Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Shoes!- Etsy Fort Worth Craft Challenge

Well I posted a few days ago about this month's Etsy Fort Worth Craft Challenge which is open to anyone at their blog. Anyway- this month's entry is about doing something new to old shoes. At first I was thinking about taking some old shoes of mine apart and making them into something else but once I pulled some from the closet I decided- why not try to put some new life in some. I had an old pair of TOMS shoes that are only good for around the house. I had worn the soles down so badly they were cracking, completely worn through until some fabric stuff was showing through and the poor things looked droopy.

Old TOMS- The Before Photo

Oh my Sole!

 Anyway- I figured I couldn't hurt anything by trying to put a little fun life back into these so I hopped around the craft store and found some remnant leather for about $6 in an 8.5" by 11" sheet. That should be just big enough for new soles! I picked leather becuase of its flexibility and wearability. I saw some chemical concoction in a tube called ShoeGoo that some folks use to fix old sneakers but since Tom's are flat on the bottom- I didn't want to risk walking around on something that felt lumpy- and I wanted a bit of a cosmetic fix up too.
Remnant Soft Leather
A little soap and water on the shoes to clean up any dirt and grime before adding the new bottoms is recommended. Then I placed the shoes on the leather and traced around the sole of the shoe. I figured any excess could be trimmed later.
A couple of snips later...
I did a fit check to make sure they would fit OK without overlap.
If the shoe fits....
Then used some goop to glue them down. You'll need to use some strong stuff that stays flexible after curing. I used Amazing Goop. I've read that Gorilla Glue will also work.
All glued and ready for action!
I pressed and rolled a dowel across the bottom to smooth out any excess glue so I wouldn't feel like I had a rock in my shoe later one and added goop to any areas where glue didn't reach the edge. I wanted them sort of sealed around the edge so they wouldn't get caught on anything.
Now... what to do about the top....

I've been itching to do a bit of embroidery on some things lately so I figured I could brush up on some stitches and looked around the craft pile for inspiration. I found these cute little lemon drop buttons and I had to use them in a shoe design. Since I can't turn the fabric inside out I settled on doing some flowers as that would be fairly easy without requiring too much wrong-side needle maneuvering. I ended up doing a little stitch sampler and got some practice on some stitches I had not done in a while. It was fun but a little challenging since my maneuverability with the needle was limited by the shape of the shoe. Mainly they are just little doodles. I was wishing I could do a song bird or hummingbird on one but decided that for now I'd keep it simple and save that for a new dress I got that's a bit too plain.

Since the tops were not too damaged or stained I didn't need patching but another idea might be doing some applique to cover up any spots or to use as patches. I saw some cute pre-made daisy applique things at the store and of course you can make your own from twill. Just hand-sew them in with some whip stitch and you can revive some old canvas shoes too!

Anyway- I think they turned out pretty cute- and they are ready for Spring! The new soles will be great for errands. Pinch a Penny- Save a Penny! I think I'll get a few more miles out of these....
Let me know what you think!
TOMS for Spring

See if you can pick out the different embroidery stich types!


  1. Great job! I love the new look--they're like a brand new pair of shoes, with new leather soles and everything :) Your stitchwork is lovely. You really did breathe new life into an old pair of shoes, and it's so exciting that you have a unique pair of TOMS that no one else in the entire world has!!
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks-- all I needed was a craft challenge to get me to accomplish something on a old to-do list. Hoping that trend continues!