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DIY Fabric Shoelaces


Has anyone ever been summoned to Jury Duty?  I haven’t.  Ever.  Until today… 32rd birthday.  (Shouldn’t there be a law that excludes you from Jury Duty on your birthday/anniversaries/favorite days of the week/etc. ;) Haha! )  I keep hearing of friends and family calling the night before reporting for duty, and not needing to attend.  So, I had my fingers crossed extra tight.  Well, I should have crossed them tighter because my juror number was summoned.  (Okay, but secretly…..I’m kind of curious/excited. :) )


So today……I have something really speedy to share.  But fun, all at the same time. 


And this can be created for girls, boys, young, old, etc. 





What a fun and unexpected way to spruce up a pair of shoes, right?




Boring laces are out……and chunky/funky colored ones have taken over.




These laces are made out of long strips of fabric……….and the ends are pinched tight and are sewn securely to allow for threading.





What could be more fun (and quick) than adding a little spunk to your shoes?  Not much. :)



Would you like to make a few shoelaces of your own?


Let’s get started. 


Begin by cutting out long strips of fabric that are as long as you need your laces to be.  I cut my strips on the BIAS for several reasons.  (Need help with cutting on the bias?)  First of all, strips cut on the bias will curve better and I wanted my laces to go through the shoes better and the bows to be floppier and less stiff.  Also, cutting on the bias allows for a little more stretch……..just like regular laces have a little stretch to them.  It seems as though with that added slight stretch, the bows tie tighter.  It’s up to you though.  Also, I cut my strips 2 inches wide so that I would end up with a 1/2 inch wide lace (if it was any bigger, it wouldn’t have fit) but be sure that whatever width you choose, you’ll still be able to fit it through each lacing hole. 



If you don’t have enough fabric to create one long strip cut on the bias, sew 2 shorter pieces together.  The best way (and to eliminate bulk) is to connect the two strips on the diagonal.  (More info on connecting bias strips here.)



After you have your long strips, fold them in half lengthwise and iron flat.  Then, open it up and fold both raw edges in towards that center ironed line, close it back up, and iron again.  You have just created Bias Tape.  (More info on creating Bias Tape here.)



Now, sew the strip closed along the long edge.



Now, fold the ends in towards itself, as small as it will go.  (Sort of rolling the end tightly works well too.)  Then place a pin through the fabric to hold the folded/rolled fabric, nice and tight.



Then, slide this end under the sewing machine presser foot, with the pin facing you.  Adjust your zig-zag stitch WIDTH to as wide as it will go but decrease the stitch LENGTH really low.  Put your presser foot down, about 1 inch from the end and begin sewing around both sides of the folded fabric end.  Keep the fabric centered, while the needle goes up and down along both sides of the folded fabric.  Be sure and allow it to go through the fabric just a bit as well, so that the zig-zag stitches are actually securing themselves to the fabric as well.  Back-stitch and forward stitch several times to really knot your stitches in place.



Then begin sewing forward, up to the end of the fabric.  It helps to pull the fabric from behind and then use the pin in the front to keep the fabric centered.  As you sew forward, slowly pull the pin out as well, so you’re not sewing through the needle.  Once you reach the end, back-stitch several times, making sure to allow the needle to go through the fabric as well, to really knot all these stitches in place. 



If you weren’t able to create enough zig-zag stitches to cover most of the fabric (and create a stiff end to thread the laces through the shoes) re-peat the above steps and add more zig-zag stitches to the fabric. 



And, that’s it.  Cute and funky new laces to add to a favorite pair of shoes.







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Featured Sponsor:

Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Hannah E M says:

    I think this would be a really good idea. do you think it would work for a lace knit too? I think I would not cut that on the bias.

  2. Linda says:

    Love this idea. I’m 24 been to federal and County jury duty. I was only 18 when I got summoned for federal jury duty it was scary.

  3. Shelly Heronemus says:

    Well of course a quilter (me) should have fabric shoelaces!!! Thank you~

  4. Laurel says:

    These look great! How long did you make your laces?

  5. Melody says:

    You could also use heat shrink tubing for the ends of your laces. It is available in a variety of diameters and colors. I just bought 8 6″ long pieces on e-bay for $2. You can cut them to any length you want, thread over the ends, and blow with a hair dryer to shrink them tight against the fabric.

