Quiet Book Page – Learn to Tie Your Shoes

And the diagram can fold out when the page is in use.
Finished 'How to tie your shoes' page.

I really wanted to make Ada a quiet book page that would give her an opportunity to learn to tie her own shoes when she’s ready. While working on the shoes and looking at more tutorials online I realized I also wanted to include a diagram so Ada could more easily follow the directions when I wasn’t readily available to remind her about them. To make the diagram easier to follow I also knew I needed to make the shoelaces both in the diagram and shoes different colors for the left and right side. I also sewed the center of the shoelace to the page so the shoelaces couldn’t be pulled out and their colors would stay on their proper sides matching the diagram.

Learn how to tie your shoes with a simple shoelace quiet book page with an accompanying diagram.

Materials

  • Fabric for the shoes – I chose some woven emergency vehicle fabric purchased previously from JOANN’s
  • White (used unbleached muslin) fabric for the page, directions, and the back of the shoe tongue
  • Fusible interfacing (used Pellon Fusible Thermolam) to strengthen and thicken the muslin
  • 1/4″ grommets or eyelets as my page will go onto binder rings in my quiet book cover
  • Heat’n Bond to glue items together or help apply a muslin backing to the fabric before sewing them together
  • Shoelaces
  • Fabric Markers – for the diagram and a last minute coloring of half of either shoelace

Making the Shoes

When deciding what size to make your shoes on the page keep in mind how large your quiet book page is, if you want to include one or two shoes on the page, how large your seam allowance is, if you want a margin around your shoes, and if you want to fit anything else on the page. At the time I wasn’t thinking of including the diagram and had room for a pair of shoes. I also went with the ease of using Ada’s shoes to trace out the outline for the page so I didn’t have to freehand the shoes. I used a leftover box of Annie’s Mac & Cheese to trace out both shoes and cut them out for a sturdy template.

I used Ada's shoes and the back of a box of Annie's Mac & Cheese to create a template for the pair of shoes.
I used Ada’s shoes and the back of a box of Annie’s Mac & Cheese to create a template for the pair of shoes.
Cut out your template.
Cut out your template.

I then had to decide where the shoe opening and tongue should be. I wanted an opening in the middle of the shoes with the tongue underneath the shoes edges like a regular pair of shoes so I sketched out my idea on one of the shoe templates to show how it would look from the outside before copying it onto the other template.

I then sketched out where I wanted to the inner edge of the shoe and the tongue to be.
I then sketched out where I wanted to the inner edge of the shoe and the tongue to be.
Made sure both shoes matched up.
Made sure both shoes matched up.

Based on my sketch I then drew out the outline of the shoe tongue and cut it out. I only needed the one template and later used it to cut out both shoe tongues.

Cut out the tongue of the shoe making sure it was long enough to be hidden within the toes of the shoe (to attach) and wider than the opening.
Cut out the tongue of the shoe making sure it was long enough to be hidden within the toes of the shoe (to attach) and wider than the opening.

I traced out my pattern pieces so I’d have them if I were to make this again. For your convenience I’ve traced out the resulting template onto paper and scanned it to make a simple one page template for you to download. If you want the shoes to be smaller or larger you can always change the print scale on your computer.

I attached fusible interfacing and then Heat’N Bond to the main fabric before figuring out where the template should be placed on the fabric. Just a heads up I later covered up the Heat’N Bond with fabric on the tongue and part of the shoe so this is optional. And now you can get fussy with the template location. I tried to line it up to maximize the entirety of the vehicles while also varying the type of vehicle on the resulting shoe. Once I was happy with the placement I traced around the template with disappearing ink onto the strengthened fabric. Using the iron can set the ink in the disappearing ink pen if it hasn’t fully disappeared though so I’ve since switched to an iErase friction pen instead as the heat from the iron makes the ink disappear on most fabrics. I finally cut the pieces out and then, after piercing the inside of the shoe to get a hole, cut out the inside of the shoes too. I then confirmed my pattern worked by laying the shoe over the tongue.

