Today we bring you two great DIYs from two great DIY outlets! The first comes courtesy of our good friends at Etsy, whose “How Tuesday” column always gets us inspired. The second comes from new BurdaStyle guest blogger Kat Roberts (aka Whitehaus) and her blog We Can Re-Do It! which is filled with great projects for you to try! So enough with the talking – let’s get started on these projects, shall we?
The Arrow Sandal project come from Kaye Blegvad who describes herself as “an illustrator, jewelry designer, and general crafty thing-maker”. Follow her detailed instructions to construct your own version of her remade leather sandals:
-A pair of cheap flip-flops (They need to have the foamy kind of sole! I found this pair, which has a woven sole stuck on top of the foamy part, and that works perfectly well, too.)
-A piece of leather or vegetarian leather
-Barge rubber cement (or Shoe Goo), available from shoe repair shops
-A metal ruler
-A sharp cutting knife
-An awl for making the holes (a small nail will do just fine too)
-Leather sewing needles
-Strong sewing thread (such as linen)
-Buckles or buttons, as you desire
1. First things first: cut the whole upper away from the flip-flops. You’ll want to cut as close as you can and leave just the sole.
2. Once you’ve got the bare soles, it’s time to work out the shape of your sandals. I do this using a highly technical method: by cutting strips of paper and taping them to the sole, around my foot. Basically, you’ll make a paper shoe around your foot so you can get the fit right. (I thought I’d spare you shots of the paper actually on my foot, but you get the gist.)
Wider straps work a little better (it’s really fiddly to work with anything less than 3/4″), and the more straps you attach to the sole, the trickier the process becomes. You need to add at least 1/2″ to the end of each strap, which will tuck into the sole.
3. While the straps are still taped to your sole, you’ll need to make marks for later. Mark on the sole where the straps are positioned and mark the straps where they meet the sole. It also helps to label the straps because, once you remove them from the sole, they pretty much just look like strips of paper.
Once you’ve marked everything so you’ll be able to put it back together in leather form, you can take those strips of paper off the shoe. Ta-da! Pattern pieces made!
4. Now it’s time to start cutting your leather. Cutting knives cut through leather really well and make a much neater cut than scissors. Slice the straps using the paper pattern pieces as a template.
5. Bam! All the straps are ready. My leather piece wasn’t long enough for the ankle strap, so I just sewed two strips together. No big deal. Transfer marks to the back of the leather, so you know how far into the sole these bad boys need to go for the shoes to fit you.
6. Okay, the fun and messy part is approaching. Using the guides you’ve drawn on the sole, cut slits into the sides to insert the straps. You need to make these slices pretty deep — aim to get the cutting knife in about 3/4″. I cut between the top sole and the foamy sole, but if you just have pure foamy sole, cut as close to the middle as you can.
7. Now you have to get gluing. I sacrificed a butter knife for this, which wasn’t very smart. If you have a popsicle stick or a plastic takeout knife, I think that would be a lot more sensible. Squeeze glue on the tip of the knife and squish it into the cuts in the sole. Try to get a lot of glue in there. This is inevitably a bit messy, but hey, nobody looks at the soles of shoes anyhow.
Push the straps into the sole, up to the guides you made. Normally they go in about 3/4″, so if you leave excess on your straps, you may want to trim before smushing them into the glue. A popsicle stick would work wonders here. I used a bookbinding tool which, again, wasn’t very smart. What can I say? I don’t have a lot of disposable tools around. The glue needs to dry overnight before it’s secure.
8. Okay! You have got all your straps into the sole. Your shoes are nearly done. And they look like shoes already, right?
For mine, I decided to make an ankle strap, so I needed to do a little sewing to attach it. If you went for a different design, you can skip these steps.
9. Fold the side straps around the ankle strap to figure out where to sew. You need the ankle strap to be able to move through fairly easily. Then, using the awl (or a nail), make holes to sew through. I went for two rows of holes, but you can lay this out however you like. Thread up your leather needle with super tough thread, and sew, sew, sew!
