When The Phantom Menace was first released in theaters, there was one character that had everyone buzzing—Darth Maul. His appearance was brief, but like Boba Fett, his lack of lines only added to his mystique. Actor & martial artist Ray Park made the character of Darth Maul iconic, and Maul’s epic fight scene against Qui-Gon Jinn was re-enacted by countless kids (and some adults) around the world. Because the character is so beloved, he keeps coming back—whether it’s in The Clone Wars animated series, Star Wars Rebels, or in Solo: A Star Wars Story. So in honor of his constant resurrection, I’m bringing back one of my old DIYs on how to paint Darth Maul sneakers!

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Red canvas sneakers
  • Scissors
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Straight pins
  • Spike nailheads

Step 1: Prep your sneakers. I used these red hi-tops by Canvas, but unfortunately the company is no longer in business. As an alternative, you could use these red hi-tops by Converse. Another alternative are these Vans slip-ons. You’d have to modify the design a bit, but you can definitely make it work since the design is meant to be Maul-inspired and not a screen-accurate image of Maul’s face.

Once you’ve acquired your sneakers, remove the laces. Tape the sides of the soles so you don’t get any stray paint on them.

Step 2: I created my own stencil by using a drawing of Darth Maul as my template. Here is one like the image I used, or this one is another option.

Now, print out the image. Be sure to scale the image so his facial tattoos fit well onto the shoe. (My Darth Maul image filled most of an 8×10 piece of paper.)

Then cut out his facial tattoos.

Step 3: Place the cutout onto the shoe. I arranged them so his chin tattoos were on the toe area of my shoe. Use straight pins to keep the design in tact.

Step 4: Trace around the entire stencil using a fine point marker. Don’t forget to use the stencil on the tongue of the shoe!

Step 5: Use black acrylic paint to fill in Maul’s tattoos. Let the shoes completely dry.

Step 6: Now it’s time to add his signature horns! You can use two different types of spike nailheads—ones with prongs or ones with screws. For ones with prongs, simply push the prongs through the canvas. Use flatnose pliers or a flatnose screwdriver to flatten the prongs down. For spikes with screws, drill a small hole in the shoe. Put the screw in the hole, then screw the spike onto the backing.

Maul has 10 horns, but these shoes aren’t canon so add however many spikes you like! Once his horns are in, you’re done!

6 years later and my Dathomirian-inspired sneakers have held up amazingly well! I’ve worn them to San Diego Comic-Con, Star Wars Celebration, and I even danced backwards in them. Who knows where these shoes will go next?

For step-by-step instructions in moving picture form, check out the DIY video below! Happy crafting! ✂️

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