How To Glitter Up Your Old Canvas Sneakers


Glitter your old Chucks

We’ve all got an old pair of Chuck Taylors kickin’ it somewhere in the back of our closet. Chucks are those shoes that usually get cooler with time and a bit of wear and tear. However, there’s a point where they can start to look a little TOO ragged. So I came up with a solution for the trusty pair of tennies that need a little make-over. And yep, you guessed it… it involves glitter, and just a little bit of spray paint.

I got this idea while I was randomly cleaning out my shoe closet. I’ve been known to have a hard time parting with beloved footwear. Some people collect stamps, I collect shoes. Instead of giving up the classic kicks that I’ve had for nearly a decade, my imagination suggested that I add a bit of sparkle and shine to make them new and super improved. After just a few simple steps, the glittering visions of my imagination came to life. How awesome is that feeling? Very awesome!

And you can have that awesome feeling too, along with a “new” pair of tennis shoes sure to put some sparkle in your step!

Are you ready? Go get your good ol’ Chucks or whatever canvas sneakers you have on hand and get ready to glitter…

  • What You Need: 1 of 9
    What You Need to Glitter your Sneakers

    Canvas Sneakers: I used my Chuck Taylors, a classic shoe that works perfectly for this DIY. However a Ked, or any other canvas shoe with a rubber sole, would do.


    Gold Spray Paint: Silver and Gold are a winning color combination, so go get a can of gold spray paint for soles of gold.


    Painters Tape: You are going to need a lot of this stuff to keep your glitter and paint lines nice and clean!


    Spray Adhesive: I used a multi-purpose spray adhesive for quick easy application. Make sure that your spray works for fabric!


    Silver Glitter: You are welcome to select any color you wish, I went with silver to mix up my metallics! 


    Sealer: Last, but not least, you will need a gloss sealer to seal your glitter onto the shoe. You are likely to shed a little sparkle with your steps, but this will help give more staying power and longevity to your shoe make-over.


    Note: With the exception of the shoes, all of these items can be found at your local craft store. Also I would suggest doing this craft outside on some newspaper. It's about to become a glittery mess! 


  • Step 1: Clean Shoes, Remove Laces, Tape Off the Upper Canvas Section 2 of 9
    Step 1 Remove Laces and Tape off Canvas Section

    Step 1:  Remove the laces and set them aside. Also check the shoes for any gunk, and clean them up a little bit. Then using your painters tape, tape off the entire canvas upper section of the shoe. This is the prep step for your spray painting!


    NOTE: The success of any DIY depends on attention to the details! Avoid sloppy mistakes and ruining your project by taking your time to make sure that you are doing the job right. It's all about prep! For example, in this step, you want to make sure that your tape is clean and straight along the lines of the soles. Also, that the top is completely taped off so that the spray paint won't find it's way into your shoes.

  • Step 2: Spray Paint the Rubber Soles. Allow to Thoroughly Dry. 3 of 9
    Step 2 Spray Paint the Rubber Soles

    Step 2: Now that you have properly taped and prepped your shoes, you are ready to go with your Gold Metallic Spray Paint! For an even, smooth application, spray about 6 inches away using steady side to side motions. It might take two coats. As soon as you are done, ever so carefully relocate the shoes so that they don't stick to the puddle of paint on the paper. I removed a bit of the upper tape as seen above to make them easier to move. Now allow to thoroughly dry before moving on to next step! I waited for about an hour. 


    NOTE: You do not need to spray the bottom of the shoes.

  • Step 3: Remove the Tape 4 of 9
    Step 3 Remove the Tape

    Step 3: Always one of the most rewarding steps of a DIY, remove the tape to reveal clean crisp lines! It brings me indescribable satisfaction. Crafty friends can I get an amen? Once you've allowed enough time for your soles to COMPLETELY dry, then you may remove the tape! Please enjoy!


    NOTE: When I say "dry," I mean completely dry NOT just to the touch. Next we will be putting tape on the soles, if they are not dry then the tape will certainly botch up your pretty paint job. Again, attention to details!  : )

  • Step 4: Tape Sole Section by Section 5 of 9
    Step 4 Tape off Sole Section by Section

    Step 4: I taped off smaller sections at a time so I wouldn't strip the paint from the soles. Then I sprayed and glittered the canvas. Then I would gently remove the tape and move on to the next section.


    NOTE: In hindsight, I wish that I would have taken a little extra care with the prep as glitter gets everywhere, not to mention on the inside of the shoe. Not pictured above, I would recommend stuffing the shoe with tissue paper to keep the insides clean.

  • Step 5: Spray with Adhesive and Cover with Glitter 6 of 9
    Step 5 Spray canvas with Adhesive and cover in Glitter

    Step 5: This step is fun and messy! As mentioned in the previous step, you will be glittering sections at a time, so keeping control over where the glue and glitter goes is a bit tricky. But I believe in you! Just make sure to be careful where you spray the adhesive. After sprinkling the glitter over the area, shake it off a bit. Do this on both shoes, until they are thoroughly coated with pretty silver glitter! Yes, you will make a mess. Do the best you can, and just clean up when you're done.


    Note: I glitter about three quarters of the tongue, almost up to the label. You can adapt your shoe to however you see fit! No pun intended : )

  • Step 6: Clean Up, Add Sealer and Re-Lace the Shoes. 7 of 9
    Step 6 Re-Lace Shoes, Clean up and Add Sealer

    Step 6: Now you can tidy up all of the stray glitter. I gently used an old paint brush to brush away little specs. Last, you can spray the glittered section with a coat of sealer to keep them from shedding a trail of glitter everywhere you go. Oh and of course, don't forget to re-lace these sparkly kicks. I know you can't wait to wear these, but give them a little bit of time to dry! 

  • Last Step: Tie ‘Em Up and Wear them Out! 8 of 9
    Last Step Tie 'em up and Wear them out

    There is only one thing left to do! Put them on, tie 'em up, and wear them out! 

  • Pin It! 9 of 9
    How To Glitter Your Old Chuck Taylors?

    Oh and you can pin it if ya like ! ; )

Photos by Priscilla Chang

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