Draw, cut and pin your way to creative fashion

    Too embarrassed to wear battle-scarred Converse? Tired of wearing the same hoodie every day? Wish you could kick your caffeine addiction to save your Starbucks money to splurge on a new wardrobe?

    Since the last option is unthinkable, you’ll have to get creative with the clothes you have in your closet. With just some markers, scissors and the loose change from between the sofa cushions, you can create your own head-turning fashion statement.

    Shoe Art

    If you have a worn-out pair of shoes whose original color has not been discernible for years, then go nuts with some markers or paint. Even novices should have no trouble creating simple, flashy patterns like checkerboards or stars.

    What you’ll need:

    • Permanent markers
    • A straight-edge ruler
    • Canvas shoes (Converse or any solid color slip-on is preferable)
    • Your imagination


    1. Dry your shoes thoroughly; drawing on a wet surface just won’t work.
    2. For a checkerboard pattern, use a ruler to keep lines straight.
    3. For clovers, hearts and other doodles, trace the shape on your shoe with a pencil first, then go over it with your marker.
    4. Remember to take your time! Any mistakes you make will have to be scrubbed off.
    5. Let dry, then hit the streets. You may have to touch up the marker every few weeks or so.

    Shoe Art #2

    Experienced artists are only limited by their imaginations. Another great trick is to rubber cement clippings from magazines or newspapers to the toe of your shoe. Chuck Taylors are great for this sort of experimentation (they are canvas, after all). Even if you don’t own a pair, some stores sell them for as cheap as $30.

    What you’ll need:

    • Rubber cement or super glue
    • Old newspapers or magazines
    • Canvas shoes
    • Scissors


    1. Carefully cut a clip from a newspaper or magazine.
    2. Apply a coat of rubber cement or Super Glue to the back of the clipping and/or the toe of your shoe.
    3. Adhere the clipping to the desired resting place on your shoe and smooth it out to remove wrinkles. Be careful not to glue your fingers to anything! (If you do, rub some nail polish remover to unstick yourself.)
    4. Apply another layer of rubber cement over the top of the clipping for waterproofing.
    5. Let sit until completely dry.

    Arm warmers

    Socks are probably the most underrated article of clothing. So why should you devote any time to customizing something that no one even sees?

    Think outside the box for a minute. Socks usually go on your feet, right? Well, who made it against the law to wear them on your arms?

    What you’ll need:

    • Scissors
    • A pair of socks

    Grab a pair of scissors and an old pair of colored socks. Cut off the toe part, poke a hole on the side for your thumb and voila! You’ve got yourself arm-warmers.

    If you feel especially comfortable with a pair of shears, try only putting small holes in the head of the sock to make extra-long fingerless gloves.


    Hoodies, shirts and hats get old fast. The best way to add flavor to these items is to invest in some buttons, pins and patches.

    Most of these accessories cost only a few cents and can be affixed to nearly any part of your outfit. Hit up record stores for buttons from your favorite band or check out skate shops for snarky patches to sew or safety-pin onto your backpack.

    Fans of Office Space should hit up Urban Outfitters to buy the Office Space Box of Flair. For a measly $8, you get 15 authentic Office Space flair button-pins featuring memorable quotes from the movie, such as: “I believe you have my stapler,” “I can set the building on fire” and “I’m not lazy, I just don’t care.”

    Mix and match

    Never hesitate to play Dr. Frankenstein when you get dressed in the morning. Your clothes are your chemicals, so don’t be afraid to mix and match. Every good mad scientist knows that you can try anything once, even when something blows up in your face, it might still look cool to someone who has never seen anything like it before.

    Who knows? Your next fashion creation might get you noticed.


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