Thursday, October 16, 2014

How to Make a Dance Shoe

How to Make a Dance Shoe

Dancers are very well aware of how important it is to have a good, comfortable dance shoe. Furthermore, all dancers know how quickly dance shoes wear out. In today's uncertain economy, everyone is trying to save as much money as she can. For those of you who love to dance but don't have the extra money to keep replacing worn-out shoes, you can follow a few easy steps to make your own low-traction dance shoe.



    Find an old pair of comfortable shoes (preferably a shoe with a smooth bottom). The shoe should not have any type of heel, but should be perfectly flat. Ballet flats are often good for this type of project.


    Trace the sole of the shoe onto a piece of cardboard. Follow the shape of the sole as closely as possible. Do not trace around the top of the shoe. Stick closely to the outline of the actual sole.


    Cut out the shape. This gives you a pattern for the sole of your new dance shoe.


    Cut out the leather for the top part of the shoe. To do this, place your pattern for the sole of the shoe onto the leather, then cut around the pattern. Stop just before you get to the heel portion of the shoe. You will only need enough leather to cover the top half of the shoe; the heel area of the pattern is where your foot will go into the shoe.


    Cut out the pattern for the sole of the shoe. This time, cut the entire shape of the shoe-sole pattern out of the leather. Cut a little extra around the edges of the pattern: no more than 1/2 inch.


    Seal the pieces of leather by coating one side with wax. To do this, use a heat gun to warm the leather, then spread wax onto it. After spreading wax on the leather, use the heat gun again to melt the wax. Do this until leather becomes dark. It will usually take three repetitions.


    Treat the other side of the pieces of leather with hot glue. Flip the leather over and warm other side with heat gun. Place hot glue on the surface, using a small piece of wood to spread the glue over the leather. Continue until leather is dark brown.


    Reheat both pieces of leather until they are sticky. They should be warm but not burn your hands.


    Mold the two pieces of leather into a shoe shape. The sole piece of leather will overlap the top portion of the shoe, and you will be able to press them together. They will be easily molded while they are warm, then behave like one piece once they have cooled off. You may need to heat them several times to get the perfect fit. This is a slip-on shoe, but you can use the excess leather on the bottom piece to mold the back of the shoe to hold your foot more securely.


    Allow the shoes to cool. Give them at least 24 hours in a warm, dry place. You are now ready to try out your new, custom practice shoes.

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