Wooden shoe trees help preserve and protect shoes by keeping the shoes' shape and absorbing moisture from sweaty feet. Wooden shoe trees can also stretch a pair of shoes that may be slightly too small. You can make your own customized shoe tree with a few basic tools and basic woodworking skills. While becoming an expert at wood carving takes time, making a shoe tree is a project that just about any beginner can accomplish.
Trace each foot on a piece of paper. Draw a straight line from one side of the foot to the other at the ball of the foot. Then make a line down the center of the foot, running from the toes to the heel. Measure and mark lines parallel to the center toe-to-heel line at points about ¾ of an inch on either side of the center line. Cut out the patterns. Make sure that you have 1 ¾-inch wide pieces extending to the heel. These are needed to keep the heels in shape.
Place the paper patterns on each of the wood blocks, and trace each foot's outline.
Using the saber saw, cut each of the wood blocks along the traced lines.
Use the wood-carving knife to carve the edges of the wood blocks and to fashion the blocks into the shape of feet. Shape the wood using small, even cuts while you grip the wood block firmly with your other hand.
Slide the wooden shoe trees into your shoes. If they don't fit properly, continue to shape the trees with the carving knife until they do.
Sand the shoe trees until they are smooth. Stain the shoe trees; allow the stain to dry completely before using the trees.
Robert Dyer has worked as a freelance writer since 1998. He has had articles published in "Mississippi Gulf Coast Historical Quarterly. Dyer has a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of South Alabama.