Today I’m so excited to share with you my first handmade gift of the season…and it’s a good one! I love making handmade gifts for my friends and family because they have such a special touch to them.

The challenge for me in making gifts is that I want a project that will actually be better than something I can buy in the store, and will cost me less than if I bought it at the store. This fits the bill on both accounts, and your mom, girlfriends, or sisters will die over them.

Merrick's Art | Handmade Holidays DIY Leopard Flats
Merrick's Art | Lace Up Flats
Merrick's Art | Lace Up Flats
Merrick's Art | Lace Up Flats and Little Black Dress
Merrick's Art | Leopard Lace Up Flats
Merrick's Art | Leopard Lace Up Flats
Merrick's Art | Do-It-Yourself Leopard Lace Up Flats

Lace up flats are huge this season, and are a super easy project to DIY. But take it a step further and paint them to create gorgeous little leopard flats!

Click READ MORE below to find the full step by step tutorial!
photos by rad and happy

tan colored flats (only $17!)
– 2 yards black shoelace cording (I found mine at Jo-Ann’s, sold by the yard in the trim section)
speedball screen printing ink (don’t use fabric or acrylic paint!)
– small paintbrush (there are two in the photo below, but I ended up using only the smaller one)
Step 1. Try your flats on and mark your punch holes. I did 5 holes — one in the front, and two on each side.  

Step 2. Use your heavy duty hole punch to punch your holes.

Step 3. Cut your cord in half so you have two 1-yard pieces. Take one of the pieces and fold it in half to find the center point. Feed the cord through the front hole and loop it to secure it in place. Then lace the rest of the shoe.

Step 4. Now it’s time to paint. I’ve done DIY projects with lots of different fabric and all-purpose paints, and this screen printing ink is by far the best for the job. It goes on rich and dark, doesn’t fade, and doesn’t wear off. Don’t use regular fabric paint for this project! 
Make random sized spots all over the shoe. Tuck the shoelaces inside the shoe so they don’t get in the way as you paint. 

Note: you can wait to lace them if that’s easier for you, but I liked having them laced while I painted so I could make the spot placement look right around the laces. 

Repeat for the second shoe until they’re both covered with spots and laced up. Let them dry overnight and you’re done!

Merrick's Art | Do-It-Yourself Leopard Lace Up Flats
Merrick's Art | Do-It-Yourself Leopard Lace Up Flats