Thursday, August 11, 2011

52 in 1: WEEK 12 - Anthro-inspired leather ruffle flats

I've been dying over the shoes and accessories at Anthropologie lately. I am also obsessed with flats. I saw these ones and knew I could make a knock off version (with my own twist) for wayyy less than the original $148 price tag! Plus I like how mine are rather imperfect and quirky. And as much as we don't want to admit it, fall is quickly approaching and I only have a few more weeks to comfortably sport my fluffy flower sandals.  How about a little tutorial for a cute fall shoe?

First, materials needed:
-plain ballet flats (I got mine at Target on sale for $12)
-leather scraps, or you could definitely use stiff fabric ($7 for the whole bag of leather scraps)
-E-6000 or other super-strong glue
-20 large-ish beads, 16 small-ish beads
-not pictured: needle, coordinating thread, clothespins


1. Cut four strips of the leather you would like to use.  You need TWO 6"x1" strips and TWO 9"x1 3/4 strips.  (The measurements don't need to be exactly the same as mine, but the big strips need to be the same size and the little ones need to be the same size.  Plus, you will be cutting off excess length at the end so feel free to make the strips a little shorter, but I overcompensated because I ALWAYS have to have a little too much- I like to be prepared in life!- rather than have too little in the end.)

2. Choose 20 larger beads and 16 smaller beads.  They don't have to be all the same color, but I like the more uniform look.  Set aside half of each size beads to begin the first ruffle.

3. About 1/4" down from the top of one larger strip, bring your threaded needle through the leather, back to front.  Add a bead to the needle, then bring the needle through the leather again, front to back, making the stitch that the bead is attached to about 1/2" long.  Bring the needle through the leather again, back to front, this time leaving only about 1/4" gap between the end of the last stitch and the beginning of the next.  Pull the thread taut, making the leather ruffle, with the bead in between the ruffles.  For the next stitch, add one of the smaller beads.  Continue stitching across the leather strip until you have used 5 large beads and 4 small beads, making sure to pull the thread taut between stitches to ruffle the leather.

4. To finish the ruffle, make sure to keep pulling the thread taut and knot the thread in the back of the leather strip.  Repeat step #3 with one of the smaller strips of leather and knot the thread then the ruffle is finished.  Cut the excess off of the ends of the leather strips where the ruffle ends.

5.  Trim the edges of the top part of the ruffles (where the beads are a little closer to the top than bottom), rounding them out a bit (more or less, to your liking).

6. Position the larger ruffle on the shoe where you would like it to lay, with the end of the ruffle where the beads are closer to the top of the leather closer to the tip of the shoe (ahhh, not making sense... just look at the picture).  Leave a space below the ruffle so you will be able to glue the smaller ruffle to the shoe as well.  Spread a thick layer of the E-6000 or other strong glue to the top of the shoe where you decided the ruffle should lay.  Carefully glue the ruffle to the shoe.  Spread another thick layer of the glue to the shoe under the larger ruffle and glue the smaller ruffle down, overlapping the larger ruffle a bit.  Make sure the beads are closer to the tip of the shoe, just like with the larger ruffle.

7. Using clothespins, pin the smaller ruffle to the shoe where the ruffle was glued and let it sit overnight.  Make sure not to get any glue on the clothespins, or they will become part of your shoe refashion as well!  Eeek!

8. Repeat steps 3-7 for the other shoe.  Trim the top of the larger leather ruffle if you see fit.  I love the character of these ruffles!

Wear your lovely creation now or save them for the fall when the itch to break out the flats begins!  You can always embellish flats with fabric rosettes, a cluster of beads, fabric/leather ruffles without beads, buttons, etc.  Target had these great patent "leather" purple flats in red, black and taupe too.  So cute!  And what a cheap makeover... sure beats the almost $150 Anthro version!

Linking up at I heart naptime, six sister's stuff, today's creative blog, and tatertots and jello



  1. I think these are SUPER cute! I love that you used leather ruffles :)

    Visiting from I heart naptime!


  2. So cute! I love the embellishments!!

    I am doing a Shoe Makeover roundup for Babble next week and I included your shoes. I am excited to feature them!


  3. Your shoes are really cute!!! Love the idea! Thanks for sharing it on "Creative Bloggers' Party and Hop".

    From this week's party co-host:

    Jacque @ Jacque's Soda Parlor

  4. These look fab, great idea! Saw you on linky party, now google and pinterest following you. Please pop by, Karima x

  5. We LOVE these! Thanks so much for linking up to our party. We are featuring you this week, so come grab a button!

    The Sisters @

  6. This is such a labor of love! Thanks for linking up at Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :)