You can save money on insoles by making your own. Homemade insoles can be machine washed in cold water on the gentle cycle. Use either 1/4-inch thick or 1/2-inch thick polyurethane foam with backing and a sturdy but breathable fabric such as woven cotton. A heavy-duty sewing machine will be needed. You will need to sew through two layers of fabric, plus the foam,.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Newspaper or construction paper
- Tailor's chalk
- 1 piece polyurethane foam with backing, large enough to set your shoes on
- Fabric, double-layered and large enough to set your shoes on
- Sewing machine
Place the shoes on top of the newspaper. Trace around the shoes with a pencil. Cut off excess newspaper using scissors. Slide the shoe-shaped paper into the shoes. The paper should be flat. If the edges curl up the side of the shoe, mark the spot where the paper begins curl up with a pencil. Mark the left paper insert with an "L" and the right paper insert with an "R." Pull the papers out and cut off any excess. These are the insert patterns.
Put the foam, backing side down, on the table. Place the pattern pieces on top of the polyurethane foam with the "L" and "R" markings facing up. Trace around the pattern pieces using tailor's chalk. Use scissors to cut out the foam. Cut just to the inside of the lines. Use the tailor's chalk to mark the centre of each piece "L" or "R" according to its corresponding pattern piece.
Fold the fabric in half, with the right sides facing out. Pin the pattern pieces to the fabric. Cut around the outside of the pattern pieces. Remove the pins.
Place the foam between the matching "L" and "R" fabric pieces. Line up the edges. Use the sewing machine to sew all the way around the edges, Make a zigzag stitch or blanket-style finishing stitch.
Tips and warnings
- If you are using 1/2-inch foam, you will need to press down slightly when sewing the insoles. Compress the foam so the layers will go under the sewing machine's presser foot without twisting.
- The backing on the polyurethane foam makes the foam a little bit stronger for sewing around the insole's edges.
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