Handmade gladiator shoes for American Girl dolls

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I’d sewn a small collection of dresses for my American Girl dolls. And while I prepared for taking photos I’d faced a problem that I don’t have suitable shoes to present my collection! Sure, girls dolls never have enough shoes!

I’d tried to use cheaters method, because I’m lazy, – to buy shoes on eBay. But I had not found any shoes I liked. So I had to get pads that I made last year and make gladiator shoes for my American Girl dolls.

I had light blue natural leather and faux white leather. First, I wrapped pads with cling wrap, then with masking tape and draw a shoe pattern. Also, I cut out two soles from cardboard. I was about to trace soles to faux leather but then just glued the cardboard soles to the faux leather, and then cut out the faux leather soles with the cardboard together. Thus, I got really clear sole edges. I cut out the outer soles from linoleum as well. I found linoleum in a craft store, where they recommended to use it for imprints. It turned out that it also suitable for doll shoe soles.


I cut out the front parts of my sandals and cut openings in them. Then I cut out strips and pulled them into the holes (openings). I used quilters ruler and rotary cutter so I got perfectly flat strips.


Then I prepared a back part of the sandals.


I cut out strips again for sandals fastening. Then I made holes and glued buckles to the strips.


I pulled the fastening strip into a loop at the sandal’s back, I made when I prepared sandal’s back, then I glued sandal’s back part of the inner sole.


Next I pulled the fastening strip into the front sandal’s part. After that it became easy to glue the sandal’s front part strips to the inner sole.


After that I just glued the linoleum soles and made the edging out of the strip.


I made a top-stitch on gladiator shoes below, but decided do not make it on the next ones.


Also, I found a linoleum with a sacking texture in the craft store and used this linoleum for the soles. I liked the combination of such texture on the soles and smooth leather, even if nobody sees the soles.


To make the second white gladiators a bit different from the first ones I cut out flowers from the faux white leather and decorated them with beads.


My American Girl dolls are happy to wear the new gladiator shoes and almost ready for photoshoot 😉


2 thoughts on “Handmade gladiator shoes for American Girl dolls

  • These are great! I have also bought some pads for the soles of AG sized shoes, and I have a big bag of lovely leather that a friend in the UK gave me, so one of these days I really must get around to making some shoes for my girls too 🙂

    • Making a doll shoe is a very interesting and addictive process! I’m looking forward to see ready shoes on your blog.

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