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A homemade superhero costume wouldn't be complete without some DIY superhero boots; these two methods for making them are quick and easy.
Yesterday I showed you how to make a Captain America Shield, and today I will finish off the homemade Captain America costume with ideas for how you can quickly and easily make some DIY superhero boots.
Over the years, I have made my son several superhero costumes.
When he was a year old, I started out by making him a Superman costume. He was so small at the time, that I was able to make the entire costume (shirt and pants) out of one of my husband's old t-shirts! Making pants out of an old t-shirt isn't difficult, but I didn't know what to do about the top. I had looked all over for a blue long-sleeved shirt for my son, but couldn't find any anywhere, so I went totally DIY and somehow managed to sew my own with scraps of fabric. (I'm still amazed that it actually worked out because I'm really not much of a seamstress and I had no idea what I was doing.)
For that first costume, I was looking for some quick and easy boots that would be comfortable for a small toddler to wear. I didn't have a lot of cloth on-hand for making the costume, and I couldn't just head off to the nearest JoAnn's Fabrics store. Fabric stores in general here in Spain are very rare, small, and overpriced. I ended up upcycling an inexpensive old polar fleece blanket for all of the red fabric of the costume. The great thing about polar fleece is that it doesn't unravel, so you don't have to finish the edges of anything. Plus, it's soft and stretchy, so it's perfect for kid's costumes.
I used the red polar fleece for making the cape, the iconic red underwear (or tight shorts, if you so prefer), and, of course, the boots!
That first year, I cut them a little too short. So, while they did look pretty cute, they kept creeping up off of his shoes as you can see in the picture above.
So, later on that year for Halloween, when I was making yet another superhero costume, I repeated the same process, but made Batman's boots a little bit longer!
Batman's boots did a pretty good job of staying in place. I had made them longer than what I thought I would need and pulled them over the bottom of the shoes somewhat. I didn't tape them in place or anything, but it is something that you could consider. If you do go that route, look for a tape that isn't too smooth and slippery to avoid unnecessary falls!
DIY Superhero Boots Method 1
The superhero boots that I made for both the Superman and Batman costumes couldn't be easier to make.
You will need: some polar fleece (or another stretchy fabric) in the color of the boots you want to make, some thread, and a pair of shoes off which to base the pattern (Use the shoes that you will be wearing underneath the boots if possible).
- Place your shoe towards the bottom of the fabric, but leave around 2 centimeters of fabric underneath so that the “boots” won't ride up and off the shoes when you wear them. (See the picture below.)
- Pull the fabric up around the sides of the shoe to see where it hits the center line of them and mark that point on each side. You will be cutting two identical pieces of polar fleece to make the boots, and will sew them together at the center, so you want to know where the halfway point will be (more or less). Because you are using stretchy fabric and want the boots to stay in place, directly mark the halfway point without adding more room for a seam allowance. (You want these to be slightly small and stretch to fit in place.)
- On the back of the shoe, mark a line straight up from your marked spot up to the height you want your boots. (It's actually a good idea to make them a little longer than you think you will want them because you can always cut them down to size later on.)
- On the front of the shoe, follow the shape of the shoe over the top, leaving room for the fabric to stretch over top of the shoes. Before you reach the opening, draw a line up to the same height as you made behind the shoe.
- Cut out your fabric, following your markings. Once you have the fabric boot piece cut out, use it as a pattern to cut out 3 more identical pieces (four total). NOTE: If you are using a fabric that has a right side and a wrong side, you will actually need 2 identical pieces, and two pieces that are mirror images of those pieces.
- Place two pieces together and sew along both side edges (front and back of the shoe, leaving the top and bottom unsewn. If you are using a fabric with a right side and a wrong side, you will need to do this step with right sides facing each other.
- Flip your boot right side out and try it on. Make any adjustments as needed.
- Repeat on the other side and you have finished your easy, DIY superhero boots!
This year, when I was about to embark on the task of making yet another superhero costume, I realized that Captain America's boots were a little different than the rest. Captain America's boots are folded over and are a bit clunkier than the other's boots.
I was tempted to use the same method as above, and just make the boots longer and wider at the top, but I thought about how if I folded the fabric over, the seems would then be visible. I did come up with a few ideas about how to fix that, but meanwhile it occurred to me to try something else…
While browsing in my garage, I saw some red tape and couldn't help but wonder if it was possible to make superhero boots out of duct tape. Once again, I thought I was a genius, but, once again, it turns out I'm not the inventor of superhero duct tape boots! There are actually quite a few tutorials already teaching the technique. Sigh.
In any case, I decided to use my own method of making Captain America's boots because I wanted to make something big and clunky, and also wanted something removable so that my son could play with them whenever he wanted.
DIY Superhero Boots Method 2
You will need: old shoes for the base/soles of the boots (If you will only be using the boots once, they can be shoes that you normally use, but if you want to make removable boots, keep in mind that you will have to destroy the boots to have access to the shoes again.), a pair of old socks (size and style is dependent upon the type of boots you want to make), duct tape in the color you want your boots to be
- Pick out a pair of shoes to use as the base of your boots. I wanted clunky boots that would be easily worn again, so I used a pair of slightly oversized croc type shoes. If you are making more streamlined superhero boots for one-time use, you can use flats like ballerina type shoes (for girls) or other flats.
- Find a pair of socks for the shaft of the boot. If you are making streamlined, one use, stick-to-your-leg type boots, tights would be a great choice. I was looking for a wide boot that would be removable, though, so I used some of my old socks for my son's boots.
- For streamlined, one use boots, put the shoes on, then put the tights OVER the shoes to protect them. You will now be covering the tights with duct tape over your shoes and up your legs. (If using the tights method, you will have to cut these boots off when you are finished wearing them!)
For the boots I made my son, I placed the socks inside the shoes, and then made a wide cardboard tube to stick inside the shoes and stretch the socks out width-wise.
- Cover the shoes and socks with duct tape, criss crossing the duct tape enough to completely cover the shoes and go up to the height you want the boots to be. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted the photos of the process, but you should be able to figure it out!
- Finish off the top of the boots: For regular boots, cut off the excess tape and tights at the top of the boots. Your superhero boots are done!
- To make a cuff: The cuff was actually harder that I thought it would be, but that's because I tried to make it out of a straight tube of thin fabric covered with duct tape. Because the cuff of the boots flares out, though, what you really need is to make a wide cone of either paper or cloth, cover it with duct tape, and then attach it to the top of the boots by wrapping the tape at the top over the edge and into the boots.
- Finish off the bottom of the cuff by cutting off the excess in a straight line all the way around the boots or you can wrap the tape underneath to finish off the bottom edge. That's it! Enjoy your new superhero boots!
Pretty cute, don't you think?