Boys Will Be Boys: Soft Soled Baby Shoes Tutorial and FREE Pattern!

We’re already halfway through our gift series, Boys Will be Boys, so Handmake Their Toys!

Click the image to see all the posts in this series.

So far in the series, I’ve shared a lot of tutorials for toys your little boys are sure to love. [well, mine are sure to love them anyway!] But sometimes you want to be a little more practical with your gifts. And really, how many toys do your littles really need… even if they are handmade?

So today you get a tutorial for a gift that’s perfect for those littlest boys who are content to play with pots and wooden spoons. And who just need to add a little cuteness to their wardrobe, instead of adding to their toy bin.

baby shoes tutorial


  • felted wool
  • 1/8 inch elastic
  • soft leather
  • sweatshirt scraps *optional
  • sewing machine
  • coordinating thread
  • scissors

Download the free pattern here.

1. This pattern is sized for a young toddler – between 12-18mos. My son wears a size 5 shoe or 12-18mo. soft-soled shoes (like Robeez), and these fit him well. If your child wears a different size, just scale the pattern up or down.

2. Cut out the half circle pattern piece out of felted wool. You will need two of this piece. You will also need to cut two rectangles of wool that are 2.5in x 7.5in. I used this awesome vintage wool suit coat that I thrifted and felted.


3. Now cut two of the oval pattern piece out of soft leather [I upcycled mine from a vest]. I also cut two ovals of sweatshirt material, to make the shoe a little more cushiony for baby’s foot. This is optional, though.


4. Fold over the edge of the half circle piece and top-stitch. Because you are using felted wool, you don’t have to worry about the edges fraying.


5. Fold over one long edge of the rectangle piece and top-stitch.


6. Cut 5in. of elastic and attach it to a small safety pin. Use that pin to thread the elastic through the rectangle piece of wool. [note: if your baby has particularly pudgy ankles, you might want to use 6in. of elastic]


7. When your elastic is just barely sticking out of your wool, zig-zag the end to attach it. Then pull the rest of the elastic to the end [the wool will bunch up slightly as you do this] and zig-zag the other end.


8. Now pin the rectangle onto the half-circle, as seen above. The finished edges should be facing away from you.


9. Use a straight stitch to sew the two pieces together. You’ll want to sew two rows of stitching – one that is close to the edge of the rectangle piece and one that is close to the edge of the half-circle piece. [you can see the two rows of stitching if you look carefully at the picture above]


10. Sandwich the leather and sweatshirt piece together. The sweatshirt piece should be on the bottom. Then pin the wool pieces around the leather. The finished side of the wool should be facing the leather.


11. Zig-zag stitch along the edges, making sure to capture all layers of fabric as you go. Repeat all these steps for the second shoe.


Now turn your shoes right side out and admire your handiwork!


And attempt to capture them in action… but of course, a 16 month-old will not sit when you want him to and does not yet understand bribery…

Stacey at Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy has a great stocking stuffer over at her place today. Super hero hand warmers! She also has a giveaway for a T-shirt from I Heart Bricks that your boy would LOVE to wear!


Don’t forget to enter the giveaways from Fabric Fairy and See Kate Sew!

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  1. Love this tutorial, just ordered some (cheap!!) up-cycled leather on eBay! ..- I noticed that the toe has a little tiny fold in the middle center – was this on purpose, or did the wool stretch a little – and if it was an accident, was it a happy accident to allow for a little more toe room?

  2. I loved the shoes. I too try to find the time to sew baby shoes. And shoes for my little boys. I am a mother of 8. 7 boys and 1 girl. So I know what you are going through with the energy the boys have. I would like to be emailed on what you got planned ahead for your sons. Thanks for the pattern it is so easy and simple. I always thought it was hard. But your pattern was so great.

  3. OMG awesome tutorial! I have been looking for an easy to follow pattern but they have all been a bit too fiddly for my liking. Will def give yours a go! Thanks so much, Melanie :)

  4. HI Jess, Thanks so much for the pattern! I think I missed the spot on the pattern with the rectangular piece. Could you tell me the dimensions to that? Thanks so much!

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