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

DIY Lace Up Rain Boots-5

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.

DIY Lace Up Rain Boots-6

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.

DIY Lace Up Rain Boots-7

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!

DIY Lace Up Rain Boots-8

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.

DIY Lace Up Rain Boots-13

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!

Ready for fall yet?! Check out these other great fall project ideas!


Dolen Diaries  ||  Fall Watering Can
Here Comes the Sun  ||  Easy Glitter Burlap Fall Wreath
The Taylor House  ||  Pumpkin Brownies
Crafting in the Rain  ||  Fall Jars
Do Small Things with Love  ||  Fall Leaves Embroidery Hoops
Just Us Four  ||  Apple Cobbler
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!

You May Also Like

Reader Interactions

  1. K. F. says

    9 years ago

    Hi, I have a question. Bought cute boots (polar bears on them. ADORABLE), didn’t fit calves (ugh), but they have some sort of fur inside of them. Do you think that will make a difference (similar to the rubber splitting question, I guess)?


    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      9 years ago

      It might make it a little different, but I think you can still do it! If they are rubber on the outside, then they will be fine in terms of not splitting any further than you cut them; the rubber will not split more than your initial cut. As for the fur on the inside, some of it will probably come loose right near where you cut, but after the initial bit it shouldn’t fall out any more. If it looks like it might continue to fray or lose fur you can always use something like fray check or a fabric glue to “seal” the cut ends. But other than that I think you should be just fine!

      • K. F. says

        9 years ago

        Thanks so much!

  2. Anne says

    9 years ago

    How many inches more width do you get out of this? I have huge calves, so I want to know this can work for me before dropping money on a pair of boots.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      9 years ago

      On my boots I get about 2-3 inches more. But the nice thing about this is you can make them even bigger if you need! The slit I cut in the back of my boots is only about three inches long, but if you cut a longer slit then there is even more room for the boots to expand at the top! I wouldn’t cut a slit all the way down to the sole of the shoe because then your boots aren’t waterproof anymore, but I think you can cut the slit anywhere from 2 to 8 inches long, which should give you plenty of extra room!

  3. Lily says

    10 years ago

    This is brilliant! I never wear my hunters for the same reason and felt terrible about the $130 worth of rubber just sitting in my closet. Do you have to do anything after cutting the rubber to keep them from splitting further?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      10 years ago

      Nope, the rubber stays just fine after you cut the slit! It’s a little difficult to get through that much rubber with a pair of scissors, so it’s definitely not going to keep slitting open further on it’s own. 🙂 My husband was worried about that too, and he even pulled at it with his hands to see if he could pull it apart further, and nothing happened.

  4. Crystal says

    10 years ago

    Genius!! So super cute!! Great way to fix them!!

  5. Nancy says

    10 years ago

    Okay, adding grommet tool to my list of things i NEED. Those boots are so great.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      10 years ago

      They’re so useful! And not expensive either! I think I found a pack of grommets that came with a tool for about $12 at JoAnns, or the little handheld hammer tool by itself is usually about $3 or you can find the pliers for under $30.

  6. Steph @ Crafting in the Rain says

    10 years ago

    Adorable!! I love your grommet instructions, and you know I need boots like that where I live 🙂

  7. Shannah @ Just Us Four says

    10 years ago

    You totally just solved a major problem I have had. I love rain boots but they are always too tight in the calf! Thank you 🙂

  8. keri @ shaken together says

    10 years ago

    SO stinkin’ cute, Jessi! I love the grommets and ribbon!

Load more comments

Leave a Comment or Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *