Can’t find comfy shoes? Have a flair for fashion and design or just want some funky accessories? If you like crafts,have ever worked with leather or are handy with your hands then you can make your own shoes or sandals. A variety of footwear can be made as your skills improve. Not crafty but still want something different? No problem,customize shoes online, buy a kit, follow a simple plan, attend a workshop or take a course and become an apprentice.

Things You'll Need

There are several avenues to explore when it comes to making your own shoes. Perhaps you want a fun funky custom look for a special outfit, occasion or to stand out from the crowd. If so, a simple internet search is sure to turn up many websites where you will find the exact customization for footwear you are looking for. I found a website that will use elements out of an image of your choice to decorate different styles of Keds sneakers for women and children. Brand name athletic shoes can also be customized.

Looking for a classy sandal complete with Swarovski crystals for your cruise, vacation or special evening? Well, if you live in Miami Beach, Florida(more locations available soon) or visiting any time soon you can stop by Morgan Miller’s and make your own shoes or order them online. Endless combination’s are possible by choosing each individual element.

Another option is to find kits that include all the needed materials to make a pair of shoes or sandals. Or find a book or free plan to make your own shoes or sandals. Again, all you need to do is conduct an internet search. If you are one of the many folks going green then see the resources at the end of this article for a free eco-friendly plan for making tire sandals.

Want to make your own shoes from start to finish? If so you may want to take a workshop or course about making your own leather shoes custom fit to both feet. This is a such a fascinating process and shoemakers are true craftsmen. I will give a brief description of steps needed to accomplish this. See the resources at the end of this article for a more detailed look at the shoe making process.

Find your inspiration. It may be from color combination, elements of a fabric, accessories etc. Check out the designers to see whats new for the season. Maybe vintage styles and history influence your inspiration.

Design and draw a sketch of the way you want your finished shoe to look from the front,side and top. For a perfect custom fit for both feet you will need a last,which is a form traditionally made from wood that combines a certain size with a particular style. These can also be made with plaster. Choose the appropriate last for your design.

Use masking tape to cover the last. Start by apply a layer over the entire top surface of the last lengthwise and then again crosswise. This masking tape shell is what you will create the pattern from. Now transfer the design directly on to the masking tape shell. Remove the the tape shell by cutting down the middle of the front and heel resulting in two pieces. Smooth the pieces on to some stiff paper and cut out the pieces needed to construct the shoe. Use the paper pattern to cut out your leather or fabric pieces.

Once you have your shoe pieces it is time to begin assembly. There are many ways and different steps for this. See the resources and the end of this article to find out more about the art/craft of making shoes, I have found it to be a fascinating process and hope you do to!


  • Go to a workshop if you are serious about learning this craft.

  • There are many videos about making shoes that will inspire you.