DIY Baby Shoes That Are Too Cute to Pass Up

NOV 20, 2018 updated May 18, 2021

Both soft and flexible, handmade baby shoes are ready to keep little feet protected! Using just two fat quarters of fabric, baby shoes make a great stash busting project, or you can mix-and-match designs with Fill-a-Yard™ to make multiple pairs from one yard. 

But before you get started, let’s talk fabric and designs. With over 20 fabrics and 750,000 designs to choose from at Spoonflower, the options for tiny toes are endless. When choosing a fabric, stick to lightweight woven fabrics like Organic Cotton Sateen (the fabric we used for this tutorial!), Cotton Poplin or Lightweight Cotton Twill. Thicker fabrics are more difficult to work with, especially when you’re working with multiple layers. For a pair of shoes with a little stretch, Modern Jersey or Organic Cotton Knit will do the trick.

When you’re choosing the design for your shoes, scale is key! At the largest size, a finished baby shoe is only 5″ long x 2.5″ wide, so you’ll want to choose a design with smaller design elements. To help narrow your results when searching the Marketplace, try adding ditsy to your search terms. A ditsy print is small in scale, and the design motifs are usually scattered or random rather than being ordered in a definable pattern like rows or stripes.

We also recommend previewing designs on a swatch instead of a fat quarter or yard. To adjust your preview, select the swatch option in the Choose-a-Size drop-down menu once you’ve selected your design. This will give you a better idea of what parts of the design will fit within your shoe pattern pieces.

Now that you’ve got the basics covered, let’s get started! 


  • Outer Fabric: fat quarter or ¼ yard
  • Lining Fabric: fat quarter or ¼ yard
  • Sole Fabric: fat quarter 
    • Faux leather will provide a nice grip for a standing or walking baby but you can also use Tulip® Puffy™ Dimensional Fabric Paint to create a fun non-slip sole pattern!*
  • Spoonflower’s free baby shoe pattern
    • Available in sizes 0-15 months
  • ¼ yard fusible lightweight interfacing
  • ¼” wide braided elastic – the length will be determined by the shoe size below, but will require no more than 10″
  • Thread
  • Sharp hand needles
  • Pins (applique pins work really well for me)
  • Iron
  • Fabric scissors
  • Sewing machine – We’re using our BERNINA B350
  • ¼ yard fusible batting (for extra cushion, optional)
    • We’re using Fairfield Fusi-Boo Fusible Batting
  • Corner pusher (optional)
  • Tailor’s ham (optional)
  • 2 Safety Pins (not required–helpful when working with elastic)

*All seam allowances are ¼” unless otherwise noted

Step 1. Cut out your pattern pieces. 

Select your paper pattern page from the PDF based on the final shoe size you’ll be making. Then print out the page and cut out the pattern pieces. When printing your pattern, make sure to select Actual Size on your printing options. To double check that the pattern printed at the correct scale, make sure the test square measures 2”x2”.

Next, lay out your pattern pieces on the fabric and cut out your pattern pieces. We suggest making a mark at the center of the top and bottom of the toe and sole with a washable fabric marker. When you’re done cutting, you should have the following pieces:

  • Toe
    • 2 outer fabric
    • 2 lining fabric
    • 2 interfacing
  • Sole
    • 2 outer fabric
    • 2 lining fabric
    • 2 interfacing
    • 2 fusible batting (optional)
  • Heel
    • 2 outer fabric
    • 2 lining fabric
    • 2 interfacing

Cut two pieces of elastic for each pair of shoes using the guide below: 

  • US Size 1 – 3 ¾” long
  • US Size 2 – 4” long
  • US Size 3 – 4 ¼” long
  • US Size 4 – 4 ½” long
  • US Size 5 – 4 ¾” long

Step 2. Trim the batting – optional. 

If using the optional batting, trim your sole pieces an additional ¼” from the edge so they’re slightly smaller than your outer fabric sole pieces.

Step 3. Attach the interfacing

Iron on the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the outer pieces for the toe, heel and sole following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re adding the optional fusible batting to the sole for extra cushion, iron it in place on the wrong side of the sole. The batting should be sandwiched between the outer sole fabric and interfacing. 

Step 4. Create the heel

Pin the right sides together of the outer heel and lining heel, and sew the longest edge (labeled A on your pattern). Press the seam open and trim about 1/8” off each side of the seam. 

Make a Pair of Baby Shoes with This Free Pattern | Spoonflower Blog

A tailor’s ham helps when pressing curves!

Fold the heel in half (wrong sides should be together now) and press the seam. Repeat the above steps for the second heel. 

Step 5. Create the Elastic Casing 

Sew a ⅜”seam from the folded edge to create a casing for the elastic. 

