Crafts and Activities

DIY Project: Turn Your Shoes into Skates

A picture of white skates
Written by Marcene

Skates are the cool way to have a good time with your friends, family, or even alone. Not to mention, it gives you the feeling of flying through the air if you’re good enough at skating. If you don’t have your own skates, you can make your own. Using a tried and tested method, you can show off both your skating and artistic skills. Read on to go over this DIY project step by step.

Material for DIY Project

Here are the things you will need to turn your favorite shoes into skates.

  • Pencil
  • 2 Roller skates
  • Sneakers or boots
  • Electric drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill bit
  • Flathead screws
  • Pair of shoelaces
  • 1/8 inch drill bit
  • Flathead screwdriver

Dive into Your DIY Project

There are several steps that you need to follow to transform almost any shoes into appealing and classy skates. The best part is that in terms of function and looks, these skates are very similar to what you find in stores. Most importantly, the process of turning a simple pair of shoes into something more useful and entertaining will feel very rewarding. Here’s what you need to do.

Make First Hole

You can easily purchase skate plates from the market. They are available in a broad range of sizes, functions, colors, and shapes. Look for one with four wheels on each skate. Not to mention, you can invest in a skate set that contains all the essential tools to create your own skates. This is best for people who enjoy a slow and careful DIY project by installing wheels in the frame.

Once you get your skate plate, you need to start preparing your shoes. Take one shoe, and place one plate over the sole of your desired shoe.  Then, make a dot in the left side and upper right of the sneaker’s sole on the toe side. You need to follow the same procedure for your second sneaker.

Drill Your Shoes

Take a 1/8 inch drill bit and insert it in your electric drill. Keep in mind that this equipment can cause accidents, so it’s better to use them only if you have the experience. If you’re new at this, you can get help from a friend with expertise in using drills and related parts. 

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* POWERECONNECT Cordless Drill/Driver + 30 pc. Kit (LD120VA)
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* POWERECONNECT Cordless Drill/Driver + 30 pc. Kit (LD120VA)
CORDLESS DRILL/DRIVER – Compact, lightweight design for versatile use.; 24-POSITION CLUTCH – Prevents stripping and overdriving screws for added control.

You need to drill two small holes in the sole of your sneakers on the marks you have made. Note that it’s important to drill right above the marks to get a perfect skate in the end. Follow this procedure for both of your shoes.

Mark Heal Part

It’s time to make a strong base for your skates. For this, place your plates on your shoes again and make two marks on the bottom of the sole, near the heel. You also need to drill these two small holes using the 1/8 inch drill the way you did before.

Repeat these steps for your other shoe to prepare them before installing plates.

Install Skate Plates

Take one of your sneakers, and place a skate plate on it. You can use the flat head screw that you get with the plates, or simply purchase some screws.  Now, screw it through the left and top right plate openings and holes in your sneakers.

You need to install screws on each toe hole of your shoes to strongly secure your plates and shoes together.  This will prevent falling and accidents. And yes, follow the same steps for the other shoes.

Screw Heel’s Holes

Similar to the toe holes, you need to screw the heel part of your sneakers. Use a flat head screw to secure the heel part. Follow this procedure for both of your shoes.

Lace your Sneakers

The last step is to weave lace on each of your sneakers. It is vital to weave your sneakers appropriately so that your skates fit on your feet while you’re skating.  You need to start from the bottom holes on your shoes and weave upwards.

Shoelaces Round Athletic Shoes Lace (2 Pair) for Shoe and Boot Laces Shoelaces Replacements (27' inches (69 cm), Army Green)
Shoelaces Round Athletic Shoes Lace (2 Pair) for Shoe and Boot Laces Shoelaces Replacements (27" inches (69 cm), Army Green)
High Quality Round Athletic Laces,Great Shoelaces for Sneakers, Boots and Shoes; Swap out your current laces to give your shoes a whole new look.

Keep in mind that you need to weave your laces straight to get a neat and tidy look. Once your reach the top of your sneakers, you can either tie laces traditionally or wrap laces around your ankles and then tie them for additional security.

Glide through the Hallway

Now, your DIY skates are ready to help you skate through the neighborhood. You can enjoy feeling as if you’re flying in the air as you quickly glide through the streets. You can try out your skates on the sidewalk or at a skate park.

If you followed the process carefully and invested in the right shoes and skate plates, these skates can go a long way.

Things to Note

Here are some other things that you need to keep in mind when making this DIY project.

Use Your Old Skates

If you already have skates, but the shoes are damaged or no longer fit, you can simply remove the skate plates. Not all skates have removable plates, and even if they are, they may not be functional after removing.  But even so, there are some that you can use.

So, before investing in new skate plates, you can simply try to remove plates from your skates. If you get new skates to accomplish your task, look carefully to whether these plates will work for you.  If yes, then go for them.

Choose the Right Shoes

You need to opt for shoes that tightly close and secure your feet while you are skating. In this case, boots and sneakers are the best option. However, sneakers are the lightest and most approachable options, so go for them, if possible.

Besides that, the right shoe size is another thing that you need to consider. Look for the perfect size that fits just right – not too big or too small. If you don’t choose the right size, you won’t be comfortable while skating. The best advice is to buy usable, high-quality, relatively new, and properly-fitting sneakers.

Invest in Accurate Screws

If you have to purchase screws separately, look for screws that are shorter than the holes you have made. A short screw will tightly fix in the sole and heel part of the sneakers. In other words, it’s important to prevent your plates from falling off your shoes.

Another thing you need to consider is the length of your screws. If the screws are too long, they can tear through the inner sole of your sneakers. This can potentially cause injuries to your foot.  For a better idea of what screws you need, purchase them after you drill the holes.

Recycle Your Skate Plates

Once your DIY skates wear out, and you’re done using them, you can simply remove the skate plates and make a new pair of skates. The best part of the high-quality skate plates is that they have a longer lifespan. Your shoes might start developing wear and tear, but the plates stay in good condition.

Bottom Line

This DIY project might be the most interesting and engaging project you have ever done. While considering the entire thing mentioned above, you can also paint or design your shoes in any way you like. If you have simple one-tone sneakers, add a bit of spice by painting different colors on them. You can use colors of your canvas’ paints or any standard paints that you use for decorating pots or other items.

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