Allow children to design their own shoes. You can provide suggestions as to how they should decorate their shoes, but try to let them exercise their own creativity as much as possible (they'll love to wear their shoes if they are the artists!)
I tend not to make crafts that require the purchase of a lot of materials. But I did break down and buy these pens when making a gift for Grandma Gloria (Groovy Grandma Apron). We've since used them to decorate a BBQ apron for Uncle Darcy, little purses for the girls and cousins, Christmas napkins and now these shoes. They are nowhere near 'used up' -- though I expect they may dry out within 6 months or so of purchase (I'm not sure).
You can also decorate shirts, pillowcases (great sleepover party activity!), Halloween costumes and baseball caps.
Anyways, the cost of the markers is high if you are only using them for one craft but if you plan a few different activities (or do one project with a group of children), it ends up being quite reasonable.
- canvas shoes (these can be purchased inexpensively at places like Walmart or Payless) -- They should be a light color but need not be white.
- fabric markers in whatever color you would like and/or fabric paint pens
in whatever color you would like
- fabric markers are less messy and easier for very young children to use (they're shown on the left) -- about $15 Canadian for a pack of 6
- fabric paint pens are messier, but you can color larger areas with them and they tend to come in a wider variety of colors (we used glitter ones -- shown on the right) -- about $20 Canadian for a pack of 6
- Before you get started -- fabric markers stay on fabric... so wear old clothes and don't do this in the middle of the living room carpet *wink*
- Put designs, words and images on your shoes and shoelaces! however you
- Follow package directions for how long to wait before you wear your shoes (typically 24 hours)