How to Create Your Own Baby Shoes

All Photographs by  Rylee Hitchner

All Photographs by Rylee Hitchner

Late one night, I was watching Instagram Stories, and I stopped dead in my tracks on Rylee's post. She was making her son's clothing herself—complete with a beautiful clothing tag designed by her sister! 

My mom sewed much of my clothing as a child, and I would love to pick it up to create outfits for my daughter. Rylee completed inspired me to pull out my sewing machine—once I finally found it—and start looking at patterns and fabrics.

Today, Rylee is sharing her step-by-step tutorial on how to create baby shoes, and surprisingly, it's not complicated at all. Enjoy!

Fortunately, I was able to find all of these supplies at my local Hobby Lobby. I was able to find the eyelets and eyelet punch tool in the sewing section near the needles, but had to search on the other side of the store for the leather. You won’t find real leather in the fabric section. In an aisle full of native american craft tools, I found a 10 pound bag of leather scraps for less than $10! Since baby shoes are small, the scraps worked perfectly for my project. Even more exciting, it had 4+ color options in the bag. I found a small US paper size piece of felt in another aisle and headed home with my shoe supplies.


Leather Shoe Lace
Felt (optional, but suggested for walkers)
Eyelet Tool or this type
Scissors or roller cutter

Step One:

First, I traced my son's foot on card stock paper. This step took a few errors to figure out the perfect fit. I traced out a long narrow piece for the back, tall enough that the top would hit just above his ankle bone and long enough that it would hit a little longer than half his foot size when wrapped around his ankle. The piece cut out for the tongue would need to be wide enough to curve over his foot with a little extra for margin and the tongue be long enough to nearly touch the top of his leg. (When I made my first set, the tongue was too short—I've learned you can always cut back excess once you’re done with the shoe). For the sole piece, I left about 1/8th margin around the whole foot. 


Step Two:

After creating my paper patterns, I cut against the leather. If you’re cutting with scissors it could help to use paper clips or alligator clips to hold the paper to the leather. 

Step Three:

To make the shoe lace holes, I drew two holes on each side and made sure they were aligned. Then, using the tips of my scissors, poked holes large enough for the eyelets to slip snuggly in. Once slipped in, I used the eyelet tool to punch and secure the eyelets. If this is your first time using the tool, I suggest practicing a few times on scrap pieces.

Step Four:

To begin sewing, I started with the heel to the sole.

Step Five:

Once the heel was sewn on, I overlapped the tongue and sewed in place.

Step Six:

Sewing is done! I flipped the shoe inside out and double checked that the sewing was secure and both shoes were even and matching in size. 

Step Seven:

Slip in the felt sole.

Step Eight:

Lace the shoe and cut to size. Cut after lacing to make sure you have enough length.

All done!

Full Image Gallery

Full Story Credits: Tutorial and Photography by Rylee Hitchner