a quick little project

I hope you're not like me with projects that have been in your to-do pile for years and years. But if you are, let's agree together to get some of these things finished. Many of them probably won't even take very long. In an effort to cross some things off my creative to-do list, I'm sharing a quick and easy project with you today.

doilies, shoes, DIY, project, sewing, crochet, ardorn

I have had these little shoes for probably 10 years. I think my original idea was to either embroider them or use iron-ons of some kind (I had some monarch butterfly iron-ons at some point that may have been intended for them). It's been so long I can't even remember. How sad is that?! More recently (but still a couple years ago) I decided I wanted to adorn them with doilies. I was adding doilies to purses and I had a collection of little doilies that I thought would work perfectly. And they did.

All you need for this is a pair of shoes, some doilies, thread and a needle. Fabric shoes will probably be easiest to sew. Mine are little Chinese, Mary Jane-style shoes from an import store, but any shoe with enough space at the toes for a doily will work. Espadrilles would be perfect. I bought these vintage doilies from a shop called Rachel Scraps on Etsy, but you could crochet your own (snowflake patterns would be lovely) or find some in your local thrift shops.

First, place your doilies on the shoes where you want them to be. I found that I didn't need pins to keep the doilies in place, but if you're more comfortable pinning them, go ahead. I used a doubled up thread and hid my knot on the top beneath the center of the doily. I secured the doily by sewing stitches in circles around first the center round and then the middle round and finally around the outside edges. It was too hard to sew from inside the shoe, so I kept the needle on top at all times using a simple running stitch.

doily, sewing, shoe, DIY, adorned shoe, doily adorned shoe

I kept the fingers of my left hand inside the shoe and used my left thumb to keep the doily flat and in place while I worked the needle with my right hand. I made sure that the thread on top of the shoe was worked into the crochet stitches of the doily before working it into the fabric of the shoe.

When I finished making stitches in a circle around the center of the doily, I worked my stitches up through one of the connecting crochet stitches and into the next ring. (Because I wanted to secure the doily and keep my stitches invisible, I never stitched directly into the shoe, but always into first the crochet stitches and then the fabric of the shoe).

applique, doilies, shoes, DIY, shoe adornment, doily adornment

I sewed around that next ring of crochet in the same manner as the center and then I worked stitches out to the edges. For these doilies I made sure that each scallop in the crochet design had at least two stitches holding it down.

When I got to the end I worked stitches in a straight line back to the center of the doily and pulled my needle into the inside of the shoe.

needle, thread, shoe, doily, sewing, DIY

Next, I cut the ends of the thread by the needle to separate it into two pieces.

needle, thread, shoe, doily, sewing, DIY

Finally, I took the two ends and knotted them four or five times inside of the shoe.

I did the same thing with the second shoe and now I have a pair of doily-adorned shoes just in time for the warm, spring weather.

DIY doily adorned shoes

What projects have you been working on lately?


  1. Anne - those are charming shoes! So cute for spring, once the mud goes away. I don't have years of unfinished projects but I do have loads of scrap fabrics that need a project to use them up :) Perhaps a fabric flower for my shoes? Thanks for the idea!

    1. Thanks, Sharon! There are so many things you could applique on plain fabric shoes. I was thinking even little patchwork scraps would be fun. A fabric flower would be lovely! Happy crafting!

  2. I love your doily shoes Anne! They look so pretty and unique! I have been working on making jewellery recently. I find it very therapeutic. I hope you have some nice weather conditions in which to wear your lovely shoes. :-)

    1. Aww, thanks, Simone! I haven't worn them outside yet, but I have them ready. Glad you've been working on jewelry. I hope you keep going with that since it brings you so much joy!

  3. So cute. I have some crocheted flowers I started in a flurry last summer but not two of the same so could be odd on shoes. Maybe I could sew them to a canvas bag though. Hmmm... now you've got me thinking. :) Enjoy the shoes.

    1. Thanks, Dana. Crochet flowers would be lovely. I don't know what yours look like, but a corsage of them would be great on a bag or a jacket. You could put them on a pin back and have it be removable. A sun hat would be fun, too!


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