Shoe Makeover: How To Turn Old Flat Shoes Into New

I had flat shoes that apparently, after just one use, the synthetic fabric of the shoe started to flake and deteriorate. But I didn’t want to let it go because it was soooo comfortable. So after rummaging through my DIY stash, I found an old fabric that I thought I could use to upcycle my flats. Here’s what happened…

flat shoes makeover

In this picture, I already had the fabric glued to the shoes, but the inner layer still needed some work. You can choose to just sew the sides or seal it with fabric glue. In this case, I didn’t have any fabric glue in hand so I just used the good old trusty rugby.

glue fabric materials

I’ve seen a lot of different shoe makeover videos and online and they all look so pretty. Here’s one thing I’ve learned – it’s not that easy. I had to cut the fabric several times in different sizes in order to spread and paste it in the shoe following its curves. And don’t expect it to look as perfect as those Pinterest photos the first time you make one. Mine doesn’t look as pretty as is but looks a whole lot better when it is worn. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up and learned :

  • Choose your fabric/material wisely. Use soft fabrics on flats and ballet shoes. You may use paper, board and thicker fabrics on wedges and heeled shoes.
  • Prepare large and small sharp scissors or cutters. There will be excess fabric/materials that you may need to snip away.
  • Seal the edges. If you have frays on the fabric, you may try sealing it using a fabric glue, liquid seam sealant, burning it (haven’t tried this but others say it works), or use your good old trusty clear nail polish

Don’t throw away your old shoes especially if the inner cushions are still fresh and intact. If you don’t feel like doing a DIY but still want to keep your shoe, commission a shoemaker to do it for you. Let’s help reduce garbage and conserve energy by extending the life of our personal belongings instead of buying new ones.

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