  6. Ashley R says:

    Holy smokes, my name is ashley and I turned 32 on March 19th this year too. :)

    1. Ashley says:

      No way, that’s crazy!!! Are you also 5’11” tall?? ;)

      I love that though…..happy late b-day!! :)

  7. Jill says:

    Do you think you could use those great colors of duct tape to wrap up the ends?? Or would it be too thick?

  8. Lanetta says:

    Thanks for this clever/cute tutorial! I’m including it in my “Ten Discoveries” post today (in the works now!)

  9. Kate says:

    We’re twins! Well, we have the same birthday, at any rate.

  10. Roseanna says:

    I spent a year( once a month) on federal grand jury duty. Boring!!! But it mak think what would happen if I tried anything illegal! As for the lace Fabulous !!! But I have one suggetion” Shrink tubing” it is used to bundle wiring together. I have repaired regular laces with it. You can find it at ‘Radio Shack’ . you put it on and use a hair dryer to shrink it around the fabric . It holds real well.

  11. Jenny - Seamingly Smitten says:

    These are fabulous!! I can’t wait to try this with all the scrap fabric I have! Bring on SPRING and some FUN shoe laces to boot!!


  12. Janet says:

    I am pretty sure that most states pardon you from jury duty if you are the sole caregiver of a child under the age of 4 or maybe it’s even 6? I was just summoned as well and after a quick phone call and signing a form – I’m off the hook for a few more years. I’ll deal with the jury duty when all the kids are in school and I don’t have to arrange childcare for who knows how long. :) Good luck!

    1. Ashley says:

      Unfortunately, they had a daycare there. So being the caregiver wouldn’t have excused me. However, there was no way I was leaving my children in there. My husband was able to take the day off. Whew. But after being there, I actually really enjoyed the whole process and wanted to stay longer! :)

  13. Christine says:

    I got summoned for jury duty several years ago. I had a two-month-old at the time, so my husband took off of work for the day to watch him. We sat in the jury lounge while we waited for a case…it had coffee, hot chocolate, snacks, soda, magazines, word puzzles, and a movie playing in a theater-like room next door! I just took a nap because my son still wasn’t sleeping through the night. I was disappointed when I got sent home at noon. I wanted to stay all day – maybe a couple!

    1. Ashley says:

      Ha……how funny! It was really nice to sit in the lounge area for a while and just play around on my phone. It was so strange to not have any other little distraction going on around me. Definitely turned out to be a nice little morning away! :)

  14. Jill says:

    I got called in for jury duty a couple years ago and I was actually chosen to be on the jury. It was fascinating! The case was an attempted murder charge, and it was intense. It was so interesting to be part of the process, and it felt good to help convince some of the other jurors to send a rotten guy to jail. I loved it!

    1. Ashley says:

      Yes, I see that now. It was so interesting to be interviewed and I was totally pumping myself up to be a part of the jury. I had no idea that I’d actually want to stay. Darn that defense lawyer for cutting me out! Ha. :)

  15. monica says:

    Fun! Love a fun little project like this, and I think the kids would feel pretty special to have custom laces. Happy belated!

  16. Stephanie says:

    Hi! I LOVE your blog and have been reading it faithfully for a few years now, and have been so grateful for the fabulous tutorials and inspiration! Yours is one of my all-time faves! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, though, that some of the ads on your sidebar are sometimes a little…inappropriate. I hate to even make this observation, but I often read your blog with little kids hanging over my shoulder, and I’ve had to click away a few times recently (drats!) because of the ad. I think Vaseline is one of the offenders, but there might be another one. Please take my complaint with all the appreciation and hugs in the world, because I love your blog and think you’re amazing! I would just love to see that (or those?) ads disappear! Thank you! ;-)

    1. Ashley says:

      Hey Stephanie, I’m actually really glad you told me. I don’t mind one bit……and actually rely on you readers to fill me in. I am not online all day long, so I don’t see each and every ad posted but I do try to monitor them. Those ads really help keep this blog running and thus far, I haven’t had too many problems with them. Some companies, however, run campaigns that become a little racy……..when otherwise you wouldn’t think they would have anything inappropriate to share. Like, Vaseline. I haven’t seen it myself but I will try and fix that. I don’t want my kids seeing it either, so I always add those sites to the blocked list. Anyway, I completely welcome any future tips about racy ads. :)


    2. Ashley says:

      P.S. After I go and block them, it may take a day or two to actually phase them out. Just so you’re aware. :)

  17. Adriane says:

    Oooh, this is exciting! I was wondering how you made the aglet (the hard part at the ends). I bet this will hold up better than the silly plastic ones that always fall off!

