shoe refashion

September/October brings change of season, and fresh starts and frivolity and seriousness too. So for a break from whipup realtime I am introducing a few weeks of guest bloggers to liven up your crafty experience. To bring you something fresh, and hopefully invigorate you to make and do and be and think! Its going to be a fun few weeks so come along for the ride.

I want to introduce you to Disney, whose blog I discovered through all her fabulous refashioning experiments. Disney is a wife and mother, who loves all types of crafting and creativity. She has been sewing since she was a little girl, and now enjoys making excessively girly things for her own daughter. She has an archive of many of her crafts and tutorials at:

Hello everyone!
I am so honored to be invited over to Whip Up to guest post today. I’ve been enjoying working on some shoe refashions lately and I thought I would share them with you. Refashioning shoes is something I’ve wanted to try for long time, but I wanted to be sure that the end result was elegant, with a look of quality. And of course, be able to hold up to a few kicks! My daughter and I have both kick-tested these, and we’re very satisfied with our newer, fancier footwear.

The supplies that you’ll need for this project are:

  • Shoes to refashion
  • Extra fabric/material to add to your shoes
  • A leather needle ($2 for a pack of assorted needles at a discount store)
  • A thimble
  • Matching thread (heavy duty thread if you have it)
  • Use your imagination to find scraps of material for your project. Look for leather, vinyl, and other heavy-duty, water-resistant types of materials: an old handbag, a pair of shoes that aren’t wearable anymore, your husband’s retired wallet, the world is full of outcast items that are just waiting to adorn your feet. For my projects, I used a vinyl cosmetic case, and an old suede clog. You may want to test your fabric out before you commit to using it, by poking the needle through to see how easily it penetrates. (Wish I’d done that with my clog, which was a little difficult to work with. Then maybe I would be able to feel my fingers….)

    Once you’ve selected your material, you can choose your design. Look at shoe stores online for inspiration. Love those little polka-dotted Pediped boots you see everywhere? Make some of your own. Or cut out some flower or leaf shapes. Today I’m going to share my own versions, with ruffles and rosebuds!

    To make the double-ruffled shoe that I’m wearing:

    1. Use a seam ripper to remove any unwanted accents on your shoe.
    2. Cut out one 3/4″x6.5″ strip, and one 1.5″x6.5″ strip of vinyl for each shoe.
    3. Quadruple your thread to make it nice and sturdy, tying a knot at one end. If you happen to have a heavy-duty thread (such as linen thread), that would be great to use too.
    4. Using approx. 1/4″ stitches, stitch across the top of your strip, pulling slowly, but firmly, pushing the material downward, to creating gathering.
    5. Once you’ve gathered to your satisfaction and length, knot your threads to secure. Repeat for each strip.
    6. Set the narrow strip on top of the wider strip, place them on your shoe, and stitch on. Don’t forget to use your thimble to push the needle through!
    7. Finish by rounding off the corners of your vinyl strips with scissors, if desired.

    To make the rosebud shoe that Paige is wearing:

    1. Use a seam ripper to remove any unwanted accents on your shoe.
    2. Cut a .5″x6.5″ strip, in a slightly curved shape for each shoe.
    3. Quadrupling your thread (or using heavy duty thread), stitch along the top, from one end to the other.
    4. Pull slowly, but firmly to gather your strip as much as it will gather.
    5. Roll into a rosebud shape, and stitch onto your shoe.

    Be sure that you stitch thoroughly! Your decorations should be nice and secure. And as much as I’d love to tell you that you can just use super-glue for this project, I tried it and it didn’t work. (So next time you are at the craft store, ask for a leather needle! They’re inexpensive, and they work just like a regular sewing needle. And there are so many things you can make with them!

    Lastly-don’t automatically throw away the accents you remove from your shoes! I used the bows that my shoes originally had to make hair clips for my daughter. And that you can use super glue for.

    Thank you so much, Kathreen, for having me over today. It was such a pleasure!
    And have a great day, everyone!!