So in my effort to simultaneously amp up my ‘Mother of the Year’ image, and encourage the creative juices in my toddler…. I have decided to take on a new monthly challenge! …. ok my actual influence is my own complete obsession with all things Pinterest and it’s fantastic ability to fool you into thinking that you have the creative juices to master art on sugar cookies, somehow perfect a Mars Bar from raw healthy ingredients, and DIY a Hollywood Hills mansion from shipping containers and wooden pallets alone. ….
And I am it’s biggest sucker!! So many late night inspiring pins turn into #pinterestfail hangovers. So why not share some of my attempts…. fails and hopefully some triumphs as well…

First off the bat was some DIY art on canvas shoes…. inspired by those epic DIY queens at A Beautiful Mess, with these pretties


.. but I wanted to simplify/toddler proof the project so Evie Bear could get involved (my two year old).

Here’s our little project

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These Kmart toddler canvas shoes cost a grand total of $3.50!!!! So I  really didn’t need to stress too much if Evie managed to paint them a hideous brown camo! All up we used

  • 1 pair of white canvas shoes
  • fabric paints
  • an assortment of brushes (I just bought a massive multi pack as Evie loved using all the different sponges and brushes….. and by that I mean she used…. )
  • small plastic disposable bowls for watering down the paint (I found watering it down helped create the nice ‘watercolour’ effect and made the paints last longer)
  • a disposable cup with water for rinsing brushes
  • an old pillowcase, newspaper or plastic tablecloth to put under everything…. when everything is done you can just toss it straight out


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  • Before starting anything I made sure Evie was wearing long sleeve everything and in ‘painting’ clothes…. fabric paints are harder to clean off skin and I wasn’t keen on having to bathe her for 45 minutes that night. So long sleeve it was!
  • Choosing only three colours is me just being a teeny bit controlling… trying to avoid everything getting mixed up into brown smoosh
  • Water them down in the plastic bowls
  • We removed the shoelaces and didn’t end up painting them at all…. preferred the white contrast in the end 🙂
  • And go to town!… I desperately tried to minimise any controlling nature of mine (my eyes were twitching when she blobbed a huge yellow splat over my carefully water-coloured shoe)…. but kept reminding myself that this was for her enjoyment and the shoes only cost $3.50 anyway 🙂

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Things get messy…. but I’m trying to teach Evie (and myself) that mess is 100% ok! As long as we clean everything up afterwards, mess can be brilliant!! And in this case it was! Although I did keep making the point that this was a special kind of shoe for painting and we can’t go painting any of our other shoes or clothes!… hopefully that got through.

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Our final product!! We left the shoes to dry for about an hour in the sun and I’m not sure how well they’ll go in puddles but YES I think we totally smashed this Pinterest attempt! #babybeanforthewin #nextstopapallethouse

All in all this was a fun art project/creative toddler distraction, for about an hour that produced something that won’t get lost amongst the piles of ‘toddler art’…. give it a go! Honestly, if Evie and I can make these cuties… anyone can!

So…. what a pretty good start to our ‘I saw this thing on Pinterest’ series….

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what’s next? next month we’ll be attempting some plaited plant pot holders… could honestly go either way…



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