Both of these are made from leftover fabrics.
Crafts, Projects, Sewing

DIY Shoe Bags

Shoe bags are great if you are a frequent traveler, they will keep your dirty soles away from your clothes. They would also work for storing shoes, it would keep the dust off if you no longer have the box. A shoe bag would also be a good way to transport your slippers around while visiting friends or family.

Both of these bags will be created using scrap material.

This is a quick and easy project, it only took a couple of hours and I made two bags in that time. I used recycled materials for both, one you will recognize from my Quilting project and the other was in my fabric stash. Each of these bags is a different size and you can make these to fit any size and type of shoe you would like.

Here's what you'll need to make some shoes bags.

Here’s what I used for this project:

  • Fabric remnants
  • Tape Measure
  • Thread
  • Fabric scissors & pinking shears
  • Sewing Machine
  • Ribbon
  • Safety Pin
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Pair of shoes
  • Fabric glue

For the larger bag I figured that two quilting squares wouldn’t really be enough, so I settled on four per side. With the smaller bag I wanted it to be able to hold short boots and sneakers, so I selected a pair of boots to use as a guide.

I folded and laid out the fabric then slid the boots in-between. I gathered up both the bottom and top fabric and positioned my hands to find the mid point on either side that left a bit of room for the shoes to move (and also for possible errors). As the one side was the fabric edge I used a pin on the other side to mark to spot to cut after making sure I had factored in a seam allowance. The measurements will vary based on the size of shoe that you would want to use so I haven’t included any in this tutorial.

I chose to position the shoes and cut the fabric so the fold line for the two sides was at the bottom and the order in which I sewed it meant that the ribbon needed to be cut into two pieces, instead of one long piece. There are pros and cons to each way, I won’t have to worry about keeping the ribbon from sliding into the bag since it’s in two pieces. This would be the point that you would want to think about doing things a little different if you’d like one continuous piece of ribbon to close the bag. Either way works, it just depends on what you want.

Using pinking shears to ensure the edge doesn't fray, I'm using a measuring tape to measure the size as I cut. This is to make sure the edge is straight.

Using the tape measure and the point I marked, I started to cut the fabric for the smaller bag. I used the pinking shears to keep the edges from fraying and moved the measuring tape up as I cut to make keep a straight line and even width.

For the larger bag I started to sew the quilting squares together. Two squares for each row and then I sewed the rows together. I continued till I had the front and back joined at the bottom.

At this point I moved to the iron. I ironed both fabrics and for the larger bag I ironed open the seams that joined the quilting squares and I also made sure the bottom was nicely pressed. This was also when I ironed down the top edge that will encase the ribbon, this step will depend on the thickness of the ribbon so keep that in mind. It was different for each of my bags, the smaller one has thicker ribbon than the larger.

Back at the sewing machine I selected the side that I would leave that top fabric loop open, that way the ribbon can come out and be tightened. This side currently has an unfinished edge, I just folded over 1/4″ inch of fabric and sewed all the way down that side. I cut off a little bit of the edge with the pinking shears to prevent fraying. I did this for both bags. I also used the pinking shears to trim the seams between the quilting squares to prevent fraying threads getting all over the shoes.

With both the loops sewn in place it's time to cut the ribbon and feed it through.

Next I sewed down the top fold we made with the iron. How far down from the top edge you place the stitches will again depend on the width of your ribbon.

You want some extra, but you also need to remember that once the bag is tightened you'll have extra ribbon to work with.

With one side of the bag laid out on the table, start unwinding the ribbon over top to measure how much you will need. You will need extra for tying, but remember you will get more ribbon once the bag has been pulled closed. Once you’ve measured cut the end that will be sewn in with the pinking shears and finish the other end with fabric scissors. Use this piece as a template for cutting the other piece of ribbon.

Attach a safety pin to the end of the ribbon being sewn in and use it to guide the ribbon to the other end. Repeat for the other side. Make sure there are no twists and the ribbon is lying flat before sewing it in.

Once the ribbon is through, it will be kept in place with stitches down the side of the fabric.

Then with right sides together I sewed up each side of the bag. Remember on the open side to sew up to but not past the point where the ribbon comes out. If you do the ribbon will not be able to pull the ribbon to close the bag.

These bags will be great for travel or even to tote your slippers around when you visit friends or family.

Turn the bags right side out and test the closure. To keep the edges of the ribbon from fraying I took a little fabric glue on a cotton swab and applied it the ends and left it to dry.

Using fabric glue on a cotton swab, I went along the ribbon edges just to seal the ends and prevent fraying.

The shoe bags are ready for shoes.

What is something that you always bring with you while traveling?

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