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How to Make Shoe Buckles

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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

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

  9. Warning

    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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Things You'll Need

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

About the Author

Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.

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