All About Shoelaces

Velvet Shoelaces – Lusciously Plush

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Despite getting so many requests for velvet shoelaces, I’d been reluctant to make them since there are no suitable lacing materials for double-sided velvet. My customers told me it doesn’t matter if the Velvet shoelaces are double-sided or not since we all know how to lace our shoes to put the plush side on top. Fair enough, so I made my first pair for myself and absolutely LOVED THEM!

These gorgeous 3/8″ wide Velvet Ribbon Shoelaces are the ultimate elegant touch whether you opt for something subtle like black or something bolder like bright lime.  Velvet shoelaces are also sturdy enough to be used in your everyday shoes or sneakers, and they can be hand washed and drip dried if ever needed.

Velvet Shoelaces

One of my favorite aspects of  Velvet Ribbon Shoelaces is how nicely they iron up. They can be easily ironed on a low setting on the matte satin side…no kinks no waves…just nice and straight and smooth, so it’s definitely worth the effort when switching them out to different shoes!

Some Tip Options for Velvet Shoelaces

Imdfhage1Because they are so plush and thick, the available tip options are meant for standard sized aglets (not tiny aglets), but you can always go with the “Trim and Seal” option to have a nice little point to pull through even the narrowest of aglets. Velvet Ribbon Shoelaces also have wider tips than other types of ribbon when selecting one of the short or long dangle metal tip options. The wide crimp tip options are available as well, although the plastic tips do not fit onto the Velvet shoelaces. For more information about these tip options, check out the article at: https://lostinlaceboutique.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/tip-options-for-custom-ribbon-shoelaces

 Color Selection with Plush and Matte Sides

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They come in a variety of fun and functional colors, and these color samples include both the plush velvet sides and the matte finished back sides to show what they look like when that back side peaks through.  The Navy bow above is a great example of that.

So once again, thanks to my customers for convincing me to start making Velvet Ribbon Shoelaces. I guess sometimes only velvet will do, and these lusciously plush laces definitely let you strut your stuff. – Ann Louise

Other Uses for Shoelaces – Hair Ribbons

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My slogan at Lost in Lace™ is “Shoelaces for Everything”, and there are certainly plenty of alternative uses for shoelaces – particularly Ribbon Shoelaces. This month’s topic focuses on my customers’ favorite alternative use which their feedback and my search term results have told me is Hair Ribbons.

At first I wondered why someone wouldn’t just use a regular hair ribbon, and then I started looking around and realized it’s not easy to find even simple hair ribbons. So many of the styles out there are aimed solely at little girls, and it seemed women were forced to get creative with their shoelaces instead.

Admittedly I’ve used shoelaces as hair ribbons rather than searching online for actual hair ribbons, but then again I’ve got LOTS of shoelaces at my house. Personally my favorite use is out on the golf course. You have to tie your ponytail through your cap or visor anyway, so why not add a little ribbon? The biggest reason I love to do that is because I can make matching shoelaces for my golf shoes, and let’s face it, for many of us looking good on the golf course is about all we’ve got going for us when it comes that sport (at least speaking for myself anyway).

1/4″ Red Grosgrain Shoelaces and 7/8″ Red Grosgrain Hair Ribbon

 It didn’t take long for me to figure out I should probably be offering my customers single shoelaces to use as hair ribbons rather than shoelaces, and that’s when I opened Hair Ye! Hair Ye! (http://HairYeHairYe.etsy.com) at Etsy.  Hair Ye! Hair Ye! offers hair ribbons in the same 5/8″ and 7/8″ widths that customers most frequently use to convert shoelaces to hair ribbons, but I decided to add some 1.5″ ribbons as well.

