EVH Shoes

Is it the shoes, man?
Eddie Van Halen was famous for putting stripes on damned near everything he got his hands on in the '70s and '80s. 

Whether it was his artistic temperament or OCD, who knows, but he striped dozens of guitars, some of them multiple times  For example, that white one with black stripes on the cover of the first album became the black one with yellow stripes on the cover of II and it eventually became the Frankenstrat by the time 1984 was released. 

Eventually he got around to striping much of his wardrobe as well... including his Converse Hi-Tops!  Too bad orange and red just never look good together... rainbow socks or not!


Steps
  • Get a bottle or two of fabric paint from a craft store.  One bottle is enough to do more shoes than most of us own.
  • Get some good masking tape.  If you get cheap stuff, it won't stick firmly enough to the shoes, and paint will run beneath them.  Other types of tape might work as well, but remember you'll be cutting a lot of pieces.  I use masking tape simply because it's so easy to tear.
  • Lay strips of masking tape on the shoes as guides to constrain the stripes.  Maybe you can do this free-hand, but I found it easier to have borders.
  • Do two coats of paint on each stripe.  The first coat should be relatively thin.  The goal is simply to work the paint into the grain of the fabric.  I pretty much scrub it in with tip of the paint bottle (there are no brushes involved).
  • The second coat just finishes it off.
  • Realize you're only going to be able to do a stripe or two on each side of the shoe at a time; you can't do overlapping stripes at the same time.

Tips:
  • I only do two colors on the red shoes.  In that case the white stripes go on before the black.  
  • Look at the guitars for signature patterns of convergence and thick/thin parallel lines.
  • Try to have lines meet near the seams of the shoes.
  • Other than that, make up your own pattern as you go.  And who says it has to be what Eddie does anyway?


My closet runneth over!
Here's yet another round of shoes which are about 95% of the way finished at this point. 

You can see the method on the red ones: Masking tape is used to constrain the black stripes.  Another couple stripes and I'll have to find something else to do while I watch tv.



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