Step 6. Insert the elastic

Attach a safety pin to one edge of the elastic. Insert the safety pin and elastic into one open end of the casing. Once all of the elastic is inside, secure the unpinned end of the elastic with a small stitch to hold in place. Push the elastic through the rest of the casing and once you have reached the edge, secure the other side with a small stitch. The elastic for the heel should now be secure! Repeat the above steps on the second heel. 

Step 7: Create the Toe

Lay the finished heel piece on top of the main toe piece (finished elastic edge should face towards the center of the toe piece). Now it’s time to create a baby shoe sandwich: place the toe lining piece right sides together on top of the heel piece.

Here’s what your baby shoe sandwich should look like:

  • Bottom layer – Outer toe piece, printed side up
  • Middle layer – Finished heel piece,
  • Top layer – Lining toe piece, printed side down

To stitch the heel and toe pieces together, we’re going to break it into two steps:

Part 1: Starting from the far left side, stitch to the center of the toe piece, making sure to catch both toe piece layers and the heel piece.

Part 2: Remove the fabric from your machine and create a second toe/heel sandwich (are you hungry yet?) for the other end of the heel. Stitch in place. These stitches should meet up with the stitches you made in part 1.

Turn the top of the shoe right side out. Delicately press the top of the toe piece and heel if necessary. We recommend using a press cloth during this step! Repeat the above steps to create the second shoe top.

 Step 8: Attach the Sole 

Place the sole fabric that you want to be on the bottom of the shoe right side down on top of the shoe top. Next, place the lining sole fabric right side up underneath the completed shoe top (be sure to line up any center lines during this process).

Pin in between center lines and leave a 1” opening on one side. For thicker fabrics like Lightweight Cotton Twill, we recommend leaving a 1 ½” opening. 

Pro tip: It’s best to leave this gap towards the front of the toe or the back of the heel–avoid the side seam, if you can.

Sew all the way around with a ¼” seam, and then trim only the sewn edges to ⅛”. Repeat for the second shoe. 

Step 9. Finish the Baby Shoe

Turn the shoe right side out–you may need a corner pusher to complete this process. 

Fold in the lining fabric and the outer fabric at the unfinished opening and pin. 

Hand stitch the opening closed.

Make a Pair of Baby Shoes with This Free Pattern | Spoonflower Blog

Press any wrinkles and all finished seams. Repeat on the second shoe to complete your pair of adorable, baby shoes! 

Make a Pair of Baby Shoes with This Free Pattern | Spoonflower Blog

Shop our pick of tiny designs for tiny toes

Make a Pair of Baby Shoes with This Free Pattern | Spoonflower Blog

Pair your handmade shoes with a cheater quilt designed by Spoonflower designer Esther Nariyoshi for the perfect me-made baby shower gift. See the how-to here.

DIY Modern Cheater Quilt | Spoonflower Blog

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  • Maisie Blahnik

    I am so sorry to be so inept but I am stuck at step 8- Does the sole go on top of the toe and the sole liner go underneath the toe so the toes piece is in between the two like bologna, or do both go on top of the toe? I can’t visualize it and I can’t sort it out from the pictures ANd you don’t say anything about easing, which I assume we do. Plese help. Baby due in 8 weeks and I need the time for seam ripping! 🙂

    • Hi Maisie,

      Thanks for your interest in our project! Noelle shared that the need to ease the pattern pieces can really depend on the fabric type you are using. If Cypress Cotton Canvas or Fleece is used, for example, you may prefer to use basting stitches to make the toe portion a bit easier to reduce any puckering, but the easiest and quick option for all fabric types was to use applique pins and clips. The appliqué pins she uses in the photos help immensely with keeping excess fabric from gathering around the toe. If you’re using regular sewing pins, it can push the fabric further into the shoe and make it harder to sew as well. If neither are an option, basting can help and will make it easy to work around while stitching. I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask!

      Wishing all the best for you and your baby-to-be!


    • Hi Chrystal,

      Thanks for your interest in our baby shoe tutorial. We would suggest checking out your local fabric store for non-slip fabric. You can also use faux leather. Best of luck with the project!


    • Hi Bri,

      That’s a great question! We’ve reached out to out the pattern designer to request this information and will update the post as soon as it’s available.

      Best Regards,
      -Meredith F.

      • Hi Bri,

        Please find the measurements for each size based on the sole of the shoe below.

        Size 1 (0-3 months) = 3.75” length
        Size 2 (3-6 months) = 4” length
        Size 3 (6-9 months) = 4.25” length
        Size 4 (9-12 months) = 4.5” length
        Size 5 (12-15 months) = 4.75-5” length

        I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask!

