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Fabric Covered Shoes: Make Your Own

Added Jan 24, 2011

by alisondahl

Brooklyn, New Yo...






Ever since I saw the fabric covered shoes on Erdem’s S/S2010 runway I have been dying to make a pair for myself. It seemed like a difficult ordeal at first but the process was surprisingly easy, and so rewarding!

I chose one of my favorite Liberty of London peacock prints in cotton lawn that I had left over from a dress I made (I was going for a matchy-matchy look). I used a pair of plain black faux-leather wedges that I didn’t mind experimenting with. The wedge heel for me was a must— I think the covered heel is the most exciting part of the shoe’s silhouette. Next time I would love to try a floral-printed silk charmeuse like the Erdem wedges pictured above!

Material Notes

Shoes (I recommend a wedge), 1 yard of fabric, 1 yards self-adhesive fabric sheet, craft glue (make sure it’s suitable for fabric), scissors, pencil




Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Garment Type
Bohemian, Bridal, Evening Wear, Mod, Rock, Victorian
Cotton, Silk


Created + Styled by

40 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Missing

    Feb 18, 2016, 12.35 PMby wwefights

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    Jan 27, 2016, 03.54 PMby uaihefe

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  • Hat-woman_b_large

    May 27, 2011, 12.20 AMby PaintonLily

    Does ANYONE know what the Krylon Matte finsih is for? and when it is applied!!!!???

    1 Reply
    • Letterbicon_large

      Jun 6, 2011, 02.27 PMby burdastyle

      It’s for finishing the shoes (see step 9). The matte finish spray extends the life of the shoes by offering a protective outer coating.

      — alison

  • Hat-woman_b_large

    May 25, 2011, 02.32 PMby PaintonLily

    You show a can of Krylon Matte Finish, however, you dont’ say why or when to use it! So, what is it for? And why? Thanks.

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    Feb 22, 2011, 11.48 PMby eremish

    I have the perfect wedges for this project! I have never worn them bc the color is ugly…this will be cool!

  • Lgst4522_audrey-hepburn-scarf-and-glasses-audrey-hepburn-portrait-poster_large

    Feb 22, 2011, 10.42 PMby retrochic

    OMG!!! I LOVE this!!!! I’ve always wanted to design my own shoes!!!!!! AAAAAAWWWWWWEEESSSSSOOOOMMMMMEEEEE!!!! (And i love the silk ones, too. The pattern on those is so retro!!)

  • 137_large

    Feb 15, 2011, 02.37 AMby shedoz213

    WOW!! Great job on the shoes…I want to try this. Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Avatar_na_poprawienie_humoru_large

    Feb 7, 2011, 04.27 PMby stefanika

    Wow! I love it!

  • Hallaa_large

    Feb 7, 2011, 04.06 PMby aleah

    I’ll definitely do this if I’m able to find some cheap and ugly shoes. :)

  • Leather_bow_large

    Feb 1, 2011, 02.20 AMby Sewing And Style

    Would a hot glue gun do the job, you think?

    1 Reply
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      Feb 3, 2011, 12.29 AMby alisondahl

      I can’t say exactly. The thing about craft glue is that it dries clear— and doesn’t leave a trail. If you left some drops or it touched the outside of the fabric, it dries invisible. My experiences with hot glue have been messy to say the least!

  • 0876cbba190faf2e77132b657f0a0f1ded81ac73_large

    Jan 30, 2011, 10.33 PMby live2exist

    Awesome!! I have the perfect shoes that I have been saving in my closet for 2 years!!! I knew something amazing could come out of them :) Thank you for the idea! You’re amazingly creative!

  • Burdastyle_profile_large

    Jan 29, 2011, 11.10 PMby junaluska

    This is such an awesome idea! If I ever find a good pair of wedges, I’m definitely trying this! And I agree, it would look great in a silky, shiny print like those Erdem ones.

  • J_s_painting_large

    Jan 28, 2011, 03.03 AMby lizajane09

    I am in awe. This is so cool! I’m on the lookout for wedges at the thrift store now.

  • Tree_profile_large

    Jan 27, 2011, 04.44 AMby tobogon

    I’m still only on the first page, but I wanted to tell you already that you are amazing and so are your shoes. Your inspiration shoe are awesome too :)

    1 Reply
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      Jan 28, 2011, 07.14 PMby alisondahl

      Thank you! I think this project opens up new doors to personalizing your wardrobe— having that extra hand-made accessory, like a fabric covered shoe just makes dressing so fun.

  • Long_blue_skirt_headshot_large

    Jan 26, 2011, 02.34 PMby nyphertiti

    Wow, wow, wow! Love this idea. It looks so couture but it’s so easy. Definitely going to give it a go when I find the right shoes to experiment with. Thanks~

  • Imgp6772_large

    Jan 26, 2011, 10.47 AMby cadetdee

    My mind is blown away with idea – this is so great – thank you for posting. I have painted my shoes with fabric paint with my own designs in the past, esp. canvas shoes, this has also worked well on suede as it took on a look of leather. I have decorated shoes and have glued or stitched fabric on to the shoes in the past – this just takes it to a new level, thank you again for sharing.

    1 Reply
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      Jan 28, 2011, 07.16 PMby alisondahl

      Wow, you’ve done so much! I think it would be really fun to create your own fabric to apply to a shoe too. Like tie-dye or screen-printed fabric.

