Alternate Uses for Shoes [10 Ideas]


As a shoe lover, I can never have too many shoes. However, when it comes to throwing them away, that is not always easy to do. So then I thought about what could be the alternate uses for shoes so I could recycle them.

Here I came up with 10 ideas to alternate uses for shoes:

  1. Use Your Old Shoes In Your Garden
  2. Use Your Shoes As A Vase
  3. Use Your Shoes As A Jewelry Rack
  4. Reuse Your Baby’s Shoes
  5. Reuse Your Flip Flops
  6. Make A Birdhouse Out of Your Shoes
  7. Make Your Shoes Into A Glamourous Bookends
  8. Use Your Shoes as A Holder
  9. Use Your Shoes as an Umbrella Holder
  10. Reuse The Leather From Your Shoes

You might also find it difficult to part with certain pairs of shoes just to get some extra space in your closet. If you are looking for ideas for what to do with the shoes you don’t use, you’ll find some unique ideas to try below.

1.    Use Your Old Shoes in Your Garden

Old Shoes In Your Garden

One of the easiest ways to reuse your old shoes is to turn them into planters. You can either paint them and add pretty details, place them on your front step, or leave them as-is for use as planters in your garden or yard. 

In my opinion, this idea would perfectly work if you get a hole or crack in the shoe sole. This way, your planter would already have a built-in drainage hole; otherwise, you can make one with a drill or a screwdriver.

Planting in shoes and boots is an easy and fun way to add color to your garden or use small vertical space.

Flower Planters

If you want to add something different and colorful element to your garden, you can do it by turning some of your old dress shoes into planters.

Making your old shoes as planters is by far the most unique idea I have come across. So if you have some of them in boxes, now is the time to put them to good use.

You can turn them into planters with little effort and more creativity. All you need to do is put some potting soil in them, poke small holes in the bottom to allow drainage get some plants growing, and find an ideal spot. You can place them in the garden, the back door, front step.

It’s a simple and easy way to rearrange your plants. You can spray-paint your shoes and coordinate or contras the flowers and their colors, so they go with your garden style. This will add creativity to your garden without spending extra money. You can plant cute succulents since they are low maintenance and long-lasting, so they are certainly a good option.

Herb Garden

You can create a beautiful herb garden out of your old shoes. All you have to do is attach your old boots and shoes to an old stump. Or you can simply place them on cinder blocks in the garden, however you prefer. You can grow plants directly in them to create a unique landscaping feature.

DIY Stepping Stones

Take a look at your old shoes and think about how you could use them. Well, I have an excellent idea for you! You can create A cute little pathway in your garden from your old shoes by flipping them upside down like stepping stones.

Your kids will love you for that since Walking from sole to sole will be a fun activity for them. In fact, there’s not much to do for this project.

Cactus Pot

Make your old heels into cactus planters for a fun change. You can place a hardy plant like a cactus in a fun pot rather than a traditional terracotta pot since it can survive.

You can plant cactus directly at the front of the shoe. If you have any tall heels in your closet that you rarely use, I suggest you try this fun idea. Also, if one of your shoe heels is broken, this is a great way to use the other heel. It’s so easy to turn it into a planter.

2.    Use Your Shoes as A Vase

Shoe Vase

You can place flowers or small potted plants in your old boots and shoes. Usually, rain boots and ankle boots are perfect for vases but don’t worry if you don’t have these.

You can make other shoes and boots turned into vases by cutting the bottom off of a plastic water bottle or another plastic container and placing it inside. Add water to the container, choose the flowers, and trim their stems according to the size of the container. For this project, I would suggest using low-heeled or flat-soled footwear to be sturdy.

3.    Use Your Shoes as A Jewelry Rack

Hanging Accessories Rack

Another simple and creative idea to use your shoes is to turn them into a hanging rack for storing jewelry pieces. You can decorate the shoes with paint and stickers or leave them as they are. I think this creative DIY idea would work great for flat shoes. 

Hang your shoe on the wall, attach tacks to hang your chains, bracelet, and earrings. You can even place your accessories directly in the toes of the shoe, or you can add a couple of hooks to the shoe sole to hang your chains, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

Make a Ring Rack

You can use your old high heels to display your rings if you sell them or just want a fun way to decorate your dresser.

All you need are ring holders readily available at business supply stores. Or you can make them yourself. First, take a sponge and make holes in it. Now insert the padded sponge into an old high-heeled shoe to create a glamorous ring rack for your dresser.

Well, I think it would make a fun gift for someone who loves both rings and shoes. 

4.    Reuse Your Baby’s Shoes

Reuse Your Baby’s Shoes garden

If you have babies and don’t want to throw or donate their shoes, you will love these ideas. With these simple and wonderful DIYs, you can keep your baby’s precious memories forever. Also, it’s a great idea to display your baby’s first pair of shoes.  

As A Pin Cushion

You can easily make a pin cushion or a pin holder from your baby’s old shoes. Simply insert a sponge inside it, and there you have it! A pair of baby shoes can make two of these. 

You can put it just about anywhere when sewing or pinning. If you are having trouble finding your lost pins, this simple and smart solution is worth a try.

