I've been wanting to try my hand at making doll shoes for some time. So I did a little research, both online and in my doll making library. There are probably as many ways to make footwear for dolls as there are doll makers. I wanted to start with something simple and inexpensive to make, so that if it was a complete failure, at least it wouldn't be a big waste of money and materials.
What I came up with, after a lot of trial and error, is very simple and doesn't require any expensive supplies. I left my slippers unadorned, but this is a great project to let your creativity run wild! Glue a pretty little bow onto each slipper, or some rhinestones or beads, edge the slippers with lace, cover them with satin instead of felt, the possibilities are endless. The photo at right is my slippers modeled on my Gotz Precious Day doll, Julia. These shoes will fit most full bodied 18 inch dolls, such as American Girl, Madame Alexander and Gotz Precious Day dolls.
2 sheets of craft foam - I used sheets that are about 6 inches by 8 inches and about 3/16 of an inch thick; color doesn't matter. Light weight cardboard will work also.
one 12 inch square of craft felt - whatever color you like
E-6000 craft cement
The pattern is shown on a 1/2 inch grid.
Trace the pattern pieces onto the foam. Cut two of each, flip the sole pattern upside down for one of the pieces so that you have a left shoe and a right shoe. You do not have to flip the upper pattern.
Trace the pattern pieces onto the felt, again turning the sole pattern over to trace one. When you trace the upper patterns onto the felt trace around the outer edge about 1/8 of an inch away from the pattern. In other words make the upper pattern pieces about 1/8 inch larger along the entire outer edge. This will allow you to turn the edge under the bottom of the slipper.
Tape the foam uppers to the foam soles as in the photo at left, starting at the toe. Continue to tape the upper to the sole all the way around. Repeat with the second slipper.
Using a tooth pick run a small bead of E-6000 along the edge of the foam sole. Starting at the center toe, and working around the edge of the sole, glue the upper to the sole. Lift the tape to apply the glue and put it right back to hold until the glue dries. Glue the vertical edges together at the back (heel) of the slipper.
Apply E-6000 in an even layer on the entire upper of each slipper and glue the felt to the foam, completely covering the foam with the felt. Apply an even coat of glue to the outside of the foam sole and turn the bottom edge of the felt upper under and onto the sole. Glue the felt sole over the foam sole and the turned under edge of the felt upper. Repeat with the second slipper and let the glue dry. Enjoy!
The most popular dress on the Doll Making Site, The Spring Dress for 18 Inch Dolls, is included as well as 5 other outfits, underwear, and accessories such as jewelry, a bag, a knitted hat and scarf, and the new scrub suit. There are also patterns for slender Magic Attic type dolls as well as full-bodied American Girl dolls and an antique Saucy Walker doll from the 1950's.
If you love 18 inch dolls, and want a collection of patterns for a wardrobe, all in one handy Ebook, this is for you! All these patterns are available on the Doll Making site, but I have brought them all together in one book for ease of finding and using them. Make Clothes for 18 Inch Dolls.