How to Make Your Own Shoelaces Out of Rope, Faux Fur & More

by Sophiesophss
7 Materials
20 Minutes

In today’s tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make your own shoelaces out of rope or even faux fur! DIY no tie shoelaces are an easy way to freshen up an old pair of shoes and add some charm to them they might’ve lost over the years - or it’s just a neat way to spice up an otherwise plain pair of shoes.

Let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Rope (or fur trim)
  • Leather hole puncher
  • Scissors
  • Lighter or heat gun
  • X-ACTO knife
  • Tape
  • Shrink tubing
Removing the shoelaces

1. Remove your laces

We’re going to be doing some heavy hole-punching so our DIY shoelaces have a place to fit, so the first step is to remove the laces you already have.

Punching holes in the shoes

2. Punch holes in your shoes

Now it’s time to create big enough holes for our rope laces to fit. 

Using a drill to punch holes in the shoes

A fast and easy way to do this is to use a drill with an attached piece that’s big enough to create a sizeable hole, but that can be a little intimidating and very easy to mess up if it’s not done properly.

So, we’re going to use an easy, cheap, and error-proof method—a leather hole puncher. 

Using a leather hole puncher

A leather hole puncher does exactly as it suggests; it punches holes into leather. It’s pretty inexpensive and has a rotating wheel of different size pieces for larger or smaller holes.

If you’re into making custom shoes or other leather pieces, you’ll have other uses for it in the future so it’s a great investment.

Using a leather hole puncher to make the holes bigger

To punch holes in your shoe, all you have to do is create a series of holes around each lace hole to create a big enough space for your rope.

You might need to put in some elbow grease to punch through the leather, but ultimately it’s not too difficult.

Remove any excess leather you punched off and just keep creating holes until you feel the space is large enough.

Don’t worry about how sloppy the hole looks; once you put the rope in, you’re not going to be able to see the mess you created.

Removing the inner fabric with an X-ACTO knife

If you’re having a hard time, remove the inner fabric from the laces portion. Using an X-ACTO knife, create a slit down the middle, then slice the piece off.

Cleaning up the holes with an X-ACTO knife

3. Clean up the holes

Once you finish punching the holes, you can use an X-ACTO knife to clean around the area and make them more circular or in whatever shape you want.

However, this step is optional and I didn’t put much time into this because the rope is pretty much gonna cover it.

Prepping the rope

4. Prep your rope

The rope I’m using is ⅜ inches in thickness, but you can go for 5/16 inches if you have a smaller shoe size.

Take a pretty long piece and cut it where you need to. You can use the old shoelace to measure the exact length against the rope if needed.

Placing tape over the end to help it pass through the holes

Since we have this frilly end, we’re going to place some tape around it in order for it to pass through the hole easier and keep the strands of the rope together. 

Lacing the shoes with rope

5. Lace your shoes

Lace your rope through the holes you made. If they’re large enough, the ropes should pass through them pretty easily. If not, it’s totally okay. You can grab your hole puncher again and expand them as much as needed.

Cutting off the ends of the rope laces

6. Cut the ends

After lacing, you’ll be left with long ends. Since I’m showing you how to make shoelaces you don’t have to tie, we’re just going to cut them pretty short so they dangle across the sides of the shoe.

Cut them above the sole so they don’t drag on the floor when you’re walking.

Sealing the ends with shrink tubing

7. Seal the ends with shrink tubing

To seal the ends and make them look cleaner, we’re going to add some shrink tubing with glue inside.

To attach to the end of the laces, make sure you get a shrink tube that matches the thickness of your rope. For me, I’m going with ⅜ inch tubing.

All you need to do is place the tubing at the end of the lace and cut where we need to. 

Activating the shrink tubing with heat

The glue is activated by heat, so it’s best to use a lighter for it to actually shrink and wrap around the lace. If you don’t have one on hand, you can use a heat gun.

Since you have the holes in place, you can get really creative and put some other funky types of laces in as well.

DIY rope shoelaces

DIY faux fur shoelaces

How to make your own shoelaces out of rope or fur

Here are the finished designs! As you can see, this technique doesn't just apply to rope - you can have fun with this project and get as creative as possible. The DIY rope laces look pretty cool, whereas the pink faux fur ones are feminine and fun.

Let me know if you decide to try this out and what material you used!

Suggested materials:
  • Rope (or fur trim)
  • Leather hole puncher
  • Scissors
See all materials

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Join the conversation
  • Gail Gail on Jun 02, 2022

    I love it. It's so much fun to spruce up laces as they are usually boring. The rope style is cool and love the no tie up laces. I would use pink and probably purple for another pair. Thanks for sharing.

  • Cheryl Cheryl on Jun 03, 2022

    Very original! I would never have thought of that kind of rope. Nautical vibes!

    I can’t wait to share this with the grandkids.

    They’ll have fun thinking up other items that could be used for laces.

    But I do have a question. What exactly is that shrink tubing? I’m not familiar with it or where to get it. Thanks