How to Sew Shoelaces

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Introduction: How to Sew Shoelaces

About: I have been crafting as long as I can remember. I love sewing the most, but also love jewelry making, baking, painting and any kind of papercraft. I like to collect things I find on the beach and last but no...

Individual shoelaces are really easy to make and will make your shoes unique.
I always check out the shoes people wear. I love it when someone wears interesting shoes and one way to restyle your shoes inexpensively is to make your own laces. Every shoe looks better with unique laces and here I will show you how to make them.

I have entered this instructable in the SEW COOL contest. If you like it please vote for me.

Step 1: This Is What You Need:

- strips of fabric and two needles (or a bias binding making tool but two needles are sufficient)
- optional: ready made bias binding
- optional: shoe lace tips (metal/ heat shrinking tube)
- pliers (only for the metal tips)
- sewing machine
- thread in a color that fits

Step 2: Neat Needle Trick and First Steps

If you want to make bias binding for regular sewing projects you would have to do this differently but for laces you can just use straight strips.
First you need to measure the length of the laces you want to create. Just measure the old ones you would like to replace. Then cut two strips of this length about 1.5 inches wide. Lay the strip onto the ironing board and pin a needle across (see photo). Fold the strip from both sides to the middle and pin a second needle across. Now when you pull the strip will fold automatically, all you need to do is iron it flat. Once this is completed fold the strip over again and iron it flat. You now have a double folded strip 1/4 the width of your original strip.
You could also use a bias binding maker tool (see photo).

Step 3: Sew the Lace

The sewing itself is really simple. Set your sewing mashine to a small zigzag stich and sew along the edge. Once you have completed this, fold the tips once more and sew flat. JUST the tips!
YOU COULD STOP HERE: The laces are actually finished at this point. You can thread them through, I have done it and it works fine. Heat shrinking tube attached to the tips make them firmer and easier to thread, the optional metal tips make the laces look most professional and easiest to thread, but the laces itself work fine without.

Step 4: Optional: Secure the Tips

If you want the tipps to be extra strong you can use the metal aglets. Put the lace tipps into the metal clamp, use your findernails or a pair of scissors to push them in really tight. Use your pliers to tighten the clamp. Thread the laces through the holes of your destinated shoes and enjoy!

Step 5:

@ ewsmith : thank you for your excellent input! Have tried to revise the instructable accordingly :)

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    23 Comments

    I LOVE this project - big bang with a little detail. Way to go! And you could use these metal aglets for other projects - like all the grommeta-and-lace-up trends that are out there. Thank you for posting! If I use this metal aglet in any of my projects for video, I will be sure to credit you as to where I found the idea with a link back to this project.

    1 reply

    Great, I appreciate that.

    Thanks for the nice comment!

    Very cool! I love it. I always have soem scraps left from pretty fabric that I want to make yet more stuff with, but there isn't enough left for anything large. This is a great option!

    1 reply

    I totally agree! The pink ones I made for the instructable were made from such a scrap!

    You're welcome. : )

    Great idea and a clear, well-thought-out Instructable! I'm going to try this! I especially love your two-pin binding-maker set-up.

    1 reply

    The stitches will take a lot of wear. Use strong thread.

    If you are good enough with a sewing machine, you can add interest by using a heavy coat thread of a different colour.

    I was surprised to see that you can buy eyots (the metal ends) separately. This alone was worth the read, as I often wear out eyots before the lace is done.

    This also allows the use of various kinds of cord for shoe laces. E.g. Venetian blind cord, or sash cord, dyed interesting colours.

    2 replies

    I have used some of my laces for well over a year and I didn't experience any tears even though I used regular thread. So I don't think you need extra strong thread. I wouldn't use cheap thread either, just every day regular thread.

    I agree that you can create very individual laces by using unusual materials and/or interesting colors. Thank you for your comment.

    This is very cool, great project for/with my daughter.

    One suggestion. Up front, in the tools/materials required list, I would clarify that the bias binding making tool is optional. To me, the best Instructables show how to make things without special tools -- which your does! I think you'll score higher by stressing that, your needle (pin) trick is great. Is there a DIY alternative for the bias binding also?

    Oh, and I would at least mention the use of shrink wrap for the tips, or other things one might find around the house on a rainy day.

    Great job!

    1 reply

    Thank you for your great input!

    These look great and I would also love to know where you got them! I need to make some fun laces :D

    I looked up 'aglet' on line. I found a site where the guy suggested several options to these little metal ones. I can pick up a few tiny pieces of heat shrink tubing from my son's next electrical project at robotics. I will see how that goes before I order the metal ones. Amazon had several metal options.

    I have used heat shrink tubing and it works fine but threading and especially rethreading is so much more convinient with metal.

    Have a go at it and decide for yourself.

    Thank you!
    The tips are called metal aglets. I found them at ebay.