As a shoe designer I know about the quality of shoes, and know when a used pair of shoes is beyond saving or still has some life in it. It is often surprising how quickly a pair is discarded by people even though you can easily fix them up.
I found this pair of little boots on a flea market for 50 cents. They looked awful since they were discoloured with water stains but underneath was a good base.
The insoles looked good, and by the scuffing on the sole you can tell how often they've been worn. When looking for used kids shoes, checking the wear on the heel is important since it will tell you the most about its use. Make sure the sole is not too far gone and still horizontal.
I started with giving them a rince with water and dish washer soap. Adding soap will prevent water stains.
After they were dry I painted on the watermelon seeds. Don't worry if they are irregular, on a real watermelon they are too. ;-)
The paint is Angelus leather paint, and it won't crack and wear off like other acrylic paint!
Then I mixed up shoe creme to the desired shade and gave them a thorough polish.
Al little TLC makes all the difference!