I’ve been working on crocheting a pair of slippers for my husband in colours from Fallout, his favourite video game. In trying to figure out how to make the hard soles he had requested instead of the usual soft soles, I came up with this.
You will need:
-- patterned/textured PVC fabric (available at most large fabric stores)
-- craft foam
-- fabric on the thicker side (cotton is suggested, I used an old pair of jeans)
-- quality large scissors (you will be cutting through the PVC)
-- Shoe Goo
-- popsicle stick or other instrument for spreading glue that you are prepared to not get back
Make a template by tracing the outline of the person’s foot using the cardboard and pen. Compare it to the bottom of the actual slipper and make any necessary adjustments. Cut out your finished template and use it to cut out four pieces of craft foam, two pieces of PVC fabric, and two pieces of regular fabric. Pay attention to right vs. left soles as you do this.
Essentially you are making a sandwich of PVC fabric on the bottom (with the PVC side outwards so that it will be the very bottom of the sole, the part that makes contact with the ground), two layers of foam, and then the fabric layer on top. Between each layer is a liberally applied coat of Shoe Goo.
I suppose other glues are possible, but I highly recommend Shoe Goo. It is designed specifically for shoes in that when it dries it is clear, solid and non-tacky, but still has some flexibility. Plus the hold is superior. Nothing is going to get your layers apart. It is not easy to work with however as it sticks to everything in its wet state. This is why I recommend using a popsicle stick to spread it. However I ultimately still ended up using my fingers at some points, so be sure to have a good hand cleaner present. Something like Fast Orange is ideal, but I got by with a dish scrubber and some dish soap.
Give the sole a full 48 hours to dry and cure. That was a lot of glue, after all. Then you can finally add the last layer – the slipper itself! Make sure you give it about 24 hours to dry and cure.