotton. If the fabric is too thick, it will be difficult to bend around the curves. If it’s too lightweight, you might end up being able to see through it (Mod Podge can make fabric somewhat transparent).
A navy blue shoe and a fabric that is too lightweight means that you will likely see the navy blue through the fabric. You can do a small test on the back of the shoe if you want to see what will happen.
Cut a tiny square of the fabric and Mod Podge it down. See if it looks like the dark color is showing through. You can remove the square before it dries
If the color was showing through, you’re going to want to either 1) basecoat the kicks with a white and/or flexible fabric paint or choose a thicker fabric.
How do I prep my footwear?
Just make sure that they are clean and dry. If your shoes are a different material than canvas or fabric, you might find that you need to use sandpaper to scuff up the surface. This is typically true for footwear that is faux leather.
If the shoe is dark and I want to use a light fabric, I will paint the shoes with a white fabric paint to basecoat. THEN I will cover the shoes in fabric with the tutorial below.
What Mod Podge formula should I use?
There are a few options here. In a perfect world you would use Fabric Mod Podge (made for attaching fabric to fabric) and a finishing sealer on top to make them super-duper durable.
But you can also use Gloss or Matte for your shoes (some people can’t find Fabric Mod Podge). In that case I would definitely use a sealer – see below. You want to make them as tough as if you had used the Fabric formula.
Do I need to seal my shoes?
It depends on how rough you are going to be on them. Mod Podge is a sealer, but if you are going to be dancing through rain puddles, you might want something additional (Mod Podge is not completely waterproof).
You can head to the craft store for something like this Minwax or similar to seal the shoes. You can use a spread or brush on sealer. A polycrylic or crystal clear sealer will make the shoes mostly waterproof. I would still hand wash them.
Are you ready to learn how to cover shoes in fabric? Check out the tutorial below.
Gather These Supplies
- Fabric quarter or scraps
- Fabric Mod Podge
- Flat brush
- Suede cord
- Box knife
- Super glue for fabric or jewelry
- Tape measure
Before beginning, make sure that your fabric is washed and dried so sizing is removed. Also make sure your shoes are clean and dry.
Measure and Cut Fabric
Measure the fabric to fit the area you want to cover, with some overlap. Cut the excess to make it easier to stick to your shoes (and so you aren’t working with huge pieces of fabric). Do this for both shoes.
Mod Podge Down the Fabric
Spread a medium layer of Fabric Mod Podge onto the area you want to cover using a flat brush. Make sure to get the smaller areas and work a little bit fast. Mod Podge can dry quickly.
Try to be somewhat neat as the medium will dry on the shoe if it gets in other areas – and you’ll be able to see it. So only do the part you want to cover in fabric.
Cover the Mod Podged area with the fabric, making sure it covers the whole area. If you see there are some areas where the fabric didn’t stick, add more medium and smooth down.
You can also wipe away any medium that squeezed out onto the rubber bumper area. Repeat with the other shoe and wait for it to dry.
Trim Fabric and Add Cord
Once dry, use scissors and a box knife or craft knife to cut the excess fabric away. Be careful and work slowly. If you use a light touch you will not puncture the shoe and will just get the fabric.
Finally, trim the edges with suede cord in the same color as your shoe to have a clean edge. You can use a super glue made just for wearables . . . you want to make sure it’s good for fabric and has a small applicator tip.
Let dry completely and you are done!
This is easily customizable with different shoe colors and different fabric prints! What would you create?
Have you ever covered shoes in fabric? Do you have any questions? Please leave me a note in the comments!
If you liked this project, I’d also love for you to check out these other unique ideas: