Friday, 14 September 2012

DIY Shoe Fringe

Whilst leafing through ELLE’s September edition, I saw some great loafers by Marni. They were leather, brown and white, but with a long black fringe at the front to cover (I assume) the lacing, which tied up on top of the fringe. The colours aren’t completely my style, but I did love the design!

Sadly, I don’t have money for designer shoes (or designer anything!)

So I dug out my old mid-heel brogues (from Primark, kingdom of cheapness!) and some scraps of faux leather left over from a fancy dress costume, and got to work...

DIY marni-inspired shoe fringe customisation tutorial

Granted, Marni’s version had a double layer of fringe, but in all honesty I was feeling too lazy to set up the sewing machine. Plus I think one layer looks just fine on these shoes (Marni’s are a lot chunkier).

This is a great, non-permanent way to get a different look from a pair of shoes!

Drawing a pattern for the fringe is a little fiddly, though it’s harder to explain it than it is to do it.
Hopefully this tutorial explains clearly. However if you have any questions please comment to ask! :)

DIY shoe fringe

You’ll need:
A piece of leather/leather-look vinyl
Scissors or a rotary cutter
Tape measure
Dressmaker’s pencil
Leather punch*

* If you don’t have one of these, try a big glob of blue tack and a nail (health and safety officers across the land are probably wincing at that suggestion...)

Marni-inspired shoe customisation

1. Take measurements of your shoes:

a) The distance from where you want the end of the fringe to fall, up the front and overlapping to just past the top lacing holes of the shoe. Note where the overlap occurs. In the example, the overlap is at 4.5”. The overall measurement is 6.25”

b) Measurement across the toe of your shoe (desired width of fringe). Pictured measurement: 3.25”

c) Measurement across top of tongue. Pictured measurement: 2”

Marni-inspired shoe makeover

2. This step is difficult to explain; I played around a lot at this point! Hopefully the annotations on the picture will help.

a) Draw out the fringe pattern onto the back of your leather/vinyl.

b) Draw a line for the width of your fringe, and then a parallel line where the fringe will overlap the tongue of the shoe (in the example, a 3.25” line and a 2” line, spaced apart by 4.5”).

c) Draw another parallel line between them: the distance from the first (longer) line should be the length you want the cut fringe to be. (Example: 2.25” apart, 3” wide) Join this middle line to the widest line.

d) Then join the middle line to the narrowest line.

e) To draw the ‘inside’ part of the fringe: Measuring from the widest line, draw a parallel line using the overall measurement from step 1a) and the width from step 1b) (Example: 6.25” apart, 2” wide). Join the two lines together at either end. (This section should be square/rectangular).

f) Cut out.

I was too lazy to go through all of this twice, so for the second shoe I just drew around the first piece!

DIY shoe makeover

3. Mark evenly-spaced cutting lines for the fringe between the bottom two lines. Make a small dot between each line: this will be the ‘point’ of each part of the fringe.

shoe makeover with fringe

4. Draw another line a fraction of an inch from the bottom line: this is the overall depth of each point.

shoe fringe tassel makeover

5. Get cutting! Using a ruler, cut the lines from step 3 first. To make the points, cut short lines between the little dots you drew in step 3 and the line you drew in step 4.

DIY fringe for shoes

6. To measure where to put the holes: take the laces out of the top pair of eyelets on the shoe. Tuck the top/inside part of the fringe, wrong side up, between the lacing and the tongue. Poke a pencil inside each eyelet to mark on the fabric where the holes go.

fringe add-on for shoes

7. Punch the first set of holes. Then fold the fringe over (right side outwards) at the shorter line drawn in step 2b). Mark through the holes you just made onto the inside of the fabric, and punch the second set of holes.

DIY shoe fringe tutorial

8. To attach to shoe:

a) Remove laces from top pair of eyelets. Cross laces over and thread through the top pair of holes on the fringe, from right side to wrong side.

b) Tuck the top of the fringe into the shoe, between the laces and the tongue. Thread laces through the top eyelets of the shoe (do not cross them over).

c) Fold fringe over the front of the shoe. Thread the laces through the lower pair of holes on the fringe and tie as you would normally.

shoe fringe DIY tutorial

9. Wear them out!

I’m now thinking of making some of these for a pair of ankle boots!
In the example shown, I made fringe to match the shoe, but of course you could make something that contrasts!


  1. Wow! That was brave and the results are so cool.

    <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!
    Wildly Original linky party is open.

  2. Wow, adorable. Completely changed the shoes, now pretty stylish! Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration with Sunday’s Best – you helped make the party a success!

  3. Such a smart idea! Love these. Thanks so much for sharing at Etcetorize this week~


Reading all your sweet comments makes me happy! :) I appreciate each and every one and try to reply to all that I can!

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