How to make homemade shoes

Written by annie wang
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Making your own shoes is economical and surprisingly simple. This step-by-step guide will show you how to make your own trendy gladiator-style homemade shoes.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 1 yard of leather or nylon webbing, width of your choice, at least 35 to 40" long
  • 1 12"x12" sheet of rubber (or larger, depending on foot size)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Heavy-duty waxed cotton thread
  • Tracing paper
  • Wide-eye needle

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    Make Your Own Homemade Shoes

  1. 1

    Lay out your tracing paper and step on it in your bare feet. Trace the outline of your feet with a pencil.

  2. 2

    Draw a sole around the outline of your feet, leaving half an inch on each side. You should end up with two shapes that look like the soles of shoes, with your feet traced inside them.

  3. 3

    Cut out the soles on your tracing paper.

  4. 4

    Place the cut-out soles onto your rubber sheet and trace the shape onto the rubber. Cut out the rubber soles.

  5. 5

    Measure the length of width of your foot, starting from the ball of your foot moving horizontally across the top of your foot. Write down this measurement, likely somewhere between 6" and 9".

  6. 6

    Cut the length of this measurement with scissors, plus 1 inch, from your leather or nylon strap. Then cut another piece so that you have two pieces for both feet.

  7. 7

    Pin one end of the cut leather or nylon strap onto the sole, starting where the ball of your foot will rest. Draw the leather or nylon strap horizontally across the top of your foot.

  8. 8

    Sew down the leather or nylon strap with 1/4" of an inch of strap sewn to the sole. The sewing should be hidden once you wear the shoe. Repeat with the other shoe.

  9. 9

    Cut two pieces of 12" leather or nylon strap.

  10. 10

    Step onto the rubber soles in your bare feet, and mark in pencil where your instep hits the sole.

  11. 11

    Sew each of the remaining leather or nylon strap horizontally across each rubber, where you marked the instep of your foot.

  12. 12

    Step into the shoe. You should have a band of leather or nylon across the top of your foot near your toes and two long, loose straps.

  13. 13

    Take the loose straps and make an X with them across the top of your foot, like you're tying the ribbons to a ballet shoe.

  14. 14

    Cross the straps across the back of your ankle so there's an X-cross on the front and back of your ankle. Wrap as many times as desired and tie into a knot.

  15. 15

    Trim any excess leather or nylon from the strap.

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