How to Make Mini Leather Boots or Shoes
Mini Leather Boots
Working With Vegetable Tanned Leather
I love working with veg-tanned leather. It feels warm, gentle and silky to the touch. The main ingredients used in the tanning process are extracted from trees and plants. Its trademark guarantees that there is an absence of toxic substances, making it safe for people and the environment. It is well-tolerated by individuals who are sensitive to allergies, and the finished products wear well over time. Best of all, it can be wet formed to create all sorts of practical things just like the little shoes made here.
Finding the bits and pieces for working with leather can be problematical at times. For this reason I have given several links to items and their sizes needed below.
Things You Will Need:
- A Tiny Boot Template (Instructions for this are given below)
- A Small Pair of Resin or Wooden Shoe Lasts
- This is the industry standard for dyeing leather. It is easy to use, quick to dry and can be found in a wide variety of colors. Fieblings Leather Dye
- for attaching the boots to the leather soles Heavy Duty Adhesive Spray Glue
- (Scrap pieces) with a thickness of approximately 2 mm or 5 oz leather. Thicker pieces should be used for bottom sole and heel. Veg Tanned leather can be wet formed, dyed or waxed after it has been molded, making it perfect choice for these little boots. Veg Tanned Leather
- around the boot. Choose a color which either compliments or matches the boots. Waxed Thread
- A Rotary Leather Punch for making holes in the leather. A standard and a mallet can be used instead. 1.5mm leather punch
- Shoe Laces (In matching or contrasting colors)
- for neatening the rough edges of the trimmed leather. Leather Burnishing Tool (Wooden)
- 3m Masking tape for helping to create the boot template.
- Leather knife or Craft Scissors
- A board or piece of soft wood, small tacks or nails
- A few elastic bands if required
- White paper for creating the template
- A colored pencil or felt tip pen
Tiny Shoe Lasts & Masking Tape
1. Shoe Lasts
- These tiny lasts can be difficult and expensive to find. You can substitute a small pair of plastic shoes which have been stuffed tightly with wet paper.
- Make yo 1. Shoe Lasts ur own lasts with Polystyrene Spray which you have sprayed into a pre-loved pair of shoes.
- Children and adults shoe lasts can be found on Etsy and E-Bay
Attach the Shoe Last to a Piece of Scrap Board or Wood
2. Drill Holes
- Drill 2 small holes in a scrap piece of board as shown.
- Drill 2 narrow holes in both of the shoe lasts,
- Take care not to split the wood.
- Insert 2 screws from underside of the board so that the screws extend to just above the top of the board.
- Screw in the lasts.
- You may want to skip this step and devise your own method for keeping the lasts in one place as you mold the leather.
- Alternatively you can use a piece of wood which easily accepts tacks or nails which mine did not, then you can tack the leather pieces to the board.
Drill Small Holes in the Lasts
3. Make the Boot Template
- Cover one half of one of the shoe lasts with masking tape as is shown below.
4. Trace the Outline.
- Trace the outline of the shoe last as is shown here.
5. Gently Remove the Masking Tape
- Cut around the tracing.
- Extend the tongue area to about an inch or two above the shoe last.
6. Cut Slits in the Toe Area
- In order to be able to lay the pattern down flat you will need to cut cut slits in the toe area.
- Put the pattern piece down onto the folded edge of a piece of paper and flatten the pieces.
- Cut out as shown below.
- The seam allowance should be made wide enough to accommodate the punch holes for the seams with a little over.
- The seams can be trimmed once the lower sole has been glued to the boot.
7. Check the Template Before Cutting out the Leather Pieces
- Check the template against the shoe last to check for accuracy.
- There should be sufficient space left at the sides to allow for the stitch holes for with a little to spare.
Cut the Leather Pieces and Prepare to Punch the Holes
8. An Alternate Method!
- You may wish to wet form the boots before you punch the holes!
- I initially made the boots without punchng any stitch holes as I devised a rough template for this Tutorial using leather.
- I punched the holes in the upper shoe and the upper sole at the same time so that they matched perfectly.
Wet Formed Leather
9. Make the Back and Sides of the Boots
- As shown, I wrapped a piece of wet leather around the back of the shoe last and then cut it to length.
- Don't cut the side and back piece too short.
- The leather can be trimmed later if it is left long.
Wet Formed Leather Boots
- Mold the shape using the shoe lasts.
- Fold the seams areas as shown.
- Leave the pieces overnight and allow them to dry.
- Once dry they can be dyed or left natural to be waxed and polished later.
11. Punch Holes Around the Boot
- Punch evenly spaced holes around the top of the front and back pieces of the and attach to the upper soles as is shown below.
12. Method 1 (Continued)
- Punch evenly spaced holes around the toe area as is shown below.
The Punched Holes
13. Wet the Leather
- Soak for a few minutes in water.
14. Shape the Leather
- Wet the pieces in water as shown.
- The wet leather so that it become soft and malleable.
- Press the toe pieces against the shoe lasts until it takes on the shape of the lasts.
- Attach a few elastic bands around the shoe lasts to hold them firmly in place.
- if the wood is soft enough it will be possible to use small tacks or nails to keep the leather in place.
- Leave the pieces to dry, preferably overnight.
Trim the Corners of the Side and Back Pieces!
15. Make the Back and Sides
- Cut across the corners of the back and front to create the lace-up area as is shown.
- Punch even holes in the leather as is shown.
Punching Holes in the Back & Side Pieces
16. Wetting the Back and Side Pieces
17. Fold the Seams
- Fold the seams as is shown below,
- This should be done whilst the leather is still damp.
2 Hair Pins holding the 2 Pieces Together
18. Punch 3 Small Holes .
- Use an awl or punch to make 3 stitch holes as shown.
- The back and sides and front can now be sewn together using 3 saddle stitches.
- Punch holes for the eyelets.
- Hammer in the eyelets or do this later if you intend dyeing the leather.
3 Stitch Holes
Cut the Upper Soles
19. Make the Upper Soles
- Cut out the upper soles using 5oz or (2mm) leather.
- Trace around the shoe lasts as is shown.
- Add a border and cut out the upper sole.
- Punch holes around the marked lines as is shown.
- The allowance can now be folded to create the seamline.
- Sew on the top of the boot with wax thread.
- Use a 2 needle saddle stitch.
- Please watch the video below to see how this is done.
How to Saddle Stitch Leather
20. Attach the Boot to the Sole
- Attach the front piece to the back piece using the 3 Stitch Holes.
- Sew the joined pieces to the upper sole.
21. Trim the Excess Leather
- Neaten the edges of the boot using a pair of craft scissors as is shown.
- Use a sharp bladed leather cutter or craft scissors.
The Trimmed Edges
The Shaped Upper Tongue and Sides
22. The Lower Sole
- Trace the outline using the shoe lasts onto a piece of thick leather.
- Cut them out or/spray the glue straight onto a thick piece of leather, raw skin side up with the shiny side down and press the two pieces firmly together.
- Trim to fit the upper section of the boot.
23. Glue the Soles
- Glue the soles on as is shown.
- Spray 151 Heavy Duty Adhesive spray glue direct onto the prepared leather pieces.
- Press both sides together until they are firmly fixed.
- Trim to neaten all sides.
- Use a leather craft knife or craft scissors.
- Attach a heel if desired, if not, leave required use them just as they are.
- Let the glue dry.
- Thread the laces.
- Your little boots are now complete
- I hope you enjoyed this short Tutorial. Remember that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to being creative.
Leather stitching can be made so much easier if you slightly dampen the stitch areas.
Add a Heel
Mini Leather Boots
© 2020 Sally Gulbrandsen