How to Repurpose Old Shoes Into Garden Decor
Have you ever wondered what to do with those old worn out shoes lying around collecting dust in your closet? Don’t throw them out just yet! Those old shoes make for perfect garden decor with a little imagination and creativity.
Gather Your Supplies
Before getting started on repurposing your shoes, you’ll need to gather a few basic supplies:
- Old shoes (canvas sneakers, boots, heels, etc.)
- Spray paint in your desired colors
- Acrylic craft paint in various colors
- Paint brushes
- Hot glue gun & glue sticks
- Twine, jute, or rope
- Artificial flowers, moss or greenery
Look around your home, craft supplies, or dollar store for any other items you want to use like buttons, beads, lace, ribbon, etc. Having a variety of materials on hand will allow you to customize your shoe art creations.
Clean and Prepare the Shoes
Once you’ve gathered your shoes and supplies, you’ll want to clean and prep the shoes before decorating them. Here are a few easy steps:
- Use a damp cloth to wipe off any dirt or debris. You want a clean surface before painting.
- Remove the shoelaces and any lining inside the shoes so all you have is the outer shell.
- Lightly sand or scuff up the surface of leather or vinyl shoes so the paint adheres better.
- Wipe shoes with rubbing alcohol to remove oils and help paint stick.
- Stuff shoes with newspaper or scrap fabric to help them hold their shape.
- Allow shoes to fully dry before moving onto the next step.
Get Creative with Paint and Decor
Now the fun part – it’s time to let your imagination run wild and turn those kicks into art! Here are some creative ways to decorate old shoes for the garden:
Spray Paint Shoes
- Spray paint entire shoe one solid color or do different colors on each side.
- Use painter’s tape and paper to create patterns, stripes, shapes or block out sections for multi-color designs.
- Lightly spray paint ferns, leaves or lace and press onto shoe for pretty imprints.
- Apply different paint finishes like glossy, metallic, or frosted for more visual interest.
Hand Paint Details
- Paint bold designs, dots, stripes or flowers using acrylic craft paint.
- Paint fun nature scenes like trees, butterflies, birds, etc.
- Add dimension by outlining designs with a darker paint color.
- Paint focal points on the heel or toe like animal faces, flowers, or eyes.
- Glue on artificial flowers, vines, moss or greenery using hot glue.
- Wrap twine or jute around the shoe and tie in place for texture.
- Adhere buttons, beads, scraps of lace or other found objects.
- Attach a large flower on the toe to make it appear the shoe is “walking”.
Turn Shoes into Planters
For another garden project, old boots or sturdy shoes can be made into cute planters.
- Cut away the front half of the shoe so you have a container to hold soil and plants.
- Drill drainage holes in the sole.
- Paint and decorate the shoe planter before filling with potting mix and plants.
- Nestle small plants like succulents, herbs or annual flowers inside.
Display Your Shoe Art
Once your shoe masterpieces are complete, find creative ways to show them off in your garden:
- Sit them on steps, walls and fence posts or tuck into flower beds and landscapes.
- Hang shoes from tree branches using rope or wire.
- Line a garden path or border with painted shoes.
- Use shoe planters on a patio or to designate herb gardens.
- Let your painted shoes poke up among blooming plants.
Repurposing old shoes into art and planters breathes new life into what would otherwise be trash. With a dash of imagination and paint, you can create fun, eco-friendly garden decor!