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What Are the Best Tips for Making DIY Shoes?

Tara Barnett
Tara Barnett

Making DIY shoes can involve small changes, like adding bows or rhinestones, or it can involve constructing shoes entirely from scratch. Anyone can alter a pair of shoes with art, but making shoes from scratch may require lessons or special equipment. The best tips for making DIY shoes are to research all materials beforehand and to practice techniques before trying them out on shoes. Looking up directions before starting on shoes is also a good idea.

One of the easiest ways to make DIY shoes is to dye shoes made explicitly for this purpose. These shoes usually start out white, but they can be changed to any color using special shoe dyes. Kits to change the color of shoes are available from many shoe stores, but it is important to keep in mind that when dying multiple pairs of shoes for events like weddings, the dye must come from the same lot in order to match perfectly.

DIY shoes might start with a basic sandal that has colorful additions.
DIY shoes might start with a basic sandal that has colorful additions.

Similarly, it is also possible to attach items to shoes or change their color uniformly using glitter. To attach jewels or other items to shoes, it is usually best to sew or otherwise permanently attach the items to the shoe. Glue can also be effective, but a waterproof and long-lasting glue must be used. Glitter can be applied to shoes in patterns or in a single layer, giving the appearance of a shoe made of glitter. Durable glue must be painted on the shoe, and then glitter must be quickly applied and pressed into that glue.

There are other ways to alter shoes as well. Drawing, cutting, or sewing on shoes can completely change the way the shoe looks. One popular strategy for changing shoes without altering the shoe at all is to sew a slipcover for the shoe that attaches with elastic. This does not damage the shoe, but allows the shoe to look very different.

The ultimate way to make DIY shoes is to actually construct shoes from raw materials. This requires more skill than changing the appearance of shoes that have already been constructed. It is possible to buy shoe-making kits from craft stores, and these often include the shoe sole and sometimes pre-cut materials. Working entirely from scratch may involve sewing, molding, and other technical skills. There are some schools that can teach a person how to make DIY shoes in this way, but these are somewhat rare because most schools focus on fixing rather than constructing shoes.

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    • DIY shoes might start with a basic sandal that has colorful additions.
      By: mettus
      DIY shoes might start with a basic sandal that has colorful additions.