Attach fusible interfacing and Heat'N Bond to the back of your chosen fabric and use the template to draw out the shoe and tongue shapes. I made sure to try to maximize the vehicles on the shoes and get the entirety of the vehicles at least once.
Attach fusible interfacing and Heat’N Bond to the back of your chosen fabric and use the template to draw out the shoe and tongue shapes. I made sure to try to maximize the vehicles on the shoes and get the entirety of the vehicles at least once.
Cut them out. To get into the opening I folded it in half and cut a notch before opening it up and inserting my scissors in.
Cut them out. To get into the opening I folded it in half and cut a notch before opening it up and inserting my scissors in.
The shoes and tongue all cut out.
The shoes and tongue all cut out.
Made sure the shoes worked with the tongue inside (underneath) them.
Made sure the shoes worked with the tongue inside (underneath) them.

I then realized I didn’t want the shoe to get stuck on the tongue or for the tongue to stick to the quiet book page, since there was now Heat’N Bond attached to the back of both, so I cut out some muslin and attached it to the back of the tongue and the inside back of the shoe. To iron it on I laid the previously removed backing on the Heat’N Bond I didn’t want covered and ironing did cause it to stick a bit when I went to remove it. After attaching the muslin I then trimmed off any excess from the edges.

I realized I didn't want the Heat'N Bond to attach the shoes to the tongue so I used the template to cut out a rough scrap of muslin.
I realized I didn’t want the Heat’N Bond to attach the shoes to the tongue so I used the template to cut out a rough scrap of muslin.
Placed the muslin over the Heat'N Bond on the shoes where the tongue is going to go.
Placed the muslin over the Heat’N Bond on the shoes where the tongue is going to go.
Used the Heat'N Bond paper to cover the accessible Heat'N Bond.
Used the Heat’N Bond paper to cover the accessible Heat’N Bond.
Added more paper to make sure it was covered. You don't want that on your iron.
Added more paper to make sure it was covered. You don’t want that on your iron.
After the muslin is set on remove the paper.
After the muslin is set on remove the paper.
Cut out the center of the shoe again.
Cut out the center of the shoe again.
Top of the shoes.
Top of the shoes.

I then sewed along the inside edge of the shoes and along the tongue using a wide zigzag to make sure all the layers wouldn’t separate with play. Looking back I could’ve also used a straight stitch and just had separation within the seam allowance.

Sewed along the edge of the tongue and inner shoes to finish the edges as they won't be fully attached to the quiet book page.
Sewed along the edge of the tongue and inner shoes to finish the edges as they won’t be fully attached to the quiet book page.

At this point I decided to add grommets to the shoes so I could later thread the shoelaces to the shoes. Grommets are super easy but if you’re worried about them coming off for your little people or are more of a buttonhole-type person you could easily add buttonholes instead. Add as many lace holes as you have room for or as few as you want that will still keep the lace on the shoe properly. I included it so Ada and Zoey could lace the shoe and it would look more like a legit shoe. If you would rather not do buttonholes or grommets and want to focus just on shoe tying I could see having the ends of the laces poking out from a single point or still zigzag the laces but sew them down and have them come out from under the shoe at each point. You could always attach it to the shoe or trace the shoe to the page ahead of time and zigzag the laces to the page before attaching the shoes over top.

For the grommets themselves I marked where I wanted them to go with my disappearing ink pen, punched the holes with my Crop-A-Dile II Big Bite Punch, and attached my grommets one by one. My grommets were one-piece 1/4″ metal grommets. I inserted the grommets into the hole from the front, flipped the fabric over, pushed any loose fabric away from the prongs, lined up the tool that came with my original kit, and hammered the prongs flat. After removing the tool I hammer it again just to make sure the prongs lie completely flat. If you’re worried about the underside of the grommet scratching your child you could always get the two-piece grommet/eyelets. I used the two-piece ones previously in my quiet book pages, but mistakenly bought a 100 pack of the one-piece grommets when I ran out so I now use the one-piece. If you want more information about using grommets I explained it more in the third part of my in depth guide to joining quiet book pages. If you’re debating buying grommets I’ve also used them for my Duplo storage bag and playmat along with in each of my quiet book pages so they can be added, taken out, or moved around within my quiet book cover (or substitute a regular binder) using binder rings. A list of all my quiet book pages can be found here if you’re interested in making more.

