boot shapers: a happy stuff tutorial

on a recent shopping trip to a shoe store, i was admiring their beautifully simple boot shapers.  only, i didn’t know that’s what they were called.  i thought of them as “boot pillows” or “boot forms” but a quick google search revealed that the most commonly used term for these things you stick into your boots to make them stand upright is… boot shapers.  why do i care if my boots stand upright?  because the last two pairs of boots that i had developed cracks in their leather, right around the point where the tops flopped over.  in order to prevent that from happening to these new lovelies, i created my own boot pillows and put together a tutorial for you in case you want some of your own!

you’ll need:

a fat quarter of fabric

some ribbon or twill tapel for the handle (optional)

some sort of stuffing (check your recycling bins!  more on this later.)

how to start:

1.  cut your fat quarter in half the long way.  (i did this by folding the fabric in half and just slicing off a smidgen with a straight edge.)

2.  fold each half in half (again, the long way) and round the top edge.  I grabbed a roll of tape to give me the curve, but you can also just eyeball it.

3.  with the fabric still folded, starting about 1/3 of the way down the length, and angling down to about 1/2 way across the bottom edge, cut an angle across the open side.

4.  cut two strips of ribbon or twill tape into 6″ lengths.  you now have all of your materials.

5.  fold the twill tape in half and tuck it into the top of the boot shaper, along the curved edge.  the raw edges of the tape and the fabric should line up and the twill tape should be between the layers (against the right sides of the fabric).

6.  sew the folded piece together.  start at the curved top edge (near the fold on the side) and end at the bottom edge (leaving the whole bottom edge open).  then turn them right side out.  (p.s. please ignore the fact that the fabric below has changed from the pictures above.)

7.  stuff them!  yes, you could use poly-fil pillow stuffing, but why not raid your recycling and trash bins for free stuffing instead?  i filled mine with plastic grocery bags (and when i ran out of those, i actually used a few plastic bags that had originally held nuts and trail mix), but you could also use fabric scraps or hole-y socks or even crumpled magazine pages (although those might get a bit icky if your boots are ever wet on the inside….).8. once your shapers are stuffed nice and full, fold the bottom edge over twice and sew it closed.

9.  insert into your boots, loop side sticking out and enjoy your tidy boots!

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5 Responses to boot shapers: a happy stuff tutorial

  1. Jessica says:

    So fantastic. I’m definitely going to make some for my boots. Thanks for sharing this idea!

  2. Jen K. says:

    What a great idea! I definitely be making some of these for my boots too. Can you believe I actually don’t even wear my boots that often because I sorta forget that I have them. They are currently stored in a box in the back of my closet, similar to the original box they came in, so they could lay flat because I didn’t want them to get folded over and permanently marred while patiently waiting for me to put my feet in them. You inspire me!

    I also love the residents of your shoe shelf that are peeking out in this picture below the boots! :-)

  3. Pam says:

    Could you give the dimensions on the fabric? I have scrap fabric that I would like to use for this project. I’m new to sewing and I think these would be super cute for holiday gifts.

  4. Kate says:

    Hey Pam, I was just wondering the same thing, but looking at her cutting mat, the top is 12″ (so the total width of her original fat quarter was 24) and the length was 18″. Which makes sense if a full yard of quilting material would be 36″ x 48″, then a “fat quarter” would be 18′ x 24,” which she cuts in half to get her two boot shaper pieces.

    Long story short: each boot shaper piece starts out as 12″ x 18.”

    And now, to burn up some of those scraps and save my boots! Thanks for posting this pattern/tutorial.

  5. Karen says:

    Jo-Ann Fabrics sells “fat quarters”. The starting dimensions of each fat quarter are 18″ x 21″. I plan to fill the bottom “foot end” with cedar chips from a pet store to add a fresh smell to the boots.

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