How I Made My Own Wedding Shoes

Updated: Mar 26



I LOVE a good DIY. So when I was looking for shoes to wear for my wedding, I immediately went into creator mode. You see, I am 5'9" tall. Trying on dresses, the owners of the atelier told me my heels should be no taller than 2" to avoid having to order more fabric for my dress. I hate heels to begin with. I'm like a little kid who's been walking around all day, I hate having them on for extended periods of time and all I do is complain about how much my feet are killing me.


Well, have you ever tried looking up low heels on the internet? They're overall either frumpy or on Etsy, so insanely expensive for a pair I'd probably never wear again. Enter: DIY bride. I needed low heels that were also attractive to look at because while people probably won't be seeing my feet all night, some of the most timeless wedding photos are those flat-lays with the invitation suite, rings, and bride's shoes. I am all about a great photo. Read on to discover my secret to perfectly customized wedding shoes that are comfortable, custom, and don't break the bank.


My wedding dress has hand-stitched florals on it that I love and after a quick Amazon search, I found lace and floral appliqués that would be a perfect touch for my wedding shoes. But first, I had to find the shoes I would use as a starter. DSW has been my go-to for a long time and more specifically, the Kelly and Katie brand. Talk about comfortable, their shoes are so comfortable whether they have a stiletto or chunky heel. These Tariana Sandals by Kelly and Katie were the perfect "starter shoe" for my little project. And only $29!


Now that I'd found the shoes, it was time for all the elegant touches I'd be adding to them. Enter my best friend, Amazon. I did a search for lace and lace florals and found some great items all under $10 each! I bought two different laces, one that was 1" thick for the bottom toe strap and one that was only .47" for the top strap. Each of these laces were under $10!


Thin Lace (.47")

Thick Lace (1")

I knew I wanted a 3-D element of the shoes to compliment the hand-stitched florals on my dress. I found these great lace floral appliqués that I could position on the bottom strap of the shoe and stitch on.


They came as a kit and while I of course had no interest in using the butterflies, there were some adorable florals I had my eye on.


Now that I had all of my pieces, I needed to attach them somehow. I had a very basic sewing kit but knowing I was going to be sewing through leather and plastic on the shoes, I needed to step it up a notch. I bought this sewing kit that has everything I needed {and then some} for only $8.99! The various sized needles were what I was really looking for to ensure they'd be thin/strong enough to sew through the thicker and more durable materials.



Another amazing Amazon find. And finally, it was time to get to work! I'll admit, it took a little trial and error to get into the groove of effectively sewing lace onto these shoes {without breaking my fingers}. Instead of sewing through the entire strap, for example, I only sewed through the very top layer of white leather. This made it easier for me to get the needle through and by looking at it, you'd never know I didn't go all the way through. The lace stayed just as well as if I had gone through the whole strap.



When I was done sewing onto the top strap, I started in on the bottom: the star of the show. I started with the larger floral appliqués and then decided how much/where I wanted to put the thicker lace.


Knowing a flat-lay photo would only be happening with an eagle-eye perspective, I used a larger piece of lace to cover up the insides of the show strap and didn't worry about doing a tiny piece on the outside of the floral appliqué.


After a few hours and very raw fingers {still trying to get the hang of using a thimble...I simply don't see how that's efficient?} I had my DREAM wedding shoes, and on a budget!



Ladies, I am here to tell you NOT to buy the overpriced shoes! You CAN do it yourself. I have never sewed anything before and although it was tough at times, that's what Google and persistence is for.


I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial and let me know if there are any other DIY brides out there attempting their own!


x,

AMD

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A portfolio of artwork by NJ-based artist Alexa Martin

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