New lease on life

Sometimes to declutter an item means to make it useful again.

This pair of much loved Keens just needed a new lease on life.

So I bought some Suede/Nubuck dye and revived them.

At $90 a pair a person really wants to get as much use out of these as possible.

Keen RevivalKeen Revival

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Wow! That’s like Extreme Shoe Makeover! 🙂 The shoes look great and I bet they’ll last many more miles. I’m glad we have a multitalented teacher in this decluttering class. 😀

    • Hi Anne,
      Thank you for that vote of confidence. I love all my students and there is a special place in my heart for the cheeky ones they are always the most playful. 😉

  2. Awesome! I meet with a group of women once a month for UFO (UnFinished Objects) where we do crafts, meding, photo sorting, or whatever else has been sitting around, unfinished. Two meetings ago, I polished all my shoes. Last meeting, two other ladies showed up with all their shoes – and one with her husband’s shoes as well – and we had a polishing party. I couldn’t believe it; one of the two ladies had NEVER polished shoes before. It was funny to hear her asking for instructions.

    • HI Cindy,
      You all must have looked like some sort of shoe shiners convention. I don’t do too much shoe polishing these days but when I was young I went to a Catholic school and had to wear leather shoes all the time. We had to polish them at least weekly, we called them shinies. And we wore white canvas sneakers for sport and they had to be painted on a regular basis also. I am glad those days are gone.

    • Cindy, that sounds like a great idea for a regular group get-together (unfinished objects).

  3. Wonderful idea, and looks good, too. I’d do the same with $90 shoes! I do polish my good boots and it’s gratifying to see them looking nearly new again after a good buffing. Have had them six years and they’re still going strong 🙂

    • Hi Meg,
      I know what you mean. I have a pair of boots I bought when I first moved to America and I still love them, they are eleven years old now and looking great.

  4. Great idea! Makes me think I should do the same to my birkenstock sandals, which are a lighter color than I’d like.

    • Hi Laura,
      I would do it. I probably didn’t mention how easy it was. The dye comes with a little brush attached to the inside of the lid and you just brush it on and it just spreads over the surface seamlessly. If I had known it was going to be this easy I would have done it years ago. I have worn those shoes numerous time since I did the dye job more than I have in the last four years.

  5. That’s brilliant! I’ve considered attempting to dye jeans that have faded to revive them. Wouldn’t hurt to at least try!

    • Hi Erin,
      I have considered a similar thing myself. I used to wear a lot of black clothes to work (I don’t any more because I resigned) and even though I dry them in the shade they still fade. The fabric is still in good condition otherwise. My son also wears black jeans so I could just do a batch and get them all sorted at once. Clothing dye is expensive (In Australia anyway) but it is far more expensive and wasteful to replace the clothing.

  6. Dyeing shoes is a new one for me. I have dyed all kinds of fabric and fiber but did not realize i ciuld dye shoes. The things I learn every day…

  7. Colleen, the shoes look great. The real test is, Did you wear them more afterward, and you did!