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Dyed Canvas Sneakers

Created By: Johnny Miller




Canvas sneakers are comfy and cool, but you may not find them in colors you want. Put a spring in your step by setting the shade yourself. With fabric dye, its a cinch to match them to your wardrobe or your mood.


  • Large basin or bucket
  • Liquid fabric dye
  • Salt (if needed; check dye directions)
  • White canvas sneakers, laces removed


  1. Step 1


    Fill basin with hot water. Add dye, and salt if specified, to water, following manufacturer's instructions for sink or bucket dyeing.

  2. Step 2

    Wet sneakers with hot water, and place in dye bath.

  3. Step 3

    Stir for amount of time stated on dye bottle. Rinse as directed.

  4. Step 4

    Air-dry shoes, or place in dryer.

  5. Step 5

    Clean basin immediately to avoid staining.

Martha Stewart Living, June 2009



Reviews (28)

  • Tr ng Tr n Nh 9 Jul, 2014

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  • nguyennamcuong 8 Dec, 2013

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  • reviewbonusz 23 Nov, 2013

    This is very useful. Thanks you very much
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  • Felicitac 22 Jun, 2013

    Formidable ces chaussures ! Moi qui suis super fan des sneakers de tous types, je ne peux qu'adorer !

  • shoemaven 16 May, 2013

    This is a great family bonding activity especially with kids! I wonder if it is possible to dye the front part of the shoes one color, then dip the back part into yet another color dye. That would be a new fashion statement! If there is a method to create tiedye shoes, please do share with us! I love colorful things.

  • Angel7771 26 Apr, 2013

    To keep the soles & edges white you might try Vaseline or even utter balm, both of which may be purchase at Wal-Mart. I haven't tried that but these products are good for keeping other things dry and protecting against wetness.

  • scrapyj 23 Jul, 2012

    I really like this, but everytime i dye anything it does not look so good, i end up throwing it out.. Will give this a try.

  • dlbryant 23 Jul, 2012

    How did the designers keep the soles white?

  • jnokleby 23 Jul, 2012

    To clean your pan or basin of use, regular household bleach does that. Make sure you don't mix bleach with the liquid dye.

  • jnokleby 23 Jul, 2012

    Those who find they hate the color, etc can get the RIT DYE REMOVER. So it is best to use that dye when doing it first. Comes out every time. I also re-wash the item and set the dye with salt water. You can dye leather shoes but the time element is longer and no guarentee on the color you want.

    I find RIT is fantastic for everything...wicker baskets...use the 5 gal bucket and set something heavy on basket and then something on that. IE, dye bucket , basket in, water filled bucket on top.

  • SweetT63 23 Jul, 2012

    Ooops! remove before you dye them!

  • SweetT63 23 Jul, 2012

    to keep the soles white, you can either remove them before you bye them or buy new soles. The Dollar Store has them for a $1.00.

  • Minna 23 Jul, 2012

    You can also"paint" the rubber with wax..just melt gulf wax you can get at the grocery store...when you are done dyeing your shoes you take the wax off by peeling it off....You could also paint designs using the wax and then peel off after the dye dries...

  • hrlaser 26 Jun, 2012

    I have a bottle of high quality (Montblanc) Burgundy-color (purple) fountain pen ink.. is there any reason I couldn't / shouldn't use an artist's 1" brush, and just paint a brand new pair of white canvas shoes with the ink, and let them dry? If I did this, I'd never wear them outsidde, if it's raining, because I'm pretty sure the ink would run if it got wet, even if it's been months since I painted them.. I just want to know if I can "dye" them with fountain pen ink, or do I really have to do the whole fabric dye / bucket routine?

  • jodie hughes 24 Jun, 2012

    I have a light pink pair of all star converse that are badly faded and i want to dye them bright pink. so im going to tape the white rubber, soak them in warm water and then apply the dye by han using a paint brush, that way nothing i dont want to dye will end up pink. then leave them to dry for a day or 2 then soak in water to remove any excess dye then leave to dry again and add new white laces

  • patpattycakes 15 Oct, 2011

    You can wrap the soles with masking tape, really tightly and with a few layers.

  • machelleg 26 Feb, 2011

    This is frustrating! I have dyed many canvas shoes and the sole always dyes along with it! These pictures are misleading, there is no way following these directions that the insides and soles wouldn't also get colored. If someone knows the trick I wish they would share!

  • pinkyrue 22 Jul, 2010

    I was wondering the same thing. Is there something we can put on the rubber to keep it from dyeing it also?

  • thedivinemissm 22 Jul, 2010

    How do you prevent the dye from also colouring the white rubber bit around the sole, and the inside bit? If the dye will stain the basin, doesn't it follow that the whole shoe would also get dyed?

  • adeleyfrenchie 10 Jul, 2010

    I recently bought a pair of converse, and at first I found the bright green color original and fun, but now I realize they don't go with any of my clothes (color-wise)... If I dye them, will they be some sort of green murky color ? I don't want to do anything too risky...

  • cookiesgalore 5 Aug, 2009

    Another fun thing to do with canvas shoes is to coat them with 'gesso' (like artists do with canvas) available at any art store or joan fabrics, and then paint the sneakers any way you'd like using acrylic or oil paints (like an artist would). You could probably even use fabric markers on the gesso too.

  • countryrose 5 Aug, 2009

    I like this idea, but am wondering if the dye will rub of on your feet?

  • jenniftra 5 Aug, 2009

    You can find some at rite aid

  • MSLO_Admin3 24 Jul, 2009

    heidiraat, for this story, we used sneakers from Keds,

  • foreverandrea 19 Jul, 2009

    rite aid or sometimes kmart. but for sure rite aid

  • heartnicole 7 Jun, 2009

    I am also wondering about who makes the elasticized shoes - do tell, please! :)

  • heidiraat 18 May, 2009

    I love this idea and these shoes? What brand are the elastic ones, they do not appear to be keds. Where can I get them?