How to Make Shoe Buckles

Written by camela bryan
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How to Make Shoe Buckles
Plain dress shoes become colonial shoes with the addition of large buckles. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Many school pageants and plays require colonial era costumes. Whether you are costuming pilgrims for a Thanksgiving pageant or dressing the actors in "The Crucible," shoes with buckles are an authentic accessory. The knee length trousers of a colonial-era men's costume make the men's shoes very visible, but shoe buckles are also a nice touch for female costumes. These buckles are inexpensive enough to make for a children's pageant, but they look good enough from a distance for any community play.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Cardboard
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Gold spray paint
  • Tape measure
  • 1/2-inch-wide black elastic
  • Stapler

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  1. 1

    Cut two 3-inch-by-4-inch rectangles from heavy cardboard. You may want to cut a 3-inch-by-2-inch rectangle for a child's shoe.

  2. 2

    Draw a line across the rectangle parallel to the short end and 1 3/4 inches below it. Draw a second line 1/2 inch below the first line and parallel to it. Then draw a line 1/2 inch from the edge around all four sides of the rectangle. These lines will form the rectangular holes in the buckle.

  3. 3

    Cut out the holes in the buckle by cutting along the lines you drew.

  4. 4

    Spray paint the front of the buckles with two coats of gold spray paint. Allow the paint to dry for 30 minutes after each coat.

  5. 5

    Measure around the instep of the shoe. Add 1/2 inch to this measurement and cut two lengths of 1/2-inch-wide black elastic equal this length.

  6. 6

    Overlap the ends of one piece of elastic 1 inch and staple them together to form a ring. Use two staples so hold the elastic firmly. Do the same with the other piece of elastic.

  7. 7

    Staple the centre bar of the buckle to the elastic ring. The bar in the centre of the buckle should run parallel to the elastic and overlap it.

  8. 8

    Wear the buckles by slipping the elastic over your shoes after you put them on.

Tips and warnings

  • These work better on dress shoes with a heel than on soft dance slippers. You may need to sew the elastic to the leather on a each side of a ballet slipper or jazz shoe.

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