Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Make Your Own Elastic Shoelaces

DIY Elastic Shoelaces.  I love elastic shoelaces.  The look of laces + the ease of slip-on.  Last summer I'd bought myself  a pair of fancy-pants sneakers that had them and I wore those things EVERY day. Purely because of those laces.  They were just so easy to get on and off while carrying bags, kids, etc.

Then my 2yr old got these cute high tops for her birthday and I ended up having to retie them every 10 min.  And they got grungy immediately from being stepped on constantly. GRRR.  So I thought about how I could duplicate those easy, breezy, elastic laces on her shoes and came up with this idea.  Easy, fast and no more lace-related hassles!!

Supplies Needed:
- Fold Over Elastic (aka FOE).  This comes in several widths usually 5/8in and 1 in. I used 1 inch since that's what I had on hand.  Depending on the size of the holes, the 5/8 make be easier to use.
- Basic notions (sewing machine, pin, soluble/disappearing marking pen, scissors)

If you're not familiar with Fold Over Elastic this stuff is incredibly useful & versatile.  I've got more info on what it is HERE and loads of tutorials and project ideas using it HERE. Now here's the deal on making elastic laces with it --

First you loosen the shoelaces slightly and then mark the laces about 1 inch from the outside of the top lace holes:

Then unlace the shoe and measure the distance between the markings and cut two pieces of FOE that length:

Fold the elastic lengthwise and trim the ends to a point (this makes it easier to feed through the lace holes):

Mark the center of the FOE and center that at the base and begin to feed the folded elastic through the holes like so:

Continue feeding folded elastic through until both ends meet inside:

With right sides of the ends facing pin elastic open:

Stitch together & backstitch over a few times for strength and then trim close to stitching:

Pull elastic to fold over the seam and evenly adjust laces.  Now they're ready to wear:

Being folded means the elastic has some give, but won't get too floppy with wear.  It's ideal for small kids' shoes since it takes the constant threat of tripping and needing to be retied off a busy mom's hands (as if there isn't enough for Mom to do!).
It's also a great way to add some personality & color to any shoes since FOE comes in a rainbow of colors and prints.  I plan to freshen up more shoes with my stylin' FOE stash, how about you?

Sharing this with my FAVE LINK PARTIES too so click HERE to check them out!


  1. Ooh,great idea! It drives me crazy when long laces keep coming untied and get all dirty. Thanks for sharing!

  2. What a smart, smart, smart idea! I still refuse to by "tie shoes" for my kids! I LOVE this idea

  3. what a great idea, I personally don't like the look of boys velcro shoes anyways!
    You should join me for Handmade 52

  4. Love this! I had to do that to my son's church shoes (seriously, who is willing to retie a kid's shoes 100 times while at church?) But I never thought to try the FOE instead of regular elastic. Love it, I'll have to try it in the next size up (he's got the same shoes, but really, they were $1 a pair new, so I had to stock up so I didn't have to pay a ridiculous amount when his feet grew)

  5. thanks for reminding me that I really need new shoe laces ! ;)

  6. I wish I had these when I was a kid/teenager!! They would have made life so much better and I wouldn't have my mum nagging me about my shoes!!

    Feel free to submit this to my link party, would love to share it with more people!

  7. My daughter doesn't NEED no tie shoes but I'm so sick of her laces dragging on the ground that I might just do this for her!

  8. I wish I'd seen these when my kids were little! They had fat little toddler feet! They'd still be great for my six year old though. Thank you for sharing! :)

  9. What a great idea!!!Thank you for joining in the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. Big Hugs!

  10. this is seriously a great idea! Thank you!

  11. Wanted to let you know this was one of my top 3 picks from my link party!

  12. Awesome idea! My daughter is 2 and has shoes with laces that drive me crazy becuase she will sit there and untie them in the car {or anywhere else she is bored like while shopping}.

    I'd love for you to link up and share: http://tutusandteaparties.blogspot.com/2012/01/pinteresting-party-number-twenty-three.html

  13. You've posted this at exactly the right time for me - I've just been looking for elastic laces for my daughter and wondering if I could just make some!! Thanks!!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

    1. So glad the timing was so right JIll. Would love to see when you make some!

  14. Wow, that is such a great idea!! I've never heard of FOE, but I'm going to go look for it right now! :)

  15. Fantastic idea.. Thanks for linking..

  16. Too fun! Such a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing at Taking A Timeout Thursday!

  17. Great idea!! It would have been so nice to have them 25 years ago when my own kids were young!!! Maybe I can do the same thing to my husbands work boots???
    Thanks so much for joining me for Pearls and Lace Thursday!
    blessings, Doni

  18. These are sooooo cute! Thanks for linking up to Strut Your Stuff Saturday! We would love to have you back next Saturday to share more great ideas! -The Sisters

  19. Thanks so much for linking up to the Manic Monday link party…it was a huge success! Make sure you check back Sunday when I feature the top 3 posts. I’ll be hosting another Manic Monday linky party this week- the theme is “Favorite Things”…details will be posted at noon. 

  20. What a fabulous tip!! I pinned this so I can refer to it later. Thanks so much for linking up to my Saturday 7 Party!

  21. That is a super cute idea. Thanks for the tip. This busy mom will certainly be using it!
    ~Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva

  22. What a great idea. You can also use curly elastic shoelaces to get the same effect.

  23. great idea! I bought some snakers recently and the shoeloaces are way too long. I can't face trying to go find some the right length but I can easily do this so thanks!

  24. My daughter could use these, she has Down Syndrome, is 16, and needs to look like everyone else! Where can you buy this FOE?

    1. Fold Over Elastic is so versatile and useful, but it can be hard to find! Joann's now has some in their cloth diaper making section and online FOEyourdiaper.com has a great selection of colors, widths & even prints (it's my go-to source).

    2. Thank you so much!

  25. Great idea!! I couldn't stand it when my boys' shoelaces would drag all over the ground. They loved wearing Chucks and Vans, but seriously why are the laces so long for 6 and 10 year olds??

    I decided to do something about it, so I created Synch Bands (pronounced "cinch"). The first and only elastic shoelaces that look like normal shoelaces but can adjust and lock under your shoe's eyelet. No bows, no tying, just super comfy and snug slip-ons that look like lace up shoes :)

    People all over the country are just starting to find out about us from SoCal.

    Check 'em out...you might really love them :) http://synchbands.com


  26. thanks for this tutorial your a life saver my 4 1\2 is close to the point were velcro shoes in her size are getting scarce her father and i are constantly searching for velcro shoes and shes no where near ready to tie her own laces this may be the answer to my problem. she can do it herself and i dont have to worry about velcro shoes in short supply


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