The Joy of Making Shoes with Kaylee Scoggins Herring

When it comes to picking up new hobbies, Kaylee isn’t shy about trying something completely new and outside her comfort zone. She took her two hobbies of swing dancing and leather working and combined them by learning to create 100% handmade swing dancing shoes. Now she’s expanded to make shoes and boots of all kinds, along the way discovering a community of cordwainers, artisans, historic supply businesses, and classes all over the country. Her enthusiasm is highly contagious and before you know it, you’ll be dreaming up shoes designs and dancing!

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • How Kaylee got started making shoes
  • The highly technical process and the artistry that goes into making shoes
  • Resources to get you started making your own shoes
  • Upcycling materials in shoemaking
  • Hidden message in the soles of the shoes

Links to resources:

About Kaylee:
Kaylee was born and raised on an alpaca ranch on the coast of California, where she spent most of her days learning how to knit, sew, paint, hand spin, and teach herself all types of random crafts.  She used the excuse of a degree to briefly run away to university in Australia, and after securing a degree in archives and records management and becoming a certified archivist, she used the lockdowns as an ideal time to teach herself how to make shoes.  After two workshops and a year and a half of projects, Kaylee has made over a dozen pairs of unique shoes!


Wonder: The website Instructables teaches you to make anything

Paper collage "painting" by boddhi15 on Instructables
Paper collage “painting” by boddhi15 on Instructables

I’ve become mildly obsessed with paper collage work and I was looking for some new techniques to try. I somehow found my way to Instructables, a website that teaches you to do just about any DIY project step-by-step and gives you the chance to share your DIY process and knowledge. I’m kind of in love with it and the 2 million+ people who belong to the Instructables community.

Whether your passion is visual arts, cooking, gardening, sewing, party decor, or any and every other DIY project where the result is something you make, this site is for you. Learn, document, share, and be nice about it—those are the only guidelines on Instructables. There’s so much to learn and explore. No excuses for boredom!