DIY Lace Up Rain Boots

I really love my Wellingtons; they’re the perfect rain boot except for one thing: they barely fit over my calves! I didn’t realize they made wide calf wellies until months after I had already bought this pair, and I didn’t want to return them. So instead, I found another solution: DIY lace up rain boots! Now my wellies fit perfectly no matter what pants or socks I wear, plus they’re super cute!

DIY lace up rain boots! So your wellies fit over your calves no matter what pants you wear!

It was so easy to convert these into faux wide calf wellies; I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner! It took me less than an hour, and I’m really excited to be able to wear these boots even when I’m wearing a bunch of layers. Also, I can change out the ribbon to match different outfits or seasons!

DIY Lace Up Rain Boots

Here’s what you need to convert your own rain boots:

  • a pair of rain boots
  • scissors
  • grommets and a grommet tool (the grommets I used are about 1″ in diameter, I think they are size #3)
  • ribbon

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JM found this super beefy grommet setting machine through a guy in his office, and it is awesome. But you don’t need a “machine” like this to set grommets. You can find grommets at any fabric store, and they come with their own handheld setting tool that will work just fine, even through the rubber of a rain boot!

Start by cutting a 2″ to 3″ slit down the back of the rain boots with your scissors.

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Then position your grommets and set them into the boot using your grommet tool. If you have a machine like mine, there’s no need to pre-cut a hole in the rubber. Just set the two halves of the grommet into the tool and position the boot in the machine. Press down with the handle to cut through the rubber and set the grommet.

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If you have a handheld grommet tool, follow the directions that came with it. You may need to pre-cut a small hole to help the grommet cut through the rubber, but otherwise the idea is the same: place the rain boot between the two halves of the grommet, then use the setting tool and a hammer to set the grommet.

I set six grommets into my wellies (three on each side of the slit), but you can use as many grommets as you want!

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Once all your grommets are set, lace a ribbon through them. If your ribbon frays, you can slightly singe the ends of the ribbon with a lit match to keep it from fraying.

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Now do the same for the other boot, and you have your own DIY pair of lace up rain boots!

DIY lace up rain boots! So your wellies fit over your calves no matter what pants you wear!

These boots fit so well now! Before I had to wear my skinniest pair of jeans and really work at pulling them up over my calves. But now I can just put them on like regular boots, then lace up the ribbon at the back; they fit no matter how many layers I’m wearing!

DIY lace up rain boots! So your wellies fit over your calves no matter what pants you wear!

Want to share this tutorial with your friends? Just click any of the share buttons on the left to share with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.!

If you liked this project, check out these other simple apparel crafts!

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Practically Functional  ||  DIY Lace Up Rain Boots


Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Jennie says

    4 years ago

    Could you post a picture of the boots when they are stretched out? In the photo where someone is wearing them they don’t appear to have any added width. I’d like to see what they look like when that extra triangle of room is created. Thanks!!

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      3 years ago

      They don’t really “stretch”, though the little triangle does open up if necessary. I cut my boots about 3″ down, not because they needed to be bigger when I wear them, but because it was hard to get them on over the fatter part of my calf in the first place. So they aren’t stretched out while wearing them.

      But if you need a little extra room in the calf while wearing them and not just when putting them on, you can cut them 5″ or 6″ down, or however far down is needed to be sure that the slit extends past where you calf would be. That way the “triangle” with the ribbon will be stretched open right over your calf.

  2. Leah Cutler says

    4 years ago

    You have just made me the happiest person ever!! I ordered a pair and was so excited until I couldn’t get them up over my calves. ? And then I forget i had bid in a pair on ebay and found out i was highest bidder. So yep, i now have 2 pair that don’t fit. No returns either. So I’m so excited to do this!!
    Thank you!!! ?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      4 years ago

      Yay! I hope it works, I’d love to see photos when you get them laced up!

  3. PJ Oliver says

    5 years ago

    I just found some Hunter boots at Goodwill and they are so tight in the calves that they make my feet tingle! I found your post while searching for ways to salvage them for my tree trunk legs! 🙂 Question: Could I use smaller grommets? I know you used the 1-inch, but I’m wondering if I used smaller ones if that would draw less attention to aforementioned tree trunk legs. Do you think I’d get the same result? Thanks!

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      5 years ago

      Haha! You can definitely use smaller grommets, just make sure they are big enough that you can get a ribbon or shoelace through them to lace them up! Also make sure you are careful when “installing” the grommets. The size of the grommet shouldn’t make much of a difference, but the rain boot rubber is super thick and a little hard to get through no matter what grommets you use, so just be careful as you go so you don’t mangle up the grommets trying to cut through the rubber. Good luck!

  4. Amanda says

    5 years ago

    I cannot thank you enough for this idea. I just found the CUTEST pair of dachshund rain boots but nearly all of the reviews of that brand say they are tight on the calves. I HAVE to have them so I did a search and found this post. Thank you!!!

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      5 years ago

      Those sound adorable! Good luck with it, and I’d love to see photos when you’re done!

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