Sunday, September 30, 2012

Shoes from a box

I've made a lot of things from my past Eco Emi boxes (in case you missed them, here are my DIYs from January, February, March, April, May, June, July and August), but this month's project has got to be my favorite. Like last month, I actually used the box itself and was inspired by the box's theme.

The cozy fall vibe gave me the idea to make some fun shoes for Hayden to wear around (make that "in") the house. Here's how I made them:

To start, these are all the materials I had from the box (tissue paper, paper "hay," a silky gold drawstring pouch and the box, of course), plus some cool patterned duck tape Hayden convinced me to buy at the store the other day. I've seen sandals made out of duck tape, so it seemed perfect for this project.

I also used Hayden's favorite shoes as a pattern for the ones I was making for her, hoping the new shoes would turn out slightly bigger, so they'd fit longer (that's exactly what happened; they are a size bigger). I traced them the first time onto one side of the box.

Then, I cut out the tracings of her shoe bottoms and repeated the process on the other side of the box.

I covered the first pair of cardboard shoe bases in Hayden's old socks, so that the inside of the shoe would be soft. I also cut off the cuff to remove the bulk. I think I'll use them as ponytail holders.

I secured the sock to the back of the cardboard shoe base using a piece of duck tape, which also enclosed the hole in the sock.

Moving on to the top of the shoe, I decided to use the fabric from the drawstring pouch, but first, I had to deconstruct it. I highly recommend using a seam ripper for this, although I was too lazy to go get one from my sewing basket.

I cut a strip from each end of the fabric to use as the back of the shoes. I measured it against Hayden's favorite shoes to get an idea of the size I would need.

To prevent fraying, add additional support and give a decorative touch to the lining of the shoes, I applied the zigzagged duck tape to the back of the fabric strips.

Then, I wrapped them around the backs of the sock-covered cardboard shoe bases ...
... and attached them to the bottom of the sock-covered shoe bases with more duck tape.

I lined more of the fabric with duck tape ...

... and created the top front of the shoe in the same fashion.

This is what the shoes looked like after completing that step (they remind me a little bit of my TOMS). They look like shoes, but the bottoms need some help.

That's why I had cut out two sets of cardboard bases. I covered the bottoms of the bases in duct tape ...

... and wrapped them around to the other side to create a neat edge.

I hot-glued the decorative bases to the bottoms of the shoes.

Then, inspired by my espadrilles, I braided the paper "hay" and hot glued it around the edge of the shoe bases (it's really difficult to work a glue gun and take a picture of it at the same time).

For that extra special touch, I also hot-glued on bows made from the ribbon drawstrings.

But what about the tissue paper? Well, I made some flowers out of duck tape and tissue paper to use as embellishments for the shoes, like I did with those flip flops a while back. They are removable, which is nice.

Now I know this project is for a child, but you can easily adapt these instructions to make something an adult can wear, too. Of course, you can make the flower embellishments, but you can also make a pair of slippers, although you may need some extra cardboard for the bases Just skip making the back portion of the shoe and only have the fabric upper cover your toes to create slip-ons. Use your foot as a guide to ensure a perfect fit.