    Happy Birthday yesterday :P

  18. Amanda says:

    Happy Birthday! We share the exact same birthday! Just started reading your blog recently and really enjoy it. 32 will be a great year!

  19. Carrie says:

    Happy Birthday!!!! Hope your day was wonderful in spite of some yucky mail.

  20. Connie says:

    I am so happy that you enjoyed the jury experience. I was not so lucky. I learned the hard way about the question on the form regarding the “Judge’s Charge”……… I have never gotten over it.

  21. Martha Galvis says:

    Feliz cumpleaños Ashley¡ te mando un abrazo desde Colombia! Love your blog!

  22. Kristina Noall says:

    Lol, sorry you got cut! But I hope you’re having a great birthday! Happy 32nd!

  23. jenifer says:

    cute laces!

    I have to say, I had jury duty when we lived near Detroit. I felt like I was on CSI. It was a DRUG DEALER case. I kept smiling at the defendant because I wanted them to pick me to be on the jury (they go through a lot of possible jurist before they choose the actual jury.) They passed around real cocaine as evidence and told all about the undercover work that happened before they got him. It was completely CSI. We had to say if he could be convicted as a dealer instead of just a user… we said GUILTY. On our way out, in the hallway, a cop told us we had made the right decision. The man had been convicted of dealing many times before.

    It was pretty cool- not OJ Simpson case or anything, but very different from changing diapers and fixing PBnJ.
    Hope your jury duty is as fun!

    1. Ashley says:

      Ha…..I’m home now but didn’t make the final jury cut. The defense attorney cut me after an hour or so of jury interviewing from both attorneys……BOO. I actually really wanted to stay and YES, it was really interesting. It was definitely something different to do for the day and now I hope I get another summons. Crazy how that turned out! :) And good work detective, on convicting the dealer. ;)

  24. Ellie says:

    Happy Birthday!! Love the laces! You probably remember wearing similar ones when you were a kid :)

    1. Ashley says:

      Yep, I do! :)

  25. Reagan says:

    Very cute, thank you. I found jury duty very interesting, though I suppose it all depends on the case.

    1. Ashley says:

      Turns out, it was very interesting and I was BUMMED when I was cut by the defense attorney. I wanted to participate and see how everything turned out. Maybe net time! :)

  26. Naii says:

    que idea genial!!! yo pensé que eran de alguna tienda!!! muy bonitos!

    1. Ashley says:

      Ahhhh, de nada! Eran divertidos de hacer! :)


  27. Michelle L says:

    Looove them, Ashley!!! And thanks for such a great tute that a beginning sewist can use!

    1. Ashley says:

      You’re so welcome Michelle! Good luck!

  28. Brittani says:

    So clever! And I should add that I’m always as impressed by your photography as by your crafts … you always have bright, cheerful, helpful photos and you always think of new ways to show off a craft. So interesting!

    1. Ashley says:

      Thanks Brittani…..sometimes my photos fail me and sometimes I get lucky. I always cross my fingers! :)

  29. Kathy says:

    I was summoned for jury duty once and had to sit on a trial. It was kind of a pain to go but the trial was very interesting. It might not be as bad as you might be expecting it to be.

    Cool shoelaces!

    1. Kathy says:

      And I forgot to say happy birthday!!!!

    2. Ashley says:

      Thanks Kathy…….and I’m home now after getting pretty far in the process. I was actually really bummed when I got cut by the defense attorney. I wanted to stay and participate and see it all play out. Bummer. Maybe next time! :)

  30. Debbie C says:

    Happy Birthday Ashley! Thanks again for the many, many wonderful ideas you give! Hope you have a great day!

    1. Ashley says:

      Thanks Debbie!

  31. Jami says:

    Cute Cute Cute!!!! I would love to do this to a pair of my shoes and my little guy’s shoes :D

    1. Ashley says:

      I know, I think they’d be really cute for boy shoes…..Connor just doesn’t have any laced shoes to do this with. Let me know if it works out for your little guy. :)


  32. Helena says:

    Hey that’s a really cute idea! I might use that sometime soon… :)

    1. Ashley says:

      It turned out fun…..give it a try! :)

  33. nelda says:

    how cute! thanks for sharing!

