How to Make Moccasins

Four Methods:Making Your TemplateTransferring Your TemplateSewing Your Moccasins TogetherAdding Embellishments

In the cold winter months, your feet can catch a chill just from walking around your home. Park yourself in front of the fire and make yourself a pair of moccasins to warm up your feet, keep comfy, and stay stylish while you're hanging out indoors. Follow the steps below to make a pair of basic leather moccasins.

Method 1
Making Your Template

  1. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 1
    1
    Find a paper grocery bag and cut it open so that it is at its largest possible surface area. You need to surface of the paper bag to be large enough to trace both of your feet.
  2. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 2
    2
    Take a pen or pencil and trace your left foot with a seam allowance of about 1/8 of an inch.
  3. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 3
    3
    Keep your foot on the paper and trace your fingers straight down from the high inside arch of your foot, marking dots where they connect to the paper. Use a pen or pencil to draw a straight line by connecting the dots you just marked.
  4. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 4
    4
    Lift your foot off of the template and continue the line you just created down to the heel of the outline and extend it one inch past the end of the heel. This outline will be the sole of your moccasin and should look like a foot with a T-shape near the middle.
  5. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 5
    5
    Put your palms face down on the paper and place the tips of your thumbs on the top of the T-shape with your nails and top knuckles touching.
  6. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 6
    6
    Squeeze your fingers together and bring the index fingers to touch. Trace the outside edge of your hands onto the template.
  7. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 7
    7
    Start at the side of the template where you just marked the outside of your palms and draw lines to the tip of the foot outline and the base of the heel to create a triangular shape with a rounded peak. Leave 12 inch (1.3 cm) of space between the rounded peak of the triangle and your toes, and one inch of space between the base of the triangle and your heel.
  8. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 8
    8
    Cut the entire triangle out. This is your template for your left foot. If you flip it over, you have a template for your right foot. Be careful when cutting, you have to get it exactly right, otherwise it might be too big or too small

Method 2
Transferring Your Template

  1. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 9
    1
    Take a large piece of leather at least 20 inches (50.8 cm) by 16 inches (40.6 cm) and trace the entire triangular left foot template on the inside of the leather using a pencil. Write a "L" on the inside of the foot to remind yourself that this piece will be for your left moccasin and put a dot where the T intersects.
  2. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 10
    2
    Flip the template over and repeat the previous step for your right foot. Write a "R" on the inside of the leather and again, mark a dot where the T intersects.
  3. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 11
    3
    Once you've transferred both triangle templates, cut out the foot outline from the paper template. You are only cutting out the sole template, which looks like a rough outline of your foot.
  4. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 12
    4
    Trace the left sole onto a new piece of the leather and write "L" on the inside to remind yourself that this outline is for the left sole.
  5. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 13
    5
    Flip the sole template over and repeat the previous step for your right foot, being sure to mark a "R" on the inside of the leather.
  6. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 14
    6
    Cut out all four pieces from the leather using scissors.

Method 3
Sewing Your Moccasins Together

  1. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 15
    1
    Take a Glover's needle and thread it with the artificial sinew thread leaving a one-inch tail. You will need to have a long enough piece of thread to sew the entire shoe together. One arm-span length will be enough.
  2. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 16
    2
    Place the left triangular piece on top of the left sole piece with the rough sides facing one another. The rounded top of the triangular piece should match up with the toes of the sole outline.
  3. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 17
    3
    Begin at the middle of the toes and start to sew the edges of the sole and the triangular piece together with a simple stitch of your choice. A whip stitch works well for moccasins. Complete a whip stitch by tying a knot in the end of the sinew and starting at the bottom of the fabric, poking the needle up through both layers, and back down in an equal line with the upward stitch to create a tight stitch that hugs the outside of the two pieces of leather together. Continue to poke the needle through the two layers at a slight angle, coming up next to the previous stitch.[1]
    • Work from the top of the toes around to the heel and back to the front toes.
    • For a more polished look, plan for a larger seam allowance and fold the edges of the leather template inward before sewing.
  4. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 18
    4
    Fold the moccasin in half and sew up the back of the heel where your Achilles tendon would be. Cross-stitches add a nice touch when sewing the back heel.
  5. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 19
    5
    Grab your scissors and cut a slit about one to two inches thick from the top of the ankle stitch inward to the dot you made earlier where the T-shape intersects with the leather. Do not cut this piece entirely off, it will act as the tongue of your shoe.
  6. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 20
    6
    Repeat for the right foot using the same exact process.
  7. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 21
    7
    Trim any loose threads and make sure your stitches are tight and you're finished!

Method 4
Adding Embellishments

  1. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 22
    1
    Include a leather fringe on the top of your moccasin. Take a piece of leather about three inches thick and long enough to cover the rim of the top of your moccasin.
    • Cut out the rectangle using scissors and proceed to snip the leather with your scissors into strips, leaving about one inch of solid, uncut leather on top. You can make each fringe the same size or alternate random widths.
    • Take the fringed leather piece and trace the solid part of the leather around the rim of the moccasin with the fringe facing outward. Be sure to have the two sides of the leather rectangle meet in the back of the shoe so that the fringe seam matches the heel seam.
    • Thread your Glover's needle with enough artificial sinew to stitch the entire rim of the moccasin. A piece as long as the distance from your fingers to your elbow will be more than enough.
    • Sew on the fringed piece of leather to the top rim of the moccasin, using whatever creative stitch you desire. You can also use a different type of thread such as colored silk to personalize your moccasins even further.
    • Repeat with the other moccasin.
  2. Image titled Make Moccasins Step 23
    2
    Bead your fringe. If you want to add beads of any color, shape, or size to your moccasins, the fringe is a perfect and simple place to add them. Simply thread the beads onto the ends of the fringe and tie a knot at the end to keep the beads from falling off.
    • If you want to be absolutely sure that your beads won't come off, you can add a bit of hot glue to the center of the knot to prevent it from unravelling.

Tips

  • Use thick enough leather to keep your feet warm and protect them from the ground.
  • You can use a sole insert to add support to your shoes if you plan to wear them often.
  • Make sure the threads and knots are sewn tight and stiff.

Things You'll Need

  • Artificial sinew
  • Glover's needles
  • A paper bag
  • Leather (at least 20 inches by 16 inches)
  • Pen or pencil
  • Scissors
  • Extra leather for fringe (optional)
  • Beads (optional)
  • Hot glue (optional)

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Sewing Footwear