How to dye canvas shoes

Updated April 17, 2017

White canvas shoes are perfect to use for making customised shoes in every colour. You can dye canvas shoes to match any colour imaginable. If you cannot find the shoes in the right colour to coordinate with a specific outfit then you can dye the shoes to match. Dye your own canvas shoes in no time with a few supplies that can be purchased from a craft or hardware store.

Prepare the fabric dye by filling a bucket with hot water and adding the dye along with other ingredients like salt, according to the manufacturer's directions.

Use new white canvas shoes because dirt or other elements may affect the distribution and absorption of colour. Wet the shoes by running them under hot water. This will help the dye distribute evenly onto the shoes.

Then place the shoes into the bucket of dye and stir according to the manufacturer's instuctions. Stirring is necessary or the dye will not sink into the canvas evenly.

Leave the white shoes in the dye for the amount of time indicated on the directions. Keep the shoes in the dye for the full time period as indicated on the box in order to get a pure, true colour. The longer you leave them in the dye, the darker they will become.

Now remove the shoes and rinse off excess dye.

Let the white canvas shoes air dry on a clean flat surface or if you need them more quickly, you can dry them in the clothes dryer.

When you are done with the dye, dispose of it immediately and rinse the bucket throughly to avoid staining.


Make sure the shoes are not treated with water repellent or other stain fighters because these types of products can affect the fabric dye by repelling the colour.

Things You'll Need

  • hot water
  • large bucket
  • fabric dye (desired colour)
  • salt if needed (check the fabric dye instructions)
  • white canvas shoes (with laces removed)


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About the Author

Milenna Russell has a Bachelor's degree in mass communications from the University of Utah. She has been a freelance writer since 2004 and writes for several web-content sites including Lifetips, Ehow and Associated Content.