Making Moccasins

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Well recently I had a go at making a set of Keltoi moccasins, only the mid height ones, this is what I did.

Materials used, approx 9.5 feet of chrome tanned deerskin, 1 set of Lundhags felt insoles, PVA glue and about 18meters of heavy duty thread.

Tools used, a sharp craft knife, a leather awl with Rombic blade, 2 needles and a cork matt.

Firstly I took one set of felt insoles.

I then cut them to the same size and shape as my foot and used them to make a template a half inch wider all the way around my foot.

I used that template to cut a piece of the Deerskin for the outsole and another piece for the rand.

I glued the rand to the sole, rough side of the rand to smooth side of the sole working out from the point between the second and third toe on the foot and trimmed the rand at the point that it meets at the heel.

I then used my template to cut another piece of deerskin for the insole, so I had insole outsole with rand attached and the felt insole.



so here we are with the begginings of a sole unit. I then glued the rough side of the outsole to the piece of felt and then glued the smooth side of the insole to the piece of felt (the felt becomes a mid sole laminated between two layers of deerskin).

The next step was to cut the vamp band sides and tongue of the moccasin.

Take the vamp band and the tongue.

Then glue them in place rough side to rough side.

Then stitch them in place (strictly speaking you use a whip stitch for this, but I used an x stitch), the holes that you are stitching through are set back 6mm from the edge with about 6mm spacing.



The sides are then attached to the tongue and vamp band once again rough side to rough side apart from where the vamp band meets the side. The Vamp band lays on the outside of the sides of the Moccasin. Firstly glue and then stitch them in place.

Glue and then stitch the back of the sides together with the outside overlapping the inside rough side to smooth. There should be two sets of stitching holes running parallel at about 10mm spacing all the way up the back with a 15mm overlap of the two sides.

Once they have been stitched take the moccasin and turn it inside out take one of the sole units and turn it so the the outsole is facing you. Working from the space between where the second and third toes would lie glue smooth side of the moccasin to the smooth side of the rand back to the heel working on the outside edge of the foot first. Then glue from the same point between the toes back to the heel on the inside.

Now you will have to stitch it in place working from between the second and third toes around the outside edge of the moccasin all the way back to where you started. Stitching should once again be 6mm back from the edge and 6mm spacing. I used saddle stitch as I have a tendency to over engineer things, but you can use running stitch

This will leave you with a lovely moccasin which is inside out :D . Turn it the right way out and there you have it a moccasin with only the holes left to punch for lacing them up.

That's pretty much all thier is to it (you could of seen the colour of the air in my house as I was turning them the right way out :D).


Full Member
Sep 12, 2003
you can get the leather lacing from tandy I think

use McNett freesole on the soles, it gives them a transparant rubber coating, buckshot did it on his and they look great


Jan 19, 2004
They look really nice Leon :D

One of my projects is to make another pair for myself, ankle ones this time for 'around the camp' wear.




These ones come up about the same height as a hiking boot, about four fingers above the ankle.

I already have plans for another set, but I may well buy a set from the originator of the pattern when I am employed again.

I spoke to them a while ago and they are both very helpfull and are willing to customise thier designs to how you want them (they will do most modifications from height to reinforcing the sole with buffalo hide :D). One thing to bear in mind is that they have a no nag policy, but they also have a good reputation.


May 4, 2005
leon-1 said:
Cheers Stuart, they were actually quite a nice thing to make and I quite enjoyed making them right up untill I had to turn them the right way out :D
The best way to turn leather shoes inside out is to drive a stick (1" or so thick with a tapered and them rounded end) into some firm ground and use this to push the stiff leather into shape. It sounds brutal but the shoe will survive I promise and it makes the job ten times easier. Us medieval reenactors have been making these types of shoe for years (they are know to us as 'turnshoes') and believe me if there was an easier way we'd do it.
Good work all the same.


Jan 21, 2005
S. Lanarkshire
leon-1 said:
Thanks Nick, that is a very good pointer :D

There is something else that can be done as well, if you use a couple of foam insoles glued together instead of Felt life would be a little easier :)
If you pack in a layer of semi felted merino fleece and walk around in the shoes/boots for a little while the pressure and heat will felt a fitted insole for you too....very comfortable. If you use a grass layer below the felt it will give padding but it also acts like a natural deodourant and helps keep your feet healthy.



New Member
Jun 24, 2006
could you tell me where you got your pattern? I've been making a set of turnshoes, will post pics when done :) but I would like to do a set of moccs. Is there a reason you didn't use veg-tan? Wet it and its easier to turn - I used it fro the soles on my turnshoes and it turned impossible into doable :)