Introduction: Kelseymh's High Order Derivative Common Sensible Soles of Obviousness (clown Shoes)

What happens when you get a bunch of intellectuals in a room? The probability of someone having a keen fashion sense will not be high. So how do you distinguish yourself amongst the distinguished? Besides a Hawaiian shirt, get a pair of serious kicks to show that you know how to party.

A pair of High Order Derivative Common Sensible Soles of Obviousness is just what you need to start some interesting conversation that does not involve complex numbers or speaking in Greek.

So, to our resident subatomic particle geek Instructables member kelseymh, here is how to make clown shoes, giant is redundant here, to step on any theory that obviously does not conform to the natural laws of physics and matter. Perfect to wear to any debate, because you can show them who is the ..... more awesome.

Disclaimer: No one can predict what effect wearing these clown shoes can have because they have been endowed with certain unalienable rights by their creator or maybe they just evolved that way.

Step 1: Stop Clowning Around, You Need Stuff...

Common elements found in its natural state.

For this project you will need:


duct tape, any color will do

fabric in any pattern or color.
I had some leftover robo-fleece so it may help to have a stiff liner fabric to double up the material to make it easier to work with.

thick string/rope to use as giant laces

We won't overanalyze the properties of cardboard, but it makes a great building material for our clown shoes. The same goes for duct tape, you always need a supply on hand.

glue, tacky glue and a hot glue gun

utility knife or scissors

an awl or similar instrument/tool to poke a hole

a pair of paper hole punchers

a marker to mark where to cut unless you just eyeball it. Dimensions are not supercritical here.

The sewing in this instructable was done on a sewing machine. You could actually do this all by hand but it would take a lot longer. Only a straight stitch was used.

Step 2: Sole Powah!

With your bountiful supply of cardboard, select a nice clear piece of cardboard devoid of nicks, cuts, scratches and dents. It should be large enough to cut the giant soles of your clown shoes.

Find someone just standing around and put their feet on the cardboard. Trace a bigger shoe pattern around the foot or shoe. Clown shoes have an exaggerated front part.

Cut out the patterns. You can mark it to keep track which is the right and left foot or which is the left and right foot.

About a third of the way from the back of the sole, mark a line to indicate the heel of the shoe.

Laminate about three or four layers of cardboard to make the heel. You can glue up scrap pieces of cardboard and piece them together by overlapping the seams with the next layer. For the final layer, use a single piece of cardboard that covers the entire heel.

I additionally put a "shank" piece of cardboard to stiffen up the area where the arch of the foot would be. This keeps the cardboard from flexing too much when it bends in use. Or just double/triple layer the entire sole of the clown shoes.

Those intending to travel on a plane with these should not embed a steel shank as it would not get through security at the gate. Nor would visiting a prison be a laughing matter either.

Step 3: Heels, Shoulder, Knees, and Toes...

The rest of the shoe is constructed with guesstimates and eyeballed dimensions. Develop your sense of measurement according to what looks marvelous.

Do a lot of test fitting with your feet actually in the clown shoes.

For the heel counter:

I think it is technically called the "foxing".

Cut out a piece of cardboard that will wrap around the back of the heel.

Round off the top corners.

Over a table edge start creasing and bending the cardboard so it will fit nicely along the curve at the back of the heel.

Cut an angled cut near the middle. Bring in and overlap the excess cardboard and glue together. This forms the cup-like shape to fit the heel.

Along the bottom, bend a strip about 1/2 inch wide and cut notches at short intervals. This forms our glue tabs. Glue this part to the sole of the shoe.

For the toebox:

Use the same technique as for the foxing.

When glued in, cut the top with several notches so that you can bend in and form the curved top of the toebox. Gather and glue the notched sections. You can press and bend the cardboard for a smoother shape.

Cut another piece of cardboard that forms the top of your toebox. Cut tabs to conform to the contour of the first piece of the toebox. Glue down.

Use a piece of brown kraft paper to "papier mache" the exposed or rough parts of the cardboard. Just saturate a piece of paper with glue to cover and smooth out the cardboard seams.

I guess you could make this steel-tipped safety clown shoes, but the last thing when you are clowning around and engaging in horseplay is thinking about safety.

Step 4: Duck Boot.

When the bottom portion is dry, you will essentially have a pair of giant Mary Jane shoes without the strap. You could use this as such but we are making a pair of standard-issue clown shoes.

Grab some newspaper to make the paper pattern to cut the material for the rest of the shoe.

Stick your foot in the shoe and wrap paper around it to see what we will need.

Use one piece to wrap around the heel. Fold the paper where the eyelets for the shoelaces will be.

Adjust the height of your "boot".

Use a second piece of paper to mock up the part that fills in the rest of the shoe connecting the back part of the boot to the toebox.

Remove paper from the shoe to use as the pattern.

