Thursday, January 29, 2015

Nerd Crafts: Sneakers

Remember when me and my kids made super geeky Halloween costumes? Well, we have come to dearly love nerd crafts. Last month, I saw this image in my Facebook feed and showed it to my oldest daughter and she was like: OH YES. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

from FanBoy Fashion
We did this over winter break and it was really fun. If you guys are getting pounded by snow days and feel like you're going to lose your mind, I'd like to humbly suggest picking up some cheapo sneakers and some fabric Sharpies (regular Sharpies work, too) and making an afternoon of it. We had a blast and nobody whined or yelled at each other for like - at least 45 minutes. All supplies cost about $30 and we all ended with a sweet new pair of kicks.

We bought $5 white Keds-like sneakers at Walmart in our sizes. If I had been in my right mind, I would have hit the dollar store for the shoes. My son wanted in on our nerd-crafting so we found him some black slip-ons , since he refused to wear the white Keds. I had planned to use the random fabric paint we had on hand at home and my collection of Sharpies. But we also decided to buy some cool looking Sharpies designed to draw on fabric. They turned out to be awesome because the ink didn't run as much on the cheap canvas fabric.

The next day we found some bright blue Vans-looking sneakers on deep clearance at Old Navy, so we bought those too.

Then we went on line and found pictures of designs we liked and saw really nice, hand-painted shoes on sale (like the ones above) that we could copy. We put all our print outs and supplies on our dining room table (on top of a cheapo plastic table cloth because - well, kids and Sharpies), along with a ton of left-over Christmas candy and we cranked up the 80's music.

My 11-yr old daughter is the Whovian and she did these entirely on her own. I thought they turned out really well.

10th and 11th doctors in the house. 
Note the Weeping Angel and the adorable adipose.

Used some white puff paint to make the Tardis windows here.
Then we worked on my son's shoes. We really love Avatar the Last Air Bender & Legend of Korra, so we decided to add the four elements to his shoes. I traced them in pencil from a graphic we found on-line and he used a white paint pen to trace the design.

These shoes were also about $5 at the Walmarts.
Pretty cool for a 4th grader, right? 
And of course I had to make some shoes, too. The whole family likes Miyazaki movies and My Neighbor Totoro is my all time favorite (if you haven't seen it yet, it's on Netflix and it's awesome, even for littles). Mini decided she also wanted to have Totoro shoes. So I made mine first and based on what she saw, she decided what to put on her pair. I traced them with a pencil and she used Sharpies to color hers in however she wanted.

First mine:
I'm not that great at drawing. Totoros are just nice creatures who WANT to be drawn, so that makes it easier.
Also I practiced on scrap paper a few times, which my kids informed me is called making a "sloppy copy". 

 I don't love how the backs turned out but thought I show you anyway.
And here are Mini's. Not bad for a 6 year old:

That's it! Fun, right? And when you wear them in public, it helps the other people in your tribe find you and then you can share a special moment about how awesome Totoro is, or how mind-blowing the Korra finale was, and what we think about the 12th doctor.

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  1. I think you can seal the paint and make them waterproof if you rub beeswax on the canvas. That's what my sister does on their TOMS

  2. Those are amazing! I've seen similar ones online but never thought of doing them myself. Of course, using stencils is brilliant. I'm a big Whovian and Miyazaki fan, so once again you have impressed my nerd heart. And inspired me to see My Neighbor Totoro - literally the other day I was thinking, "Huh, I haven't seen that one."

  3. Wow, perfect. Fortunately, I found your website!
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