Introduction: The Shoe Pocket

Is there anything more annoying while running than having a set of keys poking you at every step?

Carrying keys when you leave your apartment or home to exercise can be quite troublesome. If you put them in your pocket they jangle about. If you hold them in your hand then you are forced to keep your hand closed the entire work out duration.

Behold the shoe pocket. The simple device that allows you to run with your keys hands and pocket free.

Step 1: Gather the Materials

First go and gather all the materials and tools needed, which is very little for this instructable.


-2 playing cards (or a sturdy fabric like material. Tyvek would be cool)

-Super Glue (aka Kragle)


-A button

-Mod Podge

-Foam Brush

*Paracord Optional


-Sewing Needle


Building Stats:

-Cost: Estimated less than $10. But it is likely you already have these supplies or have things that could be substituted in place.

-Build Time: 1 hour or Less


You may be asking yourself why did he choose to use playing cards?

Well I have been holding onto this deck with 3 cards short of being full thinking that I could use it for something. I would have thought I would have used it for spare cards in another deck, but then I saw them when thinking about this idea and thought they would make cool perfectly sized shoe pockets.

Step 2: Prepare the Cards

Next prepare your cards or pocket material for fastening together.

Make Flaps:

First make some small square cuts at the corners of both cards with your scissors. I made 1/4 in squares and then cut those out.

Fold One Card's Flaps:

Each card should now have four flaps. Bend, fold and crease the flaps inwards towards the center of whatever face you want to be the inside of the pocket. Do this for the card that you want to be the top of the pocket and leave the other untouched.

Cut Out One Card's Flaps:

Use your scissors to cut out the unfolded card's flaps to make a clean rectangle.This card will be the bottom of the pocket.

Check the Fit:

Place the rectangular card into the folded flap card to see if the fit is smooth and clean. Trim as needed to get a good fit.

Step 3: Secure the Button

Now you need to fasten your fastener to the card. Using the thread and needle sew your button to the center of the playing card. I am not super familiar with sewing but here is a brief overview of what I did and it seems secure.

How to sew on a button:

-Cut the thread to length. About a foot should do for this job, but no harm in overdoing it and going longer.

-Tie a knot at one end. You need to make a knot at one end of the thread so that when you are threading through the card there is a backstop for the card to catch on.

-Get the unknotted end of your thread and lick it. Now pull the end of the thread straight. Next line up the eye of the needle with the thread and push the thread through. Licking the thread gives it a little more stiffness and makes it easier to put through the eye. Tie the thread to the needle.

-Get your card and push the needle through about where one hole of the button would rest. Somewhere near the center basically. Make sure you push up through the bottom face of the card that you have chosen to be the top pocket card (the one with flaps).

-Get your button and bring the needle up through one the button holes and then down through the hole diagonally across from it. Push the needle back through the card.

-Repeat this process of threading through the card, through the button and back through the card as many times as it takes to make the button strongly secured. Make sure you cover all the button holes with your thread by threading through an adjacent hole instead of the diagonal one every so often.

-Tie off your thread and cut off any extra.

Step 4: Create the Pocket Part 1 (Glue Phase)

Take out your super glue out, kragle or other all purpose instant glue of choice.

Increase the Button to Card Connection:

-Use your glue to put a dab over the bottom ball of threads that holds the button to the card.

Connect the Card Edges:

-Connect the three card edges one at a time leaving one short edge glue free/open to be the pocket entrance for key insertion. I squeezed out a beed of glue across one edge of the rectangular card and then pushed the flap on top of it. Then creased over the flap and moved onto the next edge.


Be careful not to get glue beyond the edges that you are gluing. Be especially careful not to get it on your fingers and then become stuck to the cards because you will remove some of the card with you when you free your fingers. .

Step 5: Create the Pocket 2 (Thread Phase)

For extra strength sew the edges around the three connected edges.

Make sure the thread has a knotted end to catch on the card. About two feet should do. No harm in having extra.

Starting at one corner of the pocket entrance sew all around the perimeter to the opposite corner on the pocket entrance. When you reach the opposite corner tie it off / anchor the thread to that corner.

Add a dab of glue at each of the entrance corners over where the thread is anchored too.

Step 6: Create Shoe Lace to Button Loops

Next you need to create loops to be pushed up and around the shoe laces and be secured to the button.

Prepare Thread:

-Knott one end of your thread. Use a generous amount.

Create Loop Size

-Make a three inch tall loop starting at one corner of the pocket entrance. It will probably depend on your shoe size so check the fit before making anything permanent.

Check Size:

-Push loop up and around the bottom lace. Attach loop onto the button. Make sure the fit is firm when the card is laid flat against the shoes tongue/laces.


-Once you have the right loop size. Anchor and securely attach the thread to the entrance corner opposite to wear you started.

Thicken String:

-Now wind the needle and thread around the loop repeatably to thicken the loop size.

Anchor Again:

-Once the thread feels sufficiently strong. Anchor/tie off the thread at the entrance corner where you began.


Get out your glue again put a dab onto the corner thread anchors.

Step 7: Alternative Paracord Connector Loop

An alternative to using the thread as the button connector loops (as described in the previous step) is to use paracord.

Cut to Length:

-Using your scissors cut two loops to length. About three and half inches or so should do depending your shoe size. I where a men's size 11.

Glue Anchors:

-Take each end of the loops and glue them to the corners to act as anchors.

Check the Fit:

-As described in the previous step check to see if the pocket can be secured firmly. You don't want it to come loose while running. If it is too tight or loose you can remove the paracord from the card and resize it.

Thread Reinforcement

-Take your thread and thread around your anchor points.

Step 8: Seal It

To reinforce my pocket I used some mod podge and a foam brush to apply a couple coats to either side of the pocket. Make sure you only do one side of the pocket at a time and wait about ten minutes between each coat.

Note: There may be a better sealer out there or material that will ensure pocket longevity. You can also skip this step if the pocket feels sturdy enough, but definitely can't hurt to add some protection.

Step 9: Insert Keys or Cash

You're almost there.

Insert your keys or petty cash into your card pocket entrance.

Step 10: Lace Up

Attach your pocket to the shoe.


-Place pocket button side up on the top of the laces and with the pocket entrance furthest from the toe of the shoe.

Bottom Connection:

-Push the bottom loop (the one closest to the toe of the shoe) up and around the bottom lace. Then pull the loop up and over the button. The bottom loop should now be secured to the bottom shoe lace.

Top Connection:

-Place top loop over the top laces. Then tie your regular shoe knot on top of this loop. Then pull the loop up and over the shoe knot and onto the button in the center.

Step 11: Ready to Run

You're done! Behold your creation.You are now the proud owner of a shoe pocket. No longer will you have to carry keys in your pocket. You are ready to run.

I hope you enjoyed this intractable and if you're feeling generous please vote.

Happy building,


Feet Challenge

Participated in the
Feet Challenge