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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



Related Techniques


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

    Jan 27, 2016, 03.54 PMby uaihefe

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    Dec 29, 2015, 07.44 AMby Minecraftis

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  • Missing

    Jul 13, 2015, 04.01 AMby Johnydepp

    The tips and tricks that are shared here to make a shoe for ourselves is really great. I am interested in making my own clothes and accessories and this website has helped me a lot in accomplishing my dream. click this link

  • 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.

  • 222700_636227159038_52701426_34076800_3881756_n_large

    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. (

  • 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…, 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.

  • Bild_large

    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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