When it comes to making slippers, there’s a lot of different ways you can go. Some examples include: thin cotton coverings (something pretty with the sole purpose of keeping bare feet off the floor), chunky fluffies, felted booties or simple bed socks.
For this collection of free slipper patterns, I’m going a different route. My goal is to highlight styles that either are or remind me of old-fashioned classics…I’m embracing that retro vibe.
These are the kind of goodies that our grandmothers would have made, worn and given as gifts over the years.
They can be sewn (a great way to repurpose household fabrics), knitted or crocheted. I’m featuring a nice variety of all three methods below…this bunch is a sure way to keep your feet warm and toasty all winter long!
New Collection Update: June, 2022
The selected projects here are made to do one job well: Keep feet covered, warm and cozy. I’m not Danish but this is the style that I consider to capture the true essence of hygge (see What Is Hygge? Everything You Need To Know About The Danish Lifestyle Trend). Nothing trendy or overly fancy, but as soon as you put them on, they elicit warmth and comfort.
If you grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, you’ll likely flashback to the time you wore a pair just like these or bring you back to the chilly mornings when mom is wearing something similar while she was bustling about in the kitchen getting breakfast on the table.
45+ Ways To Make Slippers
Each of patterns below are for women but some include larger and smaller sizes for the whole family. You may find one or two designs a bit too basic for your tastes, but consider adding a decorative element or two such as crocheted flowers, contrasting yarn around the ankles, weave in ribbon and tie the ends in a bow, add buttons or pompoms. Experiment with different yarn colors, it won’t take much to give them extra pizzazz!
I’ve separated the collection into three groups for easier browsing:
- Free Knitting Patterns
- Free Crochet Patterns
- Sewing Tutorials
Plus bonus info at the bottom:
- DIY Tips To Make Them Non-Slip / Non-Skid
How To Determine Sizing
Final tip before getting started: remember to make these a titch smaller than your foot measurements so they fit nice and snug. Yarn stretches and there’s nothing worse than trying to hustle about the house while wearing ill-fitting, floppy slippers.
- Using a measuring tape, measure across the widest part of the foot (usually around the ball of the foot) then subtract 10%. You want to have negative ease for them to fit well. (source: Robin Stroot: Measurements key to well-fitting socks or slippers)
- For example: foot width measurement = 10″, then subtract 1″ (10%), making desired width = 9″.
- Next measure the length of the foot from the longest toe to the back of the heel (most accurate when taken while standing on a ruler) then subtract 0.5″ to make them a bit shorter for negative ease (source: Achieving Proper Fit: Socks | rhyFlower Knits). You may go up to an inch smaller in length, depending on the stitch pattern and how snug you want the fit.
Directions: Click on images to visit project pages, a new browser tab will open & save your spot here
Patterns For Knitting
Can there be anything more comfy than a pair of knit footwear in worsted weight yarn? Here’s a nice bunch in some classic designs and old-fashioned favorites. A few include simple rib, stockinette and garter stitches which are great for those new and learning how to knit. Some are knit flat and work up quickly. Feel free to swap out elements inspired by one project to another (such as buttons, pom poms and crocheted flowers).
Patterns To Crochet
Handmade crocheted slippers perform just as well as knitted varieties when it comes to warmth and coziness. Many of the designs below are well suited for Beginners and will fly off the hook quickly! There are some real retro/vintage goodies here 🙂
A good group of foot warmers for sure, but I also included a few where I simply liked the design. Feel free to use fabrics repurposed from old blankets, towels, sweaters, jeans/denim and other materials that still have plenty of life in them.
How To Make Them Non-Slip / Non-Skid
They should still be machine washable after using one of the techniques below (if yarn allows it), but I’d let them air dry to preserve the applied treatment as long as possible…or if you want to try the dryer, lowest heat setting would be best (again, if yarn allows it).
Tip: Before applying a treatment, cut out a cardboard insert to fit inside the slipper…this will make it easier to work with and protect the body of the piece.
- Heat up glue in a hot glue gun then make lines at the heel pad and the foot pad. Drizzles & dots all over the bottom of the soles will also work. When it’s still warm but cool enough to touch, you can opt to press the glue into the yarn to better embed it. Allow to cool completely before wearing.
- With the same technique as above, use regular latex silicone (the stuff used in bathrooms) to apply random dots to the soles. Wet your fingers with soapy water when applying so it doesn’t stick to your skin. Allow to fully dry before first use.
- Rubberized shelf liner: Cut a piece just smaller than the sole then stitch securely in place or glue with fabric glue.
- Dritz has a product called Anti-Skid Gripper Fabric (with the little raised dots) that is made for this very purpose.
- Anti-slip rug underlay cut in different shapes like circles or rectangles (or the full sole) and stitch in place.
- Puff fabric paint can also be used to make dots or decorative patterns in a variety of colors.
A few good videos demonstrating ways to do this:
- How to make DIY non-slip socks, tights, mitts + gloves | Easy(ish) S01E02 – YouTube (puffy fabric paint); another is here: How to Make Non Slip Socks – YouTube
- Crochet Non-Slip Slippers (SS#69) – YouTube (begins at 1:02:00; shows how to add two layers of rubberized drawer liner)
- Easy & Pretty Method – YouTube (rug underlay technique, stitch pattern used is decorative & cute)
- Easy n Simple Way (Non Slip) – YouTube (hot glue gun technique begins at 1:00; she does 10 lines on the heel, 5 lines on the foot pad).
- How To Add Silicone Soles – Youtube (she covers the whole sole)
You can also try sprays such as Rust-Oleum LeakSeal and Plasti Dip or paint on liquid rug backing like Fiber-lok Non-Skid Rug Backing.