It’s officially time for one of my favorite projects of the year. Vans Custom Culture art contest is back again and we are calling all US High School Students to participate. We asked a ton of our rad friends to customize a pair of plain white Vans to get the word out and hopefully inspire some of you guys to participate. The first pair shown are my attempt at a little yarn art on Sk8-Hi’s for you all and following are a few of my favorites from this year’s Custom Culture ambassadors… The second pair are an insane take on Slip-ons by the super talented Charlavail. Third are cool Sk8-Hi’s made with hair dye and Sharpies by Miss Hayley Williams from Paramore. Fourth are a pair of Space Jam themed Authentics that Tay Jardine from We Are The In Crowd drew and painted for us, and last but certainly not least are the super cute, and extra glitery Authentics from Vans Surfer Leila Hurst

SO, WHAT IS VANS CUSTOM CULTURE YOU ASK? Custom Culture is a national high school shoe customization contest where schools from all over the United States compete for a chance to win money for their art programs. Registered schools will receive four pairs of blank Vans sneakers to be customized in four themes: Art, Music, Action Sports and Local Flavor. 

AND WHAT CAN YOU WIN? The Top Five finalists will be flown to New York City for an exclusive final event where the winner will be selected. The grand prize winning school will receive a $50,000 prize for their art program and the chance for their shoes to be produced and sold in Vans’ retail stores. The four runner up schools will also receive money for their art programs. 

YOU LOVE EVERYTHING I JUST SAID?! And you’re a US High School Student with creativity flowing out ya brain? Perfect. Get all the info, tell your teacher, and register now at Better hurry, we can only accept the first 1,500 schools to register. Good luck & hope to see you at the finals! -amanda

Our new Sk8-Hi wedge is part of the upcoming Fall line and will be coming out in several colorways. But it looks like this leopard version along with the blue & black colorways have snuck into our US online shop a bit early. Are you all about the wedge sneaker trend or is the Classic Sk8-Hi more your thing? -amanda


Classic & Charlavail: Week 4

We’ve contacted another round of winners for our Classic & Charlavail contest this week and reset the entries, so be sure to check your emails! You can now enter again for custom shoes, tees, stickers, and patches all designed by Charlavail. Enter here from your computer, sorry no mobile devices.

Plus, we’ve got the final downloadable art section from Charlavail for you guys to finish your DIY 3D Hansel & Gretel piece. If you missed section one or section two grab those first then download today’s new section below and follow the instructions. In the photos above you can see how she made the pieces for you guys and her final version all put together. Can’t wait to see how all of yours come out! 

Download section three here. Then, cut out the new pieces and glue them to your cardboard, trim off the excess and use scrap pieces to make it stand up, just like you did with the other pieces the last two weeks. Perfect weekend project, and don’t forget to enter the contest for this week! Good luck. -amanda 

ps. thanks to sam desantis for the photos! check out her rad blog. 

Classic & Charlavail Week 2:

We have contacted the winners from week one of our super rad contest with Charlavail. Now the entries have been reset and you can enter again for this weeks drawing. 11 winners will get a tee, stickers, and patches designed by Charlavail, and 1 insanely lucky person will win all of that plus a pair of custom hand painted Classic Vans. Check out the video if you missed it to learn more and you can enter on our Facebook page from your computer, sorry no mobile devices.

So what’s new this week? A DIY art piece that she has designed just for you guys. You’ll get started now  by following the instructions below [see the photos above for help] and come back on Friday for the next piece to add. In a few weeks you will have a complete 3D art piece designed by Charlavail and made by yourselves. We would suggest reading through the directions in full before starting.

What you’ll need:
-cereal box





-printed downloadable art piece, this week it comes in two sections that you will print and connect. Click here to download & print the two pieces.

1. Break down cereal box and lay it out flat.

2. Cut it down the middle, as shown in the photo. You want to leave flaps to the left of both big panels.

3. Cut the top & bottom flaps off except the top flaps on the right piece.

4. These pieces need to be trimmed to the height of the download art piece. The height may vary once it’s printed out, depending on your printer. My original piece measures 6“ tall so I measured 6“ across on the two larger panels.