Mark where on the shoes you want the holes for the shoelaces.
Mark where on the shoes you want the holes for the shoelaces.
Used my Crop-A-Dile II to punch the grommet holes in the shoes.
Used my Crop-A-Dile II to punch the grommet holes in the shoes.
After inserting the grommet into the front of the shoe I flipped it over and pressed the knobs through by pushing the fabric down and away around the grommet.
After inserting the grommet into the front of the shoe I flipped it over and pressed the knobs through by pushing the fabric down and away around the grommet.
Lined up the tool on the grommet.
Lined up the tool on the grommet.
And hammer the grommet on. After removing the tool if there's any sharp points I hammer them down again to smooth it.
And hammer the grommet on. After removing the tool if there’s any sharp points I hammer them down again to smooth it.
After all the grommets were added to both sides of the shoe.
After all the grommets were added to both sides of the shoe.
Do the same for the other shoe.
Do the same for the other shoe.

The next step is to attach the tongue and shoes to the quiet book page base. I wanted the inside of the shoes to look dark like an actual shoe so I first laid the shoes on my prepared quiet book page base (muslin backed with fusible interfacing) and once I liked where they were positioned I used my disappearing ink pen to mark the front, back, and sides of the inside edge of the shoes along with each grommet placement. I then used those marks as a guide to color with my black fabric marker. At times I paused to lay my shoes over top for confirmation that I was coloring the right portion of the page and not coloring too far. Once I liked how it looked I let it dry (minimum fifteen minutes based on the instruction with my first set) and then ironed it to set the ink.

I placed both shoes where I wanted them on the quiet book page base and used disappearing ink to mark where the inner shoe's top and bottom is along with where the grommets are.
I placed both shoes where I wanted them on the quiet book page base and used disappearing ink to mark where the inner shoe’s top and bottom is along with where the grommets are.
Then I used black fabric marker to make the interior of the shoe dark.
Then I used black fabric marker to make the interior of the shoe dark.
Place the shoes on top to make sure there are no white parts showing through and you colored enough. After any touch-ups and the ink dries you can use your iron to set the ink (or set according to the directions).
Place the shoes on top to make sure there are no white parts showing through and you colored enough. After any touch-ups and the ink dries you can use your iron to set the ink (or set according to the directions).

I then found shoe laces I had bought for sensory play and marked their center so I’d know where to sew the shoelace down. If I was thinking ahead this is where I would make the right and left side different colors; instead of afterwards when it was finished. When I did color the laces I just used fabric markers to color one half of each and then didn’t iron it as I wasn’t sure if it would melt. Since this page wasn’t going to be, normally, thrown in the wash I wasn’t too worried about the ink coming off. If you want something less intensive I could see taking two different colored shoelaces and sewing and cutting them at the center so you ended up with two laces that are half and half… but I haven’t tried that so I’m not sure if it would unravel over time.

I figured neon yellow shoes laces were the most matchy out of all the neon ones I had on hand.
I figured neon yellow shoes laces were the most matchy out of all the neon ones I had on hand.
Mark the center of the shoe laces. At this point you can color half the lace to tell the left from the right side.
Mark the center of the shoe laces. At this point you can color half the lace to tell the left from the right side.

After laying out the shoe pieces I sewed down the shoe lace to the page right beside the blackened space. I then lined up the tongue of the shoe and sewed that down as well.

