Seven ways to customise your sneakers into personalised kicks

Who doesn’t want their own specially designed sneakers?

Shannon Kuan

Weird talents include playing the violin, but with a ukulele and a clothes hanger.

Published: 28 May 2021, 12:44 PM

Many believe that shoes have the power to either ruin or improve an entire outfit.

But sadly, they can get outrageously expensive sometimes — especially if you’re searching for unique designs.

If you’re sick of your basic old sneakers and want to spice up your sneakers game, add a personalised touch to your shoes by giving these seven ideas a try.

1. Dye your sneakers a different colour

Have you ever wanted sneakers in a certain colour but it wasn’t available at all? Or do you own a pair of white canvas or cloth shoes and are tired of its simple appearance?

Well, why not dye it into any colour you fancy?

The process is rather simple. Simply get your pair of clean canvas shoes, cover the sole, logo and outsole with tape, then dunk them into a mixture of hot water, detergent, salt and the coloured dye of your choice — most use Rit Dye and Venus Dye — for 30 minutes to an hour. 

After washing them thoroughly and drying them, your ‘new’ shoes are ready to wear!


Non-white shoes can also be dyed into a different colour by first using bleach. PHOTO CREDIT: TIKTOK/@NOSWAGDETECTED


If you’re keen to try this, a tutorial on how to dye Converse shoes can be found here.

2. Paint and design your shoes

The go-to method when it comes to revamping shoes is painting, because of its versatility – you can incorporate any colour schemes, patterns and designs.

There’s even a niche space for it online – many have been sharing their own designs on white sneakers like the Nike Air Force 1s, such as painting anime characters on the sneakers, adding a drip effect below the Nike logo, or simply painting accents on the shoes in a specific colour scheme.


While there are people who offer paid shoe customisation services, you can easily do this at home too. PHOTO CREDIT: TIKTOK/@ALLIEE.C


Depending on the fabric of the shoes you’re painting, it is advised to use acrylic leather or spray paints on leather or vinyl shoes like Nike AF1s and fabric paint for cloth or canvas shoes like Converse and Vans. You can also use paint markers or paint pens for finer detailed work.

You can find inspiration online here and here.

3. Add beads to your laces

Probably the easiest yet trendiest way to decorate your shoes is through beading the laces on your sneakers.

You can add multicoloured hollow beads and lettered beads to spell out your name or your favourite phrase. It’s all up to personal preference!


These coloured beads can be found online, or taken from children’s jewellery sets. PHOTO CREDIT: PINTEREST/@JAYCEENCOBB4914, PINTEREST/@MADDYDOG260


This customisation method is great for those who don’t want to make irreversible changes to their shoes, and want to keep its original design.

4. Embroider your canvas shoes

If you are familiar with embroidery and sewing, you might be pleased to know about a new medium where you can practise your embroidery on — canvas shoes.

As the entire shoe is literally a canvas where needles and thread can pierce through, this means you can decorate your shoes with embroidered details such as plants, stars or little planets.


A popular way to embroider Converse shoes is to add flowers around the circle brand logo. PHOTO CREDIT: TWITTER/@COZYTANGERINE


You can easily find more design inspirations online, and follow a step-by-step tutorial here.

5. Iron patches onto canvas shoes

If you don’t trust your art or embroidery skills, a simpler way to add designs onto your shoes would be ironing on pre-embroidered patches.

All that is required is patches, canvas shoes and an iron.

Using iron patches is less time consuming and more importantly, it’s much more simpler than embroidery.

6. Upgrade the style and colour of your laces

Shoelaces no longer have the sole use of keeping your shoes tight and secure on your feet. It also adds to the style of the shoes. 

Everyone knows the basic way of tying shoelaces. But have you ever tried arranging your laces in a star shape? Or maybe having them parallel to each other instead of the usual criss cross pattern.


Changing the way you thread your laces can also help with shoelaces that are too short to go through each eyelet or too long to fit nicely. PHOTO CREDIT: DANNY G VIA UNSPLASH


You can even spice things up more by changing the original laces of the shoes to laces of different colours. Mismatched colourful laces have also been an ongoing trend among youths.

7. Bedazzle your shoes with crystals

Looking for a way to make your shoes look expensive without it actually burning a hole in your wallet? Try glueing on fake crystals and gems on them.

By using superglue or hot glue and a packet of rhinestones, the process is simple. All you have to do is place glue on the areas of the shoe you want to place your crystals, arrange the gems, and then let them dry.

Give your shoes an added elegance and shine!

You may like these