Introduction: Cardboard Converse High-tops

About: 16yr old entrepreneur and creator

Hey guys, this is my first instructable and I decided to do something that was at the top of my 'Cool Things To Make' list. I decided that nothing looks quite as cool as a Converse Chuck Taylor High-top so that is what I chose. OK, this shoe NEEDED to be cool, it needed to have some sort of stand out feature. It had to be made out of a product that I had readily available...


I had LOTS of cardboard just lying around so I was pretty pleased about not having to buy anything!!! The only thing that was blocking my way now was, did I have the patience to make something this hard? The answer (surprisingly) was yes. So I got started pretty much straight away. With the help of my assistant, the epitome of awesome cardboard creations was created!

So just read the easy-to-follow steps and then be rewarded with an amazing piece of artwork at the end!


Step 1: The Materials

Here is a list of stuff you will need to make your shoe...

- Cardboard

- Stanley knife

- Scissors

- Ruler

- Pencil

- Blue and Black fine-liner

- Red marker

- Coloured card paper

- Double sided tape

- Hot glue gun and glue sticks

- Cutting Board

- Printing paper

- Hole puncher

Step 2: The Sole

Now we will begin the first stage of making your High-top. The sole of the shoe comes first. I got my assistant to hold the shoe hard against the base of a box and trace around sole of the shoe. Now you will cut out the shoe so you have a sole. On my model shoe, the toe flicked up 1 inch so I bent the toe of the cardboard sole up the same amount. This didn't hold for the entire process of making the shoe and slowly bent down but that's OK. to get the bend, cut slits down and bend the cardboard up to get a clean bend.

Step 3: The Edge of the Sole

Now you need to cut 2 strips of cardboard that are 1 inch high and long enough to stretch half the length of the shoe. With the help of your assistant, glue these on using a hot glue gun. You should now have a shoe sole with edges.

To colour the edges, cut two pieces of printing paper the same dimensions as the cardboard strips. Put double sided tape along the strips and stick them to the edges so they are white. When you get to the curve, cut slits down so you can bend the strip without it creasing.

Now we need to add a black stripe about the base of the white edge. Cut 2 strips that are about 50 mm wide and long enough to reach around the shoe. I faced the problem with how to stick these on the shoe but thanks to the brains of my assistant, we figured it out. What we did is get a nice long strip of tape and stuck the black strips to them and cut along the tape so one side of the black strips was sticky. once we had done this we stuck the black strips to the shoe.

Step 4: Converse All Star Sign

In this step you will duplicate the Converse All Star sign that is found on the heel of the shoe.

Firstly you cut a strip of cardboard that is 6 cm long and 2 cm high. Then hot glue this in the centre of the heel. Next you use you amazing writing skills to copy the Converse All Star sign text onto a piece of printing paper (same dimensions as the cardboard strip - 2 cm x 6 cm). This can prove to be quite hard if you are aiming for perfection. Once you have finished the writing you stick the small rectangle of printing paper onto the cardboard.

Once this step is done you will notice that your cardboard creation is beginning to look more like a shoe.

Step 5: The Extended Toe

In this step, we will be adding an extra cardboard strip with a white piece of coloured card over top to accurately display the front of the Converse Chuck Taylor High-top.

Firstly you must cut a strip of cardboard that starts on one side (where the toes starts to curve up) and ends on the other (also where the toe starts curving). It has to be about 1 inch high.

Hot glue the strip of cardboard onto the shoe, don't cut slits for the curve this time, the strip must be flat for two reasons. 1 - so you can tell it is a separate piece, 2- so you can cover up the other slits.

Now cut a piece of coloured card that has the EXACT same dimensions as the cardboard strip. cover the back with double sided tape and stick it to the cardboard.


Step 6: The Toe

In this step we will convert the sole into more of a slipper. This will be done with a toe.

I made a template out of printing paper first so I could get perfection from the start. Using the toe of your model shoe, copy the basic shape, making the curved part too big. Then, use scissors to cut small triangle to assist with the curvature. once you have finalised the template, copy it onto cardboard.

My template was a bit imperfect so I adjusted it on the cardboard. Put dollops of hot glue on each 'tab' and glue it to the inside of the sole edge.