Sew the shoe lace to the center top of that black spot you colored in (right side) and then sew your tongue over top (left side). Do this on both sides.
Sew the shoe lace to the center top of that black spot you colored in (right side) and then sew your tongue over top (left side). Do this on both sides.

I then laid the shoes over the laces and tongues. I was careful to bring the shoelaces out the center of the shoe, around the tongue, making sure they weren’t too close to the outer edge of the shoe. I then pinned the shoe in place and sewed along the outside to keep it in place. I then moved to the inside heel of the shoe and sewed there to help keep it in place.

Place your shoes over top making sure the tongue can be pulled up and the laces are freely coming out of the center. Make sure they're out of the way of the edges and then pin in place.
Place your shoes over top making sure the tongue can be pulled up and the laces are freely coming out of the center. Make sure they’re out of the way of the edges and then pin in place.
Sew along the outside making sure to not sew over the shoe laces. I sewed over the back inside of the shoe (where the heel is) and debated sewing over the inside top of the shoe where the tongue comes out.
Sew along the outside making sure to not sew over the shoe laces. I sewed over the back inside of the shoe (where the heel is) and debated sewing over the inside top of the shoe where the tongue comes out.
Shoe sew on, tongue up, and inside of the shoe visible.
Shoe sew on, tongue up, and inside of the shoe visible.

Then l threaded the shoelaces through the grommets and tied them closed. I had to confirm it worked and there was enough slack to learn with.

Thread the laces through the grommets and tie up those shoes!
Thread the laces through the grommets and tie up those shoes!
Back of the quiet book page shows were I sewed the shoelace, tongue, and then the shoe top on
Back of the quiet book page shows were I sewed the shoelace, tongue, and then the shoe top on.

It was at this point I decided to add the diagram for Ada and realized I needed to make the left and right sides of the shoelace different colors so I used my fabric markers to color half (both sides) of either shoelace. If I had planned this ahead of time I would’ve colored it before attaching it to the quiet book page or attached two laces together so they would’ve been completely different colors.

If you want to tell the left strand of the shoe's lace apart from the right you can color in the one side. I recommend doing this before you sew it together.
If you want to tell the left strand of the shoe’s lace apart from the right you can color in the one side. I recommend doing this before you sew it together.
Tied up shoes with half colored laces.
Tied up shoes with half colored laces.

Shoe Tying Diagram

I had decided to include a diagram to make it easier to remember how to tie the shoelaces. If you include it on the main page make sure you have enough room (I needed to leave a space for the seam allowance and grommets). If I had included it at the beginning I would’ve traced it out first before attaching the fusible interfacing or sewing on the shoes. Then you could always decide on having a single shoe instead of a pair if you run out of room.

Since this was a last minute addition I decided to include it by creating a fold out flap for the diagram so it would be out of the way when not in use. Before starting I looked online at different shoe tying tutorials. I came across the Ian Knot that boasted to be the fastest way to tie your shoes but figured it may be too complicated for a first time shoe-tier. Instead I went with the tried and true Bunny Ear method and looked up supporting diagrams online. After I found one, through Google images, I liked I copied the image into a word document at several different sizes and printed it off.

I looked online for several shoe tying tutorial and diagrams. I found my favorite and printed it off at several different sizes by copying it into a Word document, resizing, and copying another.
I looked online for several shoe tying tutorial and diagrams. I found my favorite and printed it off at several different sizes by copying it into a Word document, resizing, and copying another.

I then decided which printed size worked best and started tracing it onto matching muslin fabric. To make the diagram easier to draw I only traced the laces and left out the hands as I wasn’t sure how accurate I would make them or if that would confuse my diagram. I also moved some of the steps while still keeping the same order so the overall layout would be better. After I traced the laces I filled in any missing details and added numbers for a more obvious ordering. I added a cute message at the bottom for Ada (and later Zoey) and set the ink with my iron before coloring in the laces and setting the ink again. While ironing I also attached the diagram to some fusible interfacing and then backed that with Heat’N Bond and then another piece of muslin.