Left to Right: 5/8″ Wide, 7/8″ Wide and 1.5″ Wide Hair Ribbons

Shoelaces make ideal hair ribbons because they look great with all the shoelace tips as seen with the Plastic tips as well as the Dangle tips and Crimp tips shown below. At Hair Ye! Hair Ye! I also decided to add a couple new tip options with Ribbon Ends and Cones, but you can tell from the photos, those tips won’t lace up your shoes. 🙂

Plastic Tips

 Dangle Tips and Crimp Tips

Ribbon Ends and Cones

On a bit of a tangent, I should mention that I’ve solved the problem of self-tying hair ribbons. I usually get a nice bow on my second try, but craning around the mirror watching myself tie an upside-down-and-backwards bow is always a bit challenging. I finally realized if I’d simply tie the bow first and put it on my hair with an alligator clip, I could get a perfect bow every time, and I didn’t even have to untie the bow to remove it, so it was all ready to go for the next time!  Anyway, I had to share that mini brainwave since I’m wearing hair ribbons much more often now after figuring that one out.

Alligator Clips for Hair Bows

Conversing with customers I’ve found it interesting that many women will only get hair ribbons for their little girls, and the rest of us don’t understand why more women don’t wear hair ribbons. Maybe if they weren’t so difficult to find in adult-suitable styles we’d see more of them, so hopefully my Etsy shop will solve that problem for some of us, but of course the shoelace option is always there.

Again, many thanks to my Lost in Lace™ customers who gave me another great idea. – Ann Louise

Satin Shoelaces – Always a Good Idea

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Satin has got to be my favorite shoelacing fabric. The sheen adds a dressy elegance to any pair of shoes, and it comes in widths of 1/4″, 3/8″, 5/8″ and 7/8″ for the perfect look.  Satin shoelaces are available at all of my shoelaces sites: Lost in Lace, All About Shoelaces and Ribbon Shoelaces.

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With 30+ colors of double-sided satin shoelaces to choose from, finding just what you need is never a problem.

Satin Colors

Another benefit of satin is its longer lifecycle. It’s a much sturdier fabric than the popular organza, and it can even be used in athletic shoes. Satin also has a Trim and Seal tip finish option, so there are no eyelets that are too narrow for satin shoelaces – basically it works for everything! – Ann Louise

Tulle Shoelaces – Just for Fun!

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I’m not sure what even made me think about trying to make shoelaces out of tulle, but it works amazingly well. It’s just a fun and frilly fabric! Tulle shoelaces are available at my “Lost in Lace” shop on Etsy as well as “All About Shoelaces” and “Ribbon Shoelaces by The Boutique Project“.

Lots of Color Choices

The 26 color choices offer all kinds of possibilities. It’s such a unique shoelace material that it’s hard to resist going a little over the top with something like Lime Green in your favorite basic sneakers.

Tulle Shoelaces for Everyday

Tulle Shoelaces

Tulle is actually a little sturdier than organza, so it wears better than one might expect for anyone who’s inclined to sport them on a daily basis.

Another Great Use for Tulle

Tulle shoelaces work for all styles of lace up shoes or even as ankle ties to replace straps. Of course they are very popular for weddings, and I undoubtedly see more orders for white and ivory than any other colors, but the other colors gain popularity every day. As a matter of fact, I’m off to fill a couple of tulle shoelace orders right now – one for black and one for peach.

As always, thanks for stopping by!  – Ann Louise

Organza Shoelaces – Sheerly Beautiful

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Organza ribbon shoelaces were the first style of shoelaces I offered on Etsy. With some narrow crimp-on ends and little paddle dangles, one afternoon I decided to convert my excess stash of organza ribbon into shoelaces. The idea came to me completely on a whim, and I could see my husband thinking “here she goes again” as I sat on the floor cutting strands of organza and adding the tiny tips.

3/8″ Wide Organza

Featured imageThankfully my husband is very accepting of my occasional unusual activities, and he is kind enough not to ask what I’m up to and cause me to question myself, or I may never have finished that first batch of shoelaces! The photo above is actually that very first batch. ☺

1/4″ Wide Organza

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I was quite surprised by just how popular those shoelaces became, and ultimately that led to the opening of the Lost in Lace shop. To this day the organza ribbon shoelaces are the most viewed shoelaces on my site – specifically the 1/4″ wide shoelaces shown above rank the highest. These days I’m offering organza in several different widths (1/4″, 3/8″, 5/8″, 7/8″ and 1.5″) and have many more tip options. (Check out my article on Tip Options to see more on the available tips –  https://lostinlaceboutique.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/tip-options-for-custom-ribbon-shoelaces.)

