While the tradition of removing shoes before entering a home is not exclusive to Nordic countries, it is a common practice. It makes practical sense to not introduce outdoor germs inside your home. In addition to keeping the home more hygienic, it also reduces mud and water spills and dirt and all that. This is a practice I have followed my entire life. (I have had only a few people ignore my requests to please remove their shoes when they enter my home.)
To keep warm during the cold days and nights of winter, I keep my feet covered. I especially prefer wool. I stumbled across an image indicating how to make slippers from an old sweater. Right up my alley!
Step one: find a wool sweater. It must be wool because what you’re going to do is felt it. You can either use a sweater you’ve already accidentally washed and felted, or you can find one at the second hand store. I purchased this one at the Salvation Army because in our house when we felt a sweater we pass it along to the next smaller family member.
You MUST use felted wool. (Felting is what happens when you put a knit wool sweater in the laundry when you aren’t supposed to. Yes it shrinks, but more importantly, all those strands of wool kind of merge together. This is what makes felted wool essential for projects like this. Once the wool is felted you can cut and shape as you wish. If you were still working with a knit the whole thing would unravel.)
Step two: make a pattern. Yes, you can make one yourself. It’s ridiculously easy. Wearing socks, stand on a piece of paper. Draw the outline of your sock. Smooth it out a little. And you’ve made the pattern for the sole. The upper is even easier to create: just add a little bit all the way around.
Bonus points for reusing whatever paper you have on hand. In this case I’m using an old press release and a kids menu from the local Coney Island.
Cut two of each, unless you have more or less than two feet, in which case you should adjust accordingly. Cut out an oval piece from the top to make room for your foot to enter.
Step three: Pair a top and bottom piece and sew together. I’m sure you could use a sewing machine. However I was able to sew a pair of slippers in the time it would have taken me to get out the sewing machine and get it all set up. Besides, hand sewing is a quiet activity I can do while watching tv or talking with my family.
Step four: Pull the slippers inside out (this hides your stitches so you really don’t need to worry about how even your stitches are) and try them on! I did my sample pair toddler sized before I made my own. Little Man loved them so much he wore them all day and they were the first thing he requested the following morning.
It’s a really simple project and it doesn’t take much time. One of my older sons has already asked for a pair, and while my husband has several pairs of slippers he was pretty interested in mine. They’re so cozy! As far as beginning projects go, this is a winner. It’s incredibly forgiving. The felt has a little stretch and give to it which I found helpful before I actually cut my first pair of slippers differently. When he’s wearing them you can’t even tell.
Now go make yourself a pair and put your feet up. You just made slippers after all. That’s pretty awesome. No one else need know how easy they were.
Besides, this is a crazy time of year and you need to carve out some time for yourself. Very hygge.
Are you a no-shoe household like ours? Make a bunch of these to keep in a basket by the door so your guests can stay warm and comfortable as well.