After picking which size of the printed diagram I wanted I traced it out. I left off the hands so it wouldn't be confusing and moved the paper around between each one so they'd be closer together and moved around a bit.
After picking which size of the printed diagram I wanted I traced it out. I left off the hands so it wouldn’t be confusing and moved the paper around between each one so they’d be closer together and/or separated.
I added any details I thought I may have missed and numbered them for ordering.
I added any details I thought I may have missed and numbered them for ordering.
I was going to put it on the page but there wasn't enough room so I attached it to some fusible interfacing and then attached another piece of muslin to the back.
I was going to put it on the page but there wasn’t enough room so I attached it to some fusible interfacing and then attached another piece of muslin to the back.
At this point I decided the shoelaces should be different colors so I went back and colored them in.
At this point I decided the shoelaces should be different colors so I went back and colored them in.

I then sewed along the outer three sides with a blanket stitch to make sure it would stay together and not come apart with use. I couldn’t resist also adding a heart decorative stitch.

Iron the pieces together and set the ink while you're at it.
Iron the pieces together and set the ink while you’re at it.
I sewed along three sides to make it secure so the layers wouldn't come apart. I also added a decorative stitch at the end.
I sewed along three sides to make it secure so the layers wouldn’t come apart. I also added a decorative stitch at the end.
Here's the plain back of the diagram.
Here’s the plain back of the diagram.

When putting the page together I sandwiched the diagram between the two sides of the page (right sides together) making sure the edge was sticking out so it would be completely caught in the seam allowance. This way when I flipped the page the right side out the diagram would be sticking out of the side of the page. If you wanted to make it easier to fold between the pages I could see top stitching along the edge to create a fold point.

I sandwiched the diagram between both sides of the page (facing the shoes), made sure it was overlapping the edge, and sewed it in place.
I sandwiched the diagram between both sides of the page (facing the shoes), made sure it was overlapping the edge, and sewed it in place.
After pinning the two sides of the pages together (before sewing) you can still see the diagram sitting out from the left side.
After pinning the two sides of the pages together (before sewing) you can still see the diagram sitting out from the left side.

Finished Page

I made these shoes back in February (almost a year ago!) and it hasn’t gotten a lot of shoe-tying use… yet. It has gotten a lot of wear though. I’m still happy I made it though and am glad I have it on hand when Ada (and later Zoey) and I want to tackle this lesson.

Finished quiet book page with tied up shoes.
Finished quiet book page with tied up shoes.
And the diagram can fold out when the page is in use.
And the diagram can fold out when the page is in use.
Playing with the quiet book page.
Playing with the quiet book page.
And trying to put her foot into the shoe.
And trying to put her foot into the shoe.
Currently the shoes have been uses as... well... shoes. This happens with both girls.
Currently the shoes have been used as… well… shoes. This happens with both girls.
Though I'm glad I sewed down the laces as Zoey also likes to unlace them. Guess it's more a lacing game for now.
Though I’m glad I sewed down the laces as Zoey also likes to unlace them. Guess it’s more a lacing game for now.

If I were to sew this again I would plan to leave a space on the page for the diagram and maybe plan it around the grommets (or beside). This might mean I’d have only one shoe on the page instead of two but that would work. Because of the image on the reverse of the page I had decided to leave out the top stitching I normally did beside the grommets which added more space I could’ve filled.


You can click here to download or print the template for the shoes.


You can check out my previous posts if you want more information on how I created my quiet book covers, joined my quiet book pages together, or to see all my quiet book page designs. I can’t wait to see what you come up with and would love to hear from you in the comments below, on my Facebook page, or through Instagram. Hope you’re having a great day.

Kyra

My name is Kyra and I’m a computer programmer that decided to stay at home with my two beautiful daughters: Ada and Zoey. I created this website to share with you anything I come across in my day to day life that I think you may enjoy.

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1 Response

  1. January 2, 2020

    […] Update: I’ve since blogged about the shoes here. […]

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