Between my running shoes and my husband's work boots and now with a toddler boy, we go through a lot of shoes in a year. I have always tried to think of creative ways to reuse our old shoes. We have tried bringing them in to hand me down stores but a lot of times they wouldn't take them because they were so beaten up and not wearable anymore. So I hated throwing them away knowing this is not good for the environment.
Now I have thought of a creative idea for those old shoes. Making your own stepping stones from shoes just seems like the perfect solution. I'm going to demonstrate how I have done this and discuss different ways you can use them.
Take a trip around your house, in the closets and in the garage. Collect all of your old pairs of sneakers, slippers, boots, sandals, crocks, you name it, that you don't wear anymore. Ask your friends, family and neighbors if they have any laying around; it's just taking up space anyway! If you still can't find some, you can always look for garage sales and get pretty good deals. When you have your stack of stepping stones, you'll want to cut the top of the shoe off so it's just the sole.
Next you'll want to wash the bottom of the shoes off real good with soap and water being sure to rinse well with water and let dry overnight. This will allow paint to stick to the surface a lot better and last longer. Once the shoe(s) is dry use any paint you want but I used spray paint I picked up at my local hardware store. Spray paint all the shoes you have, using different colors if you want.
Allow paint to dry thoroughly; read user instructions on the can for dry times. Now you need to decide where it is you want to place your new recycled shoe stepping stones. I placed my stepping stones on top of the wood chips in our landscaping. I also staked them down using anchoring pins (I also found at my local hardware store). Tip: if you plan on using two anchoring pins per shoe, poke the holes all the way through the sole for both before staking to the ground.
And that's it! Now you have the recipe for a creative stepping stone path that you can make right from you own home and a few supplies from your local hardware store. Now, if you'll please excuse me, I have lots more shoes to recycle before these stepping stones are finished!
If you do not have time for this fun project but still are interested in stepping stones, you can always buy them instead. There are plenty of different kinds of stepping stones out there, but these are one of my new favorites!