Amherst, Massachusetts

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sharon raymond

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sharon raymond


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About simpleshoemaking

Sales 1,583
On Etsy since 2011

Making your own shoes is Possible!

Twenty years ago I was living with husband and daughter in a commune in the UK, where hand-made shoes could be seen on the feet of gardeners, potters, etc. The possibility of being able to make one's own footwear boggled my mind! I met a saddle-repairer who wanted to try making shoes, so we gathered in her shop with a "How to Make Shoes" book and made ourselves each a pair. I was hooked.

Concerned about where I would find shoemaking materials in the U.S., upon arrival I looked in the telephone book for Salem, MA, where my in-laws lived, and there was Sole-Tech, a huge shoe-sole company! And leather was available in several shops in Boston (since closed), so I was set.

I continued to use Christine Lewis-Clark's shoemaking book as a guide, but I was more interested in making shoemaking patterns than making shoes over feet, as she recommended. Thus began the file drawers of patterns that I have now, that I am sharing in the shoemaking books that I have recently compiled.

But patterns aren't useful unless you have "lasts" to build footwear over, so I've made a video of how to make your own custom lasts, posted on my blog. I also sell resin lasts.

So, the basics for getting started with shoemaking are available here in this etsy shop. If this possibility boggles your mind too, please get in touch!

Shop members

  • Sharon Raymond


    I've been making shoes for twenty years, and teaching others how to make them for twelve. I love to figure out how simple shoes were made back in time, or from indigenous cultures around the world.

Shop policies

Last updated on January 11, 2012
At a shoemaking convention two years ago, I heard a request for patterns. It was an "a-ha" moment for me, as I realized the treasury of patterns I had stored in my file cabinet. Since then I have been compiling these patterns into the four books (more to come soon) and two dvds that I offer in this shop!

All the footwear is made by the stitch-down method, in which the upper part of the shoe is turned out onto the sole; these components are then cemented and stitched together to complete the shoes. Lasts are needed in this process, which are molds of the inside of shoes (basically your foot, with adequate toe-room added, in a pleasing shape.) I have lasts available for sale, but there are directions in the books for making serviceable facsimiles if need be.

To see photos of shoes that have been made by using directions and patterns from these books, please see

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Returns and exchanges
Books and dvds are not returnable.