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Create a Pair of Custom Glamorized Ballet Flats

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Ballet flats are the perfect shoes for any season. They can be worn in the fall before the chilly weather, and in the spring when it's not quite warm enough for flip-flops. These comfortable shoes can be worn for a night out on the town, or just out to an afternoon brunch. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create custom glamorized ballet flats from a simple pair of shoes. Let's get started!


  • Ballet flat shoes. There is no need to buy expensive shoes, as you'll be adding ribbons and crystal buttons. Just make sure they fit you well, and they are comfortable. Try to find plain shoes without any bows or embellishment.
  • Ribbon. Check out your local craft store and choose any colour, texture or width of ribbon. We used grosgrain with decorative yellow stitching at the edges.
  • Crystal buttons. You could also use any vintage pins, crystals, or any beautiful buttons you may find. This link does not show the exact button we used, but it is similar.
  • Thread. Try to match the thread to the colour of your ribbon.
  • E6000 Industrial Strength Glue. This can be found at Michaels or your local craft store. Otherwise, use a craft glue that can be used on fabric, leather and plastic.
  • Scissors.


Make sure you work on a surface covered with newspapers are magazines. The E6000 glue can get messy, and the fumes can be very strong. Make sure you use proper ventilation, such as an open window and fans.

Step 1: Remove the Bow

Take scissors or wire cutters, and remove the bow from the top of the shoe. You may need a seam ripper to remove any stitches at the top of the shoe.

Step 2: Fold the Ribbon

Measure the ribbon to 25cm and cut it using your scissors. Cut two pieces of the ribbon, as you will need another one for your second shoe. Once you have cut the ribbon, fold your first piece of ribbon into thirds. Take one end of the ribbon, and fold it so that the end meets the centre of the ribbon. Now take the other end, and fold it to the end of your ribbon.

Step 3: Make the Bow

Set the ribbon down, and cut a piece of thread. You will be wrapping the thread around the ribbon, and knotting it to secure the bow. The length of the thread does not matter. Just make sure it's long enough to wrap three or four times around the ribbon. Now pinch the two ends of your folded ribbon together. Make sure the ribbon does not unfold. Hold it together with your fingers, while wrapping the string around to make a knot.

Make sure you still have length at the end of your string to wrap it several times around your ribbon, after securing your knot. Now wrap the thread approximately three or four times, tightly around the ribbon. Secure it with another knot. You can cut the leftover thread. Do not cut it too short, as you do not want the knot to unravel.

Step 4: Attach the Bow to Your Shoe

Squeeze a small amount of the E6000 glue on to the top of the shoe, close to the centre edge. Do not squeeze too much glue, because you do not want to see it under the bow. Now, place the bow on top of the shoe. You will need to hold the bow in place, until it stays on its own. Give it some time to dry.

Step 5: Add the Crystal Button

If your crystal button has a metal piece on the inside, snip it with wire cutters. Check how it looks when you place the button on the bow. You may not need to cut the metal piece, as the glue will hide it. Add glue to the centre of your bow, which is about the size your button. Make sure your glue will not seep out past your button. Place the button on top of the glue.

Remember that the button may be heavy, however the industrial strength glue will hold it. You will need to use your fingers and hold the button in place for a while, until it can stay in place on its own.

You have now completed the first shoe. Repeat steps 1-4 to make your second shoe. Since you have mastered one pair, you can now create shoes for any season!

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