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Nebraska Trailblazer #1:
American Indians Paper Moccasin Pattern

Make a paper moccasin

Materials needed:
large paper grocery bag, cut open along seams OR large piece of paper at least 17" by 36"
heavy tape (3/4" masking or strapping tape)

pattern one

To make a moccasin pattern:

1. Take off your shoes. Stand on the lower left side of the cut open grocery bag or piece of paper. Set your heel 1 and 1/4" from the edge of the paper. Holding the pencil straight, trace around your left foot.

pattern two

2. Mark 1/2" from the end of your big toe.

3. Mark 1/4" on each side of your foot at the widest part. Mark the left side A and the right side B.

4. Connect the three marks you just made with a curving line.

5. Mark 1 and 1/4" from the end of your heel and draw a straight line. Mark the line "heel line."

pattern three


6. Draw a straight line connecting A to the heel line.

7. Draw a dotted line connecting B to the heel line.

pattern four

8. Fold the pattern in half along the dotted line, pencil side up, and cut along the outer line. This piece will form both the top and bottom of the moccasin.

pattern five


9. Unfold the pattern so the pencil side is up. The pattern should look like two feet side by side. Draw a dotted line connecting A and B and continuing across both feet.

pattern six


10. On the right side of the pattern, draw a line down the center of the foot. Draw and cut two lines about 2" apart from the heel line to the A-B line. Cut off about two-thirds of the flap, leaving a tongue.

pattern seven

11. On the left foot, draw and cut two lines about 1 and 1/2" apart from the heel line to the outline of your foot to make a heel flap.

12. To make a pattern for your right foot, trace and cut out the left foot pattern again.

If you want to save the pattern to make more moccasins, cut out two more copies of the pattern and follow the finishing instructions below. Otherwise, you can finish the two patterns you just made.

pattern eight

To finish a moccasin:

13. Add heavy tape reinforcement around the foot opening. Tape across the dotted line where the tongue folds.

pattern nine


14. Fold the pattern along the center dotted line with the pencil marks and tape towards the inside and the tongue on top.

At this point you can decorate the top of the moccasin and fringe the tongue if you like.

15. Tape the outside edges of the moccasin, from the toe curve to the heel line. Overlap short pieces of tape to go around the curves.

16. Fold the tongue over the toe.

pattern 10


17. Insert your foot into the moccasin. Wrap the sides of the moccasin around your heel and tape in place so your foot JUST slides in and out.

18. Fold the heel tab up and tape in place.

Cuffs: Measure from the tongue around your heel and back. Cut a cuff the same length and about 1 and 1/2" wide. Fringe or decorate if you like. Tape in place.

Note: In a traditional moccasin, the heel measurement is only 3/4" and the tongue is folded higher on the arch if the moccasin is to be made of leather. Extra room for the foot opening is added to this pattern because paper does not stretch. A leather moccasin also has a lace passed through holes in the area around the foot opening, and tied under the tongue.


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Last updated 29 January 1999

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