How to Make Tie-Dyed Shoes With Permanent Markers

Learn how to turn plain white shoes into colorful, wearable works of art.

Related To:

Tie-dyed clothing never seems to go out of style. Blasting onto the scene in the sixties, it seems that we can never get enough of these colorful designs. Over the years, tie-dyed items have come a long way from the traditional T-shirt. I’ve seen so many tie-dyed items including tote bags, scarves, bedding, paper goods and shoes. This summer, my daughter and I decided to jazz up some $5 white tennis shoes (or sneakers, depending on where you live) that we found at the local craft store. It was the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon. The following morning, we went outside to complete these masterpieces. I’m thinking that we are definitely going to have to do this craft again with friends. These shoes are my daughter’s own wearable piece of art. 

Summer Fun: Make Tie Dye Shoes

Summer Fun: Make Tie Dye Shoes

Learn how to create tie dye shoes that are wearable works of art.

Photo by: Melissa Caughey

Melissa Caughey

Materials Needed

  • white shoes
  • permanent markers
  • rubbing alcohol 90%
  • straw
  • painter's tape
Prepare Shoes for Tie Dye

Prepare Shoes for Tie Dye

Protect the rubber surface of the shoes with painter's tape.

Photo by: Melissa Caughey

Melissa Caughey

Begin by taping off the rubber soles on the shoes with painter's tape to prevent the markers from bleeding onto the rubber.

Color the Shoes for Tie Dye

Color the Shoes for Tie Dye

Add a design to the shoes with permanent markers. Here we made summer fireworks.

Photo by: Melissa Caughey

Melissa Caughey

Using the markers, add colorful designs to the shoes. We used fireworks as our inspiration. 

Blend the Colors on the Tie Dye Shoes

Blend the Colors on the Tie Dye Shoes

Using a straw add drops to rubbing alcohol to the shoes to create the tie dye effect.

Photo by: Melissa Caughey

Melissa Caughey

Dip the straw into the top inch or so of the bottle of rubbing alcohol. Hold your finger over the top of the straw. Once above the marker design, release your finger and let the alcohol begin to blend the colors. You may need to apply the alcohol more than once to the design to achieve the blending look you desire.

Once dry, restring the tie dye shoes with their laces.

Photo by: Melissa Caughey

Melissa Caughey

Set the shoes aside to dry. Once dry, remove the painter's tape and relace the shoes.

Take Your Tie Dye Shoes for a Spin

Take Your Tie Dye Shoes for a Spin

Delight your friend with your artfully designed tie dye shoes.

Photo by: Melissa Caughey

Melissa Caughey

Once laced up, take your latest works of art for a spin. You might even be tempted to make another pair before summer is over!

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Make Fruity-Fun Tie-Dye T-Shirts

Tie-dye shirts are awesome, but why not make them a little sweeter by creating lemon, kiwi or watermelon tie-dye shirts.

Festival Fashion: How to Tie Dye

Learn how to tie-dye tops and get the boho-chic look on the cheap.

How to Make Pinwheel Cake Toppers

Learn how to create pinwheels using scrapbook paper. Use the pinwheels to decorate cupcakes, hang on walls or make mobiles for kid's rooms.

How to Make Easy-Sew Sock Plushies

Create this season's hottest toy out of old, colorful socks.

Summer Fun with Freezer Paper Tie-Dye

An alternative approach to tie-dying that the kids will love.

How to Make a Derby Day Hat

Here’s a trick that turns a beach hat into a Derby Day hat in a hot minute.

How to Make Resin Jewelry

Channel your inner rock star with easy and fun-to-make resin fashion jewelry.

How to Make a Paper Airplane

Learn the simple steps for high-flying fun with this tutorial on five basic paper airplane patterns.

How to Make Stacked Pumpkin Topiaries

Carve a trio of faux pumpkins, add twinkle lights inside the pumpkins and wrap the outside with bittersweet vine.

How to Make Edible Fake Blood

Give your friends a fright this Halloween with this easy (and surprisingly delicious) faux blood recipe.

On TV

Garage Gold

7:30am | 6:30c

Yard Crashers

8:30am | 7:30c

Yard Crashers

9:30am | 8:30c

Yard Crashers

10am | 9c

Yard Crashers

10:30am | 9:30c

Yard Crashers

11am | 10c

Yard Crashers

11:30am | 10:30c

Pool Kings

12pm | 11c

Pool Kings

12:30pm | 11:30c

Pool Kings

1pm | 12c

Pool Kings

1:30pm | 12:30c

Pool Kings

2pm | 1c

Pool Kings

2:30pm | 1:30c

Pool Kings

3pm | 2c

Pool Kings

3:30pm | 2:30c

Pool Kings

4pm | 3c

Pool Kings

4:30pm | 3:30c

Lawn & Order

5:30pm | 4:30c

Lawn & Order

6:30pm | 5:30c

Big Beach Builds

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Big Beach Builds

8pm | 7c

Big Beach Builds

8:30pm | 7:30c

Big Beach Builds

9:30pm | 8:30c

Big Beach Builds

10:30pm | 9:30c

Big Beach Builds

11:30pm | 10:30c

Big Beach Builds

12:30am | 11:30c

Big Beach Builds

1:30am | 12:30c

Big Beach Builds

2:30am | 1:30c

Big Beach Builds

3:30am | 2:30c

Back Flip

4:30am | 3:30c

On TV

Garage Gold

7:30am | 6:30c

Yard Crashers

8:30am | 7:30c

Yard Crashers

9:30am | 8:30c

Yard Crashers

10am | 9c

Yard Crashers

10:30am | 9:30c

Yard Crashers

11am | 10c

Yard Crashers

11:30am | 10:30c

Pool Kings

12pm | 11c

Pool Kings

12:30pm | 11:30c

Pool Kings

1pm | 12c

Pool Kings

1:30pm | 12:30c

Pool Kings

2pm | 1c

Pool Kings

2:30pm | 1:30c

Pool Kings

3pm | 2c

Pool Kings

3:30pm | 2:30c

Pool Kings

4pm | 3c

Pool Kings

4:30pm | 3:30c

Lawn & Order

5:30pm | 4:30c

Lawn & Order

6:30pm | 5:30c

Big Beach Builds

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Big Beach Builds

8pm | 7c

Big Beach Builds

8:30pm | 7:30c

Big Beach Builds

9:30pm | 8:30c

Big Beach Builds

10:30pm | 9:30c

Big Beach Builds

11:30pm | 10:30c

Big Beach Builds

12:30am | 11:30c

Big Beach Builds

1:30am | 12:30c

Big Beach Builds

2:30am | 1:30c

Big Beach Builds

3:30am | 2:30c

Back Flip

4:30am | 3:30c

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.