From That to This: Neon Flats DIY

We are getting ready to move (again) and Jeff and I have been going through piles of clothes + shoes to decide whether they are keep, toss, or donate. But as we started to go through everything, I realized I needed to create a forth pile: things to DIY with before we leave. This pair of shoes is the first of those DIYs. I found them in the back of our closet and I don’t think I’ve worn them more than once or twice because they are a little too plain. I like fun flats!

So I found a couple of neon paint pens in my craft cabinet and did a little makeover. Here’s how you can recreate this look with your own pair of shoes.


  1. old pair of shoes (mine are Ecote – got ’em on sale for $19.99 from Urban Outfitters)
  2. neon paint pens (I used these exact ones from Amazon) that can used on textiles

Here’s How to Make Them:

  1. Find a pair of shoes that you want to makeover and make sure they are clean from debris. If they’re in the back of your closet, they may have accumulated a little dust. Just be sure to wipe them down first.
  2. Grab one of your paint pens and get to work!
  3. I had a semi-complicated leather detail on my shoes that I wanted to paint and the leather pieces overlapped one another. So I painted the “under” areas first and let them dry before painting the “over” areas.
  4. Move onto the other shoe. And then circle back and give the first shoes another coat of paint if necessary. I did two coats for my pair.
  5. Finish up with coat number two on the second shoes. Let them dry. And you are ready to hit the streets!

I am so glad I did this mini-makeover. Now I’ll wear these flats all the time.

Here are a couple of photos of the finished shoes…

What do you think?

Will you be trying a neon project like this on an old pair of kicks?

Let me know in the comments section below.

31 comments | Click here to reply

those are actually too swell. and they look great with the neon green!
zee recently posted..sunnies

zee | June 19th, 2012 at 10:34 am

RT @papernstitch: From That to This: Neon Flats DIY: We are getting ready to move (again) and Jeff and I have…

(@meganesass) (@meganesass) | June 19th, 2012 at 10:50 am

Ahhh, I want these! At first when I saw the photo, I thought you had added some lime green embroidery — which would be another option for boring shoes. You could do different lines or geometric shapes. Fun fun!

Robin | June 19th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Thanks Zee. And Robin. I know, right? After I completed this project I was thinking about how I could create this look with some of my other shoes too. Embroidery floss would do the trick on some of the shoes I have with thin uppers. Good idea!

papernstitch | June 19th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Just a small touch can make a big difference. That looks like a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, I tend to wear the heck out of my soles before I throw my shoes away.

Maybe what I need is a DIY re-soling project. Then I would paint some of my tennies and wear them for fun occasions!
Preemie Maboroshi recently posted..ten cent porn; trash files; juice boss; cooking too much?; secretly following; hitting hitcher; blackmail cupcakes

Preemie Maboroshi | June 19th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Oh that would be a useful project Preemie. Let me know if you find a tutorial like that! 🙂

papernstitch | June 19th, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Cute! Wear them tonight to show them off to all your blogging buddies 🙂
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brianne | June 19th, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I am thinking about it Brianne. 🙂 See you tonight?

papernstitch | June 19th, 2012 at 1:52 pm

great idea and photos. added them + a link to my blog See Where You Stand.

pointshootenjoy | June 19th, 2012 at 2:27 pm

What a great idea! Never thought this would work!!!! Thanks a lot for sharing!

Dani | June 19th, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Thanks for the shout out Sarah. 🙂

papernstitch | June 19th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Okay – THIS is a great idea! RT @papernstitch

(@sheri_silver) (@sheri_silver) | June 19th, 2012 at 4:12 pm

SO cute! I LOVE this!

Caroline U | June 19th, 2012 at 7:17 pm

I have those shoes! What a great idea to spruce them up for summer!
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Katherine | June 20th, 2012 at 6:44 am

These are super cute! Pinning!
Melissa @ No. 2 Pencil recently posted..DIY Mod Podge Statement Rings

Melissa @ No. 2 Pencil | June 20th, 2012 at 10:52 am

Love the neon trend but don’t want to go overboard? Try this DIY shoe makeover project from @papernstitch.

Delta Faucet (@deltafaucet) | June 20th, 2012 at 11:36 am

Impressive and so fun! I usually just throw out/donate mass quantities of stuff…I should consider makeovers next time!

Sierra | June 20th, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Absolutely adore these DIY Neon Flats by @papernstitch

M&J Trimming (@MJtrim) | June 23rd, 2012 at 12:07 pm

This is beyond gorgeous, and so fun!
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Clemence | June 29th, 2012 at 11:06 am

When I saw this over at Oh the lovely things I thought you actually sewn into a pair of plain ballet shoes. It would be an idea, but it could be a disaster as well LOL
But this is a superb idea to give an old pair of slippers a new breath of life 🙂 Just lovely!

Erika recently posted..Woodland moss necklace – forest green and brown textured ceramic design by JasminBlancBoutique

Erika | June 29th, 2012 at 4:11 pm

what a great upgrade! I’m making a big move soon & have a DIY-before-you-leave pile 🙂

Meghan | July 3rd, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Turn old duds into hot new shoes with this tip from @papernstitch: #Makers We Love

(@deltafaucet) (@deltafaucet) | July 20th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

RT @deltafaucet: Turn old duds into hot new shoes with this tip from @papernstitch: #Makers We Love

Pidsa-MASCOMEX (@HazloTuMismo) | July 20th, 2012 at 1:17 pm

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How cute!! 🙂

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O antigo se renova – calçados parte 2 | Sigbol Fashion | June 12th, 2013 at 8:15 am

I saw the image to this tutorial first. I am addicted to shoes and this DIY seems like a fun way to feed it. I always wear my shoes out until they fall apart though…
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Món Crafty a Catalunya Ràdio #5 ‹ The crafty days | August 13th, 2013 at 2:41 am

wow so pretty!
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