How to Make Persian or East Indian Shoes

Written by marilla mulwane
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How to Make Persian or East Indian Shoes
Khussa shoes are beaded and embroidered to make interesting designs. (shoes image by Deborah Durbin from

Persian or East Indian shoes are more commonly called khussa shoes. They are flat shoes with embroidered or beaded designs. Some styles have curled toes. Making authentic khussa shoes is a very difficult task and is best done by professionals. You can, however, make your own version of khussa shoes by using plain shoes and decorating them with beads. It requires a steady hand and some artistic skill to create a design.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Ballet flats
  • Seed beads
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Graph paper
  • Coloured pencils

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  1. 1

    Look at photos of traditional khussa shoes to get ideas for a design. Websites are a good resource for finding images of traditional khussa shoes of many styles.

  2. 2

    Create your design by colouring in the squares on the graph paper, with each square representing one bead you'll apply to your shoe. Keep in mind that the shoes are small and might not fit an elaborate design. Start out with something simple such as a sun or star on top of the shoe.

  3. 3

    Cut a few feet of the thread and thread it on the needle. Tie a double knot at the end. Push the needle up through the inside of the shoe so that it pokes out through the centre of the front of the shoe. Pull the needle out and keep pulling until the thread stops at the knot.

  4. 4

    String the first coloured bead. You want to start at the centre of the design and work your way out so choose the centre coloured bead. Push the bead all the way to the shoe.

  5. 5

    Push the needle back through the shoe right next to the bead. Pull the needle out from the inside of the shoe until the string is tight and the bead is on its side. Push the needle back up through the inside of the shoe so that the needle pokes out in the spot where the next bead should go according to your design.

  6. 6

    String the next bead until it is on the shoe. Push the needle back down through the shoe. Continue to sew the beads on in this manner until the design is complete. Finish the design with the needle through the inside of the shoe. Tie a double knot and cut off the remaining thread.

Tips and warnings

  • Use simple one colour ballet flats as they resemble khussa shoes the closest. They can be open backed flats, too. Cloth shoes are easiest to sew, but the needles are usually sharp enough to go through most shoe materials.
  • You can also embroider designs using coloured thread.
  • Seed beads are small enough to make elaborate designs and not stick out too much. Larger beads could be used for simple designs or if you really want them to pop out.
  • You can also glue the beads to the shoes. Use a strong epoxy glue. The problem with gluing beads is they will eventually fall off no matter how strong the glue. They also can not be washed.
  • Seed bead needles are very thin and long. They break easy so be careful when pulling them through the tight space inside the shoe. Always have a few extra on hand.

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