Mama needs a new pair of shoes!

Actually, middle child needed a new pair of shoes to go with a "denim-wear" outfit. And as these things normally go, we don't have a "spare" pair of shoes for me to cover in denim and I'm not going to the store to buy a NEW pair to cover(!) and the realization came at midnight and nothing was open.... What's a mom to do?

Crafty moms cover shoes. Crazy moms MAKE shoes. Yes. Make. Shoes. [cue ominous music]

Theoretically, it is NOT hard. I had all the supplies on hand because I wanted to make me a pair of shoes and never got around to it. So how does it work this shoe-making thing? When I first got it into my head about 18 months ago to make shoes for myself, I googled and found this book:
Image Courtesy of
Click on the picture to go to the author's website
and Craig Corvin's blog. For the record, I have received no compensation from anyone related to either the blog or the book.

To start making shoes you need a last (foot-shaped thingy). This is the foundation that you will build the upper (fabric part of shoe) on. Since it was in the middle of the night and I didn't want to cast my kid's foot in plaster while she slept, I used the next best thing... A pair of shoes she pronounced "a smidge too small". This turned out to be excellent because by building the last around the shoes, I was able to make them a smidge larger. Win/Win as far as I'm concerned.

To make the lasts, I used a product called "Rigid Wrap" plaster cloth. Basically it's like what they use to put a cast on these days, only plaster instead of fiberglass. Cut it, get it wet, apply to form, VOILA! Since I didn't want to ruin the shoes forever, I wrapped them in cling film (aka saran wrap) and plastered only the uppers, leaving the sole free. Once the plaster stuff had dried pretty well, I cut the cling film off the shoes and popped them out. I had to stuff them with plastic grocery sacks and then plaster over that to make them solid enough to build on. I let them dry overnight and then wrapped the plaster casts in cling film because I'll be working with water and fabric stiffener later and water + plaster = mess.

Here is the result of my progress so far:
size 12 shoes, size 12+ lasts.

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