10.. Nearly finished! Thread the ankle strap through the sides, and lo and behold, it’s almost a shoe! All that remains is attaching a buckle. I have the good fortune to own a leather hole puncher, but if you don’t, you can use the awl or a nail for this last step.
Make a hole about an inch into the strap. Put the buckle through this hole, like fastening a belt. Now sew the end of the strap back onto itself, to hold the buckle in place. Again, to sew, you’ll probably need to make holes in advance with the awl. Once the buckle is sewn in place, make holes in the other end of your strap too, so you can fasten the shoes.
Done! You have literally made your own sandals. Rejoice. Wear them. (Or, if you’re anything like me, decide they aren’t quite finished.) Add an embellishment. I gave my sandals arrow t-bars, and now my feet live in constant happiness.
Kat Roberts launched her blog, We Can Re-Do It!, just a few short months ago but has already amassed a pretty rockin’ archive of DIY projects focused on remaking and repurposing clothing and accessories. Kat also guest blogs for us here at BurdaStyle, get the details to try her Friendship Bracelet Flip Flops:
-Flip flop soles
-4 friendship bracelets
-4 strips of leather, 8" long
-2 strips of leather, 6" long
-Thin piece of soling rubber
-Shoe glue (important note about gluing at the bottom of this post!)
Prepare the Soles:
1. Cut away the straps.
2. Lay each flip flop on the rubber soling. Trace around then carefully cut out the shape directly on the line.
3. Make a mark with the sharpie 2" away from each of the two back holes, going toward the toe.
4. Using a punch and mallet make a hole directly over each sharpie mark.
Preparing the Straps:
1. Start by cutting away any excess string above the knot and then putting a small drop of glue on the end to keep any of the ends from slipping through the knot.
2. Sandwich the bracelets between the two longer pieces of leather, making sure the good sides of the leather are facing inward. Also, be sure the bracelet’s design are facing in the direction you want them to.
3. Use a small binder clip to clamp the all four pieces together, to prevent anything from slipping out of place. Follow by piercing four holes through the pieces with an awl.
4. Sew all together by sewing through the 4 holes. It’s important that you use a strong thread for this part, such as #69 bonded nylon.
When you are finished sewing, open it up like the photo above.
5. Fold the slightly shorter piece of leather in half and lay your open strap on top of it with the loop created at the mid point sticking out.
6. Put the two ends of the short piece of leather through the loop and pull to tighten. You may need to work this area with your fingers to make sure that the tightened loop looks uniform.
1. Now that the straps are finished you’re ready to begin inserting the ends of the straps one by one through each of the holes. I found it was easier for me to do this with needle nose pliers, than with my fingers.
When you’re finished it will look like the picture on the right.
2. Begin taping the pieces of strap onto the bottom of the flip flop. Having your foot in the shoe when you do this step is crucial to ensuring a great fit. Tighten or loosen the straps accordingly, before taping into position.
3. If you have any strap pieces to close or going beyond the edge of the sole trim away with scissors. When you are finished with this step the bottom of your flip flops will look like the picture on the left.
4. Begin gluing each strap into place by carefully lifting each strap and putting glue onto the sole and firmly pressing the strap back down over it. If the glue you are using is a contact glue both pieces being glued with need glue on them and you won’t press them together until both sides are dry.
5. Completely cover the the side of the sole that will make contact with the flip flop in thin layer of your glue. Take your time to carefully lay the soling leather over top of the flip flop bottom.
6. Pound with a mallet to ensure adhesion, giving extra attention to the edges.
Wait at least 24 before wearing so the glue has a chance to fully set, then you’re ready to go!
Thanks to Julie from Etsy for sending over Kaye’s awesome sandal remake and to Kat for allowing us to share her DIY adventures with the BurdaStyle community. Stay tuned for more fun projects!