How to Bedazzle Your Sneakers

Three Methods:Bedazzling with GlitterBedazzling with Crystals and RhinestonesTrying Other Creative Ideas

Transform a pedestrian pair of white sneakers into something unique and special using some simple craft materials like Mod Podge, glitter and crystals. This craft will not only produce fashionable shoes, it's also a great activity for parties and sleepovers! Start with Step 1 below to begin bedazzling your sneakers!

Method 1
Bedazzling with Glitter

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    Gather your supplies. To make these glitter sneakers, you will need a pair of sneakers, some fine glitter (in the color or colors of your choice), a pot of glitter paint, a paintbrush, a roll of painter's tape and a pot of Modge Podge.
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    Prepare your sneakers. Make sure your sneakers are completely clean, or else use a brand new pair of sneakers for this project.
    • If you're using an old pair of fabric or canvas, consider putting them in the washing machine. If they are not machine washable, use a damp cloth to remove as much dirt as possible.
    • Remove the laces from the sneakers, then take the painter's tape and use to it to cover up any areas of the shoe you don't want to bedazzle -- such as the rubber sole and the tongue.
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    Mix the glitter paint and loose glitter. Pour a large drop of glitter paint onto a paper plate, then sprinkle the loose glitter on top.
    • Mix with a paintbrush or lollipop stick until you achieve a slightly grainy consistency -- but don't allow the paint to become too chunky or dry.
    • If necessary, add more of the glitter or paint until you achieve the right consistency.
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    Begin painting the shoes. Take a paintbrush and dip it in the glittery paint. Place your free hand inside the shoe to hold it up, then start painting!
    • Try to apply a thin, even layer of the paint over the entire shoe. If you pile it on too thickly, the paint may take a very long time to dry. Once you have finished painting the first shoe, do the same with the second.
    • Remember that you can always paint an extra layer of glitter paint once the original layer has dried. It's better to apply several thin layers than a single thick coat.
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    Apply a layer of Modge Podge. Once the layer or layers of glitter paint have dried completely, take the bottle of Modge Podge and pour a large drop onto a paper plate. Take a clean paintbrush and start applying it to the sneakers.
    • The Modge Podge will seal the glitter (making sure it doesn't fall off) and add shine to the sneakers. Don't worry if it looks white at first, it will turn clear once it dries.
    • Leave the shoes to dry overnight, then reinsert the laces and enjoy your new glitter shoes!
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    Try some variations. Once you have the basic method down, you can experiment with a few different variations of this glitter technique.
    • Use different color glitters: Instead of just using a single color glitter on your sneakers, you could experiment with mixing glitters and paints to create a cool, multi-toned sparkle. Think about mixing pink and purple glitters with silver paint, or red and orange glitter with gold paint. You could even mix all seven colors of the rainbow!
    • Create an ombre effect: Another good idea is to create an ombre effect by using three complimentary colors of glitter and fading them into each other. Mix each color glitter with paint on a separate plate, then use the first color glitter to paint 1/3 of the shoe, from the heel forwards. Once that layer is dry, use a clean paintbrush to paint the second color glitter on the next 1/3 of the shoe, starting about 1/2 an inch behind where the first color ended. Do the same with the third color, painting all the way to the toe. [1]
    • Use stencils: Instead of painting the entire shoe with glitter, you could use stencils to create glittery designs and patterns on your sneakers. Press plastic or fabric stencils onto the shoe, or create your own using painters tape. With this technique, you can create pretty shimmering butterflies, stars, hearts, flowers, skulls -- anything you like!
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    Experiment with an alternative technique. Instead of painting the glittery glue onto the shoes, you could try sprinkling it instead!
    • All you need are a pair of canvas sneakers, a bottle of fabric glue, some fine, loose glitter, a pot of Modge Podge and a paintbrush.
    • Paint a layer of fabric glue onto the canvas parts of a clean pair of sneakers (with the laces removed). Hold the sneakers over a sheet of newspaper and start sprinkling the loose glitter directly onto the glue.
    • You'll need to work quickly, to ensure that the glue doesn't dry. Once you have cover the sneakers in a layer of glitter, give them a gentle shake to remove any excess.
    • Paint a layer of Modge Podge over the sneakers to seal the glitter and add shoes. Leave the shoes to dry overnight before reinserting the laces and wearing.[2]