Now it is time to commit to paper. Make another toe out of white coloured card, DON'T cut tabs! Cover the back of the toe with double sided tape and stick it on the cardboard.

Step 7: The Tongue

In this step you will make the tongue of the shoe.

To make the tongue of my shoe as perfect as possible, I actually traced the tongue of my model shoe and turned it into a template. I highly recommend doing this because it is more accurate and makes the job a whole lot easier. One thing you MUST do is make sure you tongue grow gradually smaller! When you have a satisfactory template of a tongue, cut the side 1 cm shorter. You do this so the tongue doesn't interfere with the sides in steps to come. On my model shoe I noticed that it had red material on the outside and fawn on the inside. I duplicated this by sticking red coloured card to fawn coloured card. This technique will be used again later in this Instructable. Now you attach a small little loop of coloured card for the laces to go through.

Trace you template onto the double colour card and then cut it out. If you are satisfied with your tongue, its time to stick it in! This is done by putting a line of hot glue on the smaller end and sticking to the underneath of the toe. It should end about 8-10 cm away from the back of the shoe.

Time for the next step...

Step 8: Heel Strip

This would HAVE to be the easiest step. In this step you cut a short strip of red coloured card and stick it to the inside of the heel. This will help with the joining of the side pieces in the next step. The strip must be about 2 cm wide and 11-12 cm high.

To attach it to the shoe you put a strip of hot glue on the bottom of the strip and then simply stick it to the inside edge of the heel with the bottom of the strip touching the bottom of the sole. All done.

Step 9: The Shoe Sides

Now it is time for the hardest part. To simplify things, trace your model shoe sides onto a template. Look at my template pictures to get an idea as to what it should look like.

When you have a satisfactory side template, stick red and fawn coloured card together like you did in the previous step. Once you have the double coloured side ready, hole punch 8 holes for laces down the side. These holes should start at the top of the 'boot' and end near the curve of the 'boot'.

Now we are ready to stick them in. Start with the inside edge first. Get your assistant to either hold or glue. Double check that the side makes it from the middle of the heel strip to the side of the toe. Now glue. Do this by putting a strip of hot glue where the sole side and the sole meet, the shoe side bottom edge will be sitting here. Glue the whole way around till it is firm and finished. Now start again with the outer shoe side, this side needs to be about 1-2 cm longer than the other side. Repeat the above stages till both sides are on.

Now you glue both ends of the shoe sides to the heel strip to join them

Lastly you must attach the tongue and the shoe side. Do this by folding down the toe part of the 'boot' to the tongue, then get your assistant to glue it there.

Step 10: Chuck Taylor Badge

Time to reproduce the Chuck Taylor Converse All Star badge.

This is pretty easy, all you have to do is trace a template and then copy the writing onto white circle of coloured card.

Make sure you get the colours right.

Star - Dark Blue

Chuck Taylor - Dark Blue

Converse - Red

All Star - Red

Stitching - Dark Blue

Remember to sketch in pencil first.

Once you have made your Chuck Taylor badge you can glue it on. Make sure it goes on the INSIDE edge of the shoe. Glue it around the centre of the inside shoe side.

Step 11: Laces

Time for the laces guys.

The first thing you need to do is get some fawn coloured paper. Cut LOTS of 50 mm strips for the laces, attach them together with either hot glue or tape.

Then in some grey paper punch 16 holes. Cut circles around then to make small rings as shown in picture. Attach these ring over the holes in the shoe sides. Now lace up your shoe!

At the end of each lace, cut two small slits either side and bend down to make the ends thin and real.

Step 12: Second Black Strip

Now you have to cut more black strips (same as the first one that went on the sole sides). The strips should be about 50 mm wide and long enough to go around the shoe.

Lets attach the second strip. This strip goes the WHOLE way around instead of just part way like our first strip. Run hot glue around where the shoe sides and the sole sides and stick the strip on. Do not cut slits to help bend the last strip, just bend it.


Step 13: The Sole


In this step you will make a coloured sole for your Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High-tops. You will need dark brown coloured card. Do exactly what you did in the very first step. Trace the bottom of the shoe, then go around the outside with your Stanley knife and cut the sole our. Cover the sole in double sided tape and then stick it onto your shoe.


man, this was one long instructable but I think it worked well and was worth it.

Cheerz People!

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