    1. Ashley says:

      You’re welcome…..glad you liked them! :)

  34. Julie Snow says:

    Wow – what a super fun, but easy idea!!! I love it! Thank you

    1. Ashley says:

      You’re welcome! :)

  35. Michele N says:

    Love these laces, now if I could only find purple & yellow fabric I could make the perfect pairs of laces for the team! As for jury duty I was called probably 3 or 4 times while in college, went through questioning once but didn’t end up on the jury (happy me-it was a murder trial) and then I’ve been called once in the 16 years since I’ve moved back home and that time I actually got chosen for the jury, it wasn’t bad, but it was hard because it was a case of child molestation, I think I would have preferred a murder trial. Good luck to you with your jury duty service.

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh gosh, that’s the one thing I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to hear about. I’m sure I would have had a hard time being open and impartial to such a case as that. Wow. I made it to the interview process today and was cut by the defense attorney. BOO. I actually really wanted to stay and participate. Maybe next time. :)

  36. Jodi says:

    Happy Birthday!!! Love the cute laces – such a clever idea.

    1. Ashley says:

      Thanks Jodi!!!!!

  37. Tonya says:

    Happy Birthday! Sorry about jury duty on your birthday. My birthday was Friday (15th) and I was scheduled for jury duty but luckily when I called the night before it was cancelled. Actually the first three trials I was scheduled for were canceled. I still have three more scheduled dates left, probably won’t be so lucky.

    Thanks for the cool laces tutorial! Love them! So will my daughters.

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh, how funny. You were summoned on your birthday too? Crazy. Colorado is a little different…..they just summon you to one case and that’s it. If you don’t get called, you’re off the hook. But I did get called in to interview with the lawyers but was dismissed. It worked out…..but I was kinda bummed. I wanted to stay and see how it all played out.

      Good luck with the laces!

  38. Teresa says:

    I’m one of those weirdos who has always wanted to be on a jury and both times I have been summoned, my number hasn’t been called. It’s a nice day off from work, but still….I actually want to be called. Maybe someday. :)

    Love the shoelaces and great idea for securing the ends; that’s been a constant struggle in the laces I’ve made. I’ll give the zigzag a shot!

    1. Ashley says:

      Well, now that it’s all over……I’m bummed that I was dismissed. I was called into interview with 12 other jurors but was dismissed with 5 others, after a while of interview questions from both lawyers. Dang…..after all that, I wanted to participate. :)

  39. Ellen says:

    OMG, I LOVE this idea for my boys!
    On a side note … you are going to love jury duty! No kids allowed :)

    1. Ashley says:

      Hahaha……it was a nice diversion today. I had a lot of quiet time today. :) And after being dismissed, I was really bummed. I wanted to stay and participate. Oh well.

      Good luck with the laces for you boys…….Connor doesn’t have any laced shoes right now, otherwise I would have made him some.

  40. Rachel says:

    These are adorable. Thanks for all your fabulous idea’s.

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh thanks! And you’re so welcome!!

  41. Angieg says:

    Ashley, I love you! This is so simple genius. I am always having trouble with my son’s laces shredding. Can’t wait to give this a try!!!!

    1. Ashley says:

      You’re welcome…..and good luck!

  42. sÉCO says:

    Awesome! What a great idea :)

  43. lisa says:

    What a cute idea! This would work perfectly for a pair of shoes we just got. I cannot find laces that are the perfect length and I don’t want them too long because my son will pull on them. Great idea and thanks!

    I also have not been to jury duty and I’m almost 31. Don’t jinx me or I might have to go soon!

    1. Ashley says:

      See? Perfect for you! Good luck with the laces.

      And you know……jury duty ended up being really interesting. I actually enjoyed hearing the case, being interviewed by the lawyers, listening to the other jurors, etc. Now, I want to get another summons…..I was bummed when I was dismissed. Funny how that turned out.


    2. darlene says:

      this is pretty late in responding, however your tut was just posted today on makeit-loveit with a bunch of other *make your own shoelaces* … in the late 90s a woman with a quilt blog posted her take on make your own shoelaces, similar to yours, but …. she used heat-shrink tubes from radio shack (i think radio shack might have gone out o business by now); but you can still get the heat-shrink tubes from other techie suppliers … anyway, the package came with multiple sized tubes and multiple colors … you just pick one that will fit, then apply heat from your regular hair dryer and voila — shoe laces with get tips …

      thanks for your tut; i lost the old one but think i’ll make more for other (newer!) grandchildren ….

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