DIY Retro Saddle Shoes

DIY retro pink 1950s style saddle shoes

DIY retro pink 1950s style saddle shoes


This year I'm planning some really cool vintage inspired shoe makeovers. I've had these ideas in my back pocket since my kids were babies so I'm finally going to just do them! For the first shoe makeover, I'm making some classic and simple saddle shoes. I like to have a pair of easy closed toe shoes by the door that I can slip on and they'll go with anything and saddle shoes definitely fit the bill. You can do a DIY saddle shoe by coloring the colored area in with a sharpie or paint but I like to kick my crafts up a notch so here we go.


DIY retro pink 1950s style saddle shoes


You will need:
a plain pair of white canvas shoes (or any color if you want to change it up a bit)

a scrap of thin leather or vinyl in your desired color

a hole punch

spray adhesive for sewing

sewing needle, pins, thread and a thimble


First, you'll need to make a pattern. I was going to provide a pattern for this post but I realized that the pattern wouldn't fit all shoe sizes or styles so I'll show you how I made mine. It's pretty quick and easy.


Pin paper to the side of your shoe, where you want the colored section to begin.


with the paper smoothly covering the top of the shoe, trim and pin it to the other side of the shoe


Cut the top of the paper to line up with the opening of the shoe and the length of the laced section.


Draw a curved line, making where you want the colored section to be.


Cut the pattern out and pin it back in place, making sure it covers everything evenly and the lines are symmetrical.


mark circles for the lacing grommets.


Cut the piece out in your vinyl or leather and punch holes for the laces.


Spray your adhesive on the wrong side of the vinyl. Do not spray it directly on the shoe or it might end up on an area that will show. Make sure to get the spray adhesive made for sewing so it won't gum up your needle or be too hard to sew through. This Spray n' Bond is pretty good and doesn't have a bad smell like all purpose spray adhesives.


If you skip the spray adhesive like I did on my test shoe, you may get puckers in the vinyl. I had to remove my stitching and redo it with the adhesive for a smooth finish. The adhesive shoe is on the right and the left shoe is without.



Quickly but carefully line up your colored piece and press the adhesive into the canvas, smoothing it out and making sure the holes match up. You can remove this piece and realign it without messing up the adhesive as long as you do it quickly.

DIY retro pink 1950s style saddle shoes

Next just hand sew small, even running stitches all along the edge of the colored piece. I did not sew the edge near the tongue of the shoe, I left that free so it wouldn't pucker when I laced it, just in case my pattern was off a little bit.


DIY retro pink 1950s style saddle shoes

DIY retro pink 1950s style saddle shoes

To change up the look of your saddle shoes you can punch scalloped edges or decorative perforations with small craft punches. Add colorful laces or contrast colored thread.  I hope you enjoyed this post. Check out my other DIY Style posts and follow along on Instagram for updates on new DIY shoes


1 comment:

  1. Wow,beautiful work! Don't knowhow you sewed through that in such an awkward area. Well done!

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