Gig Idea: Use Your Creativity to Create Custom Shoes

Handpainted Shoes by
Handpainted Shoes by Kilgast
If you’re crafty and love shoes, you can use your creativity to make unique custom shoes to sell online or at local events. Depending on your artistic abilities and personal sense of style, you can opt to paint or decorate a wide range of shoe types in a variety of different styles.

Some custom shoe sellers hand paint images on new canvas sneakers or Toms shoes, providing customers with a classic familiar fit and a one-of-a-kind design. Other shoe decorators dress up secondhand shoes, appealing to the eco-friendly consumer base by promoting their shoes as an environmentally friendly recycle/reuse option. Dressing up heels with glittering crystals and lace can be lucrative if you aim your wares at the prom and bridal markets.

Many people who create custom shoes also go for a niche style, such as painting Native American designs on shoes or decorating pumps with images from comic books or television shows such as Dr. Who and The Walking Dead. Fans of these shows are often willing to spend lots of money on custom-designed shoes that show off their love of a good show. Local landmarks and images related to your hometown can be big sellers if you plan to make your shoes available at local stores.

To start out in this gig, you’ll need a supply of shoes and a general idea of what kind of designs you want to create. Depending on the design, you might need either fabric markers or acrylic paints.
Potential places you can sell your artistic painted shoes include local boutiques, art markets, and Ebay. You might also opt to take custom orders, where customers ask for specific images or designs. Custom orders can potentially bring in a higher rate than your standard designs.

Aside from placing your decorated shoes where customers can find them, you can also create your own free advertising by wearing some of your creations around town. Whenever someone asks where you got your eye-catching shoes, you can hand out a business card or your web address.

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