These mary janes have been a long time in the making!

I got these crystals on a buying trip in Istanbul back in 2018 and have been wanting to cover some heels with them ever since. I don’t really know what has been standing in my way, I guess I just hadn’t been inspired for the actual shoe part yet... UNTIL last week when our new friend Marie who runs her awesome business in our building (doggy squad) told us she had some leather she didn’t need anymore and gave it to us as a gift.

As soon as I saw this baby pink mock-croc I knew it was time to bust out the crystals and create the miu miu inspired mary-janes of my dreams! To cover the heels I used the clear gorilla glue (not the one that expands) as it’s strong but also a little flexible.. Super glue would be a total no-go for this project for a couple of reasons.

For starters, it dries rock solid and cracks when flexed, so I am pretty certain the gems would have just flicked off as soon as I started walking on them. The second reason is that the super glue would have gone everywhere and fogged up the crystals… not a good look.

Anyway I wasn’t sure how well the gorilla glue would work but so far so good, it took a little while to dry so I learned (as is usually the case with glue) that less is more!

Want to make your own pair of DIY Mary Janes? Why not download our Mary Jane pattern to help you get started!

Here’s a little run through of how I made the shoes...

Step 1 - Make the patterns. It’s so important when you are making a mary-jane style shoe that you choose your buckle at the pattern stage so that you know how wide to make your straps.

Step 2 - I then cut and assembled my uppers. The leather was quite thick so I decided to do a raw edge on the topline to avoid bulk and I am super happy with how they turned out.

Step 3 - Next, I cut my insoles to size. I was about to cover them and then I decided “naaaah I can't be bothered”, so I decided to add a full insock at the end instead. Yep this is totally allowed when you’re making fully enclosed shoes!

Step 4 - I lasted the linings, inserted my stiffeners and lasted the uppers. I love this stage, it’s when they start to feel like real shoes!

Step 5 - I then added a cork bottom filler to the base of the shoes to create a nice flat surface for my next step which was to glue on the soles.

Step 6 - The fun part, I glued my crystals onto the heels and drilled them to the shoes. Finally, I made that full insole sock to place on the inside of the shoes… oh and hell yeah, I totally added a layer of comfy foam in there too.

Estimated time to make = 6 hours (Including sticking the gems to the heels, which took ages to be fair!)

learn shoemaking for yourself

I created a free 40-minute online course called 'Introduction to Shoemaking' to show how easy home shoemaking can be and to give you a little taste of what I Can Make Shoes is all about. SIGN UP HERE for instant access. free tutorial on how to make diy shoes

If you are wanting to dive a little deeper into the world of home shoemaking, my online Footwear Masterclass is one of the most popular shoemaking courses in the world!! 🌍 (Casual brag! lol)

The course covers how to make shoes from scratch including heels, flats, boots, sneakers, sandals, and more. The thing that really sets this course apart from others is that it's specifically designed for total beginners and requires very little in the way of tools & equipment, there's even a bonus module on how to start your own shoe brand. To make getting started even easier, the course comes with a FREE Shoemaking Starter Kit, delivered to your door, anywhere in the world! 🌍

We are a tight community and regularly limit our intake to ensure the best experience for our students - so if our enrolment is closed I would recommend you sign up for our FREE Introduction to Shoemaking course while you wait.

Happy Shoemaking, Amanda xx

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