Shoe decoupage workshop

To be honest, I’ve always viewed decoupage as slightly old fashioned, conjuring up images of carefully cut out pretty-pretty flower images stuck onto boxes and trays. But like so many craft areas (including felting!) decoupage has moved on, and a workshop on shoe decoupage I did with Gabriela Szulman a couple of days ago really opened my eyes to the possibilities.

shoe decoupage workshop

For a start, there was the subject matter. Decoupage shoes? What a fabulous idea!

[Warning: shoe digression! If you do not have a footwear fetish you may want to skip this bit. 🙂

When I had a “proper job” in an office I was a bit of a shoe fanatic, and the bottom of my wardrobe is stuffed with dozens of shoe boxes, each with a photo of its contents so I could find them easily. 🙂 Now I work from home I rarely wear any of them, so looking for a pair to decoupage revealed footwear I’d long forgotten about!

Despite the quantity, however, my choice was fairly limited, as leather or plastic are best for decoupage, and most of my shoes are suede or fabric. So in the end I took a pair of slip-on trainers.]

shoe decoupage before

The other surprise was that we didn’t have to cut round specific shapes and carefully place them – in fact, Gabriela rather discouraged this. Instead we tore bits of tissue paper or paper napkins and glued them down so they overlapped to produce an interesting all-over pattern. This is the paper napkin I used.

paper napkin for shoe decoupage

The four of us on the workshop all brought different types of shoes, so it was really interesting to see the different results.

Kate of Made by Mrs M fame transformed a pair of ballet flats.

shoe decoupage

Carol of Carol’s Creative Workshops coated a pair of boots with exotic flora and fauna.

boot decoupage

Damilola beautifully converted some Converse trainers.

shoe decoupage

And this is how my old trainers turned out.

shoe decoupage

The result was four very happy upcycled shoe owners hoping for dry weather so they can wear their new creations! 🙂

Gabriela’s next shoe decoupage workshop is on 22 August, with further dates in September and October – see her website for details of how to book.




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Flextiles uses shibori, ecoprinting and felting to create original, one-off upcycled pieces. Extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%.

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