Julie Alvarez's Version of the DIY Menu Bottle

March 17, 2009  at 4:49 PM
I'm very happy to share with everyone this beautiful version of the DIY Menu Bottle that Julie Alvarez did sometime back in January 2009. She is a very talented crafter and photographer. It really thrills me to see others being inspired and coming up with their own great art. Lovely prints and fonts, Julie! Looking forward to see more of her works : )

Here's the link to the photo and her FLICKR page:

View the tutorial that inspired Julie Alvarez:
Do-It-Yourself Menu Bottle

Sneaker Customizing Tutorial (Part 2)

March 6, 2009  at 10:31 AM
Hi everyone, thanks so much for your votes and comments in the previous tutorial : ) Based on the unanimous votes for the first design, I will be sharing with you a detailed Part 2 tutorial on how you can customize your own sneakers using the painting method. Get ready for the good stuff!

We will be needing:
1. Acetone
2. Plenty of cotton wool/balls
3. Plenty of Q-tips
4. Gloves
5. Glass container
6. Angelus Leather Paint (available at Turtle Feathers)
7. Various thin brushes
8. Liquitex Matte Varnish
9. A pair of sneakers (I chose a white based sneaker because most of the parts are left white)
10. Good music

But before we get to the REALLY good stuff, here's something crucial to do before we lay out those paint brushes. Firstly, we have to take off the paint and wax on the sneakers. This paint-stripping step allows us to have a new 'canvas' layer on the sneakers to work on, and the leather paint will stay on better. Dip the cotton balls into some acetone in a glass container(wear a pair of gloves before doing so). Start rubbing the cotton ball onto the waxy surface of the sneaker. Rub on the areas where you will be painting over. And rub it in hard until you can see the paint and wax coming off. Use Q-tips on tough to reach areas. A new suede-like layer will be revealed underneath. For white sneakers, a grayish layer should appear.

This tedious process can be a real pain and could last for a few days, but it will be worth every effort :)

Here's a good video tutorial on how to prep your kicks:

After many gruelling hours of painful finger and nail rubbing, we can finally move on to the REALLY fun part! Here's where we can take out that gorgeous drawing/sketch from the previous tutorial and do our thing. Following the mock-up in Photoshop, I lightly sketched out some areas with a pencil as a guide before I started painting. Then I used various thin brushes and painted every detail in very carefully. Remember to paint in thin coats. And also, have fun blending the colours : )

Once the painting is done, let the sneakers sit for about 24 to 48 hours before varnishing. This curing process allows the paint to sink into the leather. Varnish in thin coats with Liquitex Matte Varnish (leave 2 to 3 hours between each coat). There you have it, your very own customized kicks!

Now lace 'em up and run around! Enjoy : )

Meanwhile, here are some awesome links for you to check out:

Mark Ong (Check out the masking tip)



Kicks On Fire

Happy Pimping! : )

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