5. Trim the pieces according to the measurements.

6. Rotate the pieces and place the left panel over the flaps that remained.

7. Again, the pieces need to be trimmed to fit the download art. My original piece measures 18“ wide so I measured 18“ across the two panels.

8. Trim the excess off the left panel.

9. Glue the panels together using the flaps that remained. Make sure the pieces are well aligned so you can still fold on the creases.

10. Cut two strips of scrap cardboard that measure 1.5” x 6”. Make measurements as shown. Press down when you draw these lines, it will make folding the cardboard easier.

11. Fold on the lines in the direction shown.

12. Glue the cardboard tab to the bottom edge of the backside of the bigger cardboard piece. Repeat with the second cardboard strip.

13. Lay the whole thing out flat and glue the artwork to the front of the cardboard. I recommend a glue stick or spray adhesive, this will help prevent it from rippling.

14. Once it’s dry, stand it up and glue the other .5” tab to the back. These pieces are meant to keep the whole piece standing, so adjust as necessary to get it to stand. Let it dry completely. 

 If you are confused just check out the photos. We’ll have the next downloadable piece & instructions for you on Friday. Can’t wait to see how these turn out! If you start yours take photos and tag them #classicandcharlavail so we can see! -amanda




Here’s a look at another pair of hand painted Vans from our Classic & Charlavail contest! Be sure to enter on our Facebook Page from your computer, sorry no mobile devices. You can enter once a week and every Friday we draw 11 winners for a tee, patches, and stickers designed by Charlavail and 1 winner for all that plus a pair of custom painted Vans Classics. Good luck!See more rad stuff from the contest at -amanda

We have made it to SXSW in Austin, TX. We are hanging out for the interactive conference and film film festival this week and will kick off our version of House of Vans at SXSW at The Mohawk next week. I thought I’d show you guys a few outfits I packed and style essentials for the festival. Here’s my first pick, stay tuned for more! -amanda

Outfit details:
Vans Upside of Love Button Down Top | Vans Grey Skinny Denim hand dyed with RIT dye | Vans Escondido Purse | Vans White Authentics

As I mentioned yesterday we are down here in Austin, TX for the SXSW festival. Here’s a second look straight from my suitcase. I think I’ll save this one for the first day of shows at House of Vans on Wednesday. We’ve got an insanely rad lineup. You can check it out at -amanda

Outfit details: 
Vans Surf Club Hat | Plain Black Tee | Vintage Denim Vest | Vans Platform Sk8-Hi’s that I hand studded | Vans Stationed Denim Shorts


Last week when we were in Boston we had a day off so Leila, Alyson, Brittany, and I headed over to the New England Aquarium. We had so much fun checking out all the jellyfish, touch tanks with stingrays, giant sea turtles, tiny cute penguins, and the playful seals. Alyson shot lots of our new favorite fall looks out on the pier so be sure to look out for those photos soon! -amanda


The lovely folks at Lumi had us over to their space yesterday in LA for some DIY projects using their product Inkodye. It’s a sunlight sensitive dye that works to permanently print on fabrics like t-shirts & shoes. Check out what we came up with here & stay tuned for some photos of our finished products soon. We can’t wait to try Inkodye on more stuff, our closets are in serious danger! -amanda


One of my favorite things about the new fall line is the colors.  There are some awesome jewel tones happening, especially with this version of our Realm Backpack and the Rainbow Snake Old Skools.-alyson

Photos by Amanda Rae Stephens

Get the look: Link Zip Up Hoodie, Wander Surf Club Snapback, Vans NYC Tank, Realm Backpack, Rainbow Snake Old Skool shoes, shorts & tights her own.

We’ve been working on this for a while now & are so stoked to give it to you guys! The 2013 Spring Scrapbook created by our bloggers and a few friends is here. You can download the entire thing at the link below and it contains instructions on how to print it out & put it all together. Stay tuned this week for more posts from each chapter, our Q&A sheets, and playlists! -amanda