Walking the Beach

Some people are fortunate to live where they can walk the beach barefoot all year long.  Where I live, you’ll freeze your tootsies in winter if you’re barefoot.  And this spring, there haven’t been many days warm enough to wear flip-flops (until this weekend), so we need shoes.  Shoes fit for traipsing across the dunes to get to the water’s edge, but lightweight enough to be the next best thing to barefoot.  L.A. Gear made a pair that were my fave.  They went out of business for a while.  Then Hanes was making a pair they actually called Beachcomber.  They’ve been discontinued also.  Still I’ve managed to find a pair of lightweight casual canvas sneakers.

As they got worn and dingy, I decided to try an experiment.  I’d been using textile paints on denim, so I thought I’d try painting my sneaks.

My first painted pair I called sunset palms.  Yeah, the sunset is a bit reversed (the purple should be at the top), but that ‘s just my style.  I wore the heck out of them.

Paint your own sneakers: sunset palms

Anyone can paint a sunset.  It’s broad horizontal strokes and blending.  I used my Jacquard Opaque Textile paints for them.  They need to be heat set, but since using an iron would have been tricky, I just used my blow dryer on high setting.  It worked.  Got those sneaks wet and the paint held.

Rather than doing another sunset, on the next pair I decided to do a beach scene.  I even used the colorless sparkling paint to mimic the wet sand as the waves rolled in.

DIY Walking the Beach sneakers

Once again, beach scenes are very easy to do — for a big impact.  These are great for getting to and from the beach and easy to fit in pockets or tote while on the sand.  They’ll even look great walking around town in the summer — or on the tennis court.  I’ve been wearing out this pair too.  Haven’t decided how to paint the next pair, but I’ll probably need more paint since I used up the last of these colors.

No need to spend big bucks on store-bought colorful sneakers.  Paint your own!



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Let’s start with some pillow talk….

I like comfort.  Who doesn’t? Hard benches are for churches and doctors’ waiting rooms.  When I first saw the window seat in this house, I knew it would make the perfect lounging area to lie around and read a book.

The previous owners had left behind the cushions which were from outdoor furniture.  Nothing wrong with that, since they were durable, but the print just didn’t speak my language.  I shopped around for bench cushions and found that since the bench was a custom size, there would be a custom cost from $400-$700 for cushions.  That was just too much money for pillows on my budget.

So I decided to use – and reuse – what I already had on hand.  Taking color cues from the artwork I’d already hung, I got to work.

one side of window seatother side of window seat


First, I needed to cover the outdoor cushions.  I didn’t have enough peach fabric in my stash, couldn’t find any ‘locally’, so I bought muslin which I dyed.  I found Rit discontinued the color peach, so I had to make my own color recipe.  It dried a little lighter than I wanted, but I can always redye.

Then I made new covers for throw pillows I already had.  I liked this idea for a pillow cover, but since I was using yellow, I modified the idea to mimic rays of sunshine.  This involved lots of measuring and calculations….

laying out the pleats








But I feel the effort was worth it.
a ray of sunshine pillow








The big aqua pillow is just a fitted sheet I found at Target which is wrapped and tied.

I’ve seen some nice beachy throw pillows, but I either couldn’t find the right color or price, so I made my own for three small pillows I had.  The area needed a punch of bold color.  Found the turquoise fabric as a pre-cut at Michael’s (using a coupon).

starfish and coralaqua and seagrass








Didn’t have the nautical stencils on hand, so I searched clip art images and made my own of seagrass, starfish and coral.  I used the freezer paper stencil trick and fabric paint.  Painting was a little tricky since my Jacquard textile paint had dried out and the local stores no longer carry it, so I substituted another brand.   I highly recommend the Jacquard paints because they do not bleed through fabric.

So now I have a nice serene place to hang out reading with lots of natural light and comfy pillows.






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