Last year I did a Super hero themed shoot at Dallas Pinup and decided to make some Superman themed shoes for the shoot. I’ve since made a few other pairs of comic book inspired shoes, learning a good workflow in the process. With a little patience and following the steps below, you too can make some unique, comic book kicks.
Start by gathering all of the supplies that you will need to make your comic book shoes. Decide which comic book character or theme you want to do and have several copies of that particular book on hand. I like to work with 5 -6 books to make sure I have plenty of good options available to choose from. Make sure these are book you are okay with cutting up before you start! You will also need a pair of shoes (my favorite is patent leather because they are easy to work with), scissors, Glossy Mod Podge (available at craft stores) and a paint brush.
Skim through your comic books and begin selecting the images that you want on your shoes. You will need to cut 1” long, rectangular strips for the edge of the shoes. You can cover up these pieces so they don’t have to be images that you want to be seen. Depending on the size of the pictures you select, you will need upwards of 100 different images to cover your shoes. Covering your shoes with comic book art is like playing Tetris so choosing varying shapes, sizes and characters will help make the process easier for you. Don’t forget to cut speech bubbles, too. I like to find bubbles that have the character names or the name of the comic book on them to add to the shoes.
Using your paint brush, spread some Mod Podge on the shoes then add your “edge” pieces one at a time. This part takes a while so be patient to make sure each piece is glued on well. I use my fingernail to make sure the pieces are pressed into the seam on the edge. This step is really important to make the process much easier. I also cover the heel of the shoes, if there is one, at this time
Now that you have your base layer on the edge of the shoe, you can start adding the fun, bigger pieces. There is no right or wrong way to begin. Just like with the edge, start by spreading some Mod Podge with your brush then add a piece of the comic. Be sure to press down on the comic piece to ensure it’s smooth and flat on the shoe. Continue until you have covered the entire shoes with comic pieces. You will need to cut the pieces for the top edge of the shoes to fit properly.
Repeat this process for shoe #2
Tip: It may be easier to add the speech bubbles after you have already covered the shoes with the images you want unless you find that you need them to fill gaps in your shoes.
When you have finished covering your shoes and think they are as amazing as they can be, you will need to let them dry for at least 3 hours. After they have dried, you will use your paint brush to begin covering the comic art with Mod Podge to seal them. I like to use my finger to smooth out the Mod Podge as I go to give the shoes a nice, smooth finish. Continue until you have coated your shoes completely then let them dry overnight. You will repeat this process at least 3 times–The more coats you apply, the more durable they will be.
Enjoy your one-of-a-kind, kick ass shoes!