DIY Custom Sleeping with Sirens Sneakers
Every once in a blue moon I get an email from a reader and it always makes my day. In this particular email I was offered a job of sorts. Could I make a pair of Sleeping with Sirens sneakers based off of band art for a teenage girl? It was such a neat opportunity and I jumped on it. Want to see how I made them? I’d love to show you!
Turns out this band is called Sleeping with Sirens. I’ve never heard of them but a Google search showed that most people looking for them online are really looking for the lead singer. So now I know why I haven’t heard of them before, I’m apparently not the band’s demographic!
The design concept was simple: general imagery from an album cover on one shoe and the name of the band on the other… Now remember that these are for a teenager. When I was 14 or whatnot I didn’t want to wear something that was obviously homemade. So to say I stressed on this project is kind of an understatment. So I stared at the art and the shoes and the logo and the shoes and finally came up with a plan.
I drew out the logo and scanned it in and printed off that and a copy of the band logo in a good couple of sizes. I placed one on each shoe until I was happy with the size and then ran with it.
I saved my drawing as a JPG image and converted it in Silhouette Studio into a cut file. I did the same with the text logo. Need help with this bit? I did a tutorial on how to do just that, here. Oh, and my stencils were made out of self adhesive vinyl.
I stuck the letters onto the left shoe with plans to paint over them so that the words would remain the original white of the shoe’s fabric. This part took a bit of time because I wanted to be sure that the placement of the spacing was as close as possible to the real deal.
Now I didn’t really have a plan, I totally decided to wing it. Since these are the classic canvas style shoe with the angled pieces of fabric, I felt like placing the logo straight on was going to be odd. Each lip would distort the image and it wouldn’t look right.
So I decided to work with the lines as they were. This meant that the album cover’s logo was going to be crooked but in the end I decided it was the only way to produce decent results.
I took the vinyl stencil for the mountain, road, tree thingie and cut it in half to accomodate the difference in height from the seam of the fabric. (by the way, we’re going to start calling this the logo) I used a red fabric marker to trace the shape just inside of my stencil. I did the same with the top portion and I colored the logo in like on the cover.
Since color blocking is in, i decided that I wanted to keep one area white on the left shoe and to kind of even out with the amount of white in the road and the background around the mountain on the other.
I just used straight up masking tape and really got after it. I also masked off the sole, something I don’t normally do for myself but I wanted these to be as perfect as I could.
I decided that I didn’t like just having the logo on as is so I busted out my fabric paint and decided to fill up all of the negative space on the toe in red.
The best red color I had in fabric paint was matte Tulip dimensional. Now I didn’t need the dimension but I figured if I smoothed it out that it would work out just fine. Truth is, it worked out better than that… it was perfect. The paint was thick and I only needed a single layer which meant less room for mistakes. Even though I had some regular black fabric paint, I chose to use my Tulip dimensional matte on this project, too.
Here you can see how I taped the shoes off a bit better. For the road I taped one section and painted it, let it dry for about 2 hours and then started on the other side.
On the Sleeping with Sirens side of the shoe I painted red all around the vinyl letter stencils but not too closely.
Next I used a plastic bag to tape off the back end of the left shoe so that only the toe was visible. Then I hit it with some flat black spray paint. Yup, straight from the hardware store. I made sure right on top of the letters was covered really well in black and then fanned the paint outward to soften and make a hazy edge.
Now I knew that this wasn’t going to give me perfectly crisp edges because I had tried this numerous times on a pair of “tester” shoes I hang on to. But I wasn’t looking for perfect edges. I was looking for that kind of fuzzy spray painted gig poster look.
After dry, I used a pair of tweezers to remove the stencil and get a good look at the awesome results. I was incredibly happy with how well this panned out.
I sat around a while looking at the shoes trying to figure out what next. I decided that the back portion of the shoes needed to be black. So I taped them off and spray painted the back portions black. And as it turns out, the spray paint worked phenomenally well. The finish is nice and soft and the color is just what I was looking for. After letting the shoes dry, I unwrapped them for the reveal.
Since these shoes weren’t being made for me, I wanted them to be as perfect as I could possibly make them. They’re hardly perfect, but I did my best. And I had a fantastic time doing it.
So now these shoes are in the mail and on their way to the feet of a teenage girl in love with Sleeping with Sirens. A band that I still have not listened to despite the fact that I have studied their logo and cover art like a fiend. I hope the birthday girl enjoys them as much as I enjoyed making them.
So that brings me to an exciting bit! Since I had such an amazing time and found the experience so rewarding, I’d love for you to consider me if you ever have custom shoe needs. Hit me up by emailing me at allison (at) dreamalittlebigger.com and we can talk about what you need and see if it is something I can accomodate you on.
Perhaps if I get a few orders I’ll open an Etsy shop or whatnot, but for now I’ll just keep it casual. And I’d like to send out a special thank you to reader Pamela, who likes my blog and believed that I could make her kid happy. Your confidence in me helped me gain a little more confidence in myself.
Happiest of Thursdays out there!