DIY Boot Inserts

November 14, 2013

With fall here and winter rapidly approaching I’ve finally switched out my summer shoes and clothes for my cold weather ones. This means I just moved it all to the middle – I’m not fancy enough or have a big enough home to have separate closets for different seasons. If you’re one of those lucky people to have separate closets then I’m rather jealous. Moving on.

When I pulled out my leather riding style boots I noticed a small problem – they hadn’t fared too well over the long summer months being shoved in the back of the closet and looked a bit forlorn, and well, wilted. I started looking for something easy to DIY to combat the droop but I could only find ones made of rolled up newspapers and magazines or cut up pool noodles – I wanted something a little prettier.
My boots didn't do so well in the back of my closet
At BlogPodium Tonic Living had given all the attendees two yards of fabric and asked us to create something with it and any other fabric we had on hand for an Instagram contest. I decided I’d use my new fabric to make pretty DIY boot inserts. The contest is finished, but I'm rather pleased with my creation so I thought I'd share.

What you’ll need

Fabric – 4 circles and two rectangles
Fiberfill, or stuffing of your choice
Dried Beans (optional)
I used a yard of Varenna in coral, and a sample of Cameron in storm - both from Tonic Living
First you’ll need to measure your boots. For tall boots you’ll want the inserts to be tall enough to support the ankle but still reach the top of the boot. Mine were 14” tall. You’ll also want to decide how wide you’ll want them to be. I decided mine should have a 3” diameter, however once finished I found that a little big – 2 ½” would probably be better.
Cut your shapes. I used a ramekin to trace my circle
Cut out your shapes. Cut four circles to form the top and bottom of your inserts - remember to make your circle a bit bigger for the seam allowance. You’ll then cut out two rectangles.  The rectangles will be the height you’ve decided on for your insert plus about an inch for the seam allowances at the top and bottom. The width of the rectangle will be the circumference of your circle plus the allowance. This is where that high school math you were sure would never use in real life is useful (circumference = diameter times 3.14. In my case it was 3” x 3.14= 9.42” which I rounded up to 9 ½”).
Pin your fabric together to make two tubes
Pin your fabric rectangles right side in to make tubes. You’ll want to sew along the short side leaving your seam allowance. Once those are done you’ll pin one circle to each end of the tube – again, fabric right side in. You may have to fiddle with this a bit, but  I found pinning inwards worked best. You’ll then sew your rounds to the top and bottom of the tube. Take your time – this was my first time attempting to sew anything other than a straight line, and it worked for me with a little patience.
Pin the circles to the tubes of fabric to make the top and bottom of your inserts
Leave an opening at one end of each tube so you can turn it inside out, and then stuff it. I wanted to have a little weight at the bottom of my inserts so I used a cup of dried garbanzo beans, but this isn’t required.
Once you've sewn your inserts turn them right side out, and insert the dried beans
Stuff your inserts well - use a wooden spoon to push the stuffing firmly into the bottom.
I then stuffed my inserts using a pillow I sacrificed as I didn’t have any regular fiberfill. To help get the stuffing to the bottom of my tube I used a long wooden spoon. You’ll want the insert to be stuffed firmly – remember the purpose of the insert is to support your boots. Once they were filled I hand stitched the holes closed.
Stitch the openings closed and then add your finishing touches
To finish the inserts I attached a length of ribbon to the tops using a simple whip stitch, and then added a small bow to the tops. The ribbon in optional, however I wanted to be able to hang my inserts up out of the way when they weren’t in use.
I attached a length of ribbon to the top of each insert
A length of ribbon attached at the top makes your boot inserts easy to hang out of the way when not in use
These were easy to make, requiring limited sewing skills and a bit of patience, and they’d make a great Christmas gift. What do you think? Would you make yourself or someone else some of these?
DIY boot inserts

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  1. I LOVE these and I totally intend to copy you :)

  2. This is amazing. Definitely going to copyhack this idea for my sad floppy boots.

  3. Those rock! Love the fabric and the cute details. Great idea!

  4. This is genius my friend. Genius.

  5. This has to be one of my favourite DIY projects EVER :)

  6. Fabulous idea! And they look so much cuter than the plastic ones I have! We'll done!

  7. what a wonderful project! i LOVE the fabrics you chose! could be a great gift for a friend, PINNED!
    XO, mama lola

  8. I'm so glad you posted this tutorial! I thought this idea was a "shoe-in" for the winning Tonic Living entry ;-) This is a great idea for keeping tall boots out of the salt that inevitably comes with Canadian winters.

  9. Those are way too pretty to be shoe inserts!!! But what a great great idea!

  10. Ardis - Rustic RetrievalsNovember 18, 2013 4:49 pm

    Such a GREAT idea!! I may just make some for myself to ease my way back into sewing.

  11. OMG LOVE this post:) so totally cute and feminine.

    Check out my new post....Amazing handmade patchwork rugs:)

    Have a fab weekend dear

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis - inredning it's, Swedish for decor :)

  12. i love Love, LOVE this idea! Thank you and I really think you are on to something considering how boots are so in fashion now. Pinning! ~Thea

  13. Thanks Thea! Hope you make some for yourself!


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