How to Make Ballet Shoes at Home Easy?

For any glamorous female representative, many pairs of shoes of a certain shade is ideal to match the color of each dress. Also, ballet shoes are essential for training with a ballet barre. But you can not always afford to have a large number of shoes for the most unexpected event. This is very expensive and sometimes it is difficult to choose the right shoes from the range available on the shelves of shops. 

In this article, I will consider how to make ballets with your own hands because these shoes are very comfortable, fit a variety of outfits, and can look really fancy. The main thing is to choose the right design and do the work carefully.

In order to make ballet shoes with your own hands, we may need the following materials:

  • Cotton; 
  • Fabric for sealing; 
  • Leather (natural or artificial, for the soles). 

How Ballerinas Customize Their Pointe Shoes

YouTube video

First, we cut out the parts: 2 cotton insoles, 2 artificial leather soles, 1 sealant insole, 1 upper part for the outside and another part for the lining made of different materials.

Important. This all goes for one ballet shoe, so it is necessary to cut everything out in duplicate.

  • Fold the part of the upper outer side with the sealant so that they are perfectly aligned at all edges. 
  • Fold the sides of the heel face each other and gently stitch. 
  • Cut off the excess sealant under the seam. 
  • Zigzag the obtained stitch.
  • Turn out the received part upwards, carefully make it pinning with the sealer, using pins. 
  • Take the leather sole and fold it with the fabric of the seal. 
  • Tack stitch the top and sole parts. To get a beautiful product, do this as smoothly and accurately as possible. 
  • Stitch along the line. 
  • Remove the stitches. 
  • Undercut the filler around the perimeter. 
  • Whipstitch all the edges of our product. 
  • A similar process goes for the internal part of a ballet shoe. 
  • It is possible to trim the fabric a little bit in the lifted area to make the cutout deeper. 
  • Turn out the lining of the product face outward, insert it into the finished outer part. 
  • Pleat the top seam all around the perimeter. 
  • Stitch through the finished product, leaving a special hole for turning out the ballet shoe. Remove the pleating stitches, make die-cutting of the filler. 
  • Process all the edges. 
  • Turn out the finished product, carefully straighten and steam. 
  • Lay a decorative stitch along the last seam to close the hole for turning out. 

The product is ready! Now you can try it on.

How to Make Ballet Shoes for a Doll?

The process of creating a neat and elegant pair of ballet shoes for a sophisticated hinged doll from pattern to decor.

We will need:

  1. Artificial leather or suede (I have first).
  2. Cardboard (any type).
  3. Insole cloth and chiffon for finishing.
  4. Superglue and PVA glue.
  5. Acrylic (for painting soles).
  6. A needle with thread.
  7. Sandpaper or fingernail file.

Here’s what we need to do:

  • For a start, circle a foot of your doll. Leave some space around it though – it will then be erased in the grinding process.
  • Cut out and circle the resulting sole, we need 4 of such things. Circle a heel on the insole with small dashes. Fit and circle 4 parts of the heel. If you have a thin cardboard, you can make 6 parts.
  • Now the task is to glue the soleplate and let it dry out, I used superglue, but you can use PVA or any other glue.
  • It may look ugly now, but that’s ok. Leave the soleplate to dry out. Mine dried for an hour or so – depends on the glue used.
  • Let’s do a pattern in the meantime.
  • Circle it a “V” format. Cut and try it on, check whether it fits the size if there is extra – remove it, if it doesn’t reach out – circle the resulting pattern again and add it where necessary.
  • Paste the resulting pattern onto the leather and cut it out.
  • Check the size again. The leather stretch and the ballet sits better when tightened, so I do not leave the seam over-measure on the back.
  • Fold the pattern, even the edge and stitch together with a wrapping seam.
  • See what happened? We can’t do anything else now because we need the sole.
  • It has to be dried up by now. Polish its edges. It’s shrunk now and supposed to fit the doll.
  • Now that the sole is almost ready, circle the insole, cut it out and try it on, cut off the extra.
  • After the insoles have been circled, dye the soleplate with acrylic and leave it to dry for about an hour.
  • Take two pieces of fabric and glue on our insoles, wait until they are dry and cut out.
  • Now we can glue our ballet blank to the insole – start from the back, and glue the tip last. It’s a sticky thing to do, so watch out.
  • I know, there’s not enough beauty so far. No worries, we’ll get there!
  • Take the chiffon and make bows, stitch them through.
  • Sew the bows to the ballet shoes at the designated place.
  • Glue the bottom of our ballet shoe and stick the bows, straighten them like we need.
  • Decorate with a regular seam around the edges.
  • Ballet shoes are almost ready, still have to glue them to the bottom.

And there you go!

I hope you also get great ballet shoes as I did. Save your patience, although, perhaps, it’s just me, because I am not really fond of making doll shoes.

How to Make Ballet Shoe Outsoles?

  • When making dance ballets shoes with your own hands, special attention should be paid to the strong and high-quality fixing of the soles – the inner part of the soles should be put inside blanks of dance ballets. 
  • Glue the blank of ballet shoes to the sole on the site of 1 cm along the whole contour of the lower section of the product. For such a procedure it is necessary to use rubber or nairitic glue which perfectly gets the parts together without excessive rigidity. 
  • Place the shoes under the press and let them dry completely. 
  • The outer undersole made of leather material is smeared with glue and glued to the sole. In this case, it is necessary to cover the over-measure of the dance ballet shoes by 1 cm. After that, the shoes should be placed under the press until completely dry.

Important. In order to strengthen the soleplate, a stitch with a distance of 5 mm from the lower cuts of the product can be laid along the contour of the insole. Not every sewing machine is capable of doing this stitching through the thickness of the ballet shoe. It is necessary to use an awl and thick caprone threads and stitch through a contour of our dancing ballet shoes manually.

Our dance ballet shoes are ready! It remains to decorate them with ribbons and other decorative elements.

How to Make Ballet Shoes not Slippery?

There are a few alternatives: 

  • The easiest one is to soak the sole and tips in the water. I’d recommend always keep the wet cloth nearby (as the effect is not long, unfortunately). 
  • Use Coke, unless, of course, you do not feel sorry for the floor and you don’t mind cleaning it from sticky spots after dancing. 
  • You can rub the soles with cheese, rosin (in powder), sandpaper, or barbarously cut them with a boxcutter (especially suitable for pointe shoes). You can get everything you need online. 

All of these things will help increase the grip, though the floor will not thank you. But you are the boss!

Some dancers also darn their tips with thick threads as well. But if you haven’t done that before, I’d suggest you use old shoes for practice first.

Tip: soft flats slide less on slippery surfaces, so get a pair of those to avoid “kissing” the parquet.

How to Make Ballet Shoes more Comfortable?

  • You can stick a piece of moleskin padding to any problematic area of your shoes or use a bandage and stick it to your foot. Pick it up from any drug store. 
  • You can use silicone or gel pads (or dots) to avoid serious chafing issues and create a protective barrier. This will provide a bit more cushion and will give your feet some relief.
  • Use a wooden shoe stretcher for tight shoes.
  • Try to wear your flats at home every day – this will help to break them in and to wear them to shape.
  • Use slim fit gel insoles to comfort the balls of your feet.
  • Make sure the size is right when buying it to avoid all of the above 🙂

About the author

Jessica Nickson

Jessica Nickson is a keen home and garden innovator with over 25 years of hands-on experience in, home improvement, landscape gardening and all things appliance related to making life easier and more interesting. You can contact her via e-mail - jessica.nickson.hd@gmail.com.

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