If you haven’t figured it out by now, I love cheap ol’ tennies. The kind you can get for so cheap that it is totally economical to make them your own. It’s pretty neat when people ask “Where did you get those shoes?” and to be able to respond, very casually of course, “What, these things? Oh, I made them.”
The second these hot babies were out of the dryer, they were on my feet, and my new shoes and I were on our way to town. While I was out, I made one stop. There were 3 people there – 2 men and 1 woman. I received two compliments on my shoes there. THAT is the power of these studly tennies, even men love them! And not to get all geeky about it, but that’s a two out of three ratio right there!
For this DIY you are going to need:
Cheapie tennies, elastic, sewing implements, fabric dye, needle nose pliers, metal studs that are bigger than your lace eyelets, x-acto knife, butter knife.
STEP 1: Take your pliers and start squeezing an eyelet for the laces. What you’re trying to do is mash it up so that it is smaller than the hole that in the canvas it is through. There is no neat way of doing this… the eyelet is going to look a mess.
Next, go to the underside and pull the smooth part of the eyelet out. The front mashed up part will come out with it. Repeat this for all of the rivets on both shoes.
Be very careful – this is metal and it can cut you, as I can attest. Just take it slowly and they’ll all come out. Some may be tougher than others, but you’ll get ’em all!
STEP 2: Take your stud and check out the width between the two prongs on the backside. If you can, push the stud straight over the hole where the eyelet was. I couldn’t get mine to go through, so I used an x-acto knife to get a little slit started and then pushed the stud through.
Turn to where you can see the inside of the shoe and the two prongs poking out. Take your butter knife and gently push the prongs inward to hold tight. Continue this over all of the eyelet holes.
You can also get creative and place them other places. I put three on the heel of my shoe – but you can put them anywhere else, or nowhere else, if you want.
STEP 3: Tack the tongues and sew in elastic so that you don’t need laces. See this DIY if you need help with this step.
STEP 4: Dye the tennies your choice of color and either let them dry naturally or toss them in the dryer, you impatient thing. If you are using a dark color, you may need to run a soapy rag around the rubber at the bottoms. Mine took up just enough dye to make them look dirty, but a soapy rag was all it took to fix that right up!
OPTIONAL STEPS: If your binding and thread don’t take the color and remain white, you can go over those areas with a fabric pen. You can also use a metal brush to rough up areas on your shoes if you want to age them a bit. I did around the heels and just to the sides of the first stud on the inside and outside of my shoes. If you want actual holes, cut those while your shoes are still wet from rinsing out the dye and toss them into the dryer to fray out.
That’s it for this Shoesday. I am over the moon on these shoes and I hope that you love them, too!