How To Make Your Own Shoes

You have the hardest time finding any shoes that you like and now you want to learn how to make your own shoes. Making your own shoes does require some skill and an eye for design, so make sure if you are not that crafty that you have someone helping you that is. If you are not that crafty, you can customize your shoes online or buy a shoe kit, but if you really want to be creative, you can make purchase all of the materials and make your own shoes from start to finish.

To make your own shoes, you will need:

  • fabric
  • fabric stiffener
  • heel & heel tips
  • sole
  • sole linings
  • shoe cement
  • last felt
  • fabric stiffener
  • needle & thread
  • padding
  • masking tape
  1. Draw and sketch the design of your shoes.  You want to have a sketch of your shoe from the front, side, top, and back to get a visual of the complete finished shoe look. To get the perfect fit for both of your feet, you will need to use a last. Last is a form that is traditionally made from wood or plaster that combines size with a particular style. The last should be chosen based upon your design for your shoes.
  2. Cover the last with masking tape. Begin by applying a layer lengthwise over the top surface of the last and then apply the last again crosswise. The shell from the masking tape will help you to create the pattern. Next, cut down the middle of the front and heel and remove the tape shell so that it ends up creating two pieces. Use some stiff paper to smooth the two pieces, and then cut out the additional pieces needed for you to construct your own shoes. You will use this paper pattern to help you cut out your fabric pieces of your shoes. Mark the fabric to help you indicate where it should be cut. Cut your "upper" (main part of the shoe) and cut around your felt for your pattern.
  3. Begin assembly once all of your shoe pieces are cut out. Begin to sew together the upper with the felt, and on the back portion of the upper and make a seam down the middle. Make sure that the felt is below the upper during this process because this is where the seam will be the heel area of the shoes. Allow time for the upper to dry, and as the upper dries it will maintain the shape of the last.
  4. Separate the upper and the last once the upper is dry. Place the shoe padding inside of the upper. To secure the padding on the bottom of the sole lining, carefully put a thin coat of shoe cement. Allow the cement to dry. On the bottom of the sole lining, apply a thin layer of shoe cement, and then carefully attach the sole of the shoe to the bottom of the upper fabric, and inside of the heel as well. Allow the cement to dry, again.
  5. Attach the heel tip to the shoe, if it is designed for one. Put the heel tip on the heel bottom by placing the heel tip into the holes located on the bottom of the heel. Hit the heel tip against a hard object to reinsure that the heel tip has been properly inserted inside the heel. You can now wear and enjoy your own newly made shoes.
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