Suwi's Place

Home Of The Priors

Neil's Shoes

This article was found on the WEB and the 'I' is not me but a person called Neil.

Basic Footwear Tutorial

Before anything else, I'd like to thank the following who are generous enough to share their knowledge in creating OOAK dolls:

Dievalkyrie for the wonderful Yahoo group and directing me to Tylerguy2004's tutorial.
Tylerguy2004 for the idea of using super glue.
Tarja for a lot of the ideas used in this tutorial.

I wouldn't be able to make these little footwear without all their help. Now it's time to pay forward. (Images are clickable for a larger version.)

For this activity, you will need:

a doll willing to lend her foot (to be used as a foot last)
a piece of paper for the pattern
pen or pencil
ruler or any straight edge
a cutter or X-Acto knife
2 types of cardboard (One is thinner than the other; the thickness depends on the style you want to achieve.)
2 pieces of toothpick
air-dry clay (Here, I used a home made cornstarch clay.)
paint brush
paint of your choice

gold craft wire
champagne beads
1/8 in. ribbons

1. Get a rough size of the feet you want to make shoes by following the shape of the feet on paper.

2. Fold the paper in half (for symmetry). Trace the shape of the foot slightly bigger than the size of the feet. You can make the pattern with pointed toes or rounded toes depending on your need. For this case there will be no right or left feet. In case the feet has a clear distinction between L and R, don't fold the paper and just draw over the sketch from step 1.

3. Cut the pattern and try to fit under the foot. It is better to begin with a bigger pattern and just trim the excess after fitting. Still the sole pattern should be slightly bigger than the feet. Draw a line separating the arched portion of the sole and the flat portion.

4. Draw a straight line on the thicker cardboard. Trace the pattern on it making sure to align the lines.

5. Make a shallow cut along the line to make it easier to fold. If the cardboard you're using is thin enough, you can skip this step.

6. Cut the cardboard and fold along the line. This will be the outer sole.

7. Get a pair of toothpick

8. Cut a portion of the toothpick. In this case, I used the blunt end because of its design.

9. Get a small amount of air-dry clay. Join the sole and the toothpick with the clay. Try to fit it under the foot. Change the height of the toothpick depending on the arch of the foot. Fashion the clay to a shape you want for the heel.

10. Check for symmetry.

11. Coat the outer sole with super glue. Since the clay will still shrink when it dries, I avoided coating the heel with super glue. Wait for the clay to dry then coat the heel with super glue.

12. After the super glue has dried, paint the outer sole with the desired colour. I'm using a mix of white and gold. You may want to sand or file before painting. That, I was too lazy to do.

We have made a basic high-heeled outer sole. From here on, you can fashion your own footwear like boots or basic pumps. Please refer to other tutorials for those designs. This tutorial is limited to the simple strapped ones.

13. Make a pattern for the insole. I just copied the pattern for the outer sole and made it smaller all around.

14. Cut the thinner cardboard to the shape of the insole pattern. I didn't have to make a shallow cut (like in step 4 and 5) since it is easier to fold this cardboard.

15. I beaded a couple of craft wires. This will be the straps for the shoes. Ribbons may also be used.

16. This is the before photo.

Fold the insole to follow the shape of the outer sole. Insert the wires in between the soles to form the strap. A sturdy foot last really helps here. A vinyl foot bend with a little pressure. Glue them together. (No, not the doll feet!)

17. This is the after photo.

18. TADA! Happy feet.

Here's a photo of my other shoes made from the same basic steps. Imagine that! ^_^