How To Make Platform Shoes

Easy how-to instructions on making your own platform shoes.

For whimsy and charm this season, and to follow some of the current fashion trends, make your own platform shoes. Making these shoes is relatively simple, it's fun, it is something that you can do with friends or young children, and these shoes can be used as amusing gifts for friends and colleagues. But, most importantly, making your own platform shoes will give you a sense of satisfaction and stress relief.

For starters, you will need to collect your materials. You will need two pieces of wood cut to the length your regular shoes. You should make your measurements from a flat shoe""preferably a tennis or running shoe. I would suggest going to your local home improvement store and having the sales associate cut two pieces of wood (that is at least four inches thick) to your appropriate length. The reason that you are cutting the wood to the length of your normal shoes is so that your foot will have some "give" on the platform. Next, ask the sales associate to cut the wood the width of your shoe""use the widest point of your foot as the measurement. For instance, if your standard shoes are five and a half inches wide and eleven inches long then these would be the measurements for the wood. Next, have the associate slightly round each corner of the wood, or do it yourself. Honestly, if you have the cutting and rounding of corners done at your local home improvement store the cost will be minimal, and you will not have to worry about purchasing a circular saw, using one, or getting your measurements precise""let the professional handle this aspect of your shoe making. After you have the two pieces of wood cut and rounded, you need to purchase two wooden wedges. These are commonly used as door stops, and once again have the sales associate cut the wedge to the width of your shoe platform. Your wedge can be as long, or as short, as you desire""its only requirement is that it can not be longer that the shoe platform. This wedge will later be attached to the underside of the shoe, and it should not be more than two inches broad at its thickest point.

After obtaining your wooden wedges and platforms you should pick up some wood glue, varnish/sealant, sand paper, one yard of leather rope (at least one-quarter of an inch wide), liquid sand, paint brushes, colored paints, silicone adhesive, nails that are no longer than one inch, and beads. The colored paints and beads are optional, but they will give your shoes an added touch, make them "pop," and make your shoes the envy of those around you. And the colored paints that you use should be the craft paints that are sold in any craft department. These bottles are inexpensive, the colors are durable, and they are non-toxic. As with any craft product, read the instructions and drying times, and use all chemicals in a well ventilated area.



After you have purchased the products, first lightly sand all sides of the wood platforms""but not the wedges. You only need to lightly sand the wood to make the edges and surfaces smooth. After sanding, liberally coat the wedges with wood glue and place them against the wooden platforms. You need to make sure that all of your edges line up, and that you apply a slight amount of pressure to the wood. Allow the glue to dry for one to two hours, and then you should re-sand the edges of the shoes""the edges where the seam between the wooden platforms and the wooden wedges are, so that you remove remnants of glue spillage. If the glue is not dry, you will have to wait until it does dry before you sand. After sanding your edges, apply a coat of liquid sand to the underside of the shoe form""the side where the wedge and shoe platform meet, cover the entire length of the wood. This coat should be no more than one-eighth of an inch thick. The liquid sand with look rough and bumpy on your shoe""you want this appearance. The roughness will give you traction and prevent unsightly slippages when wearing your shoes. Allow for the liquid sand to dry, and then paint a decorative design on the shoes.

These decorative designs are optional, but you can paint them on the sides and foot surface if you so desire. Or you could paint the shoe form one solid color. Let your imagination be your guide, and use stencils, your fingerprints, abstract lines, or whatever you choose to create an attractive d├ęcor on your shoes. Again, after painting your design let the paint dry. Now, lightly cover the upper and side surfaces of your shoes with a sealant. Do not glaze the underside of the shoe! Allow the glaze to dry. Then, place your foot on the wooden form and place the leather rope between your big toe and index toe to drape it across your foot to halfway on the outer side""measure and cut, then repeat for the other side of the foot and the other shoe. Hence, you will have four pieces of leather, and you are going to nail them in place to look like a flip-flip. This is why it is important that the leather is at least a quarter of an inch wide, and that you carefully measure it before nailing it down. I like my flip flops snug, but you might like them loose""accordingly, measure and nail the leather to your liking. When nailing in the leather, make sure that you nail it at least one-eight of inch in from the edge of the wood""to prevent the wood from cracking. After nailing the straps in place, you may cover the nails with small piece of the leather rope, cut to fit, or with beads. You can string several beads together or just glue them in clumps""this is why you will need silicone glue. The silicone glue will allow you to glue the leather or beads to the metal surface of the nails, and your ornaments will not fall off. After gluing leather or beads over the nail beads allow the ornamentations to dry.

After the glue is dry, your shoes are ready to wear or give as gifts. Your friends will envy your whimsy and creativity, and you will find delight in your homemade platform shoes.

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