Thursday, April 3, 2014

Doll DIY: SHOES! Part 3 Construction

First off I would like to say thank you to all the kind comments and messages I've gotten. I'm doing okay :)

Anyway! Welcome to Part 3 of my shoe tutorial! Finally LOL! Also my husband cleaned off our "craft table" so I actually got good pictures this time around. If you haven't read part one or two you and do that here and here. Let's get started!

For this part you will need:
  1. Your shoe pieces
  2. Appropriate colored thread
  3. Pins
  4. Needles
  5. Thimble or something to protect your finger. 
  6. Craft foam
  7. Glue
  8. Small clamps (I use clothespins) 
First we have to get the upper ready!

Step 1: Fold your upper in half, inside out.

Please ignore my bad embroidery!

Step 2: Stitch up the end in your preferred method.
I just hand stitch it because it's the easiest way for me and I really don't care if it's perfect! You can see the line where the heel of the shoe should be in the above picture. You don't want to stitch too close to that line because you will need that extra bit of room for the next step.

Step 3: Flip them right side out

They are starting to look a little more like shoes now!

Next you will need to grab your insoles.

Step 4: The Trial Run!
Take your upper and flip it upside down so that the tabs are facing up. Then place your insole inside with it's bottom facing up as well.
Fold the tabs in and pin them. I like to get my toe and heel pinned first and then work my way around.
When you have your all your tabs pinned flip your temporarily constructed shoes right side up. They should look almost complete and you should try them on your doll's foot at this point. Adjust if needed.

Step 5: Permanently attach your upper to your insole.
I like to sew them on because I feel like I can get everything pulled much tighter and I don't have to wait for glue to dry. However you can easily glue them on. I would say experiment and find out what works for you.

If you do choose to sew the upper to the insole please note that the toe can be tricky and you will need to sew at a bit of and angle to avoid snagging the toe of the shoe.
At this point you will be going through craft foam and at least two layers of cloth. I use a large needle for this because smaller needles bend. Also make sure you use your thimble to protect your fingers otherwise you'll probably be pretty sore.

Here is a nearly finished shoe.

You might notice that there are several bumps along the toe of the shoe.
To fix this I just pull them tight using needle and thread and it smooths the bumps out.

Here you can see that the toe of the pink shoe looks very bumpy.
The brown shoe has had it's toe smoothed out. While it isn't perfect; it is a lot better.

We're almost done! There is just one thing left to do!

The Outsole!
Grab your glue, clothespins, and craft foam.

Step 1: Making your outsole.
There are two ways we can do this. You can glue your shoe directly to the outsole and then cut around it.

Or you can trace around your shoe and then cut out your outsole before gluing it on.
This is the method I prefer!

Step 2: Use a lot of glue.
Seriously use a lot. The fabric is going to soak up quite a bit and you want the outsole to sick on really well! You can always wipe away excess glue.

Step 3: Place your outsole on your shoe and clamp together until dry.
You want your outsole to be attached all the way to the edge of your upper so use clothespins to make sure it's clamped well.  Depending on your glue, you should be able to take them off in a few hours. Sometimes I leave them to dry over night. When you remove the clamps make sure to gently pull the sides of the shoe away from the sole. Sometimes the glue can seep through and make the sides stick to the insole.

Step 3: Cut away any excess outsole.

And you should have a pair of custom shoes!

Here are some of the pairs I've made in the last few weeks:

And that's it! I hoped everyone enjoyed that tutorial. Please let me know if I need to clarify anything and I will add pictures or try to explain better. Also thank you for your patience. Till next time!

P.S. If you were curious what all that black metal stuff int he background was.....It's one of these:

  My husband makes armor. We are a dorky family!


  1. Cool tutorial.. I really enjoyed it and might give it a try. My Matilda needs shoes desperately!

    Love the armor. My husband used to make armor also, we were in the SCA.

    1. Thank you! He wants to get into SCA! We have friends in it back in KC but he's having trouble finding a group where we moved.

  2. Excellent tutorial. Would I be able to use my hot glue gun instead of the fabric glue?

    1. Thank you! I'm sure you could but I haven't tried it. Let me know how it works!

  3. I gave my grand daughter a Ginny doll for Christmas. I’ve been making clothes for her. Shoes are next. That’s for the tutorial!