Bootcovers are a great technique to save money and ensure accurate, fitting costume shoes! Knee high and thigh high boots can be pricey and often are hard to find with flat soles. This method is perfect for those knee-high Sailor Moon boots, especially when they don’t come in the right color.
-1/2 to 1 yd stretch vinyl (or other fabric, at least 2 way stretch)
-Small straight pins and/or tape
-Small sharp scissors
-Glue for vinyl
Choosing a base shoe
I like using a pump as a base for my boots. Look for something with the right toe and heel height you want. You don’t have to worry about much else, since you’re going to cover it with fabric.
Trace around your foot and leg to get the basic shape of the boot cover. Start out too large, try it on and take it in. You may want to start on paper or cheaper fabric first. Below is an example of the basic shape for ankle length boot. Adjust the shape for high heels and higher boot tops. Trace your legs for tall boots!
Pin & Sew
After cutting out an inner and outer piece, pin them right sides together, and securely sew the front and the back seams. (Remember, pin holes stay in vinyl, so pin within your seam allowance or use tape instead!) Then, flip your piece right side out.
Finish the top of the boots with a hem, trim, or whatever details they have. For example, on my Sailor Mercury boots, I add the white trim to the top at this point. For these Rayearth boots, I did a foldover top.
Try on your boot cover and pin it down to the shoe.
Mark where the vinyl needs to be trimmed to meet the bottom of the shoe.
Trim away the excess vinyl from the bottom of the cover.
Glue the edge of the vinyl down the shoe. Start at the back and work your way to the toe, stretching it out carefully to avoid any wrinkling. Use masking tape or pins to secure the fabric as it dries. I have yet to find the perfect glue for this. I like E600 or Shoe Goo – pick something that stretches a bit, has a strong hold, and works on vinyl.
Optional: Cut and glue a piece of vinyl on the heel first. This is what I did for my Sailor Mercury boots, as the heel was white and the boot cover was blue. I didn’t need to for Fuu”s boots.
Now you have an awesome bootcover! It was easier than you thought, right? No you get to go do the other foot. I get SO many compliments on these, and they are so cheap and simple to make. Below are my first Sailor Mercury boot covers. Sorry, I don’t have a picture of these as I was making them. The process is basically the same as the Rayearth boots pictured.
Questions? Comments? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.