Mockingjay Moccasin Refashion

This was my project for Round 1 (the bead round) of One Crafty Contest. The projects were submitted anonymously to keep things fair, but voting is closed at this point so now I get to share the full tutorial with you! Unfortunately I didn’t make it through to Round 2, which is a bummer because I had some fun projects planned for the other materials. But I’ll probably just work on them and share them anyways later!

Our apartment has hardwood floors which I like the look of, but they aren’t as warm or soft as carpeted floors. So anytime I’m home I wear a pair of moccasins as house slippers to keep my feet warm. JM just bought me a new pair of moccasins for Christmas last year because my old pair was literally falling apart. They are about 12 years old and the stitching was coming apart, the fur trim had come unglued, and our cats even ate some of the original beadwork!

I love my new pair of moccasins and I’m wearing them all the time now, but the bead round of One Crafty Contest was the perfect excuse to bring a little life back to my old pair!

Mockingjay moccasin refashion with seed beads and felt

Overall the idea was simple, but the execution was a little more difficult; those seed beads are super tiny and hard to manage! I knew I wanted to do something fun and Hunger Games related, so I decided to replace the original beaded flowers with mockingjay pins. I used the following materials:

  • the original pair of old moccasins
  • gold toned seed beads
  • darker bronze toned seed beads
  • two needles (one that is skinny enough for the beads to pass over, the size of the other one doesn’t matter)
  • dark brown felt
  • dark brown thread
  • seam ripper
  • pen
  • glue (regular Elmer’s craft glue)

Here’s what the moccasins looked like before I started:

Moccasins before, stitching falling apart etc.
Falling apart, poor guys

I started by removing the beaded flowers from both moccasins. This part was pretty simple, I just found a string, cut it with the seam ripper, and started pulling off beads. (And of course I kept them, you never know when I might find some use for them!) I found out after pulling off the beads that the original flower shape had been drawn on with pen. I tried to clean it off but it wouldn’t budge, so I decided to just cover the whole top piece with a new piece of fabric (the brown felt) instead of re-beading onto the original fabric.

Seeing the penned outline of the flower on the moccasins gave me a good idea for how to bead the mockingjay pins onto the slippers. I was originally trying to plan out on paper out how to string which color of beads, and how many, onto the thread, then where to tack it down, and then how many more beads of which color had to go on, etc. etc. etc. But that was just WAY too complicated. I ended up finding a picture of the mockingjay pin online, printing it out, and then transferring it onto the brown felt by eyeballing it and drawing the outline by hand.

Beads, two needles and thread, and outline on brown felt
All the necessary supplies for the beading part

You can see the rough outline of the pin on the felt above. It was very crudely drawn, but that part didn’t matter too much because the outline was just for basic shape and sizing. I used the printed pin as a guide for details and to figure out which colors went where (the darker beads were used for the shaft of the arrow and for the shading in the wings and tail).

The easiest way to bead something (as I found out through trial and error) is with two sets of needle and thread. Use one needle just for stringing the beads, and use the second to tack down the string of beads in strategic places. I poured out a few of each color of beads onto a plate, threaded both needles, and got to work.

Two needles

I won’t detail every step of the process because it’s fairly simple once you get the basic idea. I started at the beak and poked the skinny beading needle up through the back of the felt right at the tip. Then I strung a couple of gold beads onto the needle and laid them out approximately along the line of the beak. Then I used the other needle and thread (tacking needle) to tack down the string of beads with a little stitch about every third bead or so. I continued on like this stringing beads, laying them out along the outline, and tacking them down with the second needle until I was finished! (Geez, it makes it sound so simple, but I’ll tell you right now, this was a labor of love…those little beads kept spilling all over the place, my hands cramped up from such tiny, precise work, and my eyes got tired from staring at such small things!)

Beaded felt ready to sew onto moccasins
See the flower outline? That wouldn’t come off…

Once I was finished with the beading I cut the felt into roughly the same size and shape as the top piece of the moccasin. I put a tiny dab of craft glue on the back of the felt behind the beads and pressed it onto the slipper to keep it from moving while I sewed it on. Then I used a simple whipstitch around the edge of the felt and down through the seam that is already there in the top of the moccasin to hold it all together. The whipstitch was great because it pulled the edges of the felt down into the existing seam, meaning I didn’t have to hem the edges of the felt at all and it fit perfectly!

Whipstitch to attach felt to slipper

While sewing I also stitched up the pieces that were falling apart. Once the stitching was done I took another tiny dab of craft glue and glued the fur trim back down around the edges of the slipper and I was done!

Beaded mockingjay moccasins

I am SOOOO thrilled with how they turned out, and I’m super juiced to have a second pair of moccasins to wear around the apartment again!

Do your feet get cold when you’re barefoot or is it just me?

I almost never use beads for projects so this was really fun. There were some great submissions in the bead round; I was super impressed with the other projects. What other fun things could I do with beads? Have you done a fun or wacky bead project recently?

 

I link up at these awesome parties!
 
 

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. Jessi says

    9 years ago

    Uh oh, it could just be because I just moved over to WordPress and haven’t set up any mobile-specific settings yet. I’ll look into making sure it’s visible on a mobile device. Anyone else having this issue?

  2. Debra Kapellakis says

    9 years ago

    I like them both ways but the after photo is better.

  3. Linda @ Two Succulent Sisters says

    9 years ago

    That is very cool and very "in" right now, too. I also saw the movie. Have a great weekend. linda

  4. Night Garden Design says

    9 years ago

    I love these best of all the beading projects. <3

  5. Jessi W says

    9 years ago

    Thanks for your vote Sarah! I'm bummed I didn't move on to round 2, but I already had ideas for all the other rounds, so I'm just planning on sharing them on this blog anyways!

  6. Sarah @ My Project Bag says

    9 years ago

    This is so great, and it was the first project I voted for at One Crafty Contest! I'm bummed not to see your next projects there, but at least I've found your blog now and can see more projects here. Thanks for the tutorial.

  7. Kristy Creighton says

    9 years ago

    Wow! Great job! Beautifully done and they look like new!

    Kristy @ Shona Skye Creations

  8. truebluemeandyou says

    9 years ago

    Hi, I loved your project and voted for it! I also posted a photo and link to it on my blog. One of the DIY Editors at Tumblr liked it so much it was featured on the Tumblr DIY tag. My readers and I love the Hunger Games and a wonderful doable craft combined! Thanks for posting the tutorial.

  9. LDH says

    9 years ago

    Hi Jessi!

    I am so impressed with this project. You make is sound easy but I can see it was pretty involved working with the tiny beads. The refashioned moccasins are fantastic!

    Nice to meet you!
    Kindly, Lorraine

  10. Kendra @ A Proverbs 31 Wife says

    9 years ago

    Your project turned out really good. I can't imagine the patience that must have taken! 🙂

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