How to Make Felt Elf Shoes

person wearing felt elf shoes

The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

Overview
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Estimated Cost: $15

Whether you plan to dress up as an elf to help Santa greet children, act in a Christmas play, or just have fun, you'll need some elf shoes. And you can make them yourself with this festive sewing project ideal for intermediate sewers that only takes a couple hours to create. Of course, not all elves are Christmas elves. To make "everyday" elf shoes, choose whatever colors of felt you like, change the zigzag fringe piece into a solid band, and skip the jingle bells on the toes. This pattern fits most women's shoe sizes either with or without slim-fitting shoes underneath. It also can fit some men's shoe sizes when worn only with socks. If you need elf shoes for kids, you can shrink the pattern pieces to size.

Tip

Most fabric stores sell acrylic felt by the yard, which is what you need for these elf shoes. You also can use wool-blend felt, which stretches less, is easier to work with, and lasts longer. Acrylic felt is less expensive, but it's often worth the extra cost to have quality felt.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle
  • Iron and ironing board

Materials

  • 1/2 yard felt in main color
  • 1/4 yard felt in contrasting color
  • Thread that matches main felt
  • Fabric paint (optional)
  • Small jingle bells (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cut Out the Elf Shoe Pieces

    Download and print out the following pattern pieces:

    When printing the pieces, be sure to set them to print at 100%, checking for accuracy by measuring the 1-inch square. If you want to slightly reduce or enlarge the pattern to fit small or large foot sizes, make sure you alter the size equally for all the pattern pieces.

    Attach the two Elf Shoe Upper pattern pieces on the marked edges. Then, you're ready to cut out the felt pieces. Felt does not have a right or wrong side. But it is best to pick one side to be your "right side" on all of the pieces in case of a variation in the production of the felt.

    • Cut two sole​ pieces, adding a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
    • Cut four upper pieces, adding a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
    • Cut two fringe pieces, placing the marked edge on the fold.
    elf shoe pattern
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  2. Sew the Top of Each Shoe Together

    Pin the two upper pieces together. Then, sew the pieces together, using a 1/4-inch seam allowance to match what you added to the pattern pieces. 

    Sew from the top point of the shoe to the curved toe. Pivot at the point and then continue sewing, stopping at the flat edge of the sole. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam to secure the stitching.

    Repeat with the second shoe.

    preparing to sew top and toes
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  3. Attach the Zigzag Fringe

    Open the shoe upper, and press the seam open. With the wrong side up, pin the zigzag fringe along the curved edge. Sew the fringe to the elf shoe upper. 

    If the fringe extends past the edge of the shoe (which can happen if your seam allowance varies from the sample), trim it to match.

    Repeat with the second shoe.

    sewing on the fringe
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  4. Sew Together the Back of Each Shoe

    Fold the fringe up and out of the way. Then, pin and sew the back, or heel, of the shoe, starting at the fringe seam. 

    Repeat with the second shoe.

    pinning back of shoe
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  5. Sew the Sole of the Shoes

    Join the sole to the upper, working from the toe toward the heel. Sew around the sole. Ease the fabric as needed to make the sole fit evenly.

    Repeat with the second shoe, and turn them right side out.

    pinning on shoe sole
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  6. Finish the Shoes

    Hand-stitch a jingle bell to the curved point of each toe. For extra jingle, you can also attach bells to the points of the zigzag fringe.

    To help prevent slipping, consider painting dots of puffy or dimensional fabric paint on the soles.

    attaching bell to shoes
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

Ways to Wear the Elf Shoes

If you wear women's shoe sizes up to size 9, you should be able to slide low-profile shoes inside the elf shoes, giving the elf shoes a more secure fit. For larger feet, consider wearing thick socks under the elf shoes.

Elf shoes look great with colorful tights. You also can wear them with striped knee-high socks in coordinating colors.

elf shoes
The Spruce / Mollie Johanson