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I’ve wanted to make my own shoes for a long time. There have been blog posts I have read about making shoes and dang if it doesn’t sound like the most impossible flipping thing of all time. There’s a reason why true cobblers make “artisan” shoes.
The fact that I don’t have the skills didn’t stop me from wanting to make my own shoes, though. And when I saw a leather kit for a gun holster I figured shoes couldn’t be that crazy of a kit to find, right? And so I went to Amazon, as I always do, and grabbed a Real Leather Moccasins Kit in size medium. You see, I wear a size nine for ladies and it showed for sizes 8-9. In truth. I normally run 9.5 and as I’m getting older either my feet are expanding or they are making shoe sizes smaller and sometimes I even have to get a 10. Especially if the shoes are very pointy.
But luckily I got this size because made, even as tight as each shoe would go these are a little bit loose on me (maybe they’re sized for guys but the small 6-7 I got for my mom won’t go anywhere near stretching onto these feet of mine?). It’s been a long time since these steppers were mistaken for a size 8. Heck, when I had a chat on the Dremel Facebook page one dude commented just to let me know my feet were gigantic. Erm? Thanks for the shou tout, that wasn’t jerky at all, dude :)
I made 2 pairs of moccasins, one for me and one for my momma. Hers came out much better than mine :) Basically with my first kit I decided I wanted black with hot pink lacing so I bought hot pink laces off of the internet. It turned out to be an AWFUL idea because they were so stiff and difficult to work with. It was a nightmare to the point I almost didn’t even bother to try to make the second kit I got. And then one day I just did it, ’cause that’s what I do. I swear that I’m NOT GOING TO DO IT. Oh, wait. I’ve just done it. :)
In the end I wasn’t able to tie cute little bows on my moccasins and so I wound up trying to figure out a way to cover up my knots and what looked good in my head didn’t look so good in real life. Ah, well. They’re still comfy AF and work around the house just as well!
For this project you will need:
Your kit is going to come with the bottom portion of the shoe with a thin, foam piece for a sole. This thing is not good quality. I wore my shoes around for about 30 minutes and I already have an indentation where my heel was. Adding insoles is probably a pretty good idea, which I’ll be doing if I make myself another, more about town acceptable, pair.
There is the toe section and then the long pieces wrap around the upper to finish the rough edge of the shoes.
If you’re going to change the color of your shoes you’ll need leather dye. I used Hobby Lobby’s black on mine but bought Fiebing’s Leather Dye for my momma’s red pair. They both worked quite well.
Using a leather dye swab (Fiebings comes with them at HL you have to buy them separately) apply the dye to the leather pieces. Take care to cover the edges of each piece. I did not and I have tan visible in places because I didn’t realize that this part would be noticeable on my first go…
Following the directions lace your shoes up. I used these laces in the longest possible length and they were FAR too stiff. I initially intended to use paracord in hot pink but I soon found that the tip of the lace would be used as the needle and I lost my paracord anyway :/
Now doesn’t that look okay? Dang fringe jacked everything up :) Rob has become quite honest about his opinions regarding my makings and he informed me that I kind of ruined them. Meh.
I had initially just purchased black leather but it so didn’t match so I painted some fabric paint onto the ends of the fringe but it got weird and chippy. Hmm. I’m still not certain about how that happened. I was going to stitch them on across the top with the original lacing but I just sort of gave up after admitting Mr. Rob was right. They do work out okay around the house, though :)
Now those, though, those are so CUTE! I made these for my mother but she doesn’t know that yet. I dyed the leather in the kit red and then used the much softer laces that came with them to tie up the shoes. They don’t hold their shape quite as well as mine do with the stiffer laces but they were so much easier to make. I learned to dye the edges of the leather this time and the end result is just much better all around. Yay!
Want to make your own? Grab your Real Leather Moccasin Kit here! (or save some dough and get them at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon *wink, wink).