How to Make Handmade Primitive Leather Boots

Written by steven white
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How to Make Handmade Primitive Leather Boots
Leather boots are a Native American tradition. (Moccasin image by Kathy D from

Handmade primitive leather boots, or moccasins, are as unique as the person creating them. In fact, each tribe actually has its own unique way of crafting leather boots that benefits it for its particular environment.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Thin cardboard sheets
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Ruler
  • Leather
  • Glover's needles
  • Artificial sinew
  • Awl
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Tape

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    Creating a Pattern

  1. 1

    Stand on the piece of thin cardboard and have someone trace the outline of your feet with a pencil.

  2. 2

    Cut out the pattern with scissors.

  3. 3

    Fold a piece of paper that is at least twice the pattern's width in half. Place the pattern onto the paper with the big toe nearest to the fold. Make sure the foot pattern is completely straight on the paper.

  4. 4

    Measure 1/4-inch from the widest part of your foot on both sides of it. Connect the two points with a line going around the toes. Draw a straight line going from the outside 1/4-inch mark down to the bottom of the paper.

  5. 5

    Cut out the outline. This is the sole pattern for the boots.

  6. 6

    Draw a line from the bottom of the paper that is 2 inches long and 1 inch across. This will be where the tongue is placed.

  7. 7

    Draw a rectangle on a new sheet of paper that is 3 inches wide and 5 inches long. This will be the tongue.

    Constructing the boots

  1. 1

    Cut out the sole and tongue pieces from the leather. Trace the tongue spaces onto the leather, but do not cut them out.

  2. 2

    Fold the boot pieces in half and whipstitch them closed around the edges.

  3. 3

    Cut out the "T" shape for the tongue.

  4. 4

    Fold the boot up and whipstitch the heel.

  5. 5

    Whip-stitch the tongue into place.

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