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07 August 2011 @ 09:40 am
custom TARDIS keds  

When I found these blue keds at a thrift store---near-perfect condition and only $10---I knew immediately they had to be mine so I could make a TARDIS tribute out of them.

My first step was to get a good reference image. I wanted something already drawn so it would be easier to transfer to paint, and I wanted something cartoony and not overly complicated so it would be recognizable but simple.

Next I made a quick (very quick) sketch of how I wanted to lay the elements out on the shoe. Basic, easy-to-follow.

I did a little bit of research on shoe painting that said oil paint was more durable than acrylic, so that's what I went with---I wasn't up to going out to buy fabric paint and I'm already familiar with how oils work. My arsenal: carbon black, titanium white, and a huge jar of liquin which thins the paint for better consistency and quickens drying time.

My first step was a stripe of black across the front. I just did it freehand.

The white windows, however, I wanted as straight and symmetrical as possible so I taped them off.

I used a tiny round brush to fill in the squares with white. The texture of the shoes' fabric took some getting used to, and I applied several layers of paint loaded with liquin to cover all of that dark blue.

The results were satisfying if not perfect, so I moved onto the next shoe.

After straightening up the edges a little with a flat brush, I added a bit of cadmium-barium yellow light for a bit of a glow since the windows looked a bit like a kid gone crazy with white-out.

Next I took a black sharpie and started outlining the doors and the top of the blue box. I also painted the white sign on the front (not pictured).

The shoes weren't looking TARDIS enough for me yet, so I wanted to paint some squares down the side of the shoe to look like the front doors. I mixed up a blue just lighter than the shoe colour and added lots of liquin for a very runny paint.

After taping the sides, I painted several squares with a flat brush.

And then I had to let the shoes dry for 24 hours. This was hard for me because I hate letting a project sit in the middle of it.

The next night the shoes were dry, though, so I outlined the windows in black sharpie to fix up the edges a little, and I put the writing on the white sign.

I outlined the blue squares as well on the outside of the shoes. I could have done more to make them match the TARDIS better, but I was fine with just getting the gist of the thing.

And now my least favourite part: tackling the lettering. Literally, I guess---I had to use a wall tack dipped in paint because I didn't trust myself with a fine brush. Getting the paint consistency for this was hard because it needed to be thin enough to write with but thick enough to glob to the tack and make a fine line. I paid a lot of attention to my reference and sketched the letters in pencil on the black stripe before painting, but once I'd begun I pretty much just made it up.

It came out okay I think.

I let the paint dry for 48 hours this time to be safe before lacing the shoes up and showing them off to my sister (who'll inherit them for Christmas). I misted on a light spray of fixative and called it finished.

Later I'm planning to take a silver pen and add "DON'T BLINK" in tiny letters to the back of the shoes. My entire English department will want to be my best friends now.

ETA: My current blog is updated here on tumblr.
Charlottegawariel on August 8th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC)
OMG, these are so awesome! Can I be your sister? ;) Or can you ad me to your Christmas list? :D

I'm literally drooling here. These shoes would look perfect with my new DW T-shirt.
I'll keep my eyes out for blue shoes like that.

Fantastic job!
brytningbrytning on August 8th, 2011 06:58 pm (UTC)
That is a GREAT shirt. I need to get my hands on one the next time Threadless has a sale!

Thanks for the nice comments and enthusiasm! C:
melpommenemelpommene on January 7th, 2012 07:07 am (UTC)
*fangirling all over*

I was looking for a good doctor who design and your's are the most lovely I've found.... Because their are simple and yet perfect and so representative :D

I really hope you don't mind if I borrow it :3 (The design, I mean, not the shoes xD... I suppose that will bother you haha)

Congratulentions by your creativity, btw :]
brytningbrytning on January 10th, 2012 11:21 pm (UTC)
Wow, thank you for the compliment on my design! By all means, copy them and spread the TARDIS love. My only request is that if you post photos online or sell your product online that you credit me with the original design. I own no rights to Doctor Who, of course, but a simple mention/link back to my site is really appreciated!
melpommenemelpommene on January 11th, 2012 09:39 pm (UTC)

So, I did!
And there they are http://bit.ly/zaOt2S if you feel like seeing it :D
brytningbrytning on January 14th, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
Awesome! I'm glad it turned out for you!
Sapph: Disney: Arielsapphs on December 19th, 2012 10:41 pm (UTC)
These came out fantastic! Memorising this page in case I ever decide to get creative lol.
jmctechie: happily ever afterjmctechie on June 10th, 2013 02:01 am (UTC)
Commenting years later but I just realized after seeing these shoes on Pinterest a thousand times that they looked like keds. In fact they look just like the keds I bought from hot topic years ago and never wore. I'll need to see if I can find them at my parents house and try to make these myself. So excited!