Pros and Cons of Painting Baby Shoes

Pros and Cons of Painting Baby Shoes

Summary: Why would you want to practice sneaker customization by practicing on baby shoes first? Because the stakes are lower, the canvas is cute (but complex), and it makes a great gift!

Most custom shoe artists paint adult sizes. In this post we're talking exclusively about the baby, child, kid's and teenager shoes. They're smaller versions of the real thing.

Pink shoes girl swing

No babies were consulted in the creation of this article 

Let's face it - you're probably not ready to paint on those Nike Air Force Ones just yet. This canvas, this medium will prove as the training ground to enable you to grow your skills as a custom shoe designer. 

"When the canvas gets smaller your painting talent has to get better in order to accommodate." -Salvador Dali

We talked previously about the benefits for tattoo artists who are learning to draw & paint by starting on custom sneakers. No matter your medium, this is a cool canvas to get started on. 

Learning to paint on "baby shoes" & "kids shoes" will up your Bob Ross brush stroke game, patience, and skill as an airbrush or paint dye artist. 

Leather Care Supply reserves the right to sell you paint supplies conveniently through their e-commerce platform.


Now that the legal stuff is out of the way, we explore the benefits & disadvantages of painting baby shoes. 

Benefits of Painting Baby Shoes

-They’re cheaper than adult shoes. Baby shoes are way cheaper than adult shoes. Baby shoes start at just $10.00, and average about $15.00 based off a sample size I collected whilst in the Coral Square Mall. Whack adult shoes start at $35.00 and nobody wants those. Stylish adult shoes, like those you're liable to find at Foot Locker, Nike, or Adidas, start at $55 and up. 

-The canvas is worth something. This provides you, the artist, with a semi-precious canvas that you'll at least take semi-seriously. 

childrens shoe 

These fire engine red baby kicks would look good with some flames on the quarter

As a canvas to hold the artwork of your creation, this (in theory) would greatly reduce the room for error, making you have to go into performance mode to do them right.

baby tibet baby shoes

-The're smaller than adult shoes. Can be great for practicing more complex work. But the smaller details are more demanding and require that you use a smaller brush or refine your methods in such a way that you’re practicing your patience. It's highly likely that you'll need multiple coats of paint in order to finish the job. 

Looking for Supplies? Shop Leather Care Supply for paint, supplies, & kits by manufacturer:  - Angelus -  Fiebing's - Jacquard

-Makes a great gift for kids and teens. Your love and attention put into the shoe may even reach the wearer in some beneficent way or form, if my holistic friends are to be believed. But really though: Imagine being the uncle who brings a pair of customized kid’s soccer shoes to a party. Imagine how loud those kids would 😱 😱 🙌🙌 🎉🎉scream, announcing your eminence and gift selection ability to all the other parents and party-goers!

-They don't have to be perfect. A baby will be wearing them. Babies are notorious for not having good fashion sense; a baby's fashion depends solely on the fashion taste of their mom or dad. Said another way, "You can’t mess up baby shoes!”

baby shoe baby blue 2

Cons of Painting Baby Shoes

-Greater attention to detail needed. Smaller details mean you need a smaller brush. Smaller brushes carry less paint. Less paint carried means the project may take longer. 

-Hard to hold. With nowhere to grip on the shoe without touching and scuffing up the paint, you'll need to let the shoe sit and air dry with greater frequency than an adult shoe. This can make the painting process a lot longer - and it naturally should be because you don't want to undo your work by being too hasty and painting before the layers have had a chance to set in.  

>> Read the super fly Lazy Man's Guide to Creating Custom Shoes Online if you're into custom shoes but not ready to commit to painting supplies yet. 

Best Colors to Get When Painting Baby Boy Shoes

Angelus Metallic Paint 1 oz (Silver)

Jacquard Neopaque Acrylic Paint 2.25 Oz (Green, Black, Blue, Turquoise) 


Best Colors to Get When Painting Baby Girl Shoes

Jacquard Neopaque Acrylic Paint 2.25 Oz (Gold Yellow, Red, Violet, Magenta)

Glitterlites Multi-Surface Acrylic Glitter Paint Kit (19 colors) 

Painting Supplies

.......A few supplies to get you started. We hope they bring you joy! 

airbrush art brush


1. Grex Genesis X5Gi Dual Action Airbrush 

Angelus Basics Kit

2. Angelus Basics Kit for New Artists (includes brushes)

3. Acrylic Leather Paint Starter Kit

grex private-stock-primary-color-set


4. Grex Acrylic Airbrush Paint Primary Color Set


5. Fiebing's Acrylic Dye Pack (11 colors in all) 


6. Micro Detail Paintbrush Set

Stay up to date with the latest Leather Care Supply New Arrivals here. Thanks for reading baby! Now get out there and make some babies giggle with your newfound shoe painting skills! Follow us @leathercaresupply for more 


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  • Alex Pop
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