Mod Podge shoes are a great way to revamp your wardrobe on a budget. Here are 20+ inspirational ideas – pick your favorite DIY decoupage shoes project and get crafty!
Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of the post to get a bonus video for adding a no sew cuff to boots with Mod Podge.
Skills Required: Advanced Beginner. I believe it’s probably best to have some experience with Mod Podge given that you’re going to have to work around the shape of shoes and seams.
You are going to laugh – I’ve only Mod Podged shoes a few times – once for my book, Mod Podge Rocks. BUT I have a pair of heels as we speak that are ready to be Podged.
There are so many reasons to Mod Podge shoes. You can customize them to fit your personality, you’re upcycling, AND it’s the perfect budget craft.
Before we dig in, you might have some questions about decoupage shoes, and I’m more than happy to answer them.
FAQ for Decoupage Shoes
What Can I Mod Podge on Shoes?
I’ve seen it all, my friends – napkins, fabric, paper. I’ll say that cotton or cotton blend fabrics work better than poly fabrics in my opinion. I’m also not a big fan of silk or felt because it discolors and gets a weird texture.
I always go for medium weight or thinner when Mod Podging shoes because you have to go around a lot of round edges.
You’ll see in the tutorials below that some people use very thin items, even napkins, to decoupage shoes. If that’s the case, keep in mind that you might be able to see the background through the item when you Mod Podge it down (so you might want to paint your shoes white or use white shoes).
Which Formula Do I Use?
If I had to choose one formula, it would be Fabric Mod Podge. It’s highly water resistant (just like Mod Podge Outdoor), and it’s made for bonding fabric to fabric, which is a likely scenario if you are going to decoupage shoes.
Outdoor Mod Podge is a close second, but it’s thicker and therefore harder to work with. Technically you can use the regular formulas (Gloss or Matte), but those aren’t made for exposure to water so you need to seal them very well.
How Do I Seal Them?
If you use Fabric Mod Podge you can leave them as-is. It might take awhile for them to fully cure and the tackiness to go away, especially depending on the climate you live in.
Therefore I’m a big fan of spraying or brushing on a clear acrylic sealer in the finish of your choice (Gloss, Satin, or Matte). Minwax Polycrylic is a big favorite with a lot of people. You can really use anything – just make sure it’s clear, and acrylic.
I always do it because hey, there’s nothing wrong with making the shoes even more durable.
Can I Make them Waterproof?
To make them completely waterproof, you’ll need an additional sealer that is completely waterproof. Buy something from the hardware store like an engine enamel or something similar that is clear. Mod Podge is highly water resistant but not waterproof; learn more here.
Are you ready to jump into the tutorials??
Some of these decoupage shoes are easier than others (go for glitter if you’re a newbie to Mod Podge) but all are amazing. I can’t wait to Mod Podge my own shoes and share with you. In the meantime, enjoy these 20+ Mod Podge shoe projects!
Mod Podge Shoes
If you want to try some decoupage shoes, you're going to love these options! You'll use Mod Podge with glitter, fabric, napkins, paint, and a variety of other materials to decorate your kicks.
Kasia did this wedge makeover spontaneously with what she had on hand! That included Sharpies, Mod Podge, crepe paper, and some other embellishments. I love how the final (bright and fun!) project turned out.
Has anyone glittered like this successfully to a cork wedge? Or a wedge with rope detailing?
Thursday 23rd of February 2023
Hi anyone tried on leather trainers ? Does it crack or wear off. I tried the normal mod podge on a leather bag and add a few layers on top then used a trainer leather varnish. But the paper started to lift off after a few weeks. Is that because I didn't use the fabric mod podge or maybe didn't put enough glue on ? I really want to get into doing trainers leather type though not canvas. Any help is appreciated. I can't find any info on leather trainers only canvas ones. Thanks
Tuesday 28th of February 2023
Hi there! I have not done leather trainers myself but other Podgers have. So yes, I would think so. You can rough up the surface a bit with fine grit sandpaper if it's a very smooth leather (so the MP sticks better).
Wednesday 2nd of March 2022
After you cover how you keep them from cracking like the boots.
Friday 4th of February 2022
I've Mod Podged paper napkins (or anything paper) on sneakers & canvas shoes many times over the years. They aren't something you want to wear on a regular basis if you want to keep them for a while. I just use a cheapie pair from Walmart, Dollar General or Family Dollar because they are basically disposable. The areas on your shoes, where your feet bend & you get the creases will eventually cause the paper to crack & peel because everything becomes kind of stiff when the Mod Podge dries.
Using a printed fabric & fabric Mod Podge is always a better option if you can. They will flex better & last longer.
Either way I have found if I put the MP & napkins/fabric down, a decent top coat of MP then let them dry, it's easier to cut the excess off & clean them up w/an Xacto knife. After that I use another good coat of MP.
Friday 4th of February 2022
Great tips, thank you Rachel!! :D
Sunday 13th of October 2013
Hi, Im completely new to this - stumbled across it when looking on how to upstyle my wedding shoes.
Can you do paper on satin shoes? If so what products would I need to get started.? I really want original wedding shoes - that little be of the quirky me hiding under my traditional dress :-)
Sunday 13th of October 2013
Hi Shell! I don't recommend paper on Satin - fabric would work. So I'd use fabric, any type of Mod Podge (gloss or matte) and then some brush on sealer.