How to Make Textured DIY Croc Skin Sneakers With a Wood-Burning Tool

by Sophiesophss
12 Materials
2 Hours

What's up, guys? Here we're going to be making some supreme dunks with handmade croc print. Yes, you heard that correctly, hand-made croc skin sneakers. The results are pretty fire, so carry on reading.

Tools and materials:

  • White sneakers
  • Foam sneaker cleaner
  • Brush 
  • Cloth
  • Pencil
  • White, black, and gold paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Wood-burning tool
  • Acetone
  • Star stencils
  • Duller
  • Matte finisher
Air Force 1s before the DIY

Cleaning the sneakers

1. Clean the sneakers

Since I’m using a used pair of sneakers, I’m going to clean them up (if you’re using a new pair you can skip this step).

Drawing the crocodile pattern

2. Draw the croc pattern

Next, you’re going to need your trusty pencil, and this step may seem a bit intimidating at first, I'll be honest.

I had to go and do my research on how to draw this croc print, but after pulling up some images on google, I noticed that all the patterns were very random but super similar at the same time.

To draw the pattern, first draw a series of squiggly lines, then draw random size squares inside of them and round out the corners. That's literally it; it’s so easy.

Just make sure you're adding a variety of sizes and squiggles for a more realistic look.

How to draw crocodile skin

I'm also going to give these Air Force 1’s the dunk look by drawing a line and erasing the pattern above it just to give me a guideline of what to paint black and what to leave white.

I didn’t do this, but a big tip is to paint the surface with one coat of white paint before you start sketching. Even though the shoe is already white, the pencil lines will come out a lot darker and smoother this way. 

How to get croc skin textured shoes

3. Burn the sneakers

Once you've drawn the pattern all around the shoe, we're ready to burn, baby. By burn, I literally mean we're gonna burn the pattern in. Take your trusty wood-burning tool. It comes with a few different tips, but I've learned that the pointy ones are the easiest to maneuver.

To get the best results, only burn in one direction as you go. So do all the up and down squiggly lines first, and then turn the shoe sideways and do all the horizontal lines.

Trust me, if you're going to try and do the up and down motions as well as side to side while the shoe is facing one way, it's going to get super messy, and your lines will not be straight. So just take your time and go one direction at a time.

Using a wood burning tool to engrave croc print

In terms of depth, just ensure that the lines are deep enough to be visible when the paint covers them. Don't worry about any burn marks either as those will be covered by our paint as well. 

Rubbing off the debris

Once the lines have been engraved, do a quick rub down to get rid of all the debris.

How to paint crocodile skin

4. Paint the sneakers 

Now we're ready for painting. Make sure you apply acetone to the shoe before painting. Then pour some black paint into a container and paint all areas of the shoe that need to be black.

Applying stencils to the sneakers

5. Apply the stencils

Before we go any further with painting black we're going to apply our stencils and paint in the stars. Place a stencil over the swoosh and peel away the transfer tape. Once you do that, you'll need to suction down the stencil with heat.

Painting stars with stencisl

6. Paint the stars

Next, apply super thin coats within the shapes. Gold takes a while to build up, so definitely be patient. If you applied the stencil correctly and painted thin enough coats, you should get perfect


Applying a matte finisher

7. Add some shine

Lastly, we're going to add some shine to the shoes by mixing a tiny bit of duller into some matte finisher, and painting that onto the sneakers.

DIY croc skin sneakers

DIY croc skin sneakers

Here are the finished croc print sneakers, and they are just bursting with flair. I love the subtlety of the snake print as well as the pop of color from the gold stars.

How to make DIY croc skin sneakers

These shoes look super professional as if you bought them this way in a store, and I’m thrilled with the end result.

Products used:

Suggested materials:
  • White sneakers
  • Foam sneaker cleaner
  • Brush
See all materials

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Join the conversation
3 of 5 comments
  • Carollynda Carollynda on Jul 16, 2022

    They look really cute, but what kind of paint did you use?🐊

  • Dana Voiles Plato Dana Voiles Plato on Jul 17, 2022

    Yes, what kind of paint? I would also like to paint the sides of my shoes too. I live where there’s a lot of red clay and it stains my shoes.

    • Pamela Pamela on Sep 21, 2022

      Peroxide is a good way to get rid of it.... clear nail polish it great for after