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DIY Sharpie Tie Dye Shoes

If you’ve ever wondered how to dye shoes, we’ve got a great project for you that involves drawing on shoes with sharpies. In this DIY Sharpie tie dye shoes tutorial, we experimented with lots of designs so you can get some inspiration for your own sharpie shoes.

colorful shoes in different designs

We had so much fun making these shoes.

The girls and I sat outside at the picnic table, and spent a couple of hours creating our shoe designs, and we absolutely love how our shoes came out.

The process can take as much or as little time as you would like…it all just depends on how intricate you want your designs to be. I have some tips and design ideas after the instructions below.


How to Make Sharpie Tie Dye Shoes

Ready to get started?

One of the things that’s great about this project is it’s pretty low-cost if you can find a cheap pair of white canvas sneakers. We found ours on sale at Michaels for $6 (sometimes they’re even cheaper!).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Colorful set of Sharpie markers
  • plain white canvas shoes
  • rubbing alcohol
  • spray bottle
  • masking tape
supplies for dying shoes with sharpie: white shoes, rubbing alcohol, sharpie markers
  1. cover the rubber sole of your shoe with masking tape to keep the colors from running onto it (we didn’t do this!)
  2. use the Sharpie markers to color your design on your shoes
  3. use spray bottle with rubbing alcohol to make the colors run all over the shoe
  4. allow to dry
  5. repeat if necessary, until you’re happy with the results
steps for dyeing shoes with Sharpie marker

Sharpie Shoe Designs

We looked at a lot of tutorials and images and ended up playing around and experimenting with different designs. Here are some tips for achieving different results.

For Galaxy Shoes

Use black, dark blues and turquoise, purple, and pink. Use the black in splotches, and leave some white space between colors.

When your shoes are dry, add some stars with white paint, glitter glue, or rhinestones for added sparkle.

Striped Sharpie Shoes, 2 Ways

For basic stripes – Choose the colors you’d like, then create colored lines separating the stripes. Using bold, bright colors works better than lighter pastels. I first made mine with pastels, but the color ended up having more of a washed-out/faded look.

As you can see in the upper image directly below, the color runs down and creates a fade from dark to light on the side of the shoe.

colorful rainbow shoes

Splotchy stripes – For these shoes, I still created subtle vertical lines around the shoe so that I would know where I wanted my stripes to go. Then, I filled in each area with dark splotches. In the image directly above, you can see where the colors ran from the dark splotches into the white space around it.

For Spiral Tye Die Shoes

Start by making guidelines for your spirals.

shoes with spiral sharpie marker designs

Then color in over the stripes, leaving some white space between colors. I actually had my colors pretty close. Overall, I’m really happy with how it turned out, but I think next time I’m going to leave a little more white space in between colors.

Here is the shoe above, after I sprayed it with the rubbing alcohol.

finished DIY spiral tie-dye designed shoe

How Long Does it Take To Make the Sharpie Designs?

Obviously, the more elaborate you want your design to be, the more time it will take.

The first pair that I made, I went with a simple striped theme and it went really fast. The next pair I made, I chose the spiral design, and that definitely took a little more time and patience. It can go as quickly as 20-30 minutes, to a couple hours, from the time you start drawing on your shoes to when you’re done spraying them.

Once you’re happy with how they look, they’ll need time to dry. The recommended time is 24 hours, but ours were dry much faster than that.

Don’t forget to Pin and save this idea.

Sharpie shoes craft for kids
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Thursday 3rd of August 2023

Hi, I love the splotchy stripes. Can you please tell me what colors you used in the order you used them?

Katie Hallett

Tuesday 13th of June 2023

I tried this. The Colours didn’t blur at all. Very disappointed. Any tips?


Monday 24th of July 2023

@Katie Hallett, I think you need to use at least 90% Isopropyl alcohol. Regular rubbing alcohol is only 70% and won't work.


Sunday 11th of September 2022

I am obviously just finding this tutorial. My question is do the colors bleed through on socks when feet sweat or shoes get wet?

Nancy Osborn

Monday 18th of April 2022

you recommended Mod Podge, was that for setting the dye so it doesn't dye your feet or socks?


Friday 5th of April 2024


They have special mod podge for fabric :)


Thursday 16th of March 2023

@Nancy Osborn, I feel like mod podge would make it too stiff and hard I would maybe use like a spray paint sealer


Tuesday 30th of November 2021

Same question as below, once it’s dry, how do you set it so it doesn’t dye your socks?