Houndstooth Pumps DIY // How-to Cover Leather Shoes with Fabric

Houndstooth heels  with  tassel  poufs-diy houndstooth shoes

Houndstooth is by no means a new textile, however, it has hit the fashion trend radar once again and seems to be popping up in every magazine I open as of late. Most blame Lady Gaga and her outrageous head-to-toe houndstooth ensemble. And she may have brought it to the masses attention but the dress & shoes she was wearing were from the Salvatore Ferragamo Autumn/Winter 2011 collection wherein Houndstooth was one of the main prints seen in fine and exaggerated proportions. Chanel & YSL touched on it as well for 2011 {and it’s a Staple for Gwen Stefani} but Ferragamo sold it this season, in my opinion. I recommend watching the runway show, it’s GORGEOUS. I would wear every single look. You can buy Ferragamo’s gorgeous snakeskin Houndstooth shoes for $950 OR you can make your own. Here’s how…


Houndstooth Shoes DIY - materials

* A pair of pumps. **A moderate pointy toe will work best.
* Cotton houndstooth print fabric. I found mine at JoAnn‘s and what I thought was black and white noticed when I returned home, was navy.
* Mod Podge original. You may also use a fabric glue but Mod Podge works the best.
* Craft Sponge brush
* Scissors
* Patience… this is not an easy one.


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* Cut out two irregular shapes {a pentagon of sorts}. My measurement is for a 3″ heel. Adjust for longer or shorter heels. **Make sure your print/pattern direction is the same on both.

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* Using your sponge brush, lay on a relatively thick layer of Mod Podge to your heel. Do one at a time.

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* With the triangle side up, place your fabric on your heel and smooth out.

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* Cut a slit in the fabric {on either side} where the heel meets the shoe in order for the fabric to lay smoothly. **If your fabric is buckling anywhere else, make a similar slit to smooth it out. Let dry. Once dry, trim the edges leaving about 1/8″ around each of the sides.

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* Next up is your toes! FIRST Cut two large rectangles from your fabric. Mine were about 18″ x 24″ – I wear a 9, measure your shoe accordingly, you should leave ample room for error on all sides. **Mod Podge the front toe of ONE shoe.

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* Decide which direction you want your print to lay. **Remember to match the other shoe the same direction.

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* Giving yourself over an inch of allowance on each side, lay your fabric over your toe and smooth out any bubbles. Do the same to the other shoe, allowing this one to dry and set into place.

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* Once your toes are set enough {they don’t have to be completely dry but at least steady and immovable} cut a triangle out from the excess fabric at your toe, leaving at least 1/8″ allowance {longer than the sole}. **Press the front down to set in place. {see below}

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* Adding more glue to your edges and toe, fold and glue down each side, creating an envelope flap type of crease… fold over your edges twice to prevent fraying, and/or add more glue.

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* Wrap your fabric loosely under your shoe then carefully cut a small slit in the opening. **Making sure you’ll have enough fabric to cover both sides of your shoe, make the slit larger so that each side will lay flat.

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* Beginning with one side and one shoe at a time, add your glue and carefully smooth your fabric over each side. **Wherever it buckles, snip the edge like we did with our heels to allow the fabric to lay smoothly. Just don’t snip too far!

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* Once your shoe fabric is set in place, trim off the excess leaving at least 1/4″ just to be safe.

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* Glue one side of the back/ankle down then the other flap over it. **Create a nice, clean, fray-free seam by folding over your edge first and centering it with your shoe’s real seam.

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* Trim excess fabric around entire shoe to 1/8″ or less. **You may choose to cut your fabric just above the shoe’s natural sole {so the sole will show} or flap it over the edges. I did both, depending on the area of the shoe.

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* Adding extra Mod Podge to the inner edges {that I left a little less than 1/8″} press down. **Do this around all of your edges.

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Houndstooth Shoes DIY - 29

* I wasn’t sure how exactly to merge the seam of the heel with the seam of the shoe so I created a ribbon to hide it. **Cut a strip about 24″ {to be safe} long by 1″ wide, glue,fold,glue, fold until you get a ribbon, then cut in half. **You’ll need two 6″-12″ ribbons for each shoe. **You can also choose a contrasting or solid fabric or ribbon if you like. **Adding a good amount of glue around the seam, I carefully create a bow of sorts to hide the seam. I glued them to the inner side of the heel for extra support.

houndstooth heels-cover shoes with fabric diy-bows on shoes

* The very back of the print of the heel/shoe lined up perfectly, though the sides do not. I’m okay with that 🙂


houndstooth shoe diy - covering shoes with fabric-houndstooth

french bulldog-houndstooth shoes-heels-legs

Houndstooth shoes - heels - tassel poufs

houndstooth shoes diy-navy and white shoes-diy fashion-shoe diys-fabric on shoes

houndstooth shoes-diy houndstooth

* Vintage tassel pouf shoe clip *

* Click See this DIY featured in Nova Gente SOLUÇÕES Magazine *

Have Fun!

Find all my DIYs here!


LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at ...love Maegan.com sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.


  • Lola

    October 21, 2013 |

    Hi there!
    This looks amazing, I am willing to give it a try but I was wondering if you could tell me if it will work on velvet shoes? The heel is ruined and I am considering to give them a make over. I am not sure though if the glue will be absorbed into the velvet way too fast or it won’t stick to my cotton fabric.

    Hope you’ll reply soon. You can contact me via email if you like.

    Thanks! 🙂

  • Maegan Tintari

    October 22, 2013 |

    Yes! Velvet would be a great base to work with! The glue should adhere as well as it would to suede {and better than smooth leather} Good luck!! 🙂

  • Lola

    October 22, 2013 |

    thanks for the reply! I am will do my best 😀

  • Lola

    October 22, 2013 |

    thanks for the reply! I will do my best 😀

  • Teresa

    November 8, 2013 |

    The other day I got so disappointed over finding out a very cute style of shoe I love is no longer being sold, and since I’ve been wanting to make or at least personalize shoes. My question is will fabrics like leather work for this project?

  • Shannon

    December 30, 2013 |

    Hi! Cute shoes:) Have you worn these on a rainy day or a day when the fabric has a chance to get wet? I would be worried that doing this the fabric would start to peel and come off or get bubbly if your feet got sweaty (eww I know but hey it happens right) or wet. Please let me know what you think! Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Paula

    April 5, 2014 |

    I have seen some of the tutorials on covering shoes with fabric and would like to share a tip. I saw a tutorial on a local TV show about 30-40 years ago about covering shoes with fabric. The host cut a rectangle of fabric the length and width of the body of the shoe plus 1 inch or so. Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise (hotdog fold). Sew a seam on one end only. Turn right side out. Place the seam against the center back of the shoe. This eliminates the folding under and glueing at the back of the shoe. Looks neat. The open end of the rectangle will lay smoothly over the toe of the shoe. Cut open the center of the rectangle and trim to fit the shoe. Glue

  • Carolyn

    March 18, 2016 |


    How did you calculate your measurement for the heels? I want to do this but my heels are a lot more irregularly shaped.


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