Ever bought your little princess a set of dress up shoes that were too big because the next size down was too small? Nothing’s worse than tripping in your glass slippers! If your kiddo has narrow feet like mine does, you may have come across this problem before. Luckily, we can easily fix any shoe with a custom fit strap!


These are a pair of Princess Sophia shoes purchased from Disney.com. Like most of their shoes, they have no elastic or leather bands over the top of the feet to improve fit. This trick will also work if you need to replace a strap that is too small and digging into your child’s chubby little foot.

First thing you need is a 1/4″ grommet tool kit. If you want a nice finished look, buy a good one!!! The Dritz kit at Walmart is NOT going to give you the results pictured here. But for a little more money ($9) you can order the Lorde & Hodge kit I use. I got mine on Amazon, because I have a Prime account and I can shop there in my pajamas. But I’m sure any leather shop in your local area would carry a good one!


The great thing about these grommets is that they work well with thin fabrics (like the lace on these shoes) AND thicker materials like denim and leather.

one eyelet

Place the shoes on your child’s feet and mark where the band should be added — one dot on each side of both shoes. Now you need to punch a hole through each marking. You can use the hole-making tool in your kit, or a fabric hole punch like a Crop-a-dile. I like to use my Crop-a-dile for projects like these simply because I can control the tool better.

Now set those babies! If you’ve never done this before don’t fret! It’s easy peasy. Follow the directions for YOUR kit to ensure the best results. Generally, you’re going to 1) set up on a solid surface like a heavy wood table or countertop, 2) put down the base piece first, then the taller grommet piece, 3) place your fabric hole over/around the grommet, then add the flat grommet piece, 4) place the metal hammering piece in the center of all of that and …whack it!

Now here’s where you can decide… to sew or not to sew. Any ribbon or shoe lace can be tied into a bow right here and you’d be done!

shoes with ribbon

My little girl can’t tie shoes though, and I foresaw many meltdowns over this issue. I instead decided to use a decorative elastic I had in the craft stash. An elastic band means she can slide these on and off all on her own. I originally purchased this elastic at Hobby Lobby for about $2 if you’re interested. First I cut an adequate piece (8″-12″), looped it through the grommets and pinned it while on Emilia’s foot. Then took the shoe to my sewing machine and used a stretch stitch to close the loop. If you’re as paranoid as I am, sew two parallel lines of stitching… I like to have backup! Because this stuff has a ribbon edge, I did seal the ends with the flame from a lighter.

That’s it! Now they actually fit. Best part? Looks like I bought them this way!


finished shoes