I wanted to make some extra special gifts for my daughters for Christmas gifts this year. I ordered slippers from Land’s End and ‘indigenized’ them with beaded moose skin slipper tops.
My mother taught me how to do beadwork on tanned moose skin when I was a child. We also learned from Johnson O’Malley Indian Education sewing nights. I remember beading on felt to practice when I was in kindergarten.
I received beadwork supplies and moose skin from family and a memorial potlatch. My daughters picked out the colors of the slippers and beads. I finished the red slippers for my older daughter. Then, I started on the second pair after Christmas. I decided to make an instructional video and share it. I know if I was learning for the first time, a video like this could be very beneficial.
Here are the supplies you will need to make beaded moose skin slipper tops. Depending on your experience and level of expertise, you can get bigger or smaller beads to start with. You can also use other hides (leather) or felt. Depending on the thickness of the moose hide, you may need a razor to cut it (vs. scissors). It is a particularly thick skin, you might need pliers to pull the needle through it.
Here is a step-by-step video of the process of making beaded moose skin slipper tops. The flower pattern used was from the Athabascan Beadwork Patterns, collected by the late Catherine Attla of Huslia, Alaska. You may also draw your own designs or Google a favorite design.
I hope you enjoyed the video and learned a few new tricks! My daughters love their new slippers.