Friday, July 29, 2011


I am a dreamer. I dream up projects. Sometimes they become reality. Often they just stay tucked away in my brain. The jump from clearly doable in my head to actually done is, more often than not, one of those inexplicably unbridgeable gaps. The fear of my most recent pet project-in-utero ending in defeat is often enough to keep me from even attempting to move an idea into reality.

One such idea that has been kicking around in my head for months now is that of making shoes. My disenchantment with available shoes for my kids lately has made me think I ought to be able to just make them some shoes. Simple as that. Or at least it's as simple as that if it stays tucked safely away in my idea drawer.

But I have this incredibly talented friend who doesn't have as hard a time making the jump from idea to finished product. (Probably because she's not afraid to go through several incarnations before she ends up with the result she's looking for.) My friend, also fascinated by the idea of making shoes, is trying to help me not flake out on this idea. She has encouraged me to start by taking apart some shoes in order to see how they are constructed. And so I did.

These were the results of an evening of hacking away at the shoes with scissors and a butter knife. Not too pretty. But I have high hopes for what I'll learn in the process.


  1. that is just fantastic. the closest I've come to this is taking apart and replacing the strapping on some shoes that looked suspiciously like these ones.

    the dismantled variation looks a lot like the chair I took apart one year hoping to figure out how to recover it. here's hoping your project ends better than that one did.

  2. I agree about shoes. It drives my husband crazy when I refuse to buy shoes for my kids until I can find a pair that is just right, in addition to being used or on clearance of course. There's always a little voice inside my head telling me I can do it better and cheaper if I just try. My biggest hang up has always been where to find the materials, soles especially. Keep me posted on your progress.

  3. Wow! I have some sheep skins....

  4. Jenn, I hear you on wondering where to buy shoemaking materials. My friend suggested using a sole of an existing pair of old shoes with an ugly or cheap upper. She even suggested picking up a pair of cheap flip flops at Goodwill, then cutting them down, perhaps using a double layer to create a sole. I'm planning to try one of those two possibilities, though I'm not sure which yet. There is apparently a wonderful leather store here that I'll be visiting very soon...