DIY Western Cut Off Boots




Introduction: DIY Western Cut Off Boots

Want the boots that will catch everyone's attention? In five hours you can create your own custom pair of cut-off cowboy boots to wear to the rodeo or for any outdoor get together.


  • Cowboy Boots, pointed toe
    • Shoe Store
  • Lightweight cowhide or lambskin (must be 3–4 ft. long in order to cut the leather into strips)
    • Leather store
  • Rabbit pelt
    • Leather store
  • Rapid set rivets (looks best if you have a variety of colors and sizes)
    • Leather or craft store
  • Real leather boots
    • Online or at a western clothing store
  • ¼-inch leather lacing
    • Leather-working store
  • Decorative feathers (optional)
    • Craft store
  • Notion/pendants (optional)
    • Craft store


  • Crayola Chalkboard Chalk
    • Wal-Mart
  • E6000 Glue
    • Craft store or Wal-Mart
  • Fabric or leather shears
    • Craft or leather store
  • Lace (enough to wrap around the shaft of each boot twice)
    • Fabric or craft store
  • Mini leather punch set (5/64-11/64 inch)
    • Leather-working store
  • Rivet setter
    • Leather-working store
  • Rotary board and cutter
    • Fabric store
  • Rubber mallet
    • Leather-working store
  • Rubber mat to use as a pounding board
    • Leather-working store
  • Small fabric clips or binder clips
    • Wal-Mart or craft store
  • Straight-edge to guide rotary cutter
    • Fabric store
  • ¼-inch leather chisel
    • Leather-working store

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Step 1: Preparing the Boots

Materials needed: Leather boots Tools needed: Shears, Crayola chalkboard chalk, E6000 glue

Crease and Chalk

  1. Fold the top part of the boot inside out and then fold it over so that the top part touches the heel.
  2. Squeeze the edges of the shaft tightly while chalking the top edge.
  3. Take leather shears and cut along the chalked line until the top part of the boot (the shaft) is completely off.
  4. Remove the shaft.

Try on the boot to make sure that it slips on easily. If it doesn’t slip on easily then use leather shears to cut ½ inch straight down the back. Try boot on again. Repeat until boot slips on easily

Warning: Don’t cut into the back base of the boot.

Glue the Boot

  1. Take cut-off shaft of the boot, turn it rightside out, and slide it over the leg of the boot.
  2. The curved part of the shaft (that was originally the top) should be on the bottom.
  3. Put tiny dots of E6000 glue between the top of the shaft and the boot. Press the shaft and the boot together.
  4. After a few minutes, put clips along the top edge of the boot for 15 minutes or until dry.

Step 2: Whip Stitching

Materials needed: Leather thread

Tools needed: Large and small rubber mats, leather chisel, rubber mallet, leather needle, shears

Punch Slits in the Rim

  1. Put the larger rubber mat on a table and put smaller rubber mat on the inside of the boot. Lay the boot on the larger rubber mat.
  2. Use the mallet to punch the leather chisel into ¼-½ from the rim of the boot. Punch each slit a ½ inch apart all the way around the rim.
  3. When finished, remove the mats.

Thread Leather Needle

  1. Cut the tip of the leather thread to make it pointy.
  2. Put the thread between the two throngs of the needle. Make sure thread fills the whole space between the throngs.
  3. Use a pair of pliers to pinch the throngs together so that the thread doesn’t become loose. If there is any leather sticking out of the sides of the needle, then cut it off to prevent snagging.

Make the Whipstitch

  1. Start the whipstitch on the outside as shown in diagram c. Don’t twist the thread while stitching. Hold onto to the end of the end of the needle so the thread doesn’t become loose.
  2. Stitch all the way around the boot.
  3. To finish up the stitch, put a second stitch into the first hole and cut the thread about 1 to 2 inches from the spool.
  4. Fold the loose thread into the inside of the boot.
  5. Weave the thread with the needle between the threading on top of the boot. Under the first thread, over the second, under the third, etc.
  6. When unable to repeat step 5, cut off the needle from the thread
  7. Take the other loose thread and repeat step 5.

Step 3: Cutting

Materials needed: Rabbit pelt, leather

Tools needed: Rotary board, rotary cutter, straight-edge, shears, pen

Cut the Pelt

  1. Use the straight-edge to draw a line with a pen down the middle of the rabbit pelt (lengthwise).
  2. Cut a line down the middle of the pelt with shears.

Cut the Leather Straps

  1. Place leather fabric on a cutting surface.
  2. Use straight-edge to measure out a strip, ½ inch wide and 34–35 inches long.
  3. Cut with a rotary cutter.
  4. Repeat 1–3 to make 4 total strips.

Step 4: Decorating

Materials needed: Rabbit pelt (cut in half), leather strips (cut), rapid set rivets, feathers (opt.), pendants (opt.), lace

Tools needed: E6000 glue, fabric clips or binder clips, rubber mallet, rubber pounding board, ⅛-inch leather punch, rivet setter

Glue Rabbit Pelt

  1. Wrap the cut half of the rabbit fur around the shaft of the boot with the cut edge of the fur on top. (The length of the fur will likely exceed the circumference of the shaft. Don’t cut off the extra fur.)
  2. Adjust the fur so that the ends overlap on the instep of the boot.
  3. Raise the fur about a ¼ inch above the rim of the shaft.
  4. Clip the fur in place using fabric or binder clips.
  5. Apply E6000 glue generously halfway down the vertical edge of one of the ends of the rabbit pelt.
  6. Press the glued end of the rabbit pelt against the boot, and hold pressure for a couple of minutes.
  7. Apply a dime-sized dot of E6000 glue along the top rim of the rabbit pelt.
  8. Press the pelt against the boot and fold the raised edge of the rabbit fur over the top edge of the shaft.
  9. Use a fabric or binder clip to apply pressure to the glue dot.
  10. Continue all the way around the boot, gluing every inch, and placing a clip above each glue dot.
  11. Glue the other vertical edge of the rabbit fur by applying E6000 glue generously on the skin of the overlapping fur.
  12. Press down overlapping fur onto the bottom layer and hold pressure for a few minutes.

Stud the Leather Strips

  1. Take the ½-inch leather strips and drape them over the rubber pounding board.
  2. Using the ⅛-inch leather punch and rubber hammer, punch holes in the leather strips about 1 inch apart.
  3. Take the base of the rapid metal rivet and push the point through the back of the leather (through a hole).
  4. Set the cap of the rivet on top of the base.
  5. Hold the setter on top of the rivet and pound the rivet cap with the rubber hammer.

Glue Lace

  1. Cut two strips of lace; each piece must be long enough to wrap around the shaft of the boot twice.
  2. Experiment with how you would like to wrap the lace around your boot to see what you think looks best.
  3. Attach the lace to the boot by gluing dots every inch along the lace.
  4. Apply pressure to the glued lace with fabric or binder clips (where you can) or your hand. Do so for a few minutes.

Glue Studded Leather Strips

  1. Wrap one of the studded leather strips around the shaft of the boot whatever way or pattern you like.
  2. Glue the leather strips to the fur and lace with the E6000, placing a dot of glue every inch of so along the strip.
  3. Apply pressure for a few minutes with your hand.

Step 5: Optional Accessories

Here’s is what your boot will look like, depending on the materials you choose. You can accessorize your boots even more by gluing on feathers, pendants, and notions. But for these instructions, we chose to go with a more basic, classic design.

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