How To Make Dolls Shoes To Fit Any Doll: It's Easier Than You Think!

A pair of vintage baby doll's red leather shoes.
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Image © iStock.

Just as dolls have a variety of outfits, they need a variety of shoes to accompany them.

As kids gain awareness and concern for the styles of their dolls, being able to make your own doll shoes helps to create shoes that are unique. Making doll shoes means that you won't need to purchase any of the mass-produced ones out there.

In the process of making, kids will have fun learning about how shoes are made, gaining an introduction to the vital skill of clothes-making. In making custom shoes for dolls, you'll be making a template that will uniquely fit your doll, plus you can use whichever material you like! So grab your paper, fabric or felt and have fun making!

Whether you're looking to make baby doll shoes or shoes for dolls as tall as your child, these patterns will work for either. Here is how to make a shoe for your doll, three ways.

Two dolls wearing leather slip-on shoes, with a third pair on the floor between them.
Image © Pikist

1) Leather Slip-On Doll Shoe Pattern

You Will Need:

-A large amount of thin, old leather.

-A pencil.

-Sheets of paper (the doll's foot should be able to fit on each one).

-Needle and thread, or a sewing machine.

Method:

1) Trace around one of the doll's feet on paper, using a pencil. With a seam allowance of a quarter of an inch, use this pattern to cut two pieces of leather for the left and right soles.

2) Trace the doll's foot again on paper, adding a seam allowance of half an inch this time.

3) Use the pattern created in step 2 to cut two more pieces of leather, for the top of the left and right shoes.

4) In the bottom half of the leather pieces, cut a small circular hole in each one. The width of the circle should be half the width of the piece of leather you're cutting. These will be for the top part of the slip-on shoes.

5) Sew the top of the leather shoes to the soles of the shoes, using a seam allowance of a quarter of an inch, easing in the fullness of the larger top pieces.

6) Turn the leather shoes right-side in and place on the doll's feet. Adjust or stretch with your fingers and the doll shoes are complete!

Pairs of felt shoes with decorations.
Image © Pikrepo

2) Felt Doll Shoes Pattern

You Will Need:

-Felt in any colour you like (it needs to be big enough for both the dolls' feet to stand on, while doubled, and still have some allowance all around it).

-Fine-tip marker.

-Fabric pencil

-Thread and needle, or a sewing machine.

Method:

For Rag Dolls:

1) Place the doll on the doubled felt and trace around both of its feet, roughly an eighth of an inch from the edge of each foot.

2) Stitch along the lines you've just drawn using small stitches, by hand or using a machine.

3) Leaving a small seam allowance, cut each shoe out.

4) Take the scissors and cut notches around the toes, in the seam allowance.

5) Cut a slit on one side of the shoe, down the middle but not all the way - slightly more than halfway.

6) Turn the shoes right-side out.

7) Place the doll's feet in the shoes and tuck each of the front sides in, so that the opening of the shoe on the front of the shoe is neatly folded in.

8) Whipstitch the folded edges of the shoe to each foot. Add some extra stitches at the centre of the opening, to cover the raw edge at the tip.

9) Keep whipstitching all around the foot, tucking any corners in, then create another shoe - your felt doll shoes are complete!

Pieces of different coloured felt paper fanned out.

For Non-Fabric Dolls:

1) After drawing around the feet, draw a rectangle that is an eighth of an inch wider than the foot on both sides and half the length of the shoe. The rectangle is connected to the drawing, but an extension of the shoe, behind it.

2) Then cut the shoe out, leaving a small seam allowance, and cut the rectangle off on one side only as this will form the ankle support at the back.

3) Take the scissors and cut notches around the toes, in the seam allowance.

4) Cut a slit on one side of the shoe (on the side that doesn't have a rectangle) down the middle but not all the way - slightly more than halfway.

5) Turn the shoe right-side out.

6) Fold all of the rough edges over slightly, and whip stitch to make the edges of the shoe look neater, stopping at the rectangle.

7) Lift the rectangle and fold it in, so that the parts of it sticking out are tucked into the shoe.

8) Stitch the part of the rectangle that is tucked into the shoe, so that the ankle cover at the back is in place.

9) Whipstitch the edges of the shoe to close any gaps, then fold and stitch the edges to tidy, then make another. You now have a pair of felt doll shoes!

Young girl and her mum at the table cutting out paper to make dolls shoes.
Image © Hakase_/iStock

3) Paper Doll Shoes Pattern With Heel

You Will Need:

-Coloured paper of a size large enough for one foot on one sheet (20 sheets).

-Glue stick.

-Pencil.

Method:

1) Draw around doll's foot on paper, then mark where you want the heeled shoe to bend with a horizontal line across.

2) Glue four pieces of paper together, then glue the paper with the foot on top.

3) Place the doll's foot in place again and bend the sheets to fit the shape of the foot, then let dry.

4) Once dry, cut out the shape of the foot from all of the sheets to create a thicker sole.

5) Take two pieces of paper and glue them together, then let dry.

6) Cut two horizontal strips from the combined paper, which will be used for the doll shoes' straps.

7) Take the first strip and glue one end to the sole, then wrap it around the shoe and glue to the other end of the shoe.

8) Before the glues strap dries, place the doll inside the shoe and adjust the strap, then trip off any excess so that the strap is neatly glued to the sole, with no overlap from the ends of the strap.

9) With the doll's foot still in the shoe, proceed to glue the second strap onto the shoe, just before the doll's ankle.

10) Allow the straps to dry.

11) Take another sheet of paper and apply glue to it generously, then attach to the sole of the foot, covering the ends of the straps. Let dry.

12) Cut around the shoe to get rid of the excess paper.

13) Roll a tube of paper until its diameter is the width of the back part of the foot. Then glue the paper so hold the roll in place.

14) Lay the tube flat and place the foot above it, marking off the angle and height of the heel, then cut the heel away from the tube.

15) Glue the heel to the shoe, then make another and your paper doll shoes are complete!

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