Slipping your shoes into something comfortable will protect them from scuffs at home or while traveling. One of the best ways we’ve found to store shoes is Martha Stewart’s homemade velvet shoe bags.
Making these bags takes only about half an hour. You’ll need soft velvet, a sewing machine and thread, cord, and safety pins.
To make a bag, cut a 13-by-36-inch rectangle from thick, soft velvet. Fold it in half widthwise, right sides facing, and sew up the sides, leaving open a 1-inch gap on each side about 5 inches from the top. Fold the top of the bag down beyond the gaps to create a 3 1/2-inch hem. Pin in place; carefully turn the bag right side out.
Next, create a drawstring casing: Stitch two seams around the top edge of the bag, one just above and one just below the 1-inch gaps (don’t sew the bag shut). Remove pins from the inside of the bag. Starting at the bottom of the bag, stitch (through both layers, this time) up the bag’s center to the bottom of the casing; this will divide the bag into two pockets, preventing shoes from knocking into each other.
For drawstrings, cut two 40-inch-long pieces of cord; attach safety pins to their ends, and run each cord (starting them in the same direction on opposite faces of the bag) one and a half times through the casing. When finished, knot together the two cord ends emerging from each side, fraying them to create tassels.
When traveling, always keep pairs together. Put one shoe in the bag and then put its twin so that the heel is at the toe of the first shoe. This helps conserve suitcase space. Pack your shoes on their side whenever possible.
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