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Good thing Piper Jane is fifteen months old and generally fairly oblivious about things like surprises. Because, not only am I planning on sharing most of her Christmas presents on the blog (the handmade ones, at least), I also keep using her as my model. For her own gifts. Pretty sure I don’t have many more years of this- better enjoy it while it lasts, right?
Anyhow, besides the Cottage Mama dresses (also Christmas presents for her), Piper Jane’s wardrobe could really use a pair of black boots. I LOVE her brown Robeez booties and would love another pair to rotate in.
So, after finding out that the Robeez booties are $40 (what!?!), I decided to try to DIY a pair of black boots for her. I have several pairs of adorable, but non functional, flats on hand (who makes baby shoes without some sort of strap? And what mom buys those shoes just from the GAP just because they’re so dang cute and also on sale for $2? Me, that’s who). All of that to say, to make these booties, you’ll need a pair of sacrificial flats that you don’t mind adding some hot glue to (they’ll still get use, just as boots instead of as flats).
I’d seen this tutorial at Instructables for felted wool boots, and this tutorial at Happy Together for sweater boots, and decided to take a little from each tutorial to make Piper Jane’s boots. Both of those tutorials are great- I’d encourage you to check them out if you’re trying this!
Anyhow, this was my sweater-boot-making process-
I made a template using a sweater boot we have on hand (I can’t find the other one!). Though, the shape is pretty similar to a sock- so if you have a shoe with a flat sole (to determine the length of the sole) and a sock on hand, that’ll work too.
To make little sweater booties, trace the template boot/sock onto a folded piece of felted wool (mine was a black wool sweater that I felted in the washing machine). Make sure the bottom line is the length of the sole of a shoe that fits. Do this twice (once for each boot) and cut out your pieces.
Then, pin the pieces together, right sides facing in, and sew up each vertical edge, leaving the bottom and the top open.
Pinking shear the edges if you want them to look a little more finished. Roll the top edge down and sew in place. You can leave an opening and use the top edge as an elastic casing if you want the top to cinch in.
Now this part sounds trickier than it is. Leaving the sewn up sweater inside out, turn it upside down and match up with the bottom of the sole of the shoes you’re using as the base. Starting at the heel, add a generous dollop of hot glue, slide the sweater boot over the flat and hold in place until it’s nice and secure.
Continue working your way around the entire flat, making sure that the center seam of the sweater boot lines up with the center of the front of the flat. Especially make sure you use a decent amount of hot glue and you really let it set up.
After you finish gluing all the way around (and adding an extra line of glue just to be safe), turn the boot right side in.
Look how nice and neat that sole looks. Not all hot glued up at all!
And thereyouhaveit! Booties from a felted sweater- cute as can be and ready to add to our daily dose of leggings, dresses, and tunics! These little gems are already wrapped up and under the tree (Piper Jane is none the wiser, I’m sure of it!). 🙂
ps- Piper Jane hasn’t worn these except for our little photo shoot, so I can’t comment on the durability of the hot glue on shoes. Since I had everything on hand, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try these. Have any of you made boots using hot glue? Do they hold up?
Annie S. says
I want to try this!! Such a great idea! Did the glue hold up after she wore them??
Hey Annie- they did! I mean, babies aren’t super hard on their shoes, but the felt never peeled away from the sole!