All Access Exclusive

Embroider Back-to-School Shoes

Embellish some sweet Mary Janes to start the school year on the right foot.

Melinda A. Barta Aug 6, 2021 - 3 min read

Embroider Back-to-School Shoes Primary Image

Embroidered back-to-school shoes designed by Melinda Barta and stitched by Judy Kettner. Photo by Joe Coca

Embroidering shoes, particularly for children, has been a part of numerous cultures and is centuries old. In China, the embroidery on children’s shoes not only added color and elegance to otherwise plain shoes, its designs were imbued with powers to ward off evil and keep the wearer safe from harm.

Our cotton velveteen shoes are traditional Chinese Mary Janes. We embroidered the delicate floral motif on the outer sides, but other sections or even the entire surface of the shoes are suitable for embroidery.


DMC Embroidery Floss (Article 117), 100% cotton 6-strand thread, 8.7 yards (8m)/skein, 1 skein each of the colors listed in the key
Girl’s Chinese Mary Jane shoes, cotton velveteen, burgundy, European size 28 (girl’s size 10–101⁄2), 1 pair
John James Needle, embroidery size 7
Carbon paper, white, 1 sheet
Colored pencil, white
Finished design size: 1 1⁄4 x 4 1⁄4 inches (3.2 x 10.8 cm)

No All Access Subscription? You're missing out.

This article requires an 'All Access Subscription' to view. Subscribe today and enjoy everything that PieceWork has to offer.