DIY Custom Sleeping with Sirens Sneakers

April 25, 2013Allison Murray

Sleeping with Sirens DIY Sneakers by Dream a Little Bigger

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!

Sleeping with Sirens DIY Sneakers by Dream a Little Bigger

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!

Sleeping with Sirens DIY Sneakers by Dream a Little Bigger

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.

Sleeping with Sirens DIY Sneakers by Dream a Little Bigger

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.

Sleeping with Sirens DIY Sneakers by Dream a Little Bigger

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.

Sleeping with Sirens DIY Sneakers by Dream a Little Bigger

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.

Sleeping with Sirens DIY Sneakers by Dream a Little Bigger

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.

Sleeping with Sirens DIY Sneakers by Dream a Little Bigger

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.

Sleeping with Sirens DIY Sneakers by Dream a Little Bigger

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.

Sleeping with Sirens DIY Sneakers by Dream a Little Bigger

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.

Sleeping with Sirens DIY Sneakers by Dream a Little Bigger

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.

Sleeping with Sirens DIY Sneakers by Dream a Little Bigger

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.

Sleeping with Sirens DIY Sneakers by Dream a Little Bigger

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.

Sleeping with Sirens DIY Sneakers by Dream a Little Bigger

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) 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!

Comments (36)

  • Pamela

    April 25, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    This is so so very cool. You have no idea how much Ivy is going to love this! Reading this tutorial brought tears to my eyes. This makes my month!! You are so awesome to do this for us. I can't wait to send you photos of her opening and wearing her new shoes. <3 Pamela

  • Allison Murray

    April 25, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    I am so glad, Pamela. It was a fun project and I really do appreciate your confidence in my ability to make Ivy happy :)

  • Lise

    April 25, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    As Mother #2 (Neighbor across the street) to our little I-Weenie, I can say, emphatically, that you really nailed these shoes! I was so excited when Pam told me that she found you, and to see how they actually turned out! I have 2 little boys of my own, so maybe this won't be your last challenge :) Really awesome work, and GREAT Blog!

  • Allison Murray

    April 25, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Thanks so much, Lise. Very glad to have two stamps of approval :) and I welcome any challenges you may have! I appreciate your checking out the blog.

  • Alice

    April 26, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    These are so cool! You're so talented. :)

  • Allison Murray

    April 27, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    Thanks, Alice. Hope the love is going well :)

  • [email protected] artsy mama

    April 27, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    That is crazy-impressive! I bet she flips out when she sees them!!

  • Allison Murray

    April 27, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Thanks, Amy. I truly hope so :)

  • EmoBear

    April 27, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    OMG SLEEPING WITH SIRENS!!!! I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!! I'm so making these.

  • James

    April 30, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    Hey these are amazing, I'm just wondering how much you charged (or would charge) to do something like this.

  • Allison Murray

    April 30, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    Hey, James – why don't you email me at allison (at) and I'll send over all of the details. Thanks for your interest :)

  • Lauren @ The Thinking Closet

    April 30, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    You really hit this one out of the park, Allison! And I love that this project has boosted your confidence and given you a thirst for more custom work. I see the start of a prosperous business here!

  • Allison Murray

    April 30, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    Perhaps the third time is the charm, my own blog keeps deleting my response, Lauren!
    You are just about the sweetest thing, seriously. I absolutely adore you and appreciate your confidence in me. You are an amazing cheerleader and your bubbly personality is loved more than you can know!

  • Michelle

    May 1, 2013 at 6:13 AM

    As a fan of Sleeping with Sirens myself, I must say these shoes are ridiculously awesome, and if the birthday girl ever did meet the band they would be mighty impressed with the result as well! If I had the time, or the artistic talent that you do, I'd make my own pair off of one of my favorite bands! These are really awesome!

  • Allison Murray

    May 1, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Thanks, Michelle. I am glad that you like them and am so happy you took the time to let me know :)

  • Savannah D’Nae

    May 3, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    I really like these Sleeping with Sirens shoes, and i was wondering if you could make another pair, and how much they would cost. i would of emailed you, but i couldnt find your email.

  • Allison Murray

    May 3, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Hi there! You can email me at allison @ Sorry for the hassle!

  • Nikki

    May 4, 2013 at 11:24 PM


  • McKayla

    May 25, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    This is absolutely stunning! I was wondering if you would consider making another pair for me? I would really appreciate it.

  • Aisling

    May 27, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Do you sell them by any chance I would deffo buy them

  • Allison Murray

    May 27, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    I do sell them. Email me at allison @ and I will send over the details.

  • Pamela

    May 28, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Allison: I love seeing the awesome response you're getting from these shoes! Ivy loves them so much, you have absolutely no idea. I hope that this opens doors for you. I can see that your talent speaks for itself and I'm so happy that I was able to help. XOXO

  • Allison Murray

    May 28, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Thanks so much, Pamela. You have no idea how many doors you've opened up for me :) Also I saw the pics of Ivy but I've just been so swamped and things have been so crazy but the look on her face made me so happy! Thanks for everything :)

  • Kelly

    June 6, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    OMG I love them!!! I love that band, and these shoes are perfect!! How much did you sell them for? Maybe I could put a request in for myself!

  • Linda

    July 11, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Hi I was wonder if you are willing to make a pair and sell them ?

  • Anne

    July 22, 2013 at 3:20 PM


  • Julia

    August 5, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    Omg omg Sleeping with sirens shoes.. They are my all time favorite band and I have seen pictures of these but I’ve been trying to find them EVERYWHERE!!! Oh my goodness I need these so badly!<3

  • Jennifer

    August 23, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    I with I could get a pair of my own!!! The shoe looks amazing!!!

    1. Allison

      August 23, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      Thanks so much!

  • Jennifer

    August 23, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Do you sell them? And for how much?

    1. Allison

      August 23, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      I do sell them. The total cost runs around $75. My charge is $60 to paint them and ship to you (if you’re in the US). The shoes to paint cost around $15 on ebay.

  • Lexi

    January 5, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    I absolutely adore these shoes more than anything and me and my mom have been looking for some sleeping with sirens shoes but these are by far cuter then the ones we’ve seen! I love them!! but I was wondering if you could possibly do it if so how much could it cost? but again they are super adorable!

  • smiles.

    March 6, 2014 at 5:36 AM

    Dope band. Very nice shoes.

  • Riley Meier

    May 15, 2015 at 4:30 PM

    Those are so cool! I want a pair! Nice job super cool!!!

  • Olivia

    November 11, 2015 at 7:05 PM

    I wish you could make these for me!! They’re my favorite band!!

    1. Allison Murray

      November 12, 2015 at 8:25 AM

      So sorry Olivia! I wish I could, too! There are lots of artists on Etsy who paint shoes. You can show them this pair for inspiration!

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