This is one of those things that I cannot believe I didn't think of before. I am ALWAYS searching stores for shoes my kids can put on and take off by themselves, partially because it's easier for me, but also because it's required at The Boy's school. I love it when I find shoes that have elastic laces, because they don't look like "baby shoes" but are still easy-on easy-off.
Um, elastic in the place of laces. Like, laces removed, elastic in its place. Yes, I suppose I could do that, couldn't I? When I think of the cute lace-ups I have avoided buying on great clearance deals...but no more. I will be able to replace any old laces I want with elastic. I am totally having a hand-to-forehead-DUH moment. I might even do this with my own shoes--who wants to bother with tying, anyway?
She wanted to put them on right away, but I managed to snag them away from her long enough to put in these elastics. So this is a very quick project.
I used two 14-inch lengths of elastic, roughly shoelace width, for these size Toddler 6 Converse. I happened to have some elastic that I took out of a piece of clothing somewhere along the line, but new elastic works fine too :)
Start by lacing the elastic through the holes, just like you'd do for regular shoelaces. If you have a little tab on the tongue, lace one side of the elastic through it--it will keep it from sliding around.
When you get to the top, put one lace behind the...lace-up area? What do you call it? I'm talking about where the grommets are. So behind there, but on top of the tongue. If you've gone through the loop on the tongue, just leave that elastic behind there. On the other side, lace the elastic through the top grommet.
Now straighten out the laces to where you want them when finished. After you line that up, then pinch the two pieces of elastic and pull them out far enough to fit in your sewing machine. I sewed back-and-forth several times in a wide zig-zag to secure the two ends of the elastic together.
Once that's done, trim the extra elastic and the loose threads, and let the elastic slip back into place.
You're ready to go! And save those shoelaces, because if you decide to teach your child to tie their own shoes, you can easily snip the elastic out and put the shoelaces back in. You haven't changed the shoe at all.