How to make shoelaces from fabric scraps

Pep up a plain pair of shoes with Maureen Cracknell’s step-by-step guide for how to make shoelaces. These super-cute scrappy patchwork laces are an ideal stash buster for your fabric collection.

How to make shoelaces patchwork tutorial

Oh hello super cute ida for transforming all those favourite fabric scraps that you can’t bear to part with! Give your favourite shoes a makeover and turn the smallest of fabric pieces into DIY-laces to spruce up a pair of your favourite lace-ups. Find more fantastic projects and tutorials (plus some super inspiring show and tells of her finished quilts) over on Maureen Cracknell’s blog.

You will need

  • Eight pieces of fabric, each 2in wide (totalling about 1½ times the final length of the laces when placed end to end)
  • A pair of lace-up shoes
  • Darning needle (size 13)

Finished size

Finished length will depend on the number of eyelets on the shoe:

  • 4–5 eyelets = 36in laces
  • 6–7 eyelets = 45in laces
  • 8–9 eyelets = 54in laces
  • 9+ eyelets = 72in laces

Alternatively, you can measure the existing laces in the shoes and match to that length.

How to make shoelaces from fabric scraps
Enjoy those special scraps that you can’t bear to part with every time you do up your shoes!

You Will Need

  • Fabric (See notes)
  • Shoes (A pair of lace up shoes)
  • Needle (Size 13 darning needle)
  • Thread

Total time:

Cutting out and joining

Step 1

Cut the fabric strips into small pieces, as desired, and arrange into two rows of equal length.

Step 2

Sew the rows of fabric together, one at a time. Take two strips of fabric and place them right sides together at a 90-degree angle. Pin in place (Fig 1).

How to make shoelaces Fig 1

Step 3

Sew the strips together on the diagonal, as pictured (Fig 2).

How to make shoelaces figure 2
Top tip: You can use a disappearing ink pen to mark your lines before stitching.

Step 4

Trim away excess fabric to create a ¼in allowance. Repeat until all of the pieces in one row are joined. Press seams open and then press lightly all over. Repeat with the remaining row.

Folding the strips

Step 1

Take one of the pieced strips, fold in half lengthways so that it is 1in wide and press (Fig 3).

How to make shoelaces Fig 3

Open the lace out and fold each of the raw fabric edges in to meet the central crease (Fig 4).

How to make patchwork shoelaces fig 4

Press and then fold the lace in half and press again. The lace will measure ½in wide. Repeat with the other pieced strip.

Step 2

Sew down both sides of the fabric laces, starting with the long open edge opposite the fold. Leave both short ends unstitched (Fig 5).

How to make shoelaces Fig 5
For an even quicker project (that requires slightly bigger bits of fabric) make the laces from a single length of fabric to get the effect without the piecing.

Finishing off

Step 1

Pull one end of a shoelace through the opening of the darning needle and use to thread through each eyelet in the shoe. Repeat to lace the other shoe. Once laced, finish the ends of the shoelaces. Fold over the raw ends by ¼in and press (Fig 6).

How to make shoelaces Fig 6-7

Fold by a further  ¼in and press again (Fig 7) – this will hide the unfinished edges. Then sew in place by hand (Fig 8) or use fabric glue to secure in place.

how to make shoelaces
Top tip: With such a narrow area of print on show, a large pattern will be lost on these laces – use a ditsy print, or a very simple repeat pattern (like stripes!) for maximum impact.



Now you’ve learnt the basics, have fun raiding your stash for different fabrics to create different effects. Using a single fabric (as below) creates a more understated look.

DIY fabric shoelaces tutorial