Hello! So I knocked up a quick ‘n’ dirty tutorial on how I covered the Christmas Dress shoes in case anyone else feels the need to fancify their shoes with fabric! This isn’t the most permanent method (I’m sure more sturdy glue would be needed) but it does do the trick if you need shoes to match an outfit *right now* and can’t find/afford a new pair! It certainly held up to a few hours of walking around on a dry summer night – wet weather might require the final step of waterproofing.
What you will need:
- a pair of shoes to cover. I used cheap plastic wedges bought on sale, mostly because they offered a large expanse to cover rather than fiddly little areas.
- your covering fabric. Stiffer fabrics which don’t let the shoe colour show through work best. I used the same fabric as my dress.
- scrap fabric to make pattern pieces from. I used a light cotton that I could draw on in pencil.
- PVA glue, ie. Aquadhere
- spray glue in a can – I found mine at the $2 store
- a pencil
1. Prepare your shoes, ie. rip off straps if you don’t want them, remove trim, etc. I tore off the strap on mine.
2. Divide shoe into sections. Look at your shoe and divide it into sections; you will make a pattern piece for each. For example, with my wedges I divided them into toe cover, side of shoe and heel area/wedge, ie. three pattern pieces are needed.
3. Make pattern pieces. To do this, take your scrap fabric and cut a bit approximately the size of one section of your shoe (toe cover, heel, etc). Spray this piece of fabric with spray glue, and cover the area of the shoe you are dealing with, with the fabric. Make sure it is flat and not bubbled.
Using your pencil, trace the outline of the shoe section on the fabric; I add in a little bit of seam allowance as well, which you can trim away later.
Cut out the pattern piece from the scrap fabric – voila! Pattern for one section of your shoe. Repeat this for the other sections.
4. Cut your covering fabric. Lay your scrap pieces on your ‘good’ fabric and cut around. Make sure to cut two of each (one for each shoe!).
I have cut notches into the seam allowance of the toe cover piece because this will fit over a strongly curved section, and the notches will help it fit smoothly.
5. Glue fabric to shoe. Again we are working in sections. I started with the toe. Cover the area you chose in a thin layer of PVA glue – it’s ok if it gets on other parts, it will dry clear.
Lay your fabric on top of the section and smooth it down. Really stretch it over the section, make sure it is flat and covers all the shoe. Fold the seam allowance over the section and into the inside of the shoe – clip the seam allowance with scissors if you need to, to stop it wrinkling. Trim seam allowances where it falls into other sections of the shoe. Use lots of glue to hold the edges of the fabric down, it will dry clear anyway! I found the glue-soaked fabric was quite easy to mould to the shape of the shoe.
6. Repeat for all sections of the shoe. There will be some messy bits where fabric pieces overlap, or on the heel or toe. That’s ok, we can cover those bits with trim later!
Here I am covering the side of the shoe. I have left a big seam allowance that I can fold into the shoe itself to create a smooth top edge.
7. Make sure everything is flat and glued down – no wrinkles or bubbles. Then wait for the glue to dry fully! I left mine overnight.
The insides are not too tidy – I was in a hurry! If you have more time you can easily put some pretty lining fabric in to make them nicer. Just remember, the thickness of the fabric will make the shoes a bit smaller – buy half a size up if you plan to do this!
8. Trim! This is the fun part. Glue ribbons, flowers, lace – whatever = to your covered shoe with the PVA. I used ribbon and some ruffle trim. Concentrate on areas that won’t bend much, so the embellishments don’t crack off when you walk. You could even sew them on with a thick needle for extra security if you are putting things like flowers on.
Let your shoes dry, then wear with pride!
I hope this was helpful! Let me know how you go if you give it a try. Please ask if you have questions and I will try and help out – this is my first tutorial and I might have left something out!