5/8″ Wide Organza

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As for all of the different widths of shoelaces, those can be found at:

1/4″
https://www.etsy.com/listing/158117018
3/8″
https://www.etsy.com/listing/158129115
5/8″
https://www.etsy.com/listing/185808045
7/8″
https://www.etsy.com/listing/158118416
1.5″
https://www.etsy.com/listing/210116713

1.5″ Wide Organza

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The wider styles have been very popular with brides. There is quite a trend to go the comfy route on wedding shoes these days (especially on those long dresses where no one can see your shoes anyway), so I get a ton of requests from brides who go with blinged-out Converse instead of dressy heels. How much fun is that?!?!

7/8″ Wide Organza

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As my first style of shoelaces, it made sense to highlight my organza first and give a big “THANK YOU” to all of my customers who made me realize how much fun they are to make and got me rolling with Lost in Lace.

Thank you! – Ann Louise

Tip Options for Custom Ribbon Shoelaces

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Part of the fun of designing your own ribbon shoelaces online is choosing the tips. When selecting the tips for your shoelaces, look for a style that will best accentuate the look you want as well as provide the functionality your shoes require to lace through their eyelets easily. The shops that belong to this blog offer a combination of plastic tips, metal tips and even a trim and seal option for certain types of ribbon.

Plastic Tips

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Plastic tips are heat sealed and glued in place to provide an easy way to lace shoes as well as protect the ends from fraying. They are form-fitting, so they adhere to the shape and texture of the ribbon underneath. For example, plastic tips on grosgrain shoelaces have those grosgrain ridges peaking through. Plastic tips can be very narrow when applied to narrow thin ribbons such as 1/4″ organza, and they can be quite wide when applied to wider bulky ribbons such as 7/8″ satin.

While clear plastic tips are by far the favorite choice of my customers, plastic tips do come in a full range of opaque colors as well – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Gray, Black, White and Brown. Colored tips can be used to add a nice custom touch to basic shoelaces such as putting black tips on black shoelaces, or they can bring out an accent color in shoelaces with multiple colors. They can even be mixed and matched in a Rainbow effect with a different color on each tip such as a Red, Yellow, Blue and Green combination.

Metal Tips

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Metal tips include wide crimp tips, long dangling tips and short dangling tips. All metal tips are available in either gold or silver colors.

Dangling tips are finished with a very narrow crimp with a loop on the end to add either a long (1″) dangling paddle tip or a short (3mm) dangling teardrop tip. The narrow crimps are often narrower than plastic tips when used on wider ribbons, although they don’t fit onto the really wide shoelaces such as 7/8″ satin or grosgrain. I specifically do not advise using the long dangling paddle tips for babies or toddlers, since they may pose a choking hazard.

Wide crimp tips are probably my favorite way to finish off a pair of shoelaces. Unfortunately at 3.5mm wide, they don’t fit through some eyelets. Women’s shoes can have very narrow eyelets (even just simple holes punched through leather), so I always recommend taking a close look at a shoe’s eyelets before adding the wide crimps. Whenever they fit though, I definitely think they are the way to go!

Trim and Seal

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Speaking of narrow eyelets, trim and seal tips are the best way to get ribbon shoelaces through any extremely tiny holes. Trim and seal tips are simply trimmed at an angle or in a forked shape, and then the raw edges are melted to resist fraying. For anyone who has their own ribbon on hand, trim and seal tips are also a fun DIY shoelace project. Trim and seal works best for heavier and solid ribbons such as grosgrain and satin. Thin and fragile ribbons, such as organza, simply don’t seal well and are inclined to fray anyway.

Be Creative

So the next time you’re looking at that drop-down box of tip options for your custom ribbon shoelaces, don’t just default to those clear tips. Add tips that show off those shoelaces a bit more with your own personal touch, and take full advantage of those custom possibilities! – Ann Louise