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Lace up for summer fun

From Habitat magazine - issue 31, bright ideas for kids

Grab the kids and some Resene testpots then let your imagination run wild.

Foot fancy

Who wouldn't want to show up to play in flash shoes like these? Customise a fresh pair of footwear or fancy up some old favourites – while covering up scuff marks – with nothing more than a few Resene testpots, artist’s brushes and a bit of good quality masking tape.

Grab the kids and some Resene testpots then let your 'magination run wild!

If your kids are little, you can help mask off any of the harder parts – such as around the soles – that you want to keep paint off of and remove laces, if there are any. Show them how they can mask off parts to make straight, clean lines when the tape is removed to create these looks.

These shoes were renewed using testpots in Resene Sunbaked, Resene Crowdpleaser, Resene King Tide, Resene Meditation, Resene Bismark and Resene Raging Bull. The background is painted Resene Bunting.

You will need:

  • Canvas shoes – old or new
  • High quality painter’s masking tape
  • Resene testpots in your choice of colours – we used Resene King Tide, Resene Sunbaked, Resene Crowdpleaser, Resene Soulful, Resene Bismark, Resene Meditation and Resene Raging Bull
  • Small, flat artist’s brushes.

How to paint patterned shoes:

Step 1:  Remove any laces, if your shoes have any, then mask off any areas of your shoes that you want to keep free of paint. We masked around the edges of our shoe soles, around the inside edges, and some of the smaller details (such as the edging, the elastic portions next to the tongue and the back tabs). If your kids are small, this is a good step to help them with.

Step 1 B
Step 1 C

Step 2:  Use painter’s tape to mask areas of the shoes to create patterns. On one pair, we made a colour blocked herringbone pattern. On another, we created a pattern that spread from the left shoe on to the right shoe. On the others, we chose to let the style of the shoes determine where the colour went. Your kids can keep things even simpler or get as crazy as they’d like. With some imagination and a steady hand, their shoes can easily become favourite animals, book or movie characters or could feature the logo of their favourite spots team.

Top tip:  For an artsy splattered look, you can skip masking out a pattern all together and flick paint off of artist’s brushes onto the shoes – though it’s definitely a good idea to do so outside or in the garage with a Resene dropcloth underneath.

Step 2 A
Step 2 B

Step 3:  Use a small, flat artist’s brush to apply your first paint colour to your shoes. We started by using Resene Sunbaked to paint the toes of this pair. Allow the paint to dry to the touch before removing the masking. You can use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process.

Step 3 A
Step 3 B

Step 4:  To get your second colour block to meet up with your first colour block, use painter’s tape to mask on top of the first painted section, right along the line. Then, apply your second paint colour using a small, flat artist’s brush. For these shoes, we used Resene Crowdpleaser. Allow the paint to dry to the touch before removing the masking.

Step 4
Step 4
Step 4

Step 5:  Repeat Step 4 until you have finished your design, then remove all masking.

Step 6:  Allow shoes your shoes to dry and cure overnight if the weather’s nice (or for one week before exposing them to water). We painted the back section of this pair of shoes in Resene King Tide. If any of your paint bleed through your masking, you can always mask it off again to touch up your lines! If any paint bleeds on to the soles, wipe them clean with a damp cloth. If the paint has set but is still fresh, you should be able to removed small bits of newly dried paint from rubber using the edge of your fingernail.

Step 6 A
Step 6 B
Step C
Step 6 D
Step 6 E

We had fun ‘painting within the lines’ by colour blocking different sections and features of our shoes, but your kids can keep things even simpler or get as crazy as they’d like. With imagination and a steady hand, their shoes can easily become favourite animals, book or movie characters or could feature the logo of their favourite sports team.

Step 6 D
Step 6 E

We used testpots in Resene Sunbaked, Resene Crowdpleaser, Resene King Tide, Resene Meditation, Resene Bismark, Resene Soulful and Resene Raging Bull to make our kids’ shoes into something special, but there are hundreds of other testpot colours you and your kids can choose from at your local Resene ColorShop or reseller. They can also be purchased online at

Step 6
We energised the sides of our sneakers with Resene Raging Bull.
Step 6
The tips of these slip-ons are painted Resene Meditation
Step 6
The main body portion of these slip-ons is in Resene Bismark

Top tip: You can also refresh your own shoes using Resene testpots too. If you have a pair of old heels that you love the design of but the colour doesn't go with the rest of your wardrobe, consider giving them a colourful update with Resene testpots. For colourful heel ideas, visit the Resene Colour of Fashion Gallery.

Resene Sunbaked

Resene Crowdpleaser

Resene King Tide

Resene Meditation

Resene Soulful

Let the games begin

Recreate a classic game in an unconventional format using Resene testpots to paint your own dominoes.

We painted ours first in Resene Noir with a small, flat artist’s brush and then added our number dots and lines using a fine round brush and a testpot of Resene Despacito – a creamy blush-beige – but you can use any colour combination your heart desires.

While our rocks were all golf ball-sized or smaller, you could also make a set using big rocks so that your dominoes become an outdoor game that takes over the yard where the whole family can join in.

Background in Resene Sunbaked, dominoes in Resene Noir with dots and lines in Resene Despacito.

You will need:

  • Resene testpot brush
  • Small round artist’s brush
  • 28 smooth, flat, oblong-shaped river stones (cleaned and dried)
  • Resene testpots in two colours of your choice - we used Resene Noir and Resene Despacito

Top tip:  Most Resene testpots are made using Resene Lumbersider paint which is ideal for exterior or interior use. They don’t need overcoating if being used outside. If you’d prefer a higher gloss finish you can overcoat with Resene Clearcoat UVS or Resene Concrete Clear.

How to make DIY rock dominoes:

Step 1:  Smooth rocks, like those found on a beach or in a river bed work best for this project. Take the kids out to search for ones that lay flat and are generally round or oblong in shape. If you don’t live near water, you should be able to get some from your local garden supply store. Using a testpot brush, paint your stones with 1-2 coats of Resene Noir (or another colour of your choice), allowing them to dry completely between coats. To speed up the process, use a hair dryer.

Step 1
Step one
Step 2
Step two

Step 2:  Using the small round artist’s brush, paint lines in Resene Despacito (or another colour of your choice) down the centre of each stone. Since a traditional domino set contains all number pairs from double zero to double six, with each pair occurring once, each one of your 28 dominoes will end up being completely different.

Step 2
Finished dominoes

Resene Noir

Resene Despacito

Visit for more great kids’ craft ideas.

Styling Laura Lynn Johnston. Images Bryce Carleton, Ben Whorwood.


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