Creative things to do with old shoes


green shoes with pink ribbonLook at these shoes! I adore them, they’re my favourites and I’ll be so sad when they die. I wear them constantly and they’ll only take so much re-heeling and repair.

Rather than throw them away when they finally shuffle off this mortal coil, I thought I’d hunt the internet to find creative things to do with old shoes.

Funky phone stand – Always losing your phone at home? Use a shoe as a funky mobile stand.

Non-slide car accessory – Fed up with stuff sliding around on your car dashboard, falling on the floor and getting lost under seats? A small rubber-soled child’s shoe is a great place to store change and so on because it’s non-slip.

Shoe planter – Brighten up you kitchen windowsill with herbs home-grown in shoes filled with compost, and make old boots into outdoor planters.

Recycle baby shoes 

  • frame a pair in a box frame for DIY shabby chic decor
  • get them bronzed or silver plated – a sweet little keepsake for your child
  • let the kids grow cress in them
  • stuff one with a small cotton wool-filled cushion (about ten minutes to sew by hand), glue it in and voila… a pincushion
  • store your earrings in them
  • frame a set of five shoes, one each from their first to fifth pairs, in a long box frame to show how they’ve grown

Charity shops and shoe banks – If they’re in good nick take them to your nearest show bank or drop them into a charity shop.

Dog toys – As long as it isn’t made of plastic, a shoe makes a great doggie toy.

Dressing up box – Old shoes are great fun for kids, especially your super-high crazy heels. A must for any good dressing-up box.

Doorstops and decorative objects – Let your children paint and decorate old shoes, or do it yourself and create a unique piece of home decor. Sand them first to provide a key for the paint. If you’re using old gloss or emulsion house paint, you can dip the shoes right in. Artists acrylic paint works well, too. Decorate them spray with varnish to seal them. How about filling decorated shoes with pebbles or sand and cement to make beautiful doorstops?

Revitalising boring shoes – If your shoes have some useful life left but you’re bored with them, tart them up by adding ribbons instead of laces, dying them a different colour with leather dye or pinning a silk flower on the front. Or sewing on old mother of pearl buttons, fabric butterflies… you get the picture! Decorated shoes cost a vast amount of money to buy and DIY saves a bomb – they’re upwards of £90 a pair in a shop in Brighton’s North Laine. If it all goes horribly wrong, you weren’t going to wear them again anyway…


About Author

I’m Kate. I live just outside Brighton, high up on the South Downs, with my husband Tony and our three cats. I’m dedicated to saving money, spending less, buying wisely, cutting waste, re-using, recycling, re-purposing and generating cash from the stuff I no longer want.

1 Comment

  1. Neat ideas thanks. When I read the title, I thought I can’t believe there will many practical ideas here, but the ideas for baby shoes are cute, especially the “get them bronzed or silver plated” that is great and will be a nice momento.

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