Boogie Shoes

Again I have been absent for longer than intended.  It’s hard to slow myself down enough to stop ‘doing’ in order to write (blog) about what it is that I do.  Since my last visit, we attended my cousin’s wedding, went to Atlanta for the wedding of a family friend and a Braves game, took an anniversary trip to Mexico with our friends, who were also celebrating their anniversary, and went to the beach with my extended family.  Things seem to finally have slowed down enough for me to catch up!

The view from my favorite hammock on the beach in Mexico

It never would have occurred to me to cover ugly shoes in need of attention/donation to Goodwill/addition to the garbage can with fabric to make them suitable for human use.  Then again, there are a lot of things that wouldn’t have occurred to me until I found Pinterest!  Once I saw a pin about covering shoes with fabric, I knew exactly which pair of shoes I would use for my first attempt, and quickly determined that I wanted to use a floral fabric because I’ve seen so much cute floral stuff lately and I can’t get enough of it!

Fast forward 6 weeks Jand I finally had an hour to devote to the shoes.  I used a pair that I bought at H&M in NYC in December.  I’d been looking for a cute pair of nude-colored flats for several months and had had no luck, so these were fairly cheap and as close as I had been able to find to anything resembling a plain, nude/tan shoe.  I wore them about once before I found the exact nude shoes I was looking for – and then they sat in my closet for 5 months until I stumbled upon this project. 

All you need is:

  • A cheap/ugly/old pair ofshoes in need of some TLC
  • Fabric (~ ½ yd)
  • Mod Podge (I used outdoor Mod Podge, thinking it might hold up better than the regular formula)
  • Sponge brush for the Mod Podge
  • Fabric glue
  • Seam ripper and small fabric scissors (I found that they provide more control and accuracy than regular-sized scissors)
  • Bows, sequins, or any desired embellishments
1. Cut fabric into two rectangles about 4-6 inches wider and longer than shoes (place shoe in the center to make sure you leave enough excess).

2. Place fabric over shoe and trim down, leaving 2-3” excess all the way around and 3-4” in the back
3. Cut a slit from the back edge toward the front – do not cut all the way up to the front of the shoe.  This slit will provide the space to get your hands into the shoe as you center and press the fabric to the shoe
4.Smother the shoe with Mod Podge and cover it with the fabric, pulling it tight to form it to the shoe, especially around the curve of the toe  (It takes two hands to complete this step, so there’s only a picture of the shoe being covered with Mod Podge).

5. In order to get the fabric really snugly attached to the shoe, you’ll need to cut slits near both the top and the bottom.  Leave it a little loose at the bottom edge so you can go back and seal it up with fabric glue.  Excess fabric should equal about an inch all the way around at this point.  Don’t trim it down yet.  It’s better to have too much now than not enough when you get the fabric sealed to the shoe.  When you get to the back/heel of the shoe, adhere one side to the shoe, leaving the other loose.   Trim the loose edge down, leaving about 1” excess.  Fold the excess under once or twice to hide the raw edge, using fabric glue to glue it to itself as you go.  Once you’ve gotten it centered to the back of the shoe, glue it down and press to secure (my hands were busy on this step so I don’t have a picture).  When you do the back of the second shoe, make sure to mirror image what you did on the first shoe – so if you have the fabric from the inside rolled over the fabric from the outside, make sure to do the same on the second shoe.

6. Next step-turn under about ¼” of the edges of the flaps between the slits and ‘press’ the edge with your fingernails (just like you would when folding  a piece of paper) use fabric glue to secure – this will allow you to have a prettier edge – no raw edges will show this way.


7. Once you’ve worked your way around the shoe, it’ll be time to turn the edges under.  As you go around, hold the flaps out from the shoe and add a dab of fabric glue around the outside edge to make sure it stays adhered to it.  Press fabric to shoe after adding the glue.  Next, work your way around the inside of the shoe, pressing the tabs to the inside of the shoe and keeping everything as flat as possible because anything that wrinkles or sticks out will rub against your feet while you wear your shoes.  And you don’t want your cute, one-of-a kind new shoes to give you blisters!!  The hardest place to keep everything flat will be at the heel because of the excess fabric, so just do the best you can. 

8. You may find a better way to do this, but I found that gently running a seam ripper along the junction between the fabric and the shoe to separate the two .  This will give you more flexibility for the next step.
9. Using a small pair of scissors, make a smooth cut along the edge of the shoe to remove the excess fabric.   You’re finished!  Unless…

10.  …You want to add an embellishment!  Using fabric glue, center your embellishment (in my  case, a bow) on the front of the shoe and secure with a clothespin while the glue dries.

11.  Remove clothespin and enjoy your new shoes!

It’s been so long since I finished the shoes that I’ve had the opportunity to wear them a handful of times, and I’m happy to report that they are holding up quite nicely. The only suggestion I would give so far is to seal the bottom edge of the shoes with fabric glue or something similar, because in a few spots I have noticed some slight fraying.  Other than that (as Tony the Tiger would say), they’re great! 

Thanks for visiting…and I’ll be back sooner next time!