Making Shoes At Home – Colourful Shoes With Stamped Edges

Making shoes is one of my favourite crafts. Twice a year when the seasons change I make new ones for my children, either winter or summer shoes. They outgrow them so fast!

These I made for my daughter in autumn colours, using brick-red, ochre mixed with cream pearl and cranberry for heel covers (see below where to find them). The edges I impressed with leather stamps to give them something extra.

The lining is thin leather, I had only bits of different colours left, as you might notice in the photo above. Looks kind of funny, but then who will notice.

making shoes

Here are a couple of photographs that show some of the stages of making the shoes like cutting out the pattern pieces and punching holes, some of the tools needed for shoemaking, dyeing all the pieces and stitching them together.

making shoes
Cut out pattern pieces ready for dyeing

I use only a few tools and make the shoes completely by hand, it’s slow but I only make shoes for my family so that’s fine with me.

making shoes
 Stitching awl, lasting pliers and a utility knife for cutting out the soles

I use vintage wooden lasts, I find them mostly on eBay. It’s only recently that I’ve seen a few shops online offering new lasts, maybe more people ask for them now as shoemaking gets a bit more popular.

making shoes

The leather I dyed with the best water-based leather stains I know of, you find them at Identity Leather Craft, a shop in the UK that sells leather craft supplies.

For more inspiration check out these boots or the shoes I made for my 5-year-old son here.

Making sandals is the best way to start with shoemaking. If you would like to give it a go check out my e-book How To Make Unique Leather Sandals which shows you all there is to know about creating beautifully handcrafted sandals.

how to make unique leather sandals

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4 comments on “Making Shoes At Home – Colourful Shoes With Stamped Edges

    1. Hello,

      I’m in the process of writing a book on how to make shoes and boots, in there I will describe how to make a pattern over a last. The thing is a pattern has to fit perfectly over a last or your shoe won’t look too good. So a pattern won’t help if you don’t have the last over which it was made. Unfortunately, lasts are all different so the best is to learn to make a pattern with the last you have. You could either subscribe to my blog (on the right sidebar) or follow me on Instagram where I will announce my ebook when it becomes available.

  1. When I look for lasts on Ebay, should I look for ones that match my measurements? Or is there an amount of positive or negative ease? Is there a guide to antique sizing?

    1. The lasts should be your shoe size. If the lasts have no shoe size mentioned (happens often on vintage lasts) you could measure the length of your foot from the heel to longest toe (draw around your foot on a piece of paper) and add 2cm to that measurement. That would be the length of last you need to make shoes that fit you well. I have never seen a guide for antique sizing. I will have more information on lasts in my new ebook on shoemaking, check back some time or follow me on Instagram where I will announce when it becomes available.

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