DIY Hoot Owl Toms Tutorial

My niece recently asked me to paint owls on her white Toms. I love the challenge of a good project but I have to say, I was a bit fearful of tackling such a fete. And messing up? I didn't even want to think about that.
So I didn't. I dove head first into the project with excitement. She had sent me a photo via camera phone of what she was envisioning and I got to work.
The tutorial I am giving looks very elementary. That's because it is. This project is seriously so ridiculously simple. No degree in Fine Art needed.
(Click below for the full tutorial)

But what you will need is:
*A pair of Toms (of course). You can get those here.
*Paint and Paintbrushes. I used just regular old cheap craft paint and brushes. You could get all fancy and use fabric paint but I do many of these types of projects and don't notice enough of a difference to pay the price hike.
*3 Different Fabrics (some pattern, some solid, whichever...its your owl ;)
*4 Circle Buttons for Eyes
*2 Triangle Buttons for the Beak
*Fusible Web (found in fabric stores. See it here)
* Hot Glue Gun or Very Heavy Duty Glue
* Needle and Thread (thread color matching the fabric)

Here's what you'll do: ( I have done each step on a flat piece of paper for an easier glimpse of what's going on.)

1. With a pencil, sketch the outline of the owl onto the Toms measuring 1" down from the top (the top being the part with the elastic "v") and 3.5 inches up each side from the center of the toe. You don't need to paint the entire part where the fabric eyes will be but you do need to make sure you don't leave any white peaking out from behind the fabric.

2. Now its time to paint. The color of your owl is totally up to you. If you like the one I did, here's what I used.
for the head

For the body

Paint atleast 2 coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry completely. Don't go too heavy on the coats of paint. That will cause the paint to crack over time. Just get a good coverage.

3. Shift your attention away from the shoes for a bit and onto the fabric. Its time to make your owls eyes. Fold your base fabric (the largest part of the eyes) in half. Cut a shape similar to what I am showing you here. Essentially you end up with a figure 8 type shape. You will need to determine how big of a figure 8 shape you want for the hoot owls eyes. Start larger than what you think you might want and snip it down to the right size for your tastes (everyone has their own preferences on these sorts of things.)

4. Once you have the right size for your owl, move onto the next shape, which is slightly smaller circles. Cut 2.

5. Next, cut the smallest of the circles, which should still be larger than the buttons you bought.

6. Now that all of that is squared away, its time to do some tricky crafting. Grab that fusible web you bought and peel back one side of the paper. You should have a sticky part facing up (it will have little bumps on it) and a parchment paper kind of thing on the back. Place the figure 8 fabric, wrong side down on the bumpy sticky part and smash it down to make it stick. Cut around the webbing as close to the edge of the fabric as possible.

7. Next, grab the large circles and do the same thing as you did with the figure 8 fabric. This time peel off the back paper and stick the circles in place onto the figure 8 fabric where you want it.

8. Either use a sewing machine or your needle and thread and do a quick stitch around the circumference of the circle to secure it in place on the figure 8 fabric for life.

9. Next, grab your smallest fabric circles and repeat steps 7-8.

10. Finally, its time to add the button eyes. Again, use the sewing machine or do this by hand.

11. Now the whole eye "set" should be complete.  Peel off the paper backing and you will stick the figure 8 fabric to the shoe where you want it to go. Use a warm iron and oh-so-gently press the iron to the fabric on the shoe, which will adhere the sticky backing to the shoe. No need to go hog wild, you are just trying to get it in place. Make sure there are no bumps or lumps. Smooth as butter, people.

12. Grab that needle and thread and try your best to whip stitch around the fabric a bit. This is hard, I know, I did it. But its doable. Turn on some Downton Abbey and get to work. You can see in this picture the stitching around the eyes. This is just one more security measure to keep the fabric to the shoe long term.

13. Lastly, its time for that sweet owl beak. Its virtuously impossible to sew it on. If you can, you are a crafting rockstar. I couldn't make it work so I used some heavy duty glue to get that sucker on. My niece has worn these a ton already and the nose is still in place. I glued it on and then went in and kind of glued around the edges, just to make sure it was in place. Worst case scenario, we have to buy and glue on another nose at some point.

14. Voila! Your done! You could get super fancy with it...add in some feathers to its body or something like that. If you make them, post about it and send me a link! I'd love to see what everyone else comes up with.