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Monday Makes: Button it – customising shoes!

This week, following last week’s disastrous conclusion to the two-part dress post I started the previous week, I decided to take a well-needed rest from the sewing machine and explore some of the other areas of handicrafts I’m interested in. Like many other crafters, I have ever-growing – and rather gorgeous – collections of both buttons and ribbons, so I thought it was time to do something pretty with them.

I decided to turn this pair of shoes….

Into this pair of shoes!

I’m quite pleased with them, and they’re pretty straightforward to do, so no better time for my first proper tutorial.


You will need:

  1. Shoes

  2. 8 x 3″ (7.5cm) lengths of ribbon, 1/4″ (6mm) thickness(12 here >> but I chose to only use 8. Ribbon is Celebrate, bought at Craftworld Belfast)

  3. 2 x 8″ (20cm) lengths of 3/4″ (2cm) white organza ribbon (not pictured here)

  4. Glue gun and glue stick(mine is the Loctite Hot Melt bought at B&Q)

  5. Two large buttons(mine are approx. 1 7/8″ / 4.8cm diameter, bought from BP Sew n’ Knit, Lisburn)

  6. Scissorsfor trimming ribbon



1. Thread two lengths of ribbon through each pair of opposite-facing holes in each button, as shown.

2. Fold over and glue down each ribbon strand to the button surface using the glue gun. Be careful, as the glue gets incredibly hot – use safety or gardening gloves to protect your hands if needed.


3. Here’s what my buttons looked like when I was finished, just before I gave some of them a little trim with the scissors. Play about with them though; you don’t have to glue yours exactly like mine. I was going for a slightly rough and ready ‘raggy doll’ look, but your ribbons could be neat and tidy, or even tied to your buttons in knots if you don’t fancy messing about with a glue gun.

4. Next, take one of your lengths of organza ribbon and sew the two ends together to create a loop. Starting at one end of the loop, and sewing as close to the top edge of the ribbon as you can, sew a running stitch to the other loop end. Gently pull tight to create a loose ‘flower’ shape. Repeat.

5. Put a generous layer of hot glue around the bottom edge of a button and press the button as hard as you can onto the organza. Hold for at least 20 seconds to make sure it has bonded. Repeat with the other button.

6. Choose where on your shoe you want to place the decoration. Using your sanding paper, gently rub the chosen area with your sanding paper; just to create a slightly roughened surface for the glue to bond with. Apply a generous amount of hot glue to the area (I did a square-inch-sized area, about 1/8″ thick) and quickly, but carefully, press the button-ribbon-flower on to the glue and hold for about 30 seconds.

7. Put on shoes. Enjoy!

Let me know what you thought of my first tutorial – in the comments below, or through Facebook, Twitter and the Get In Touch link above. If you want to use any of the pics above as a link to this tutorial, again, just get in touch

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