DIY: Leopard Print TOMS shoes

I've been wanting to do a pair of leopard print TOMS in like, forever. I am a leopard print lovin' fool. There are so many different techniques you can use to achieve those coveted leopard spots. It took me a minute to find my pattern mojo, but once I did I was totally excited.

First things first: tape off the soles of your TOMS with blue painters tape. I like to maintain my crisp, white soles at all costs. Also, tape off the TOMS tags because people who buy TOMS want to see the trademark tag!

What makes this pair different from all of the other TOMS I've painted in the past is the paint. I used iLovetoCreate's Tulip fabric paint. I was eager to see if the fabric paint would give the shoes a softer feel as opposed to regular acrylic paint, which is what I normally use. I went to my local Michael's to raid their racks and I was a bit fussy because it seemed like someone raided it right before I was there! Normally, I wouldn't recommend using three different finishes like I did, with the matte, velveteen and slick. Still, I knew I could make it work.

I had to make a custom color for the base of the leopard print. You want to stay in a yellowish-beige range.

I used a flat stencil type brush to paint my base coat. Note the TOMS tag that has been taped off with the painters tape.
You really want to get a solid coat or the base. Make sure you get into all of the seams and grooves of the shoe. Once it dries, take a closer look and I'll bet you will find lots of small areas that you missed. Happens all the time.

Here are my TOMS with a solid base coat. I brought out one of my favorite leopard print scarves for inspiration.

When I first started to paint the spots freehand, I wasn't too crazy about the formation of the spots but I knew once I added the black as accent spots, the leopard print would start to come alive. Note the animal fur Google image used for inspiration. And yes, those are more TOMS to paint in the background.

I played around with the finish and added a few brown tones intermittently. This is where I think using multiple finishes worked in my favor. It looks fab.

I love the way they turned out. Do you?

If you're interested in getting yourself a pair just like it, please check out my Etsy shop.


  1. Anonymous7:10 PM

    You are badass. Just sayin.

  2. WOW, those came out really nicely! I love leopard! I would also love to link to your tutorial if you didn't mind. I just clicked over from I Love To Create where these shoes totally made me do a double take!

  3. Awesome, Rachel. Thanks so much!

  4. These look awesome! Definitely inspired to paint some shoes of my own

  5. Anonymous5:23 PM

    I have grey TOMS, would it work with those?

    1. Yes, any color shoe would work!

  6. Anonymous8:05 PM

    did using the fabric paint give it a softer feel or do you recommend using acrylics?

  7. It didn't really give it a softer feel at all. You could craft paint too for similar results.

  8. Do you seal after painting? Or leave it as is?


Break me off something.

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