Step 5: Top Grain Leather...

This is the part where you have to reach way down and pull yourself up with the bootstraps. Well, I forgot to put them on these clown shoes. But I did remember to tie my laces.

Make the shoelace reinforcement strips:

Cut out four strips of cardboard about 4 or 5 inches long. Laminate with packaging tape or double over with a glued piece of cardboard. Punch out 4 large holes. These need to be large enough to acommodate the string/rope you will be using for your shoelaces.

Cut out two pieces of material to use as the shoe upper back part by tracing out from the template that you made.

It should have a trapezoidal shape.

Place the shoelace reinforcement strips along the edge and cover with the edge of the fabric.

Sew to enclose the strips.

Fold over the top back edge the same width as shoelace reinforcements and sew in place.

Step 6: Give It the Boot...

Cut out the soles of your inner boot by tracing the clown shoe soles right on the fabric.

You should have a left foot one and a right foot one. Actually, the fleece I used was a little bit stretchy so I could make minor adjustments as I went along.

We are now ready to sew the top upper back part to the fabric sole.

Mark the midpoints of the back of the heel so that you can line up the parts correctly. Yeah, I know, I'm too lazy to pin things together.

We want to sew things inside out so that the finished seams show on the outside.

After sewing, flip the boot inside out.

Place it in the shoe for a test fitting.

Step 7: Stick Your Tongue Out...

Cut two pieces of material that will fill the gap where the tongue of the show will be.

The top should be rounded off.

Sew on three sides.

Flip the tongue inside out and push the seam out so it is creased nicely.

Sew along the bottom edge to close.

Step 8: Hard Complicated Part...

Cut out the filler piece that connects the upper back and the toebox.

Put a finished edge on that piece by just sewing around the edge that has been folded over 1/4 inch. This helps to reinforce the edges of the piece.

Place the fabric parts into the shoe.

Place the shoe tongue in position and pin or mark in place.

Sew the tongue on thus connecting the two sides of the upper part of the fabric boot.

Lay on the filler piece and pin or mark in place. The piece should be joined to where the tongue is and then having one edge go to the midpoint on the sole between the toebox and the foxing.

Remember to sew everything so that the finished side will be showing when you flip it inside out.

It may be easier to do this on a free-arm sewing machine as this is like constructing a sleeve.

Step 9: Cap It Off...

Test fit the fabric boots. These were an open-toe design. It might have been easier to make a full fabric boot to just fit in here.

Cover the toebox and foxing with the fabric of your choice.

I just glued a line around the edge under the sole so no glue would be dried on the fabric.

Stretch the fabric as you glue to smooth out the bumps and to fit the contours.

Step 10: Tap Into the Sole...

Wait, that's tape the soles with duct tape.

Do the flat part first with strips of overlapping duct tape.

Cut a piece of duct tape that will go around the outer edge.

Cut notches every so often so that you can tape down the sections to follow the contour without having a tape bump.

Step 11: Moon-mission or Firefighting Boots...

Time to get dangerous...

Break out that hot glue gun and crank it up to high.

Use at your own risk. Hot glue can burn and will penetrate porous fabrics thus transferring the heat directly to your sensitive nerve endings under the skin.

Use a ball of paper towels or a heavy rag/face towel to press the fabric into the melted hot glue to stick.

Apply a line of hot glue in sections and from the inside with your hand in a towel, stick the fabric and hold it a few seconds until the glue starts to set.

Start by hot gluing in the heel of the fabric boot to the foxing.

Hot glue the middle part of the fabric boot to the sole. Stretch the fabric gently as you go along to smooth out the seams.

Finish gluing the middle part of the fabric boot to the toebox.

Step 12: Time to Put a Ribbon on It...

Or tie it up...

Reposition the shoelace reinforcements so that they are centered on the boot.

Hold it up to the light to find the prepunched holes.

Using an awl, icepick or your homemade instrument of choice, poke through to enlarge the holes in the fabric.

Thread the string/rope you will be using as your shoelace. I put some tape on the end to make it stiff and pointy so it would be easier to pull through the "eyelets".

Tidy up the lacing and trim off the ends of the shoelaces.

Step 13: If the Shoe Fits, ...

So, here I am, kicking back and sippin' sweet tea because somebody commandeered my gmjhowe's Manager's Command and Control Seat of Righteousness (Captain Kirk's Chair).

If you want utter chaos, or do something random, just think about making these fine kelseymh's High Order Derivative Common Sensible Soles of Obviousness (clown shoes). You can't have fun without them. Do not try to use at the same time while chewing bubble gum.

It's OK to add lumberjack spiked lug soles if you want to make Lithium Rain Fuzzy Math Common Sensible Boots of Obviousness, because those boots are made for walkin...

And please, I do not need to hear about how everyone wanted to run away and join the circus...or clowns scare you.

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