Make a Growth Chart

Your baby’s shoes are probably the cutest and most precious shoes you have ever owned. So, of course, this makes it even harder to let them go. But now you can keep them forever.

You can create a growth chart using those cute little shoes and label them according to their age. A beautiful growth chart like this is irreplaceable, as it brings back all those special memories.

Make Wind Chimes

Another wonderful idea to keep your baby shoes with you is to make wind chimes out of them. Simply grab your kids’ flip flop sandals, some scissors, chimes, and strings. Then, simply poke a few holes in the heel of the flip flop, attach the strings, and you’ve got a cute little windchime!

5. Reuse Your Flip Flops

You can use your flip-flops for more than just wearing them.

You can turn your old or new flip-flops into decorative wall hangings. For example, hang up a pair of flip flops and place two small-sized plant pots into its toe thong to display flowers on your sandals.

Create Ribbon Wreath

You can create a colorful ribbon door wreath from your bright pairs of flip flops. For this, you need a few pairs of flip flops, a glue gun, glue sticks, wired ribbon, jewels, flowers, or stickers for decoration. For a single wreath, either use the right or left one or both for two different ribbon wreaths.

Place your flip flops in the position you want to stick them. Overlap them and use the glue gun to stick the flip-flops together. Now decorate it with jewels or flowers, whatever you like. And your flip flop ribbon wreath is ready. You can hang it on your door using a colorful wired ribbon.

Make Welcome Sign

You can make a welcome sign out of your old, worn flip-flops. It is fun and colorful, perfect for summer décor, and it’s super easy to make. If you don’t already have any, you can get cheap flip-flops for about 50 cents a pair at the dollar store. I would suggest using bright, colorful, and patterned flip-flops for this idea to make an adorable welcome sign.

6. Make A Birdhouse Out Of Your Shoes

You can make someone’s house out of your old shoes. One of the simplest ways to reuse your old shoes is to create a birdhouse out of them.

Create a wood frame to cover the birdhouse from weather conditions like wind, heat, humidity, or rain. Attach the sole to the side of a tree. Put some birdseed in the toe of the shoes. Add some twigs and leaves, and you’re done. 

Either It’ll become a favorite spot for birds to visit for a snack, or they may decide to live. It wouldn’t be any easier to make these birdhouses from boots.

I think old cowboy boots would make the cutest birdhouses. If you have multiple pairs, you can create an entire row of cool birdhouses, or else you can place them wherever you want.

7. Make Your Shoes Into A Glamourous Bookends

Bookends is one of the best alternative use of your shoes. Do you have any glamorous but uncomfortably high heels tucked away in your closet? Sometimes, even if the most beautiful shoes don’t fit right, you still wish to keep them despite not wearing them. Now is the time to bring them into use.

High heels that are barely used make great bookends. Even your old heels can make glamorous bookends! They’re easy to make and a great addition to your teenager’s bedroom. You can paint them up to make your private library or bookshelf look unique. That way, you won’t have to throw away those torn heels.

Even old shoes or boots will work if that’s what you have. If you have a library or just a few favorite books, or maybe some old magazines stashed against the wall, perhaps a pair of heavy shoes would work well as bookends.

8. Use Your Shoes As A Holder

Shoes Holder

Magazine Holder

You might think knee boots or rain boots won’t hold much, but in fact, they’re perfect for storing wrapping paper, posters, magazines, newspapers, crafts, and more. So no matter how much space you dedicate to your hobby, you might enjoy more options than just boxes and bins.

Wine Holder

Do you want to get rid of your high heels and stilettos just because you don’t use them? Don’t get rid of your old stilettos and heels because now you can use them as a wine holder.

Key Holder

Decorate your shoes by stuffing them with something, then painting them. Next, add some holding pins in the shoe and hang them somewhere in your living room. It’s going to be a fun key holder!

Makeup Brush Holder

You can glam up your dresser with your shoe. First, clean your old shoe, fill it with some pearls, now put all your brushes inside it.

9. Use Your Shoes As An Umbrella Holder

Umbrella Holder

What if you get a hole in your rain boots? You probably want to discard them because they are useless. If that happens, an old pair of boots can become a stylish umbrella holder if they’re repurposed.

You might have seen umbrellas residing in ceramic rain boots; well, they are pretty expensive! But you can still get the same look for free. All you have to id get your old rain boots and place your umbrellas inside them. You have to attach those boots to a bench, a wall, or any sturdy item.

But I have another cool idea for you. Get a stool chair and put its legs inside the rain boots; now, your umbrella can be held securely. Furthermore, if you have two pairs of these boots, you can put the other two legs inside them, making them even more stylish.

10. Reuse The Leather From Your Shoes

Reuse Leather

If you have an old but expensive pair of leather shoes that you cannot wear, just get the leather out of it. You can make anything with this leather-like phone cover, an iPad cover, design a notebook, or make some accessories. You can even make a leather pillow with it. How cool is that?

Take Away

No matter what kind of shoe you have or how many you have, the list of ideas mentioned above will provide you with at least some ways to repurpose your shoes. And I’m sure you’d appreciate your old Shoes a lot more than your new ones.

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