Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Get Ready for St. Nicholas Day - by Making Paper Shoes with My Handy-Dandy Tutorial!

How goofy are paper shoes? But when I checked the stat thing for my blog the other day, I noticed that lots of people have been coming here looking for directions and a template for making them for St. Nicholas Day, which is coming up fast on December 6th. I felt kind of bad because I don't have anything like that on here. And then, probably because I've been busy making little bunny slippers for my Mimi doll, I realized I could figure out how to make some, so I did. These ones are just the right size to hold the bag of chocolate coins St. Nick is likely bringing my kids in a few days. (You can buy the same ones at Aldi's. Yum.) These paper shoes turn out to be very easy to make, and practically free (except for a small quantity of glue) because I used all materials from the recycling bin.

My husband says blogging is making me completely lose my marbles. He may be right. Only now am I wondering why people would want to make paper shoes for St. Nick Day - for party favors? For a class project? Because they're not sufficiently addicted to chocolate to overlook the fact that their bag of chocolate coins smells a bit like old sneaker if they put out their regular shoes to receive treats, like we do?

Whyever. Here's the tutorial:

STEP ONE: Gather your materials You'll need:
  • a printed copy of the template, which is available as a pdf here,
  • some lightweight cardboard (I used some from an empty cereal box),
  • some scrap paper (I used the insides of security envelopes, which I am absolutely addicted to these days - I have fits if anyone rips the envelopes when opening bills),
  • some kind of a quick grabbing glue, like Alene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue, pictured above (and no, Aleene's does not give me any kind of a kickback for how frequently I mention their glues, but I wouldn't say no if they offered one...),
  • a pair of scissors, and
  • a pencil for tracing the patterns
STEP TWO: Transfer your patterns and cut out all the pieces I just cut out the templates and traced around them on the back side of my paper, but there are many other ways to transfer patterns, and I will guess you are smarter about the whole thing than I am. Remember that the heel upper piece needs to be cut along a fold.
I did cut 2 of the sole templates, so I could give the slippers a nice, finished looking bottom. I cut them with the cardboard right sides together (whatever that is for you) because I wanted the plain brown to show both inside the shoe and on the bottom of the sole. This is because I am insane.

STEP THREE: Fold the tabs on the uppers toward the wrong side of the paper For you origami people, if you're looking at the right side of the paper, it should be a mountain fold.

STEP FOUR: Ignore the picture above and glue the heel/upper piece on first Or carefully peel the rear part of the toe piece off so you can get the other piece glued in place...
Start by spreading a thin line of the tacky glue along the outer edge of the bottom of sole A (the top of this piece will be what shows inside the shoe). Glue the upper to the sole starting by attaching the tab along the fold to the middle of the heel. Work toward the front, bending the upper so that the fold along each tab is snug against the sole - should be pretty easy.
Then attach the toe upper the same way, starting with the middle tab. This is a bit trickier to glue because you have to allow the top of the upper to bow up over the sole, but it's still not terribly difficult once you get the hang of it. Position the tabs at whatever angle gives you a snug fit to the sole.

After I finished this tutorial, I had the bright idea to do a google search of my own for paper shoes. Naturally there are a number of others out there. I like the shoes here (meant as a shower favor thing, but that hardly matters) - they're so cute and the template looks so professional - but I do think they're probably a lot more trouble than mine. They're from Lovebug Scrapbook who says they're adapted from a tutorial in an old issue of Somerset magazine.

Now for my suggested twists on a new tradition for celebrating St. Nicholas Day. Take your kid shopping for some new shoes -- for someone needy. "Encourage" him chip in some of his own money if he has any (and if he's 3 and up, he ought to have small amounts to spend, save, and give). Then help him write a note to St. Nick saying he'd like St. Nick to take the shoes instead of leaving him presents in them, and give the new shoes to a child who really needs some. St. Nick will likely leave behind some of these paper ones with some treats anyhow, and a nice note about how he appreciates your child's kindness so much that Black Peter definitely won't be leaving him any coal this year!

You can help St. Nick donate the shoes to a local homeless shelter, women's shelter, or other organization that collects shoes for needy kids. Or you can make a donation to Soles 4 Souls here, which does a lot of good things.

While you're awaiting St. Nicholas's visit, you might want to read about him. If you'd enjoy a book that focuses on the religious aspects of the man and his holiday rather than the folktale and celebration angle, I highly recommend my friend Julie Stiegemeyer's book, pictured above. Julie has such a clear, warm writing style that I can't help feeling a bit teary every time I read her books. This one is clearly a standout among St. Nick books too - it continues to be a mega-seller year after year. I have amazon ranking envy... Here's a link to read more about it on Julie's blog, and also one for buying the book on amazon, thereby making me feel even more jealous (in a nice way).

Still hungry for more about St. Nicholas and the celebration on December 6th? Check out my last year's post here or check out this amazing website completely devoted to the holiday. It has stories, recipes, crafts (including yet another paper shoe one, sigh), songs, e-cards and more.

Update Note I've added a tutorial and template for expanding the paper shoe into this paper boot. You can find the tutorial and a link to the printable template here.


Whimcees said...


I just found your blog after searching for new shoe templates. I love making shoes and your Christmas slipper is great! Thank you for sharing the template and tutorial!

Wishing you a good week!

Barbara Diane

The Incredibly Enthusiastic Girl said...

Thank you so much for posting this. It was a great craft for my family. I believe that making these is going to be a new tradition in my house.

Rio Prince said...

I wonder why different professionals don't take action your website overmuch m happy I got this.
Height Increasing Shoes

Harvest Moon by Hand said...

Thank you for posting a tutorial. My daughters and I will be making about 20 of these to give to seniors at a nursing home when we do an activity with them the day before St. Nicholas Day.