WOO HOO! Behold! One of my favorite DIY projects EVER! I have been scouring the Internets for some killer floral heels for months now but alas, to no avail. To be fair, I’m kinda picky. I needed the perfect floral print, heels low enough to chase toddlers in, within my budget…etc.
I’ve also been a tad wary of DIY shoe projects because to me they often turn out pretty cheesy. I stumbled upon a couple great fabric shoe tutorials recently, though and decided that I had to give it a shot. If you want to see the original posts that inspired me, check out Love Maegan’s and Delia’s.
I bought this fabric from Joann Fabrics originally to make a dress (I still have fun plans for the rest of the yardage!) but when I pulled it out, I knew it had to be shoes too! Especially since it went so well with my striped shirtdress.
The shoes were in an old closet, purchased years ago from Goodwill (for about 2 bucks)back when I originally intended to make THESE fabulous things with them (and still plan to!). I’m so glad I decided to use them sooner rather than later because they are super comfy! They’re some of those dyeable bridesmaid shoes so I’m pretty sure they’re designed to dance in all night. Cute silhouette too!
Here are the supplies I collected: fabric (a fat quarter is plenty), shoes, mod podge and brush. Pick a fabric with a tad bit of stretch it you can; it helps a lot.
First, I molded the fabric over the shoe and roughly cut around it, leaving plenty of space to play around. Don’t worry about the heels at this point; just cut enough to cover the main shoe upper.
Lay it over the top of the shoe and cut a slit down from the heel to the top of the shoe’s toe.
Begin by brushing mod podge over the top of the shoe’s toe and adhering the fabric to it. Continue applying glue up one side and laying the fabric over it. Stretch the fabric slightly to get a tight fit and smooth out wrinkles or bubbles.
When you’ve done both sides, all the way up to the heel, trim off the excess fabric. Your shoe will look something like this!
Now clip your curve at the toe so that you can easily turn the fabric under the inside of the shoe and glue it there. I applied glue to both the shoe and wrong side of the fabric here and held it in place for a minute or two, then went over the top with more glue, just to be safe!
Keep going on both sides until you get to the back of the shoe. You’ll have two raw edges hanging out on the heel, one from each side of the shoe. Glue one down, as usual, but on the other edge, you’ll want to fold your raw edge under, all along the heel, and glue it in place, so you have a sort of hem along the back of your heel. This will cover the raw edge of the opposite side of the fabric.
Now all that’s left to do for the upper portion of the shoe is to slide the raw edge of your fabric in between the upper and the sole. You’ll want your fabric trimmed as close to the shoe as possible since you won’t be able to fit much fabric in that little crack. You can use an X-acto knife or mini rotary cutter but I kinda just liked the feel of fabric scissors.
This is also where slightly stretchy fabric comes in handy since you can cut really far in and still stretch it enough to tuck it into the sole. I used a seam ripper to tuck it in but beware: I also broke a seam ripper at one point during this project. It’s OK. I have lots of backups. It’s only the single most important tool in the entire sewing universe (besides a sewing maching, obviously).
Now for that heel…if you have a fun-colored shoe, you might just consider leaving it plain for a cool color-blocking effect. Mine, however, were a grotesque satiny beige, so they were getting covered.
Again, I just covered the heel with fabric and roughly cut out a piece the right size. Trim up the fabric and glue down, stretching and smoothing as you go.
I somewhat half-heartedly tried to tuck this fabric into the sole but it was much tighter against the heel than the upper and I found it pretty difficult. So I just folded the top raw edge under and glued it into place. Nobody can even notice when they’re on my feet. Laziness for the win.
Voila!! Doesn’t that look fun?? It was. And didn’t take half as long as I expected.
Side note: I did NOT mod podge the entire shoe when I was done. I really like the look as is and didn’t want the tacky glue to attract any dirt once they were worn. I’m really glad I just left them. I’ve worn them twice and they’re holding up great!
DeborahJanuary 7, 2016 at 3:46 am
You’ve got me thinking…. maybe… just maybe…. but I can sew better than I can glue. YOUR SHOES ARE VERY SASSY!
Deborah Devine @ Sew Much To Give
BonnieJanuary 7, 2016 at 4:33 am
Haha! Thanks Deborah! Sassy is my middle name 😉
Flattering Post-Partum Pounds & DIY: The ShirtdressApril 20, 2017 at 8:35 am
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KarenApril 8, 2018 at 2:51 pm
There are some really great ideas here I’m going to incorporate into my wardrobe! Thanks for the great tutorials!
Dyan ParkerApril 2, 2021 at 7:23 am
You are amazing!! GREAT idea, who knew? Thanks for the tips, I’ll try my own DIY fabric covered shoes! Mom of 9? God Bless You!
BonnieApril 6, 2021 at 2:11 pm
haha – thank you! Good luck!