boring flats to ballet style toe-shoes . how to-sday

May 10, 2011 separator DIY Tutorial

It’s been forever since I’ve done a tutorial, but now I’ve graduated! Please forgive me for my very noticeable absence. I’m in cleaning mode, so I’ve been separating everything I own into things I want and things I don’t anymore. These shoes almost landed in the dreaded Pile Two, and then I got this cute (and absurdly girlie) little idea for them!




  • pair of flats (new or pre-loved)
  • four large jump rings
  • scissors
  • fire (lighter or a candle)
  • at least four beads (optional)
  • lightweight ribbon
  • skewer, drill, or sharp-tipped pliers


1.   Try your shoes on to find a spot at the back of each side where a jump ring won’t rub your ankle. Mine went into the little gaps between the skinny back of my foot and the shoe. Mark the spots if you need to, then [carefully!] bore a little hole using a skewer, drill bit, or some jewelry pliers. If you’re using leather shoes, a drill might be the best option. Don’t stab yourself like I did!

2.   You should have a small, clean hole like the image above. Continue to the other side of the shoe and then to both sides of the other shoe.


3.   Open one of your jump rings, and thread it through one of the holes. Close it back as tightly as possible. Always open and close jump rings forward to back, not side to side. This keeps the circle from bending out of shape and losing its strength. I got these large rings from Supply Pusher on Etsy.  


3.   Repeat with the other three jump rings, closing them all as tightly as possible. When your shoes have two new “earrings” apiece, it’s time to move onto the next step.
5.   Cut two long pieces of your ribbon to wrap around your ankles. I used about 40 inches per shoes.

6.   Using a small flame, carefully singe the four ribbon ends to keep it from fraying and make it easier to thread.


7.   Thread one ribbon through the two rings on one shoe, and then continue with your other shoe.

8.   Add a decorative bead to each ribbon end. I used some nautical little celluloid vintage rings that I’ve had lying around for ages. You could even thread a few little beads onto each end. This is purely decorative. Tie it tightly, and trim the end of the knot.
Now just tie these around your ankles and then finish it off with a cute little bow! The best part of these (besides reviving an old pair of shoes and the fact that it’s practically free) is that you can change the ribbons out to match anything you’re wearing! I know it’s been awhile on the How To-sdays, but what do you think?!


  1. This is a FANTASTIC how to!!!! I LOVE ballet flats and I had one pair that I bought this way (Steve Madden) and after they wore our never found any more. Now, arm with your easy instructions, I can make my own!! Thank you!

  2. I would totally try this! But being the lazy person I am, I would glue the ribbon on with some fabric glue 😛

  3. This is lovely! I’ll try it with a pair of golden flats I have and don’t wear much, I think they’ll look great, thank you.

  4. L-O-V-E! What a great idea to revamp an ‘older’ pair of shoes:)

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