Method 2
Bedazzling with Crystals and Rhinestones

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    Gather your supplies. To bedazzle your sneakers with crystals or rhinestones you will need:
    • A packet of flatback crystals or rhinestones. How many you need will depend on how much of the surface of the shoes you intend to cover.
    • A tube of e6000 adhesive. This is a very strong craft adhesive which will prevent your rhinestones or crystals from coming loose. It should only be used in a well-ventilated room.
    • A jewel setter. This is a small plastic stick which has a ball of wax on one end. It is used to easily pick up and set small jewels during craft projects. If you you don't have a jewel setter, you can use a pair of tweezers.
    • You will also need a piece of sandpaper (or an emery board), some rubbing alcohol, a clean cloth and a pair of sneakers.
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    Prepare the sneakers. Although you can apply crystals or rhinestones to any part of the sneaker you like, only applying them to the rubber toe of Converse-like tennis shoes creates a very cool, designer-style effect. However, in order to do this, you will first need to prepare the rubber:
    • Take the piece of sandpaper or emery board and rub the toe of your sneaker for a minute or two. This roughs up the surface of the rubber, creating a better surface for the adhesive to bond to.
    • Take the clean cloth and dip it in the rubbing alcohol. Rub the cloth over the sanded rubber toe to remove any rubber residue or dust. The alcohol will dry very quickly, so you can proceed with your crafting immediately!
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    Start adding the crystals. Take the tube of e6000 and apply a thin line of adhesive around the toe of the sneakers, in a semi-circle from one edge of the fabric to the other. You should only work with a single line of adhesive at a time, as it dries very quickly.
    • Open the pack of crystals and lay them out on the table beside you, shiny side up. Take the jewel setter and press it gently into a single crystal to pick it up (don't press too hard or it will become embedded in the wax).
    • Press the crystal gently onto the prepared line of glue. Use the opposite (pointed) end of the jewel setter to press the crystal firmly onto the shoe. Continue adding more crystals along the line of glue, using the same technique.
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    Continue adding crystals. Add a second semicircle of glue just inside the first row of crystals, then add a second row. Continue in this fashion until the entire toe of the sneaker is covered in crystals.
    • Once you have finished with the first sneaker, repeat the process with the second one. Then leave the adhesive to set for 15 to 20 minutes.
    • You can use the same technique to add crystals or rhinestones to any part of the sneaker you like -- you bedazzle the entire shoe, or use carefully placed crystals to create stars, hearts and other patterns.
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    Buff the crystals or rhinestones. If you used the jewel setter, your crystals or rhinestones may look dull rather than shiny.
    • This is because they are covered in a layer of wax. Take a clean, dry cloth and use it to buff the crystals until they are clean and shiny.
    • Don't worry if any of the crystals come loose -- just apply another dot of adhesive and stick on a new crystal.[3]

Method 3
Trying Other Creative Ideas

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    Replace your laces. Changing your laces can completely change the style of your sneakers. Purchase some wacky patterned laces, dye a pair of white laces your favorite color, or replace your normal laces with some pretty ribbons.
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    Splatter paint your shoes. Take a pair of plain black or white sneakers and a selection of neon colored fabric paints. Dip a clean paintbrush in each individual color and use it to flick the paint onto the sneakers.
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    Embroider fabric sneakers. Take a chenille needle and some pearl cotton thread and use it to embroider pretty patterns onto your fabric sneakers. You'll need to learn some basic stitching techniques, but otherwise this craft project is super easy!
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    Paint them. Another very simple way to jazz up your sneakers is just to paint them with fabric paint. You can use a block color, paint alternating stripes, or create a cool geometric design. Use small, thin-tipped paint brushes for greater control.
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    Tie dye them. For a cool psychedelic effect, try tie dyeing a pair of white fabric sneakers. For more detailed instructions on how to tie dye fabric, see this article.
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    Sew on buttons and beads. You can easily embellish a pair of fabric sneakers by sewing on buttons and beads. You can create a polka dot effect by sewing the buttons or beads on at even intervals all over the shoe, or you can create beaded patterns and pictures.[4]
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    Write on them. Take a black permanent marker with a thin nib and use it to write on draw on your sneakers. You can write individual words like "peace" or "love", write out the lyrics of your favorite song or poem, or even get all your friends to sign their names!


  • Be sure that once you pick this style of color and paint, you won't be embarrassed or nervous to show it off! Have fun with it.
  • Allow up to 48 hours for shoes to dry for best results.
  • Add a layer of Scotchguard to your shoes to protect them from the elements.
  • Be sure to read the product label or instructions so that when you wash it, all your hard work is not gone.
  • If you are doing this craft for a child’s/teen’s party, make sure you get all of the guests’ shoe sizes so everyone has a pair of shoes that fit properly.
  • Adding a line of stitchery around the sneakers can bedazzle them nicely, especially if you use bright or metallic thread. If you are an experienced sewer, consider sewing with an interesting pattern to improve the whole appearance of the shoes.

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