DIY leopard strappy spats

I saw this picture in a magazine, and decided I wanted to DIY something similar.  I really liked the way the black additional piece buckled over the white shoe, to make it something more creative (although I suspect it was attached to the leggings).  It’s not exactly a spat, because spats cover the whole foot, so I’ve called my invention “strappy spats” instead.
I decided I’d do my own version – but in leopard print!

How did I do it?
1. I got a piece of paper and started copying the basic shape.
Then I started cutting it out (as you can see, above).  I cut 2 pieces of the shape and sticky-taped them together in the middle – this way, I could adjust the pieces when on my foot to get a better fit.
2. Then I tried the shape on, to see how it fit my foot.
Where it was a bit big, I’d overlap the pieces of paper and tape them.  If the ankle straps or the under the foot flaps aren’t in the right position, amend them or get new bits of paper and change the shape/angle. I eventually made the straps from a separate piece of paper to get the angle right on my ankle.
You’ll get the best fit if you keep making little snips here and there, and taping to fit your foot as you go. You may have to undo the tape at one ‘seam’ to get it off your foot again, so use tape that can unstick easily. 
3. When I was satisfied my paper template was pretty much correct, I grabbed my material.
Cue my gorgeous leopard print cowhide!
I got mine in Tokyo, where at Okadaya and Tokyu Hands you can easily get leather goods. In Sydney you can go to Birdsall Leather & Craft, or google for one in your city. If you’re vegan or prefer not to wear leather, then PVC or vinyl is for you – try material shops.
4. Having taken the paper template off my foot (snipping it down the back to get it off), I flattened it out, placed it on the leather and traced around it.
5. I then turned the template over and traced one for the other foot. The template isn’t totally symmetrical, because your foot isn’t – hence the need for a mirror image.
6. Then it’s time to cut them out. You end up with something like this.
Except that in this picture I’ve already put the laces in.
7. I simply grabbed my hole punch…
punched a hole in the end of each ankle strap, grabbed my elastic lace
and threaded it through the holes, like so
8. Then I just tied the ends round my ankle like this (as modelled by my lovely water bottle, heh). You can tie it into a bow to make it prettier, and tying a knot at each end stops the laces from coming through the holes once they’re threaded.
9. After this, you can either :-
* sew a strip of elastic to each of the bottom flaps (to go under the sole of your foot)
* sew some velcro to each side to likewise stick together when under your foot
* be really lazy and just tuck the ends under your foot (not good for going out though)
And VOILA!! Strappy spats!!
Then, I tried them out with a variety of my shoes to see which looked best!
Check the instep and the outstep to see if it looks OK.
One with; one without. See how the strappy spat jazzes up the shoe? Under or over the straps can work equally well.
How about on my spiky wedges, or EGL crown shoes?
They even work with my strappy silver babies
…and my super high teal platforms
See? Fashion forward or what?
I’m next going to make some little leopard clip ons for the front of the shoes, to tie it all in and make the design more coherent.
Then, of course, theres the handbag to overhaul…
Anyway, as I run off and try some more DIY ideas out, won’t you give this one a try? And if you like it, be sure to tweet, StumbleUpon, show some Bloglovin’ or whatever. Thanks!!


  1. So intensely AWESOME!! Omg I wish I wore more strappy heels so I could wear these with everything!

  2. LOVE your spiky wedges! Where are they from 🙂

  3. Vi – yeah, I guess they do look best with strappy heels…but a variaton could be done to work with lower shoes maybe?

    Step – thanks! They're from a shop in Shibuya 109, called Glad News. I did a thing on my Tokyo shoe haul once before, they were in that lot 🙂

  4. fan-friggin-tastic!!

  5. Thanks Sarah! I'm going to do more things with my leftover leopard, so stay tuned…

  6. I had some troubles with commenting on your blog but it all works now 🙂
    Love the strappy spats! You know I didn't really like leopard print at first but it sneiking onto me everywhere 😀 I have a leopard scarf, purse and notebook 😀