Though you might like to think that all of your shoe purchases have been absolutely necessary, there’s a good chance that there are some boring, long-forgotten pairs sitting in the back of your closet. Thankfully, you can bring new life to your old shoes by performing a little DIY on them and making some grosgrain ribbon shoelaces. All you need is some grosgrain, some hot glue, and scissors, and you’ll be ready to follow some quick and easy steps to give your footwear a cheap but good-looking makeover.
Get Some Ribbon
The first step in making new laces is perhaps the most fun part: choosing the designs and colors. Grosgrain is a versatile fabric, and it can provide some classy, colorful looks. It comes in all colors of the rainbow, as well as designs such as polka dots. Because grosgrain is cheap, you should be able to afford picking out a few different colors to experiment with. The laces you’ll be making are removable, so you’ll be able to change them out on whatever shoes you desire. When picking out your fabrics, think about what laces would go best with the shoes you have back at home.
Cut the Fabric
Once you’ve chosen your colors and designs, you’ll need to cut the ribbon into a length that fits your shoe. This will depend on a few factors, but mostly, you’ll want to consider how big you want the knot or bow and also your shoe size and the number of times the ribbon will be laced. A good rule of thumb is to cut more or less a yard and a half, though you may need to experiment a little. Thankfully, grosgrain is cheap, so it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Once you’ve sized up the ribbon and cut it down, you should cut the ends into a point. How tapered they are is up to you, depending on the design you’re going for, though keep in mind that the ends, when folded in half, will need to fit easily through the shoelace holes.
Glue the Ends of the Laces
After cutting the ribbon, apply some glue to the edges of the ends that you just tapered. Fold the edges together so that they meet and don’t overlap, and them let them dry. The result may be a little unsightly, and although you may have done your best to line up the edges, there might still be a little overlap. Use scissors to trim the edges of the points to give your new laces a cleaner look.
Lace Your Shoes
Finally, your grosgrain shoelaces will be ready to be put to use! How you lace your shoes depends on the style you’re going for, so feel free to go for the traditional look or work with something new. Once you’ve threaded the laces all the way through, try a few different bow styles to match the color and design on your shoes. With the number of available colors, as well as the types of knots you can use, you’ll have a lot of fantastic combinations to work with.
Creating your own grosgrain ribbon shoelaces is a great way to spruce up your tired combinations, and it provides you with a new way to accessorize. With your custom-made laces, you’ll be able to fit your shoes’ styles to your needs, and you’ll give yourself a unique look that everybody will be talking about. And perhaps best of all, because fabric is cheap and easily replaced, you can adapt your newly learned methods to create laces for any new shoes you buy–or if a friend asks you to make her some, too!
This contribution comes from The Ribbon Retreat, a supplier of fabric, ribbon, and hardware for crafters. Among the many types of ribbon that are available are grosgrain, fold over elastic, velvet, and offray ribbon.