Craft a Pair of Decoupage Shoes

If you're looking for some decoupage craft projects that don't involve making endless boxes try this decoupage shoe project. I used a book of old sheet music but you could use any paper; gift wrap, craft paper, magazines, newspapers, recycled packaging labels or even postage stamps!

To craft these Decoupage Shoes you will need:

Take one blah pair of shoes...
  • A pair of shoes or boots (leather, patent leather, PVC or plastic are good but avoid porous fabrics like canvas)
  • Sandpaper or paint-stripping paper
  • Torn strips of paper
  • PVA craft glue
  • 2 paintbrushes about half an inch wide
  • Clear Polyurethane
  • Ribbon or bias binding

1. Sand the shoes to remove the shiny surface and make the craft glue stick better.

I used 3M paint stripping paper
 2. Apply some PVA craft glue with a paint brush over a small section of one shoe and brush some more glue onto a piece of paper. Stick to the shoe and repeat with some more pieces of paper, overlapping them as you go. Paint some more craft glue over the section as you fill it with paper. The layer of craft glue on top of the paper will help the polyurethane go on better.

Decoupage a small section at a time
 3. Continue until you've filled the entire shoe with paper. Let some of the pieces over hang the edges and trim when dry so you get a neat finish around the edges.

4. Leave to dry overnight.

Let the decoupage dry overnight before trimming rough edges

5. Trim the excess paper the next morning and, if necessary, patch up any holes you find. Leave to dry overnight again.

6. The next day wipe the surface with a dry cloth to remove any loose bits and paint the entire surface with one coat of polyurethane. Work slowly and don't stir the polyurethane too much so you don't get bubbles on your finish. Leave to dry in a warm place overnight (check the instructions on the can but most will say 10-12 hours drying time).

Decoupage craft shoes after three layers of polyurethane

7. After the first coat is hardened paint a second coat. I painted three coats on my shoes leaving them to dry for 24 hours between coats.

8. Glue a piece of ribbon or braid around the edge of the shoe where the paper ends to make them more comfy to wear. Leave to dry and...voila! totally unique shoes!

Decoupage Shoe Craft Project

More Decoupage Craft Ideas


  1. Howdy! Thanks for the tutorial. I have a question about the polyurethane finish - how well does it hold up to the flexibility of the shoes when you walk in them? Does it chip at all? Does the number of top coats matter, or can I top coat like a crazy woman? Thank you!

  2. The more top coats you put on the longer the project will take - allowing 24 hours for each coat to dry - and the more chance you have of the polyurethane cracking. This project is fine for low flex, special occasion shoes like heels but sneakers and everyday shoes will wear out much sooner.

  3. Can you walk in these shoes? I did the same project on a pair of boots, but I can't wear them, they aren't flexible anymore.

  4. Thanks for posting a blog about style - I've missed them from you. You have great style and I love hearing about it and seeing the clothes you like.There is no such thing as too many pairs of shoes! I just love the pics of the first two pairs you posted. SOOOOO pretty.handbag holder