Reverse Printed Faux Saddle Shoes Tutorial

May 29, 2013Allison Murray

Today we’re going to knock out some reverse printed faux saddle shoes with Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium1

So here we are for project #5 of Mod Podge Week! This was my very first experience with Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium and let me just say that I’ve already purchased my second bottle. This little bottle is big fun…

Some time ago I made a pair of saddle shoes using only a black fabric marker. I’ve mentioned before my shoe purges where I have to give some up to keep some of the new shoes I make. What I don’t keep I give to my sister who, conveniently, wears the same size as I do. Only having worn the saddle shoes a few times I went ahead and tucked them into one of the many bags of DIYed ‘stuff’ I carry down every visit.

The next time I went down she was wearing those saddle tennis shoes but with a big, big difference. It turns out that she loved and wore and washed those saddle tennis shoes so many times that the black area was just a light to medium gray. And the white part was a different gray from the wear that happens to the both of us when we try to keep white sneakers.

So my initial plan was to make Jen a pair of saddle shoes with print instead of solid black. But when I played with the Photo Transfer Medium it seemed like with the eyelets and whatnot that it would be an incredibly advanced first attempt. So instead I made some reverse saddle shoes with the print on the toe and heel and the solid in the middle. In the end, I think they’re lovely and I hope they’ll be tough enough for my sister!

For this project you will need:

First you’ll need to find something to take  your pattern from for the transfer. I  went through my copious amounts of scrapbooking paper and selected three very lovely patterns and had them printed at Kinko’s. Be sure that the machine you use is toner only. I think there’s not a lot of concern as I don’t even know if larger machines like that take anything but toner, but it’s always a good idea to play it safe.

Why won’t print offs from your home ink jet printer work? The way a photo transfer works is that the medium picks up the toner and accepts it onto the layer. If you try using inkjet the only thing that happens is the ink returns to a liquid and bleeds everywhere without any semblance of an image at all.

I tested out a small amount of my three papers on a pair of tester shoes I keep and found that I preferred the white background for one simple reason. I did get a few spots where the transfer didn’tt work 100% when there were odd curves to deal with (like on a shoe). The white background made any imperfections considerably less noticeable.

Now the directions tell you to put the transfer medium onto the image and then apply. But that wasn’t going to work out for me since I wanted a very specific area covered. I just went ahead and slathered that stuff right onto the shoes and went a bit thicker than suggested.

Now I didn’t get pics of actually applying the paper because I was working crazy fast. But I had trimmed the paper a bit closer to the shape/size of the shoe beforehand and I was so glad that I did.  After applying I took the paper and smoothed it out as best as I could. There  were big wrinkles but there wasn’t much I could to do straighten them out. My second attempt was considerably better, so I think it definitely can be done with little to no wrinkles with more practice.

Next I took my x-acto knife and trimmed up anything overlapping anywhere I didn’t want the print including the soles. Now this stuff is wicked sticky. Seriously. Washing your hands to get this stuff off if you’ve left it too long with leave you pink and puffy! It’s difficult to cut through for that reason so just be patient.

Here is one toe pretty wrinkled but otherwise looking good. Do this for the other toe and the heel on both shoes.

And now is the hardest part, at least for me. Leave to sit at least 24 hours. I went ahead and left mine sit 48 because it had been pretty muggy here and it suggests more time if it is cold or humid.

So it’s been at least a day and you’re ready  move on? Excellent. Moisten the first area that you’re going to tackle. The directions say to use a sponge but I don’t own any of those so I used just used a washcloth. And actually it’s one that I crocheted – directions here.

After giving the paper a bit of time to soak in the moisture gently rub the paper away with your fingers. It’s kind of an odd feeling and it balls up on you but all is good. Take care not to gouge the medium with your nails as you can still peel it and the image away if you’re not careful.

In my experience some places I either didn’t get perfect coverage or I rubbed too hard but there were areas that weren’t perfectly as the print. But since I went with the white background you can hardly notice most of the mistakes.

Now this is something that I totally didn’t foresee happening. The goop travelled down to the rubber sole. But since the medium is still kind of tacky, you can use your knife to cut and peel away from the rubber sole with no problems at all.

Also notice in the close up that you can actually see the wrinkles that happened when I placed the paper down. They don’t just look like wrinkles, they are actually raised. Up close you can tell but it’s not so bad from a distance and so long as no one is kissing your feet everything should be all good.

To finish up paint the center portion a matching color. Now the paint I selected matched the paper I had chosen perfectly. But that didn’t match the prints nor the actually color that transferred to the shoe, in fact it was a bit lighter and a bit more green than blue. So I had to mix up a color that matched but it worked out okay in the end.

And here they are all laced up and ready to go! And PS I will be getting some sun very shortly. Sorry for accosting you with my super pastiness. Geez.

Now if you’ve missed any of the other projects from Mod Podge Week, no worries. You can visit them here: #1 Mod Podge  & Gift Wrap Lamp at Mom Spark (featured on Mod Podge Rocks, y’all!) – #2 Mod Podge Outlet Covers – #3 Mod Podge Lace Vases Tutorial – #4 Mod Podge Lace Covered Vanity Tray.

See you tomorrow for even more Mod Podge goodness… It’s a fun one!

Comments (3)

  • Zoe

    May 31, 2013 at 4:31 AM

    Cute shoes! That Mod Podge stuff looks great unfortunately where I live it costs a lot and the shipping from Amazon is very expensive also!

  • Lauren @ The Thinking Closet

    May 31, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    First of all, I lol'd at the idea of someone kissing my feet. Secondly, I ooo'd and ahhh'd at how these suckers turned out. I've seen this method done on wood with photos and it has always intrigued me, but the idea of toner printouts on tennis shoes? This is the kind of genius only Allison can dream up. (It's what makes your blog title oh so fitting.)

  • Allison Murray

    May 31, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    I'm sorry to hear that, Zoe :(
    Thanks so much, Lauren. You always think so highly of me!

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