Do you remember eating candy buttons (or candy dots) as a kid? Usually I'd eat more paper than candy, but they were still fun to try and eat!! The thing I really love most about candy buttons is the bright colors and the polka dot pattern.
Candy buttons are making a comeback in fashion form, especially during Halloween (thanks to costume inspirations like Candy Land and Katy Perry), so I decided to make my daughter some of her very own candy button shoes that can be worn on and after Halloween. Since safety is also an issue during this holiday, I used some Tulip Glow Paint so that they will glow in the dark when we go trick or treating!!
To make the candy button shoes, you'll need some Tulip Glow Paint and white canvas shoes. I found the shoes for about $5, so this project is super affordable and can be made for anyone of any age!!
Any of the Tulip Glow-in-the-Dark & Black Light Fabric Paints will work for this project and will make your shoes stand out both day and night. Both kids of paints glow brightly under UV black lights - which is super fun for your Halloween black light parties!!
Using a small ruler or measuring tape, mark where you want your dots to be with a disappearing ink marker or lightly with a pencil. The disappearing ink disappears in just a few hours, but test somewhere in the shoe before marking the whole thing just in case it reacts differently. You can also eyeball where you want your dots to go, but marking them will help you get a more straight and even pattern.
I used the Tulip Glow-in-the-Dark Paints in pink, yellow, and blue since those are the traditional candy button colors. Test a couple of dots on a scrap piece of paper or fabric to get a feel for how the paint comes out. Then, start on one of the dots you marked and lightly press out some paint and pull up to make a dot. I did three rows of yellow and pink, and (accidentally) four rows of blue, but you can mix it up however you like!!
**Tip: start at one end of the shoe and work your way back, painting/dotting on a sturdy table. Also, try to only hold the base of the shoe when you do pick it up. You'll be less likely to bump any of the dots you already made!
The glow-in-the-dark paints work best when squeezed directly and in dimensional form (like these dots), but if you decide to paint anything solid (like the tongue or other areas), you'll need to apply 2-4 applications to ensure that they will glow brightly.
If you do happen to bump your dots or put one in the wrong place, don't panic (or try not to)! I kept a small paint brush nearby to help clean up any areas. You'll still see the smudge, but it will be less noticeable. In the image above, you can see the obvious pink dot that was bumped, but I also moved the blue dot in the top right over a little and you can see the paint where it used to be.
I just thought you'd want to see that even I mess up on projects!!
Once you've painted both shoes, place them somewhere that they will be undisturbed for at least 4 hours. I let mine sit out in a well ventilated room overnight. Once they're dry, you can re-lace the shoes. My daughter hasn't mastered tying shoes yet, so I put in some adorable neon pink curly laces.
Tulip Fabric Paints are non-toxic and formulated for lasting adhesion to fabric, so the dots should stay dimensional and won't crack or peel, even when you need to wash them.
Black lights are the best way to get your shoes to pop and work beautifully if you need to take photos! To help your shoes glow their brightest in the dark, UV lights work best for activating the Tulip Glow Paint. Simply hold it under the light for at least one minute for maximum glow! If using a incandescent bulb, hold it for several minutes.
My daughter is already excited to show off her shoes, and loves taking them into the dark parts of our home just to see them glow. It's so fun to see how different the shoes look in regular light to no light at all! The bottom photo is after holding the shoes under the UV black light for about 10 minutes - super bright and will be perfect for when we're out trick or treating after dark!! Our black light is also portable, so we can easily take it with us to "recharge" the shoes while we're out if we need to.