Things You'll Need
- Brown Kraft paper
- Craft scissors
- Tanned deer, elk or moose hide
- Craft knife
- Beads or leather dyes, if desired
- Leather needle
- Artificial sinew
Making moccasins for kids is a fun way to learn leather-crafting and master combining different leathers with unusual trims to create contemporary moccasin designs. There are a variety of reasons to make moccasins for kids. Tanned moose, elk and deer hides are readily available at a low cost per square foot at leather craft stores, tanneries and Native American powwows. Handcrafted moccasins are comfortable. It might seem complicated at first, but for the cost of the leather and a few other supplies, anyone can make these simple moccasins for kids.
Cut a piece of brown Kraft paper that is at least three inches longer and twice as wide as your kid's foot with craft scissors.
Have your child stand on the sheet of Kraft paper with his left heel 1 1/4-inch from the left hand side bottom edge. Hold a pencil straight vertically against his left foot and use the tip of the pencil to trace the shape of his foot onto the paper with the pencil.
Place a pencil dot on the paper pattern 1/2-inch out from the big toe and 1/4-inch out from the widest part on the left and right hand side of the foot shape. Mark the left hand side dot with an A and the right hand side dot with a B. Connect these three dots with a curving line that increases the pattern size around the toes.
Measure to verify that the outside edge of the heel tracing is 1 1/4-inch from the bottom edge of the paper and label that edge the heel line. Use a ruler as a guide and draw a straight line connecting dot A to the heel line. Draw a dotted line from dot B to the heel line with the ruler as a guide.
Fold the right hand side of the pattern under the left hand pencil side along the dotted line and cut along the solid line on the pencil pattern over the toe shape and along the line you drew connecting the heel line with dot A. Unfold the pattern which looks like two side by side feet but is actually the first pattern that will create the top and bottom of the moccasin.
Draw a straight line across the unfolded pattern that connects dots A and B and continues to the right hand side edge encompassing both feet.
Draw a vertical line straight down the center of the right hand foot portion of the pattern from the toe shape to the heel line with a ruler as a guide.
Create the foot opening on the right hand side foot shape by drawing two vertical lines, one on each side of the center line, to one inch below the A-B line. The width measurement for these lines depends on the width of the child's foot and might be as wide as two inches apart or as narrow as one inch. Connect the two vertical lines with one horizontal line 1-inch from the A-B line and cut off the foot opening portion of the pattern and cut a 1-inch tongue line at each side of the opening to the A-B line. These two tongue cut lines will allow you to fold back the leather on the moccasin top (vamp) and create a decorative tongue that will fold over the vamp.
Create a heel flap on the left hand foot by drawing and cutting along two parallel lines from the heel line to the heel outline. The width measurement for these lines depends on the width of the child's foot and might be as wide as 1 1/2-inch apart or as narrow as 1/2-inch. These heel flap lines allow you to fold the leather along the heel to the sides of the moccasin easily.
Place the left hand foot pattern that you made upside down (with the pencil marks down) onto another sheet of brown Kraft paper and trace it with a pencil and cut it out with scissors to make a moccasin pattern for the kids right foot.
Check your tanned hide leather for holes, markings or other naturally occurring variances before positioning the paper pattern pieces right side up on the wrong side of the hide, with the stretchiest direction of the leather where it will be across the feet rather than from heel to toe. Draw around the pattern with a pen or soft pencil and cut them out with a sharp craft knife.
Decorate the leather tops of the moccasins with beading or leather dyes, if desired.
Thread a leather needle, with a three cornered knife edge, with a 24-inch length of artificial sinew (a strong waxed thread that can be split into strands like embroidery thread) and knot the end of the sinew.
Fold the foot opening edges out one half inch and fold the one inch decorative tongue flat against the vamp. Use the threaded needle to top stitch along the opening and over the tongue 1/4-inch from the fold on both of the moccasins. Knot the thread on the back inside edge of the moccasin.
Fold each of the leather moccasins in half with the decorative top inside and sew the toe openings closed with a overcast or whip stitch.
Sew the outside top edge of each moccasin to the bottom piece with a overcast or whip stitch. Turn the moccasins right side out.
Fold the heel flap up, trim it to equal the length of the side pieces with craft scissors. Sew the side pieces to the edges of heel flap with a straight top stitch which closes the back of the moccasins.
If you are making the moccasins as a surprise or the kid is not available for the paper pattern you can trace the shape of one of their shoes rather than their foot.
Use caution when using craft knifes and leather needles.
Based in Covington, Tenn., Cheryl Torrie has been writing how-to articles since 2008. Her articles appear on eHow. Torrie received a certificate in travel and tourism from South Eastern Academy and is enrolled in a computer information systems program at Tennessee Technology Center at Covington.