        Best Regards,
        -Meredith F.

  • Marge Sandberg

    Thanks for the shoe pattern. Your instructions were great along with the pictures. I only made one mistake! But of course that was mine not yours.
    I was able to make white little shoes for a baptism. Just what I was looking for.

    • Hi Marge,

      We’re so happy to hear you enjoyed the pattern and found the instructions clear. We’ll be sure to pass this feedback along to the pattern maker.

      Best Regards,
      -Meredith F.

  • Muchas gracias por el patrón y el tutorial, una consulta el patrón incluye la medida de las costuras?

    • Hola Alexandra,

      ¡Nos alegra que hayas disfrutado del patrón! Todos los permisos de costura son ¼” a menos que se indique lo contrario.


      (Por favor, disculpe cualquier error, usé un traductor en línea)

  • Thanks for this great pattern and tutorial! Just finished my third pair for my first grandchild. Such a fun little project! He is going to have a wardrobe of these. Love them so much!

    • Hi Priscilla,

      We have not tried this tutorial with leather and cannot make a leather recommendation here. If you do try it out, we’d love to hear how it goes!

      All the best,

      Laurie S.

  • I\’m in love with these little shoes! I just finished making three pairs (sizes 2,3, and 4) for a new baby\’s first winter. For the soles of size 4 I used pleather, which looks and feels lovely and has great grip for toddling. Thank you so much for making this pattern available!

  • Made these last night for my daughter named Meredith! I found that the suggested length of the elastic for the back to be way too long. I cut off nearly an inch of the suggested length for size 5. Any thoughts on where I went wrong?

    • Hi Leah,

      Thanks so much for sharing your feedback and we’re sorry for the unexpected trouble! The length of the elastic can vary based on your preference, especially if it’s for a child that often kicks off their socks and shoes. The recommended length is a bit longer just so ensure the shoes aren’t too but if you want more of a rippled look, we recommend shortening the elastic. Please keep in mind it also depends on the elastic you are using. Noelle used this cotton elastic for the shoes in this tutorial. I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask!

  • Thanks for the great pattern! I tagged spoon flower on Instagram if you’d like to see pictures @maria.rose.sews

    • Thanks so much, Maria! We took a peek at your post on Instagram and the shoes are absolutely adorable. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Thank you so much for the pattern and tutorial!! I\’ve struggled following patterns in the past and your tutorial really spelled it out plainly. My finished shoes look amazing. I\’ve made a handful of these for baby showers and they have been very well received!!

    I am curious if there are any thoughts to making larger size patterns of these for kiddos? I would love to make some of these for my toddler to wear around the house in the winter months.

    • Hi Kyrie,

      We’re so happy to hear you’ve enjoyed this tutorial! Unfortunately we don’t have plans to expand the size range at this time, we’d love to know what size range you’d be interested in in the event we are able to expand.

  • Hi! Thank you for the tutorial! I keep having an issue when sewing the bottom to the top, the top (toe section) always seems to be bigger than the sole and causes a “gathering” on the toe? What ami I doing wrong?

    • Hi the next time I make these I am going to baste the top to the sole, maybe in a step 7.5. I think that will help with the ease.

    • Hi Sandy,

      We’re sorry for the trouble! Noelle recommends using smaller pins or using clips to prevent gathering at the toe. The appliqué pins she uses in the photos help immensely with keeping excess fabric from gathering around the toe. If you’re using regular sewing pins, it can push the fabric further into the shoe and make it harder to sew as well. If neither are an option, basting can help and will make it easy to work around while stitching. I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask!

  • These little shoes are adorable!!! I just made a pair for my 3 month old daughter. So simple to make. I’m not quite a beginner, and certainly not a pro and these were a snap to make thanks to the instructions and printable pattern. I will definitely be making more in other sizes and fabric designs. Thanks so much Spoonflower for posting this pattern. I look forward to more great instructions.

    • Hi Lea,
      We’re so happy to hear you’re enjoying the free baby shoe pattern! I’ve got this project on my sewing table for this weekend. -Meredith from Spoonflower

  • I loved making these! I am very much a beginner sewer and pregnant with my first baby- I made these on a cold rainy afternoon with one of my best friends. They turned out beautifully!

    Thanks very much!

    • Hi Irene,
      We’re so happy to hear you made a pair of the baby shoes. We’d love to see a photo if you’d be willing to share!

  • Love these! Ive found that neoprene is the best bottom fabric for little walkers! It has a great grip and withstands a little outside play too!

  • Me encanta la costura y las manualidades pero soy incapacitada y tengo que hacer las cosas al paso suave para no ladtimarme