A few months ago, I was shopping at Pawz for Cauz and found a pair of beautiful Dolce & Gabbana wedges in my size sitting on the $4.99 shoe rack. Yeah, you read that right, $4.99. Although they had definitely seen better days, the leather was still in great condition and I was loving their classic shape and industrial detailing.
After my initial delight, however, I realized why they had ended up in the store's bargain basement: one poor shoe was missing an ankle strap. I grudgingly put them back, but moments later my thrifting buddy and fellow fashionista Sunita V scooped them back up. According to her, these were totally fixable with a little TLC.
After making the $4.99 purchase, we embarked on our DIY mission and headed to NYC's Fashion District for material and hardware. We stopped by Botani (263 West 36th St.) and picked out some new, teeny-tiny buckles ($3 for both), and then swung by TrimArt Inc. (252 W. 38th St.), where we found some cheap faux-leather trim ($1 for a yard) that closely matched the existing ankle strap.
From there, we headed to Sunita's apartment for the actual repairs, and although she's lucky enough to own a set of leatherworking tools (!), a sewing awl can be purchased for a few bucks at a craft store or online, and a regular hammer can be subbed in a pinch.
Easy Leather Ankle Strap Repair
Step 1: Using the existing strap, measure out the trim needed to make a replica. If both straps are missing, reference another pair of shoes for measurements.
Step 2: Cut the leather trim.
Step 3: Using your awl and hammer, put a hole close to the end of one strap. Make sure you put your chopping board underneath, to avoid ruining your table.
Step 4: Position your buckle on the end with the single hole. (Again, reference the other strap or another pair of shoes if you're not sure about the positioning!)
Step 5: Once the buckle is properly positioned, fold the strap around it and attach it with a few good stitches.
Step 6: Use the awl/hammer combo to make more evenly-spaced holes on the opposite end, which will serve as the strap holes. If the straps are still loose once you try on your shoes, don't worry, you can always add more holes further in and trim down your strap accordingly.
Step 7: Repeat steps 1-6 to create the second strap. Then put on your awesome shoes and bask in their glory.
Altogether, this little fix-it cost just $4, bringing the total cost of these cute D&G wedges to about $9. Can't wait to take them for a spin this summer!