Orange Juice, ETC

The blog of Elias & Theresa Carlson

DIY: Studded Ballet Slippers

The idea of being a ballerina has appealed to me since I was in Kindergarten when Emily and I decided that was what we would be when we grew up. Not so much the sore feet and hours of training but the tutus and prancing about in little pink slippers is very tempting. Since I have never owned a tutu or even taken a ballet class, the Studded Ballet Slipper seemed like the perfect way to fulfill my dream of being a ballerina without looking like a 5 year old. I decided that instead of spending $50+ dollars on these I would see if I could make them myself for a lower cost and started looking for supplies.

I chose the Capezio Teknik Slipper in pink as they appear to be the same shoe that is used for the original Studded Ballet Slipper and since they say to order these in your street size, I didn’t have to guess on size*. I ordered the 1/2 inch Silver Pyramid studs from Studs and Spikes. The total cost for supplies came in at right about $30.00, almost half the price of the real thing!

Since the top-middle stud lines up with the bow on the slipper, that is the first one I did. I positioned the stud on the slipper where I wanted it to go and pressed it into the leather to leave an indentation as a guide for where I would cut slits to insert the stud.

With a sharp exacto knife I put small holes in the leather and through the fabric lining on the shoe in the places where my indentations were. Be careful only to insert the tip of your blade, even if the slit is not quite as big as the prongs on the stud, it is better that they be on the small side than on the large side. Once you start to insert the stud, the holes will stretch to fit the stud.

Next, I pushed the prongs of the stud into the slits I made with my exacto. By bending back the inside of the shoe I could see where the prongs had come through to the inside of the shoe. Taking a pair of pliers, I squeezed the two prongs together so they bent in towards each other. Since I could not get them to lay flat by using only this technique, I then inserted the pliers (any solid object will do) and pressed down on the top of the stud to make the prongs lay flat inside the shoe.

Following the triangle pattern I wanted to achieve, I continued to apply studs until both slippers were completed. This simple DIY took me about 30 minutes total, saved me money, and I ended up with a product that I think is just as good as what I could have bought, maybe even better since I did it myself! I might have to make a pair of black ones next…

*Note: When I got my slippers in the mail I thought they were too loose and I would have to return then for a different size. Then I realized that the cute little bow is an elastic drawstring. If you think you slippers are oddly baggy, just tighten up the strings and they will fit around your foot much better!

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30 Responses

  1. As someone who spent A LOT of time in ballet slippers, this makes me giggle.

    A couple words to the wise: we usually bought ours down a size because the leather stretches a lot over time. However, it totally depends on the shoe – some are a thinner leather (that was the preferred kind for dance because you could feel the floor better) and stretch a lot more; some are a thicker leather and won’t stretch nearly as much. And, actually, the point of getting them smaller was so that the leather would conform to the shape of your foot, which is probably not what you want from a “street” shoe.

    Be careful about wearing them outside. Since they don’t have a real sole, you’ll wear through them very quickly on rough pavement or wet weather. (I had a pair of character shoes that were the PERFECT mary janes that I used to wear around as street shoes, and it only took a couple of rain showers to completely ruin the suede-y stuff on the bottom.)

    Finally, if you feel like you have too much bow, you can just snip the elastic ties. They’re made for that and are pretty fray resistant. We always snipped ours as small as possible, but of course that’s because you tuck them inside the shoe if you’re actually using them for dance, and a big wad of elastic in your shoe isn’t particularly comfortable. But if you’re finding that you need to cinch them a fair amount to get the right fit and suddenly have too much elastic for a cute bow, just snip ‘em!

    Very cute!

  2. Thanks for all the tips! I’m thinking about having street soles put on them so they won’t wear so fast.

  3. Andrea

     /  July 21, 2010

    Hold me closer tiny dancer!

  4. this is so adorable! found you via beautiful mess. cute blog. :)

  5. I just found youre blog and it looks so cute!
    I really wished I went to ballet when I was a kid, because the shoes are so beautiful

  6. I linked this DIY on my site! :)
    just thought you’d like to look! There’s a giveaway as well! :)

    love, polly

  7. Thank you everyone for the kind comments and Thank you Elsie of A Beautiful Mess for featuring my DIY! Welcome new readers, glad to have you :)

  8. We dig it! Featured you on our blog :)
    http://katiegariepy.blogspot.com/

  9. This is awesome! Thanks for posting it, I’ve been lusting after the bonadrag shoes for a while, but a DIY version is even better! I’m currently waiting for the slippers and studs to arrive in the mail so I can make them!

  10. holly

     /  July 29, 2010

    does the underside of the “prongs” of the studs not rub and cut your toes? D:

  11. I was concerned about that as well but It has proven to not be an issue, I cannot feel them at all. You can push the prongs in a tad bit farther than flush with the inside of the shoe so that they point slightly up into the dome of the stud.

  12. You are rocking my world right now. Sursly. Genius. I have been totally geeking out over studs w/pastels lately. I heart you.

  13. i love DIY, and it is so cute :)

  14. This is so crazy! I actually fell in love with these ballet slippers from the store months ago and since then was set to make a pair myself! So, I bought myself a pair of ballet slippers and headed to Joanns, but I couldn’t find the right studs anywhere! So, I have to ask, where did you buy your studs? I love how your slippers turned out and think they look as good, if not better than the store bought ones! Great job!

  15. Reyna, I am so glad you are going to make your own slippers! I get my studs from Studs and Spikes. Good luck!

    http://www.studsandspikes.com/

  16. 32y/oMan

     /  October 6, 2011

    Wow, looking at these made me think back to when I was in high school and took ballet. Of course, I must be gay because I dance, right? I’m making these for my wife this Christmas. Great idea, thank you.

  17. Raven

     /  April 26, 2012

    I’ve found what I want to wear on my feet for my wedding!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Shoshannah

     /  January 13, 2013

    Hey, what a cool idea! Did you ever put soles on them for street wear? I ask because I’m having trouble walking in any kind of shoe other than a sneaker, and would like something for dress or to wear with a summer skirt.

    About decoration, do you think I could use sequins? How would I go about that?

    Thanks!

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