Introduction: Shoelace Charms
I've been wanting to make shoelace charms for a while now, so the other day I decided to go for it. I will go over three types of charms for your shoelaces (including two front lace ones and one that goes along the side of your laces) and show how I made them using Tinkercad.
- 3D Printer - I'm using a Prusa MK3 with MMU2S
- Filament in colors of choice or spray paint for finished piece - if you are curious about any of the specific filament colors I used, just let me know
- Shoes and Shoelaces - make sure the shoelaces are long enough for your shoe type
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Step 1: Measuring/Prepping
Before you start, you need to make sure these are going to fit your shoes. My shoes are around size 8 Womens and you should probably be fine with my designs for most shoes except for child's you might need to shrink them a bit.
First of all you want to get a general idea of the space between the eyelets on the front of your shoe (from one side to the other). I decided I would have 1 - 2 inches at most to play with.
For the second type of design, you need to know the distance between the eyelets along a single side. I decided that from the center of one to the next was between 3/4" and 7/8".
Step 2: Single Design
The first design is pretty straightforward and works best for large singular shapes. As examples I'm using a simple mustache (altered from the image in Tinkercad) and lips that were made from the mustache.
You have a bit of leeway on how big the image is since the holes will be in the center, but my images were about 2.8" wide and 1" tall.
To make your shape into a shoelace charm, all you need to do is put two circles (about 1/4" in diameter) and put them about 1" apart. Line them up, make them into a hole, and use them to cut holes into the image.
Done, that's it.
For thickness, I decided that 2mm or about 10 layers was a good thickness that shouldn't bend.
Step 3: Base With Design on Top
If you want a more decorative/complex design for your shoelace charm, you are going to need a base to put the image on.
As I mentioned earlier, I only had about 2" max to work with, so I created a base that was 2 inches wide. I used the rectangle tool and I messed with the Radius to give it some curve. Also, I wanted it to cover in on the top but not the bottom, so I made it twice as tall as I wanted it 4mm (because I wanted the final piece 2mm thick). Then I used a rectangle that was 2mm thick to cut off the bottom of the rectangular piece. This gave it a flat bottom but left the top curved in.
The second thing I had to do with the base was give it a slit on each side. I made those about 3.17mm wide and 11.91 tall. The main thing to keep in mind here is you need to be able to thread your shoelace through the slit on each side. I put them about where I wanted them, aligned them, and made them into holes to cut out of the base.
Now you have a base with the bottom cut flat and slits cut into each side. You can add your charm elements between the slits.
For the one I'm showing you here, I made a Pac Man and Ghosts. I provided the shapes before I cut out the pieces but Pac Man was a circle with the bottom flattened off and a square was used to make the mouth. The Ghosts were circles with a square that then had the bottom cut out with wedges.
The ghosts only went up 1mm higher than the base and the ghost went up about 2mm higher.
For the flower one, I used a base and put 6 petal flowers on top from the shapes menu.
If you have a multimedia extruder and you want to print these with different colors use either the A pieces for the flowers one or B pieces for the Pac Man pieces.
I've also attached the full image that can either be printed in one color or you can change filaments between layers to get the different parts different colors.
If you want these to fit on your shoes better, you could warm up some water, dip your charm in it, and carefully bend it a bit to give it a curve that will go along with the top of your shoe.
Step 4: Side Shoe Decoration
The next kind of charm you can do is one that is meant to go along the outside of the laces. I've seen these done with angel wings, butterfly wings, and bat wings, but I'm sure you could be creative and come up with even more ideas. One thing to keep in mind with these is they work best with a high top shoe or boot so they don't hit the ground.
I again made these 2mm or 10 layers thick.
Tinkercad does have it's own butterfly design you can use, but I decided to use one that I had already brought into Tinkercad for a different project (that I never finished).
For a side shoe charm you just need to cut three (you could possibly just do 2 but 3 will give stability) 1/4" holes out that are about 3/4" - 7/8" from each other (or whatever your measurements are).
If you wanted to use my design, you can use the butterfly outline by itself, or use the two A files with a multimedia extruder. OR you can use the full image and just change filaments between layers.
To create the cutouts, I actually copied the butterfly image (lined up the two images and moved one down so that they would still be lined up later) and filled the butterfly in with ovals. Once I had all the holes covered, I made the butterfly into a hole and used it to cut out the cutouts. I then brought the outline back up so they were lined up again.
You can print off just 1 of these for 1 shoe or you can put 1 on each shoe. I DO NOT recommend doing 2 for each shoe as the inside ones will hit the opposite leg and get in the leg. You only want one on the outside.
Step 5: Printing
Time to print!
Get everything set up if you are doing a multimedia print (and get ready to be frustrated if you have my machine).
Step 6: Lacing Up! Front Decals
This is pretty straightforward, but now you need to add them to your shoes.
You can put these anywhere along your shoe as long as you lace the shoe straight across. It's easiest to just put it right at the bottom.
This video will show you how to do straight lacing.
If you are doing the large single image design, just bring your lace up through one hole and down through the other.
If you are doing the detailed one with a base, you bring your lace DOWN through one slot, bring it across the back and come back up through the other slit. This will make it so you can see the design in the middle.
You can do as many on your shoe as you can fit, but I think 1 or 2 are plenty. I did two so I could show them off but you can see if you tried to do every lace it would get too crowded.
Step 7: Lacing the Wing
Now to lace up the wing.
Lace your show however you want until you have three eyelets left on one side of your shoe.
Working on the outside of your shoe (if you do the inside, it will likely constantly hit your other leg when you walk) start lacing through both the wing and the shoe one hole at a time. You can go over or under, it shouldn't matter. If you go from inside to outside you might have some trouble at the top when you tie your shoe, but I don't think it's going to be a huge deal.
Do this for each eyelet until you reach the top and you should be all laced up.
(As you can see, I used a shoelace that was too short, but I figured for demonstration it wouldn't matter).
Now tie your shoe and you are done.
Step 8: Done
Enjoy your awesome shoes!
Step 9: Star Wars Shoelace Charms
Bonus! As requested on my Reddit post I created a Boba Fett and Darth Vader shoelace charm and then also a Mandalorian and Baby Yoda one and lastly one with just Baby Yoda.
All are multi color.
- Yoda Black.stl
- Yoda Green.stl
- Yoda Bronze.stl
- Yoda Marble.stl
- Boba Fett and Darth Vader White.stl
- Boba Fett and Darth Vader Red.stl
- Boba Fett and Darth Vader Green.stl
- Boba Fett and Darth Vader Black.stl
- mandalorian and baby yoda Green.stl
- mandalorian and baby yoda Black.stl
- mandalorian and baby yoda Silver.stl
- mandalorian and baby yoda Bronze.stl
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