Tiger Feet

A little while back, I bought a really cool pair of Vans x Kenzo shoe with prints of tigers. Needless to say, I love them so much that I have unfortunately worn them to ‘near’ death. They are still usable but the fabric has torn and I would rather preserve what is left of them than have them fall to pieces. Buying a new pair of the same shoes is not an option as well as they were a limited edition piece (which I regret not getting an extra one but it already cost a bomb for a pair). So in situations like this, I have to rely on my ingenuity and make something myself and save money in the process.

Recently I had some problems with my right ankle. For some strange reason, it started to hurt and this has been going on for months. I suspected it was one of my sports shoes so I opted to wear my Vans with an orthopedic insole instead. I’m glad to say that doing this has done wonders to my ankle and now I don’t limp when I walk. The tiger print Vans were my first pair from that brand so I decided to get the same brand to paint on. Buying it cheaper from their factory outlet store was also a huge bonus.

So guess what I decided to paint!

You know me so well! Anyway, I am not an expert artist but I can trace quite well with the help of my laptop. So here is the process if you decide to do something similar.

No. 1: Take a photo of the item you would like to trace and open it on your computer.

No. 2: Put a piece of paper on the area of shoe you intend to paint on and trace the outline.

No. 3: Stick the paper with the template of the shoe onto the screen of your computer with the picture behind it. You can then zoom in or out until the image you would like to copy sits perfectly within the template.

No. 4: Proceed to trace the image (it helps to dim or switch off the light off so you can see the image clearly). Once you have copied the image, use a knife and carefully cut out areas of the image so it becomes a stencil.

No. 5: Stick this stencil to the shoe.

No. 6: Use a chalk to draw the lines out. You can turn the stencil around to trace on the other side of the shoe.

Don’t worry if it is not a faithful copy of the image. I find this much better as the image that is created is more unique.

Once an outline has been chalked onto the shoe, the process of painting can begin. I do this in different layers so I always return to the stencil to continue to develop the painting.

At this stage, you would have spent two hours listening to some therapeutic music while you paint away. Yes, I didn’t realise that two hours had slipped by. Painting really is bliss! Before long, there is only the other side to complete.

Once the fabric paint (I used Pebeo fabric paints) is dry, I gave it a good 5 minute iron at 40 C (or on cotton setting) to set the paint so it becomes wash proof.

Within the space of an afternoon, I have my own hand painted shoes!

Can you spot the bit of humour I have thrown into the painting? The tigers are looking at each other!

If you are trying to paint on your shoes, please do not get too disheartened or worried about the results. If you do everything in stages, it should all go to plan. I also believe that mistakes make it unique. After all, it will be a one of a kind piece that you won’t find anywhere else.

Now about the title. I was told that there is a song called ‘That’s neat, I really love your Tiger feet’?



About syvyaw

Eat, sleep and think Fashion.


  1. Jessie Sams

    Fabulous! Painting is bliss. I love all your posts.

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