DIY Studded Oxfords (for the gal who loves crafting & shoes)

When I bought these pleather oxfords, I was thinking two things: they’re cheap and comfortable. At the time, I was having a hard time finding shoes that fit that bill, and so I bought these immediately. Fast forward a year and notice I never wore them. Why? When I tried them on at home I thought they looked too much like jazz shoes, and I couldn’t find the receipt.

Somewhere during that time, super expensive designer studded oxfords became increasingly popular and I became increasingly envious. They would look amazing with skinnies, I thought. They’re such a pop of oddity. I had to have them.

But, alas, my two qualifications are cheap and comfortable, and I found these to be neither. Often hard leather and bulky, I never found a pair I could afford or would wear. And then it hit me…

DIY Studded Oxfords Preview

As I posted way back when (hello, inspiration Polyvore!) I’ve been thinking about this project for a while but never found the time to complete it. Post-grad/pre-job (speaking of which, hire me! I’ll work my ass off for you! I bring baked goods!) life is perfect for crafting; after all, only so many listings go up per day and I tend to find some downtime. Crafts, ahoy!


What you’ll need:

  • Shoes soft enough to poke holes in with leather punch or studs
  • Studs (I used “British” cone studs, but 1/2″ cone studs would have looked great, too)
  • Needle-nosed pliers or hemostats to bend prongs
  • Leather punch or other pointy, sharp stick used to poke holes (mine is an ice pick)
  • Not pictured: You may also want a strong thimble, a coin, safety glasses, leather gloves, or  a million other things to get the damn studs in. It depends on how bendable your studs are and how sensitive your fingers are. It is easy to stab yourself with one of the studs, though (or at the very least hurt your nail or finger pad) so be careful! Use whatever crap you think will help you be careful!

*Note: You might find it better to work with screw back studs or glue-on studs to avoid the prongs-inside-your-shoes dilemma. I didn’t think it was too bad having them in the tips of my shoes because the prongs were pushed down nicely, but for added comfort I threw my old pointe shoe gel toe pads inside which seemed to do the trick. If you studded the heel of your shoe you could always cut and adhere a leather/other thick fabric scrap over the prong backs. The main point it, studded shoes could equal poked feet. Be careful and adjust accordingly. 


Step One: Start in the middle of whatever area you want to stud and press the prongs into the material. If the material is too thick, press hard enough to leave an indention and go to step two.


Step Two: Place the shoe onto a hard surface and use your leather punch or poker to create holes where the indentations were. This is the same as punching a new hole into a belt, and can be done slowly and semi-gently to avoid messing up.


It’ll look something like this.

Remember: Don’t be a hero and try to do it fast. Also, don’t be careless; keep your fingers, hands, self, and anything else that wouldn’t want to be accidentally poked by the tool out of the way.


Step Three: Insert the studs. To make it a little easier, I bent the ends a smidge before putting them into the shoes. Test it out. Try a few methods. Depending on where you’re putting your studs, it can be incredibly easy or a total pain in the ass trying to bend the prongs.

Use your pliers to help. Use a coin. Use a thimble. Use a stronger roommate. Had I been able to find my thimble, all those methods would have been used yesterday when I tried to figure out the best way to do this. In the end, I thought a little bend before application and pushing with the pads of your fingers (not on the pokey part, on the flat part) was the best way. If you’re more tender finger, go find your thimble, stat.


Step FourRepeat! Move the pattern outwards and keep going.


What does one wear with studded shoes, you might ask? I wore them with black denim, layered jewelry and chambray for errand running (the man behind me in line at World Market was gawking in confusion) and a night of pizza and board games with friends.




Dare to try? What would you wear with studded oxford?


  1. January 20, 2013 / 1:52 pm

    WOW! You did an awesome job! I’m hoping to do that with a jacket I have in my closet pretty soon!!!!!

    • January 20, 2013 / 2:10 pm

      Thank you! 🙂

      Good luck with your jacket. Are you using pyramids or cones? Make sure to post pictures!

  2. January 20, 2013 / 4:58 pm

    I’ve had a similar DIY in mind for a while. This looks so cute, I think I may have the motivation to do it now!!

    • January 20, 2013 / 5:50 pm

      Do it! And post pictures!

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