DIY Baby Shoes (recycled from old jeans)


When babies are tiny Robeezare great shoes for keeping little feet warm and cute.  BUT they can be a little pricey, so I attempted to create a DIY version by recycling denim that, in all honesty, was just never going to fit me again. After a few tries I think I nailed it, I’d love to know what you think if you try it out.


I think these recycled denim baby shoes would totally work for a boy, and they would also be super adorable in corduroy or even fleece, or maybe with a cute applique or iron-on.  Scarlet wants a pair so I am going to make a toddler version with Jacinda’s hot glue sole too as some around-the-house slippers.  

Get the free baby shoe pattern and full tutorial after the jump…

DIY Baby Shoe Tutorial

1.   Print out our free baby shoe pattern on a letter size sheet of paper and cut your pieces out. Click here for the Prudent Baby Shoe Pattern.

Then trace around your pattern pieces on the leg of an old pair of jeans.  Hint:  You’ll save time if you cut through both sides of the leg and get two pieces at once:

2.  Cut your pieces out, as well as two 4″ pieces of elastic (I used 3/4″ thickness because that’s what I had but a baby might like something thinner):

save your old jeans for next year’s shark-attack-victim costume:
3.  Take the heel pieces and fold the top edge under 1/4″ then another 3/4″ and iron:
4.  Sew the seam in place at the edge.  Put a safety pin through one side of your elastic and begin to feed it through the pocket you’ve created:
When you get it far enough that the un-pinned edge lines up with the edge of your tube like so:
sew it in place:
Now continue to feed your elastic through to the other side until your safety pin comes out:
Leave the safety pin on!  The risk of losing your elastic is too high.  I did it three times and had to recut my heel.  So leave the pin on and sew the edge of the elastic in place:
Remove the pin and repeat on the other heel piece.
5.  Now take two top pieces and place them right side up.  Turn your heel pieces right side up and pin the side of them to the top left corner of the flat edge like so:
Then pin the other side to the top right corner:
This is a good time to double check your two shoes match up in terms of heel placement.  Now take the other top piece and place it on top, right side down, and pin in place:
Now sew them all together along the straight edge:
You’ve created the top of your shoe.  Flip it around and it will look like this:
6. Now leaving your shoe tops right side up, take the sole pieces and place them on top, right side down.  Center them and pin in place at the top and bottom in the center:
Then pin them in place at the centers of the sides:
Now pull the rest of the edges together and pin them so they line up:
It will look like this from the top:
Now go ahead and sew around the edge to attach the top and sole:
7.  You’re not quite done.  Denim might unravel and that would be a bummer.  Also you want the inside edge to be comfy on baby’s toes.  I (very messily) serged the edges to help with that, but you can sew with a zig zag stitch or you can use some fabric glue.
8.  Turn your DIY baby shoes inside out and push the edges out, you’re done!
Pretty cute, no?

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47 Comments

Kelsey

This is such a cute idea! My son wore the robeez and nothing else for a long time. I should've tried this a long time ago…except for my nonexistent sewing skills!

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EHC

What size was this pattern intended to fit? I have a 10 month-old son who just outgrew his knock-off Robeez from Target and needs new shoes. I think I will be making some tonight!

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Jaime

As you can see my pattern is super-scientific, ha. I'd say it's 3-6 months- just make the top and sole bigger and the heel wider! Use a pair of shoes that fits your baby as a guide…

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Anonymous

Cute! Wish I had this pattern a year ago, when my grandson was a baby. I like the Robeez style, but most of the boys patterns are too girly looking for my taste. Great job.

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Anonymous

Firstly… great tutorial. I bought my first sewing machine two weeks ago and even I was able to make a very successful pair of shoes, Yay!

My 4 yr old has now decided he wants a pair to wear as indoor slippers. So my question is if I needed to lengthen the sole by 2" would I also widen the heel by 2" and would I need to change the tops by 2" too.

Ouch…my brain doesn't work in patterns yet!

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Jaime

hello anon! first off, please please please send a picture of the shoes you made! it would make my day to see them!

second off, i'm not a pattern making expert (ha, like that wasn't obvious from my awesome drawing), BUT what you want to do is increase the size of the top all the way around and increase the length of the back anf the height a bit. What i would do, if you're increasing the sole by two inches, is increase the length of the back about an inch, the height of the back probably about 1/2 inch or an inch depending on your child's foot, and the top about an inch all the way around. last sunday's prudent project round up post has a link to a woman who created a pair for a three year old and she ha pictures of how she increased it that should help. i am going to make a pair for my two-year-old soon and i'll post a nicer patter as well.

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Anonymous

HI,
I am so ready to try making one of these shoes. This is the tutorial I was looking for, made from recycled clothing and your tute makes it look so easy! I also had the question of how to increase the size of the pattern. Most pattern seem either too big or too small for my 11 month old son. I've never sewn anything using a pattern so I am nervous. Kim

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general_lee

I've seen a lot of really cute tuts on the internet but I gotta tell ya, this one is Way Too Cute! I can't wait to get down into my craft room, rip apart my husbands jeans (he'll never know!) and make my darling grandson's some of these! I had to comment 1st before sprinting downstairs like a crazed crafter! Thank you so very much for the tut!
By the way, you would be the 1st person that I have ever been impelled to leave a comment for…not to say that I haven't found wonderful craft ideas and tuts before but this one is so adorable I had to give you "the nod"-well done Jamie, well done indeed! I love to recycle stuff…even if it winds up being my husband's jeans that he doesn't even know are destined for transformation into baby booties!!
Craft On ;)

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Michelle

omg, thank you so much for this tutorial! im going ot make these for my little nephew. i was supposed to sew some but it seemed to hard and then i stumbled upon this blog and all my problems were solved! :) im also going to make the bib as well. thankyou sooo much! and also, could i just make these out of material(cotton) or will it be too uncomfortable?

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Jaime

michelle, cotton wouldn't be uncomfortable but may just seem a little hospital-booty-ish if it's too thin. i'm going to make some with a really thin corduroy. fleece would be extra cozy

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kimberly

When I wanted to be pregnant and have my first baby, my husband had erectil dysfunction problem, so we decided to buy viagra and after that he turned very strong ,Thank to this i have a beautiful baby . And I really enjoy every time that I go shopping, I usually buy many clothes, blanket and shoes of different colours, I love to see my baby beautiful all the time.

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IT Tips

Very nice and fantastic babies shoes i like green colour shoes for my baby and I love it! Can't wait for the conference too, it's going to be great. i recomend it to another mothers to use it.

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sedromomma

Thanks for the tutorial but I have tried this shoe twice and the pattern doesn't seem to match up. The heel seems far too large to fit the sole once it is sewn onto the toe. I had to cut nearly two inches off the depth and put in some pleats to get it to work. Help please?

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Maria

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MrsDownie

I just finished a pair for my 12 month old. I used some leftover fleece material for the inner top piece so it would be fuzzy inside. Came out decent. I need to retry, as I had to guess on how to enlarge the pattern. I made the heel section too big. Otherwise, it wasn’t too hard, and cost absolutely nothing!

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