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Fandom Flair: Fabric Shoes

Mashiara Sedai

Welcome back to another edition of “Fandom Flair.”  This week, I want to highlight a very easy way to show off your favorite fandom on your shoes.  All you need is fabric!
I found this cotton fabric at Joann Fabrics last year.


I’ve been a huge lover of Keroppi ever since I was little.  I didn’t have any sort of project in mind, I only knew I needed to own this fabric!

Then I saw a tutorial for covering shoes in fabrics.  It was the perfect way to put my Keroppi fabric to good use.

List of materials:
1/4 yard of fabric
Mod Podge glue (or equivalent)
X-Acto knife (optional)

Step 1: Select fabric
You all might not be as big a Sanrio fan as I am, so you might not see the appeal of Keroppi shoes.  But, never fear!  There are so many fandom fabrics available!  If you’re comfortable shopping for fabrics online (which can be tricky since you can’t guarantee colors), try Fabric.com.  You can also do places like Joann or Hobby Lobby, online or in person.  Just a search of online fabrics pulls up everything from Harry Potter, to Star Wars, to Nintendo, and beyond!  You can find a lot of fabrics to fit your fandom needs!

Step 2: Select shoes
I used canvas shoes, since I had an old pair with a hole.  I’ve heard that canvas works best; the glue will stick better to this material.  However, I also fastened a lacy fabric to leather shoes, and it worked fine (pictures of this are mixed in below because I had better pictures)!  I suggest using an old pair that you don’t mind if it gets ruined.


Step 3: Construct and glue
Cut a rectangle out of your fabric that is long and wide enough to fit on your shoe.


Next, cut a slit in the center of one of the shorter sides, making sure the slit is long enough to cover the sides of your shoe.

Starting at the toe, use Mod Podge to adhere the fabric to the shoe.  Do just a little bit at a time, no more than an inch in either direction.  It works best if you let it dry for 10-15 minutes (or longer).  But, if you’re impatient, it’s possible to do it all at once—it’s just stickier and messier. 



Next, use the Mod Podge to glue down one side of the fabric.  Pay attention and make sure that the strip of fabric on the side touches the rubber sole.  Work your way to the back, leaving the top part of the fabric sticking out over the top of the shoe; we’ll fix that later.

At the back, trim your fabric so it’s a little longer than halfway.  Glue it down.  Let it dry.


Next, tackle the other side of the shoe, repeating the same steps.  Except, when you get to the back, trim the fabric a little longer and fold under the end seam.  This will create a thick divider between the two sides, similar to how the back of a shoe normally looks.


Once they’re all dry, you can start trimming the bottom.  This is where the X-Acto knife comes in handy.  Use it to slice the fabric right at the seam of the sole.  In some shoes, there’s a tiny gap between the sole and the shoe’s material; you can use a pointed object to shove the sliced seam into this gap.

If you don’t have an X-Acto knife (and I don’t have one), just use a pair of good, sharp scissors to cut the fabric as close to the sole as possible. 
Cut this way completely around the shoe.

Next, trim the top half of the fabric down to about an inch above the shoe’s top.  Start where the shoe’s tongue would be.  Cut a slit in the fabric at the corners, allowing you to fold the fabric under the tongue.  If the shoe’s tongue is very curved, you can cut notches into the fabric for easier gluing.  It’s a bit tricky to get the glue on the bottom part of the tongue.  I deposited some glue onto my finger and applied it that way.  Makes a mess, but it got the job done! 


I’d suggest waiting for the tongue portion to dry before moving onto the sides.

Next, glue the sides down inside the shoe.  Again, I used my finger to apply the glue, as it was a better way to get in at that angle.  Work from the front to the back, and you can let it dry in portions for easier handling. 


After your shoe is completely covered—and completely dry—you can add a top layer of Mod Podge to really seal them good.  This makes them look shiny and pretty, but it also hardens the fabric, making the shoes very, very stiff.  This worked fine for my Keroppi shoes—except getting my foot in is a bit of a hassle.  If you left off the top layer, you could simply add a little bit of extra glue around the sole to ensure the fabric won’t come undone.  This would keep the fabric a lot looser and give you a bit more comfort when wearing the shoes.  That's what I did to the lacy pair; they have no rigidity from the glue at all.

Next, repeat everything on the other shoe!

Now you have two beautiful fandom shoes, ready to wear and be admired!



(Or in this case, be worn to a wedding....) 

Next week we'll stick with the fabric theme and look at how to make amazingly comfortable Pokemon pajamas!  Thanks for reading!

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