May 22, 2010

DIY ankle boots

Here's some poor person fun I had this morning! I'm pretty pleased with myself for this one. It was a scary thunderstorm outside. Dark, startlingly loud thunder, raining super hard. The perfect morning for a DIY project I dreamed up a few nights ago.

I've been doing an intense spring cleaning all week long, which basically involved moving all my furniture to other rooms in the house, selling large pieces on craigslist, and buying new furniture and linens. A complete re-decoration. This meant going through all my clothing, shoes, and accessories, and re-arranging my storage. In the process I came across these boots, buried up high on a shelf in the darkest back corner. Clearly I had not been wearing them regularly. So scary.

Guys, I seriously don't know what I was thinking. All I know is they were on sale, and it was the mid-2000s. At that point in my life I probably thought these were a timeless classic.

I wore them once. It should be a known fact that style doesn't come easily to me. I actually don't think of myself as having very good style at all. I'm just a sucker for "things." And "finds."

Anyhow, back to the DIYing. So I was like, what do I do with these ugly boots? I could wait till fall and sell them, maybe? Then something popped into my head. It was this J.Crew ankle boot from last fall. They were nothing special, but looked seriously great in all the catalog shots. I loved them more than you can know in a gray suede. But alas, J. Crew wanted like $300 for them. Too much, I said to myself in the fall time.

But then I looked at this big slouchy boot again. And wait, look at that seam! I shall have my J. Crew boot in black!

So I got to cutting. With my Ikea scissors, because clearly I'm no expert leathersmith.

There is this one little issue I realized. There is a white lining material that might show. So I trimmed the lining a little shorter than the outer.

One boot done!

Not bad, right?

Voila, ankle boots!

I realize that the white lining still shows a tiny bit. It's not that bad. I'm thinking of using some leftover strips of leather to create a raw edged trim to line the opening. I'm not sure yet if I want to. If I do, I'll update you on how that works out. I could also just dye/color the white parts black somehow.

And now, what to do with this extra leather leg warmer that is left over?

In conclusion, cutting up your things can be such a good time. I have some more DIY ideas in store for the summer that don't involve much more than a little cut and sew. I'll be sure to share them all with you! Hope you enjoy!


Charlotte said...

That is brilliant!! Well done! They look perfect - I'm eyeing up all my old boots now!!!

Charlotte xx

The Style Rail

chukwubuikem said...

it looks great! i also have some diy ideas that i plan on doing for the summer!

ann said...

So cute & clever!

lumikha said...

aaaaggghh! this is one of the most brilliant diys i've ever encountered...and easy too! thank you! :)

Carissa said...

I. LOVE. YOU. and your genius ideas.

Cory said...

Nice, they look really good!

You could use the excess leather to make some fingerless gloves, ones that just go to the knuckles and have a thumb opening, shouldn't be too hard if you have a sewing machine and needle that can deal with leather.

Lisa said...

thought you might want to know your feature is up in my blog.

shoeless simone said...

I did the same thing with a pair of boots and had some issues with the white lining as well! But these look great, good job

-Shoeless Simone

Lara said...

This actually worked out great! I mean, you can always re-line like you said. I would have never thought of it.

Amy T said...

brilliant DIY!
i might try and do that to some of my old boots and recycle it.
very inspired!

Un café avec 5 pailles said...

this is genius !

commodestyle said...

Great idea!
Good for you!

commodestyle said...

Great idea!
Good for you!

wardrobeexperience said...

crazy girl! but brilliant idea! i would have never dared to cut up genuine leather boots - i liked those being big and slouchy - but i love the amazing result.
have fun with your new booties!


Hard Liquor, Soft Holes said...


hereisafantasylikenowhereelse said...

I was very worried for you before you reached the end of your "presentation," but you really pulled through. A+, Susie.

P.S. I think it's great that you've had so much time to post (and explain your closet) in the summer. I think that you're onto something, but I don't have the secret to knowing how to become a full-time blogger (or else I would be doing the same).

Emma said...

I just came across this post through google as I had the same idea for a pair of my boots that i never wear. Though mine have a zip on them which is going to make things rather difficult :/
If you still have the spare leather material, you should decorate the shoes with it, maybe make some bows or false straps :)

Jenna said...

great job! and you have so many scraps left, too. you could make bows or rosettes and attach them. . love it!

Anonymous said...

What a great job!!!!
The best idea I have ever seen!
Congratulations to you!
Cutting this ugly kneehigh boots into sexy ankle-boots ist the best you could do!!!!!