DIY Bow Mary Janes

Look what I made!

Sweet Mary Janes with pretty floral bows! If you’ve got a pair of ballet flats that could use a little something to make them more special, this easy peasy DIY is just the ticket.

To make your own Bow Mary Janes, you’ll need:

  • Some ballet flats (either plain ones or ones with simple embellishments that can be removed)
  • A glue gun and glue sticks
  • 2 large press studs
  • Scissors
  • Iron on adhesive such as Vliesoflex (to bind 2 pieces of fabric together)
  • Dressmakers chalk
  • Ruler
  • Iron

Step 1

If your shoes have any embellishments, carefully remove them. The shoes I used had funny bows sewn on, which I unpicked. Don’t try to remove embellishments that are glued on as it’s likely that in doing so you will damage the shoes.

Step 2

Use your ruler and chalk to draw up 4 rectangles, each 13cm x 7cm. Mark the rectangles on the wrong side of the fabric so that they won’t be visable when you’re finished.

Step 3

Cut out the rectangles and, following the instruction on your adhesive, bond them back to back, so that you have 2 double sided rectangles. The adhesive will also reinforce the fabric and make your bows more structured.

Step 4

Pinch the centres of the two double-sided rectangles to form bow shapes, and secure with glue.

Step 5

Cut out 2 strips of fabric approximately 3cm wide (for the centres of the bows). Fold the raw edges underneath and press.

Step 6

Wrap the fabric strips around the centre of the bows (with the raw edges tucked underneath) and secure with glue. Trim away any excess fabric from the ends of the strips.

Step 7

Cut out 4 strips of fabric for your ankles straps. For each strap fuse two fabric stips together with adhesive (back to back), then trim them to the right size. My straps are a bit over 2cm wide and about 21 cm long (from tip to tip) but I have very wide feet, so make sure you test the length of the straps and adjust them to fit, before you glue. I also trimmed the ends of the straps so that they were round.

Step 8

Glue one half of a press stud to the rounded end of each strap.

Step 9

Put the shoes on and postition the straps where you would like them to sit. Use chalk to mark where the other halves of the press studs need to go and where the strap needs to be attached on the other side (on the inside). Glue the straps on, and…

Ta da! You’ve got yourself an adorable new pair of shoes!

Team your Bow Mary Janes with colourful tights and wear them for picnicing in the park, wandering about the farmers market and going on leisurely Sunday drives! Hurrah!

Katie x

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About Katie

Katie is a tea drinking, jewellery making, op-shopping daydreamer. Katie likes vintage dresses, Pictionary, doilies and colourful tights.


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32 Responses to “DIY Bow Mary Janes”

  1. deer donna November 2, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    they are soo gorgeous! if i didnt have a horrible freaky foot which doesnt allow me to wear shoes that arent tough as nails, i would try this out.

  2. Kelly November 2, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    I’m a sucker for a cute pair of Mary Janes…& I absolutely adore these! Cute DIY, Katie! Thanks for sharing it, because I can’t wait to try it out myself.

  3. Heidi November 3, 2011 at 12:43 am #

    Oh my, how adorable!

    Thank you for the fabulous tutorial, I am determined to try this!

  4. Mags November 3, 2011 at 12:54 am #

    These are super cute! If if didn’t have boat feet and could find ballet flats to fit me I would totally make this

  5. anastasia November 3, 2011 at 1:46 am #

    Waaay cute!! Was the glue gun enough to hold it?? I always try to adorn shoes with everything from stitches to super glue and never thought of a glue gun. These came out so cute!!

    • Katie
      Katie November 3, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

      I’ve only worn them once but yes, so far the glue as held just fine! Obviously they won’t be the sturdiest shoes or last forever, but for gentle wear they seem to be ok 🙂

  6. i wish i was a giant anteater November 3, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    how pretty! that looks like a fun DIY 🙂

  7. Bruna Resende November 3, 2011 at 2:50 am #

    Lovely idea! I want to try it!

  8. Allie November 3, 2011 at 3:29 am #

    I just love this, Katie! It’s so fun and pretty! I’ll have to try it out soon!

    • Katie
      Katie November 3, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

      Thanks Allie! If you do try it out please share some pics!

  9. Lyndall November 3, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    These are so cute! I love them!

  10. Kelly November 3, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    lol i nearly bought those shoes the other day, but i didnt like the bows either! CUTEST DIY ever!

    • Katie
      Katie November 3, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

      Yes, the bows were just odd! If you are going to put a bow on something, for goodness sake, make it a cute one! 🙂

  11. kim November 3, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    nice one.

  12. Megan November 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    Those are so Cute!

  13. Emily November 4, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    I made some just like these! Though I didn’t think to include the strap, only the bow– what a cute idea!!

  14. bronny November 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    Adorable! And it looks relatively easy to do, I’ll have to give it a try.

  15. Lauren November 5, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    so cute! great DIY! 🙂 -Lo

  16. MaDonna November 5, 2011 at 12:58 am #

    So sweet! Seems even easy enough that I could do it.. The tights are stunning with the shoes, too! Thank you for the tutorial.

    MaDonna xx

  17. ainsley November 5, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    those are super duper adorable, i love them!

  18. Taylor November 5, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! I definitely have a pair of flats with an ugly bow that are just dying to be updated and worn! Love the way yours turned out 🙂


  19. Eva November 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    You have really transformed these shoes. Nice work! 🙂

  20. MoMo November 7, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    Oh wow! You did such an amazing job!

    • Katie
      Katie November 7, 2011 at 9:47 am #

      Oh, thank you so much! <3

  21. Heidi December 1, 2011 at 12:20 am #

    I included this DIY in my most recent blog post if you want to check it out:

  22. jorjiapeach December 1, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    awesome. loveeee this.

  23. Sophie - That Vintage February 11, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    These are soooo cute!


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