You don't have to be a professional artist to turn shoes into a design masterpiece. With waterproof fabric markers and a healthy imagination, you can scribble and doodle to create a cool design. The best shoes to draw on have plain fronts without laces, such as canvas slip-ons, but there is plenty of room on boat shoes, sneakers and espadrilles. If you need inspiration, look at websites for customizable shoes, such as Vans or Nike.
Personalize a pair of sneakers with your name. Put your initials on the toes of each shoe or one initial on each. Sign your name with a flourish on the side. Ask your friends to autograph your shoes with a signature or initials. This works best on light-colored sneakers with bright ink colors. An alternative with black sneakers is to use a silver metallic marker.
White or beige canvas shoes form the perfect background for a beach scene because they are the color of sand. If you are better at sketching than painting, use a fine-point marker to create a pen-and-ink drawing of the ocean, sky and sea. Add a few waves, boats and sand dunes to make a natural scene or draw palm trees and umbrellas for a tropical beach.
If you are going on a trip, use your shoes as a travel diary. With a pocket full of pens, you can design a pair of shoes over the course of your trip. Write the dates of your journey on your shoes and draw one or more icons you experienced, such as the Statue of Liberty or the Golden Gate Bridge. If you prefer to take pictures, not draw them, fill the space on your shoes with data, such as street addresses, flight numbers, and the numbers and website for hotels and restaurants you plan to visit.
Team fans can show their loyalty with shoe designs. Choose a shoe in a team color and cover the shoe with oversize images that can be seen by other fans. If you are attending a sports championship game, draw the athletic equipment, team mascot and venue. Add the final score as a finishing touch. If you are drawing on sneakers, consider drawing on the laces, too. Choose clean, flat laces in white cotton. Use team colors in alternating stripes on the laces or write the name of the team in a repeating pattern.
Ronda Carter is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of journalism experience. She has written a weekly syndicated column on consumer issues. She works as a public relations consultant, advising clients on media strategies and business development. Carter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from University of North Carolina at Greensboro.