hmm, did you use pod podge?? I used it for my starburst ones, and it's holding up fine...but then again, my shoes were that metallicy-type plastic stuff, so maybe it's because of the different canvas underneath??
usually if i'm looking for something to reconstruct, i'll look for fun colors or prints....i also really like funky shirts with cool designs (like a snapple logo, for instance) and i'll resize it and embellish it as i choose. also, i've found some great pieces that i just wear as is. i found this great light pink corderouy jacket that i loveeeee at a thrift store!!