How To Turn Your Old Shoe Into An Oven Mitt

Posted on August 24, 2012 by

Categories: Grip 'N Rip, Shoes/Cleats


I recently came across a very odd, yet creative way to recycle old shoes. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill procedure such as taking them to the Goodwill or passing them down to your little brother. This will really get your creative juices flowing and might even make your mom proud. I’m talking about Kickin’ Mitts!

Bryan Postelnek has found a new way to clear your closet of old sneakers and do something positive with them. Bryan realized he could repurpose them into oven mitts. He has an elaborate 11 step process including the materials you will need. I wanted to learn more about how he even thought of making kitchen mitts in the first place. Below is what he said.

I came up with the idea of using old shoes (or sneakers) as part of my class assignment for my graduate degree. The assignment was to come up with 5 upcycling ideas (turning something “valueless” into something of value) and present them to the class. At the end of my presentation, the class would choose which project I’d pursue.


At the time of the presentation, one of my ideas was to use the shoes as the practice gloves you punch when boxing (punch mitts), and one of my classmates (Katelyn Noderer) said, “how about an oven mitt?”. So, the class voted for me to use an old shoe, and I took off with the oven mitt idea after testing to see that the sole wouldn’t heat up too badly on a hot pot.

From there, I grabbed old shoes from my parents and cut up some shoes. I also went to the Costume Shop Manager (Pam Richey) and my fashion-designer classmate (Randi Tutelman) for advice on aesthetics, fabric, and how to sew it together. From there, I went through two iterations of the Kickin’ Mitt. The first time, I used the whole tongue for the thumb piece and was testing my sewing technique. The second time, I botched my assembly and broke my needle. I’m really happy I broke my needle because otherwise I wouldn’t have made this latest version, which I think came out really well.

You can view more images and go through the very detailed guide at Instructables.com. View a video of him taking delicious Tollhouse cookies out of a 325 F oven. It will be interesting to see what he pulls off next.

Posted in: Grip 'N Rip

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  • dave

    not sure how I feel about old shoes touching my food…