How to Make Your Own Sneakers in 6 Easy Steps

How to Make Your Own Sneakers in 6 Easy Steps

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With our sneaker workshops running in Beijing and sneaker making kits due out soon, we’ve had a few questions about how you can make your own sneakers without glue or a sewing machine. So we thought we’d give you a quick overview of the process to make your own sneakers.

Let us know if you have any more questions in the comments, or hit us up via our contact page.

1. Choose leather, eyelets and shoelaces
You can choose one or two types of leather, so one colour all over, or two different colours on one shoe. We’ve got lots of great leather options to choose from.

One colour
Two colours

You can also choose which colour eyelets you’d like (the rings the shoelaces will thread through), as well as shoelaces and even the colour of the thread for attaching the leather to your sneaker sole.

2. Trace and Cut Out Leather & Insoles
You’ll get the paper pattern to trace out the pieces of leather for your sneakers, as well as the insoles to go inside. You can use a cutting mat or other cutting surface and cut the leather with a sharp knife or rotary cutter, or just use really sharp scissors.

3. Mark and Punch the Holes
Ok, I’m gonna be straight with you – there are a big bunch of holes to punch! But – it’s super satisfying and makes the rest of the sneaker-making really easy once this part’s done.

Following the pattern provided, you’ll mark and punch holes in your sneakers for the shoelaces, and around the bottom to attach the sneaker to the sole. You’ll also pre-punch the holes in the sneaker soles. The special leather punch that comes with our kit has assisted leverage, so it’s really not much effort.

4. Add Eyelets
Adding eyelets to the shoelace holes will help reinforce them, and with a wide range of colours to choose from, this is another way to really customise your sneakers. The kit comes with the eyelet setter to install them, but you’ll need a hammer (or something really hard to whack it with) and a good strong surface to do it on (like a concrete floor). In our workshops, we’ll use the industrial eyelet setter.

5. Attach Leather to Sole
You’ll use a big hand sewing needle and some shoe thread to attach the leather to the sneaker sole. At this point, you’re essentially just following the pre-punched holes, so I wouldn’t even call this sewing. Once you’re done, you’ll drop in your pre-prepared insoles, and then on to the most important step…

6. Lace ’em up and tell everyone you made them yourself
You’re gonna feel like you have superpowers after making your own shoes – don’t tell them how easy it was 😉

TLDR (too long didn’t read)

  • It’s easy and fun with lots of options for you to choose from
  • If you’re making them in our workshop, everything is provided
  • If you’re making them at home, you’ll need a sharp knife/rotary cutter and cutting mat/surface or sharp scissors, and a hammer
  • No glue or sewing machine needed