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Homemade shoe trees: how to make them cheaply

Updated on September 27, 2016

Shoe tree in shoe

Completed shoe tree
Completed shoe tree | Source

Most of us do not use a shoe tree for our shoes. But if you have a favourite pair of shoes that you do not want to see lose their shape, then it might be a better idea to create one that will do a job similar to a real shoe tree.

A shoe tree is a simple device made from wood that helps the shoe to keep its shape. Over time if you do not store shoes properly they can become squashed and flat. If you have shoes made from soft leather they can become wrinkled if you do not ensure that they are filled out from the inside.

Many of us are lazy and will store our shoes in larges boxes and pile them up on top of each other. This is fine for sneakers or summer sandals, but if you have expensive shoes, you really need to look after them so that they will continue to look better longer. This is why a shoe tree or some similar device can be useful.

To keep your shoes looking better longer, you need to start looking after them from day one. If you only wear your shoes on special occasions, then putting something inside the shoes to help them keep their shape is vital. Commercial shoe trees are expensive to buy and you cannot buy a set for every pair of shoes that you own. So you need to look at alternative methods of creating something similar to a shoe tree to help your shoes keep their shape.

There is a simple way to create a shoe tree. It might not look fancy or artistic but it will still be as effective in doing the job of a commercial shoe tree. Ensuring that your shoes keep their shape for future wear is important.


Items required to make a homemade shoe tree:

  • Plastic Bags
  • Old Newspaper

Making the Shoe Tree

Making a homemade shoe tree is not as hard as you expect. All you really need is old newspapers and some plastic bags. Freezer bags that you can tie would be more suitable. Most grocery stores have them in them in the household section aisle. You can get clear ones are colored ones.

Next you need to gather up some old newspapers that you no longer need. These will be twisted up in large quantities to make a strong sturdy wedge.

Stage One : Scrunch up sheets of newspaper

Scrunch up the newspaper
Scrunch up the newspaper | Source

Assembling the Shoe Tree

Firstly you need to gather a few sheets of newspapers. Twist the first sheet into a spiral. Next wrap another sheet around this sheep you keep doing this till you have something resembling the shape you require for the inside of the shoe.

Continue to keep compressing the sheets very tightly to ensure that they are squeezed tightly together. Once you have a few sheets wrapped up tight, try to insert them into the shoe to see if it is the required size. If it is too small keep wrapping sheets to the cylinder.

If it is too small try to compress it a bit tighter. Once it is the right size, you need to make another one to fit into the other shoe.

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  • Putting your newspaper into the bag will later stop the ink from spreading into the inside of your shoe, this is particular important if you have bright coloured shoes.
  • Also the bags allows the shape of the newspaper to be keep as tight and as secure as possible to ensure that it keeps its shape. Every now and again you might need to reassemble the newspaper if it starts to lose its shape.

Stage Two : Place the newspaper into the bag

Put the newspaper into a freezer bag.
Put the newspaper into a freezer bag. | Source

When you have your pair of shoe trees made, you then place each one is a freezer bag. Try to ensure that no air is left in either of the bag. Finally tie the bag at the end of the newspaper to keep the newspaper from staining the inside of your shoes when you place the shoe tree inside your shoe. You will find that small to medium size freezer bags will be sufficient.

Freezer bags can help to keep the paper from losing its shape and also from staining your shoes. If you have large boots then you might need to use a medium or large freezer bags, but for most shoes, small freezer bags will do. Ziploc bags are no good for this project, as you cannot tie the end of them into a not easily.

Inserting Shoe Tree Into Shoe

Once you've inserted the newspaper into the freezer bag, insert it into the shoe.
Once you've inserted the newspaper into the freezer bag, insert it into the shoe. | Source

Advantages homemade shoe trees

  • The cost of making these shoes trees are cheap. Many of us already have the material in our cupboards and will not be required to go out and purchase them

  • Freezer bags are not very expensive to purchase today. You can get them in the grocery store and in many discount stores. So you will not have to spend a lot of money on purchasing them.

    Making these shoe trees is as very simple. You do not need a lot of time or materials. You can have them made in minutes.

Disadvantages of homemade shoe trees

  • They will not look very pretty.

  • They do not last indefinitely. Sometime in the future you might need to remake them if the paper starts to lose its shape.

© 2013 Sp Greaney


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