Bleach is great. It's like paint only it won't flake off your shoes.
These shoes belong to my brother. He was going into 4th grade and got some black Chuck Taylors to start the year. He took them to me and asked me to make his shoes cool for the first day. We bleached them and drew on them. It's almost a year later now...and they still rock.
First make sure the shoes are clean. If not, for example dirt or something from the factory, wipe them off with a wet sponge.
Get out your bleach pen and start decorating the shoes. If you have never used one of these before, all you have to do is squeeze a little bleach onto the shoes, it's like drawing or painting them.
Be creative! We did polka dots, arrows, stripes, X's and pictures of things, like a peace sign and a guitar amp because he likes music.
While the bleach is drying, take out your Sharpies and get to work. Draw whatever you want. Cartoons are fun.
We couldn't on these because they are black and none of the Sharpies would show up. However on the toes I drew Boo because that's my brother's favorite Mario character on the right one and the left one has some flames on it.
Now you will need to have let the bleach sit for around a half hour to 45 minutes. If you wash it too early, they may not be light enough. If you wait too long, the fabric could be burned. I wouldn't worry too much about the second though because they are canvas so it would take hours and hours.
To wash, use a wet sponge until all the bleach is gone. Now let them dry. This will take about and hour. We sped up the drying process by putting them on tumble dry.
If you want to, you can add designs with a black Sharpie in the bleached areas. That's how we made the amp (picture #2).
Now go out and wear your awesome new shoes!