DIY upcycled sneakers


I’ve been really enjoying scrounging around my closet to find things to DIY. I cleaned out my closet to move into our new house (see our new video series) and I gave away a lot of stuff except the things I was still excited to wear OR excited to DIY-upcycle into something fresh and new (feeling). Case in point, these sneakers! These were from Forever 21 two years ago and I love the print, but I stopped wearing them because the laces were getting a little dingy. But with a little leather cording (found in the depths of my craft supplies) and a fabric marker, I’m re-energized to rock these sneaks.

My shoes came with this aztec print but you could easily recreate a geometric pattern like this using a black fabric marker on white shoes. See DIY Tribal Print Bracelet for more tips on geometric patterns.

Prep It:

  • sneakers
  • fabric markers
  • leather/faux leather cording

[catalog-product id=”42169″]


  1. Remove the existing laces
  2. Cut the cording the same length as your laces
  3. Lace the cord through your sneakers like you would any other laces – you could stop after this step if you like the look or…
  4. Analyze the design of your shoes and see if there are any areas you want to spruce up with some color then use a fabric marker to color in the areas, you may want two coats. I chose to color inside the printed areas but you could even use a black marker to recreate this print if you like it. See DIY Tribal Print Bracelet for more drawing tips. Let the marker dry, put on your shoes and dance!


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