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Saturday, July 28, 2012

[TUTORIAL] Removable Shoe Wings

Some of you may know the Greek messenger god, Hermes. He's best known for his winged sandals that allowed him to move quickly and even fly. I am a fan of anything with wings. Birds, angels, bats, you name it. (Well, maybe not bugs.) I've always been fascinated with how birds and bats fly and been trying to draw them for years.

I saw these shoes on eBay last night and I remember pinning The Dainty Squid's removable shoe fringe tutorial and an amazing idea formed in my jumbled mind...


GENIUS! I haven't had an original idea in awhile (crafting wise) so I immediately dropped everything I was doing (aka making more cigarette ankle pants) and dug through my fabric stash for some faux leather and grabbed my black oxford ankle booties from the closet. And thus, these were born:

I love them so much. I might even make bat wing ones for Halloween.

Here's the tutorial (and pattern) for it!

I doodled up some wings on large index cards and outlined them with a Sharpie. If you don't feel like drawing, I made a downloadable printable pattern! Remember to choose "Actual Size" before printing so nothing is cut off. It's best to use cardstock or heavier paper since you'll be using this as your template on your leather/vinyl.

Cut out your wings. I find it easier to use smaller scissors to cut out complicated shapes. It helps cut out all those little details. *NOTE* I did NOT include the lace holes in my pattern. Each shoe's lace holes are spaced differently so you must measure this on your own!

Get a large needle and punch through the holes so that you can trace them.


Grab your leather/vinyl.

Flip your vinyl/leather to the wrong or "rough" side (the side that you don't want showing) and trace with a silver or white dressmaking pencil/color pencil.

Carefully cut out all the wings. This is the most tedious part. I did NOT cut the "slits" in between the feathers. I waited until the wings were assembled.

Grab some Heat N' Bond Ultrahold. This can be found in your local Walmart in the crafts section or any fabric store. They have the purple colored Heat N' Bond which is not the ultrahold. DO NOT get this. It will NOT stick your wings together and cause much pain and misery.

Position your wings on the bumpy side of the Heat N' Bond paper with the ROUGH/WRONG side of the fabric facing the bumpy side. 

Turn OFF the steam on your iron and set it on low-ish heat. I set mine on 3.

Grab a scrap piece of cotton fabric and place on TOP of the wings and Heat N' Bond. Be careful not to shift the wings around underneath. Now press down with all your might BUT keep that iron moving! Don't let it sit too long or it'll MELT fake leather/vinyl. I can't really tell you how long to iron since everyone's iron heats differently. I kept mine on about 30 seconds moving around frequently to get everything covered.

Peel the scrap fabric back to see if the Heat N' Bond has stuck to the back side. Don't worry if it comes off in a huge transparent sheet with the wings still stuck. Just carefully pick away at the transparent sticky side BUT make sure it's still stuck to the backside of your wings!

Press the OPPOSITE/FLIPPED wing so that the WRONG sides of the fabric of the wings are touching each other. See what I'm doing? I'm DOUBLE LAYERING the wings together to give it stability and plus, it looks better. Once the two wings are placed together with the Heat N' Bond sandwiched between, place the scrap fabric back on TOP and press firmly (and MOVE) for about 30 seconds or more to melt the Heat N' Bond and stick the 2 wings together.

Should look like this now. You'll have 2 large wings and 2 small wings. Trim any extra Heat N' Bond sticking out or overlaps in the wings.

Looking good! Almost done!

Grab your paper templates and use the holes you punched through earlier to mark the holes.

Grab your large needle and push and form the holes carefully. I suggest using a twisting motion to help force the needle through. 

Then, I grabbed my blunt ice pick (or awl) and gently force the holes open so that they're big enough for the shoe laces to go through.

I didn't glue or attach the wings together, I just laced the shoe string through the holes since they hold both layers pretty firmly. And here's how they look!

I chose not to use metal grommets for the holes because it is 8AM, my husband is still asleep, and I'm lazy. The wings are still a little floppy, but I think they look pretty good once they're on your feet. They kinda "flap" so it looks like you're about to take flight! :)

These new additions may not help you get anywhere faster, but you'll sure turn heads mighty quick! I can't wait for fall to come so I can sport these around town! 

If you use this pattern to make your own, I would love to see it! Different colors would be AWESOME! Just post your link below in the comments! 

Thanks for reading and happy crafting!


  1. Very impressed with this tutorial. So creative!

    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

  2. Where do you get your oxfords! I always look for them in the shoe stores at my mall but they don't sell any or they're too expensive. :( can you name places that do sell them for cheap? I LOVE this tutorial! I always wanted to buy winged shoes but I never thought of this! You are a genius!!

    1. Thank you so much!

      I got my shoes about 2 years ago at Payless for $20. I don't think they sell them anymore, but I have seen some for pretty cheap on eBay! I just typed in "oxford heels" and tons of results popped up!

  3. Brilliant!! I hope to be able to try this out soon :)

  4. Hey!! Used this tutorial and made the wings for my shoes posted here!

    1. Those look great! Thanks so much for sharing and I'm glad you found my tutorial useful! :)