How to Make Felt Boots

Written by kate kotler
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How to Make Felt Boots
Felt boots finish off a Christmas elf costume. (pretty elf with gifts on white image by Anatoly Tiplyashin from Fotolia.com)

Whether you're planning to dress as Robin Hood for Halloween or making a costume for a sweet elf this Christmas, felt boots are the perfect finishing touch for a variety of costumes. Instead of frustrating yourself by searching for this accessory in costume stores and online, try making a customised pair using a sheet of felt and a bit of sewing know-how.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Four sheets of 8-by-11-inch paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Sewing tape measure
  • Two large sheets of felt
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread to match the felt

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Make a boot pattern for each foot. To make the sole of the boot, trace the shape of your right and left feet on separate pieces of paper. Mark them right and left. Cut them out with scissors. You will have two foot-shaped pieces, one for each boot. Set them aside.

  2. 2

    To make the body of the boot, measure from the tip of the toes to where you would like the boot to stop on your ankle. This gives you the base measurement for the body of the boot. Mark that length on the bottom edge of each piece of paper. Measure the circumference of your ankle at the point where the boot will stop. Add 2 inches to this measurement. This gives you the top measurement for the boot. Mark that length at the top edge of each piece of paper so that it is centred in the middle of the longer base measurement.

  3. 3

    Connect the two measurements on each side of the body of the boot using a gently curving line. These body pattern pieces should look a little bit like an upside-down T or an upside-down mushroom. Make one of these for each foot (two total) on separate pieces of paper. Cut the pattern pieces out with scissors and set them aside. You now have four pattern pieces, two boot soles and two boot bodies.

  4. 4

    Pin the pattern pieces onto the felt using straight pins. On a large piece of felt you should be able to fit one sole and one body pattern. Cut out the pattern pieces and set them aside. You will have four pieces total.

  5. 5

    Make the top of the boots. Fold each top piece in half so that the pattern is on the outside of the felt. The curved line should meet up and match; the piece will look a little bit like a curved L. Carefully remove the pins and pattern. Re-pin the boots along the curved line. Sew a seam along the curved line 1/8 of an inch from the edge of the felt. As you sew, the curved line should be to your right hand side. It doesn't matter if you sew from the top of the boot body or from the bottom.

  6. 6

    Remove the straight pins. Turn the top of the boot inside out. Push the seam into the felt. The completed piece will look like a curved L-shaped tube. The sewn seam should be on the inside of the piece so no sewing is showing. Repeat these steps for the second boot.

  7. 7

    Pin the wide end of the body of the boot to outside edges of the appropriate foot-shaped sole piece. Sew around the outside of the boot, following the shape of the foot, 1/4 of an inch from the edge of the felt. Sew around the boot a second time to reinforce the seam. The seam that connects the body of the boot to the sole of the boot should be on the outside of the completed boot. Make sure that your sewing is neat in this portion of the project because these seams will show on the finished boot. Repeat this step for the second boot.

  8. 8

    Trim any excess felt from the outside of each sole piece so the edges are neat. The seam that connects the edges of the body of the boot will be on the inside of the boot; the seam that connects the body of the boot to the sole of the boot will be on the outside of the boot. There is no need to turn it inside out, as it is already in the correct shape when you complete sewing the sole to the body of the boot. This completes the boot. Repeat this step for the second boot.

Tips and warnings

  • When tracing your foot, you will naturally add between 1/2 and 3/4 inch. If you are worried about the boot not fitting, place the pattern for the sole of the boot on the floor and put your foot on top of it. You should see the white edge of the pattern piece sticking out from under your foot. If not, trace again, loosely this time to allow more room.
  • You can still make these boots if you're willing to sew by hand. Use a #4 darning needle and a thick thread weight to make the boots sturdy. Sew the inside seam for the body of the boot using a whip stitch. Sew the body of the boot onto the sole using a running stitch.
  • Try embellishing your boots with fabric paint or pieces of felt in contrasting colours that you hot glue onto the outside of the boot.

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