Hey all, newbie here! I love this thread! I think my first upcycling project was when I got bored in high school and drew all over my white cross trainers.
I felt so wicked...
Anyway, this year I got sick of the fact that ALL the summer shoes for my 12 yr old daughter were flimsy, hard, HEELED of all things, or otherwise completely unsuited for having any fun. So my partner picked out these boys' river sandals, and I used paint pens to cute them up. To get the flowers somewhat uniform, I just made pink x's, then added petals between those petals as desired (usually just one more), then waited until dry and added the little centers. I painted them on every strip of leather big enough. She gets complimented on them all the time and they're super comfy.
(Guess I can't post a pic yet, sorry, but here's the link...hope that works...)