  • Fb2227aaf242c0d041dbcd583baae4e4ccfba73d_large

    Jan 26, 2011, 07.29 AMby loulourosa

    Hmmmm very nice, and such a good idea. But I think it takes some craftmanship to do it, something to do when I have lots of time on my own ;-) and when I have found the right shoes!

    1 Reply
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      Jan 26, 2011, 10.47 PMby alisondahl

      I was home alone one evening and finished the shoes from start to finish in about 2 hours. I think using a vibrant, colorful print, like the cotton I chose, helps make the show look cleaner perhaps? Cotton is flexible and surprisingly malleable.
      Maybe break it up— do the pattern pieces one day and the gluing the next day.

  • Jordanmaytwigs_large

    Jan 26, 2011, 04.15 AMby JordanMayTwigs

    I am in love with these heels. I’ve got the perfect pair to use for this too!! Thank you so much for sharing!! And great job!!

    xx JordanMayTwigs. <3

  • Leather_bow_large

    Jan 25, 2011, 09.47 PMby Sewing And Style

    We have wedges for sale at 14 euro- always in stock and supercomfy! Definitely going to get a couple of pairs for future creations

  • F0da497b5f1e6204e9858a35b2603ef00cdb41de_large

    Jan 25, 2011, 09.44 PMby choctawcharli

    If you have an embroidery machine, you can also add an embroidery motif to the toe (or heel – but recommend only the toe) of your shoe. Instructions are available on Sue Haufman’s Sew America Web Site. (www.sewamerica.com)

  • Missing

    Jan 25, 2011, 08.17 PMby heatherbrown

    Sorry about that. I see this has already been answered. It’s a great idea though. I used velvet once to cover a pair of boots and they were lovely while they lasted.

  • Missing

    Jan 25, 2011, 08.15 PMby heatherbrown

    Would it be possible to use Mod Podge or some other finish to give the shoes a shiny finish and a bit more durability and cleanability? Any suggestions as to what to use?

  • Glo_copy_large

    Jan 25, 2011, 08.01 PMby domestic-divaonline

    Great instructions, beautiful job! I’ve done my share of this but never an entire shoe. Your details and photos are wonderful. Everything is so complete but may I just add a small suggestion? Why not actually sew that back center seam for a bit cleaner look? it would allow perfect shaping of the seam without overlapping multi layers. Very creative project!

    2 Replies
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      Jan 25, 2011, 10.17 PMby alisondahl

      Yes— I think sewing the raw edges under would definitely offer a cleaner, finished look. I am guilty of favoring the quickest method to do things, so I folded it under with a dab if Stitch Witchery ;)

    • Kanzashiflowerpinavatar_large

      Jan 26, 2011, 06.32 AMby vegan

      I had a similar question! The instructions mention a seam allowance, but I didn’t see a step that involved sewing. Are the none of the pieces sewn together?

      The shoes are beautiful and I can’t wait to try this!

  • Burda_pix_large

    Jan 25, 2011, 06.37 PMby Alisa Michael

    Dear Alison ure the bomb!! thanx 4 this idea,its so great & easy.

  • 6e3656aa7036783b3e4bbc29f34d1029385afafe_large

    Jan 25, 2011, 05.40 PMby wzrdreams

    This is so great Alison. Thank you for the idea and the great instructions. I will be keeping my eye out for some cheap wedges now.

    1 Reply
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      Jan 25, 2011, 05.58 PMby alisondahl

      I’m so glad you like it! I’ll be hunting too for thrift store wedges to cover some more.

  • Pixeforburda_large

    Jan 25, 2011, 10.06 AMby pixelink

    I always thought you needed the shoe making expertise to do this, so thank you very much as I will most definitely give it a go. I sell a similar wedge in my gallery by a lady whom makes them all on her own and doing very well, visit… www.damesanddivas.com.au, she also makes flats and kitten heels

    1 Reply
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      Jan 25, 2011, 03.04 PMby alisondahl

      Mary Wales Loomis (an adorable older woman) makes shoes too! My mother gave me her book as a gift last year and it’s charming. The next step is to make an entire pair yourself, which seemed daunting, but not so much anymore.

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    Jan 25, 2011, 08.29 AMby zaarissima

    wow! wow! wow! Fantastic!!!!

  • Dgc__vulnerable_hope_by_mommy_silver-d2z6gqd_large

    Jan 25, 2011, 06.12 AMby littletrill

    thank you so much for posting this darling, I love to try this _

  • 5_large

    Jan 25, 2011, 02.35 AMby susanne2011

    Love the fabric! I guess you could maybe spray the shoe with some sort of water repellent spray, so it can protect against rain etc.?

    2 Replies
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      Jan 25, 2011, 03.02 PMby alisondahl

      Right— I noted in the instructions that I sprayed a “Mod Podge” matte finish on the shoes to protect them from water & wear. The spray does take away from the soft texture of cotton though— it becomes stiff and slightly shiny (looking like there is a thin layer of glue on top) so I haven’t found the perfect protectant for cotton yet.

    • C360_2013-07-09-19-57-47-392-1_large

      Jan 25, 2011, 10.17 PMby popbabe7

      That’s great, I was wondering if they would de waterproof (here in Wales we know a thing or two about rain).

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