How to Make a Pattern and Sew a Shoe or Boot Cover for Costumes

kids in halloween costumes

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Overview
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Halloween costumes (and costumes for all occasions) often need a finishing touch to pull everything together: a shoe cover. After all, it can be a little odd to see Peter Pan in a pair of sneakers.

Instead of searching high and low to find a pair of shoes that coordinate with the costume, use some leftover fabric to make shoe or boot covers. These simple covers slide over the shoes or boots you already have to complete your outfit without the need for a new pair of footwear. This version even has a good elastic grip to prevent trips or falls. They're just the ticket to complete any costume.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Measuring tape
  • Pen or pencil
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine

Materials

  • Newspaper or a large sheet of paper
  • Fabric to match the costume or vinyl for pleather boots
  • Elastic

Instructions

  1. Draw a Pattern

    Stand in the shoes or sneakers that need to be covered (or have the wearer stand in their shoes), and work from one side. You will be drawing a shape similar to this diagram for your pattern.

    Create a Footwear Cover Pattern
    Debbie Colgrove
  2. Measure Leg for Area A

    Using a tape measure, measure the distance around half of the leg for the area labeled A in the diagram.

  3. Measure Length of Shoe

    Measure the length of the shoe as shown for B in the diagram.

  4. Measure Top of Foot

    Measure the top of the foot from the center of the foot to the floor for the area labeled C in the diagram.

  5. Measure from Tip of Toe

    Measure from the tip of the toe at the floor to where the ankle starts to bend for measurement G.

  6. Sketch Pattern

    Sketch out your pattern on the paper using these measurements. On the curved edge of the pattern, add 1/2 inch to the outside edge for a seam allowance.

  7. Cut the Material

    Use the pattern to cut four pieces from your fabric/vinyl (cut two from a double layer of fabric, wrong sides together).

  8. Sew the Shoe Covers

    With the wrong sides together, sew with a 1/2-inch seam allowance on edge D as shown in the diagram. Leave sides E and F open. Trim and clip the seam so the covering will curve to the correct shape when opened.

    Construct the Shoe Covering
    Debbie Colgrove
  9. Attach Elastic at Top

    Attach elastic at the top, bottom and halfway marks on both E sides as shown in the diagram above. The elastic can be two pieces that you tie or a single piece to fit the wearer.

  10. Attach Elastic to F Edges

    Attach a piece of elastic to both F edges of the covering, under the shoe's sole, that will hold the covering in place. It is best to use a single piece of elastic that will stretch just enough to hold the covering snug but not pull it under the shoe.

Hints and Tips

  • Costumes made using pajamas can be easily dressed up with animal ears and these foot coverings.
  • Add shoelaces to the front of your foot covering for a tied boot effect. Just tack the laces where you would normally put them through an eyelet and tie them at the top.​
  • Add a piece to the top to create a cuff that can be folded over for pirate boots.
  • Make a shorter version for dressy shoes. For example, to make Dorothy's Wizard of Oz shoes, make a covering with red sequin fabric that will cover just the shoe. If you can only find plain red fabric, glue red glitter all over them.