Introduction: Shoe Makeover With Fabric Glue

This instructable goes over how to use fabric glue to bond fabric to canvas shoes. We'll use a flexible fabric adhesive to bond a stretchy fabric to a comfy pair of slip-on shoes.

Fabric Adhesive is a wonderful alternative to sewing. Not to discount sewing, but fusing fabric with glue can be great, and sometimes necessary, alternative for mending clothes without a needle and thread, or permanently laminating fabric together. Some fabric glues are designed to form temporary bonds, which is great for piecing quilts and appliques, or even temporarily converting clothes into Halloween costumes. Other fabric adhesives can form very permanent bonds to materials like wood and plastics.

If you want to learn even more about working with fabric glues, check out the Fabric Glue lesson in my Glue Class.

Step 1: Recovering the Shoes

For this class project, we will be dressing up plain shoes with some fun fabric.

Materials needed for this project

Start by stuffing the shoes with newspaper, this will create a rigid backer so the shoes' uppers don't bend or flex when you are trying to apply the glue or the fabric. I taped off the rubber sole so that I didn't accidentally get glue on them.

Using a brush, spread a thin layer of glue onto the canvas shoe as well as the fabric you are applying. The thinner the better, you may need to thin with acetone if your glue is too thick. Only thin a little bit at a time, otherwise, your glue can penetrate all the way through the fibers - which we don't want.

Slowly mate the two fabrics, make sure that there are no air pockets between the shoe and the fabric you are applying. Those air pockets can cause unsightly bubbles and may inhibit a model bond from being made. I like using a dry brush to push the air out.

If you need to use your hands to massage air bubbles from where the surfaces were mated, wear gloves.

When the glue is completely dry (read the back of the bottle, but I would definitely wait at least a day before moving them.) Trim away all the excess fabric. Some areas may have lifted, and you can glue those back down. Make sure the shoe is completely dry before wearing - wait at least 24 hours after the final glue application.

I didn't cover the elastic portions of the shoe so that these guys could bend and flex without disfiguring the Disco fabric I had applied to the slip-ons.

That concludes this demo on fabric adhesives! For an even deeper dive into working with fabric glues, check out the Fabric Glue lesson in my Glue Class.

Comments

author
AzureOzma made it! (author)2017-06-25

I love these! Makes me want to go to the
local dollar store and get a pair of cheapies to play with! I have used
colored markers, ribbon for laces and had fun matching clothing with
shoes. You just opened a whole new way to play - thanks!!

Thanks for a short and concise instructable. I'll try to remember to add pictures when I get them done.

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