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Dad's Shoe Bag

fathers day gift sewing

Simple enough to make in time for Father's Day next weekend, this project would make a great homemade gift that's a bit different from the usual socks!

shoe bag project

Dad’s Shoe Bag

This super-stylish and useful shoe bag makes an ideal Father’s Day present. Your Dad can use it for storing shoes at home or when traveling, and he will really appreciate the work that you have put into it. If you have never tried embroidery before, be sure to give it a go. It’s an easy and satisfying craft to learn. This design uses three simple embroidery stitches.

You will need:


Tracing paper


Light box (optional)

Masking tape

Natural linen fabric measuring 34 x 121/2 in. (86 x 32 cm)

Air-erasable pen

Embroidery needle and floss (I used dark gray and red)


Sewing machine



3/4 in. (2 cm) wide cotton tape measuring 49 in. (125 cm) in length

Safety pin


shoe bag step1

1. Trace out the shoe design from the template and use a light box or a window to transfer your design to the fabric. Tape the design to the light box or window and then tape the fabric over the design so that it is centered between the two side edges and 6 1/2 in. (16 cm) down from the top edge. Go over all the lines with an air-erasable pen.

shoe bag step 2

2. Use the template as a guide to embroider the shoes leaving the laces until last. Note that some bullion knots are large and some are small. I wound the cotton thread around the needle four times for the smaller knots, seven times for the larger knots, and ten times for the knots at the ends of the laces.

shoe bag step 3

3. With right sides together, fold the fabric in half, short edge to short edge. Pin down each long side and sew a line of stitching with a 1/2 in. (1 cm) seam allowance and finishing 2 1/2 in. (6 cm) short of the top edge on either side.

shoe bag step 4

4. Make a small snip—just under 1/2 in. (1 cm)—on each of the four raw side edges, immediately above the seams you sewed in Step 3. Turn a 1/4 in. (5 mm) double hem on each raw side edge. Pin and machinestitch each hem, continuing 1/2 in. (1 cm) into the seam that joins the front and back panels together.

shoe bag step 5

5. Now turn over a 1/2 in. (1 cm) hem on both the front and the back panels at the top of the bag. Press, then turn a 1 1/8 in. (3 cm) hem. Pin the hem in position and sew a neat line of stitching along the hem, keeping close to the edge.

shoe bag step 6

6. Attach a safety pin to the end of the cotton tape and thread the tape through the hem space you made in Step 5. Thread the tape through the channel once more.

shoe bag step 7

7. Overlap the two raw ends of the cotton tape and sew together with a few lines of stitches. You should have two loops of tape at each side of the bag.

8. Take hold of one loop at each side of the bag, and pull on them both to draw the top of the bag together. Make sure you have roughly the same amount of cord on each side of the bag. Try and manipulate the tape so that the join is hidden inside the hem channel.

shoe bag detail


I have used a light-colored fabric for my shoe bag, but you could opt for a dark fabric. If you do, use dressmaker’s carbon paper to transfer the design in Step 1.


For more seasonal and special occasion projects, check out A Year in Crafts by Clare Youngs. 


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