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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:


Supplies Needed:

-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
-Scrap paper
-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:

Supplies Needed:

-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!


  • Soniya_large

    Jul 15, 2015, 07.39 AMby Soniya Soniya

    I’m a huge fan of guest-posting! I landed a guestpost on Newsx.com in my first month as freelancer blogger. It was such an awesome, heady feeling. Even though my website needs a ton of work (hence generating traffic isn’t anywhere in my agenda), I write guest post just to get my name out there in front of potential clients.

    I’m going to implement your tips when I start pitching to the bigger guns out there (Forbes, Business Insider, Copyblogger). Bookmarking this article!

    Thank you, Soniya !

  • Burdapic_large

    Dec 15, 2011, 02.55 AMby carolinesj

    This is so exciting! I’ve been learning leathercraft so it’s great to see a simpler version. THanks! :)

  • Cute-baby-pictures_large

    Oct 5, 2011, 06.35 PMby vanelia

    how it easy to make

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    Sep 1, 2011, 04.14 PMby fabled

    This totally got me going!

    Check out my project here:http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/my-envy-sandals-makeover?image=221646

  • Missing

    Aug 25, 2011, 10.41 PMby Marie Waller

    Absolutely wonderful what a great idea truly inspired Thanks for the inspiration

  • Me_large

    Aug 25, 2011, 02.40 AMby dirtylace

    This is great!! Love it I did a similar DIY project on an old pair of cork wedges and refashioned them completely by handpainting Tribal Inspired geometric shapes and bright neon colors! You can check out the DIY step by step at my blog here :


    1 Reply
    • Blurred_out_large

      Aug 25, 2011, 01.21 PMby Whitehaus

      WOW! They came out beautifully!

  • Missing

    Aug 24, 2011, 03.54 PMby BellissimaClothing

    That’s fabulous ideas, thanks for the post..

  • 4b0baf013b18d4c34c8f097033869a5329edfb8b_large

    Aug 24, 2011, 03.23 AMby corinneski

    What great ideas! Living in the expensive land of sandals (ie, Australia) this is going to be a must-try project.

  • 126_large

    Aug 24, 2011, 12.45 AMby larinna

    Love it! Easy to do and very easy directions; AWESOME results!!!

  • Missing

    Aug 23, 2011, 02.19 AMby Tokie Ang

    this is great!! :D

  • 355_large

    Aug 22, 2011, 09.53 PMby Dinadodo

    good work

  • D05833819f37fe95f68f68512954c50c3c7242c8_large

    Aug 21, 2011, 12.20 AMby malou10

    oooo j’aime bien ce que tu fais

  • Vestido_emili_2_large

    Aug 20, 2011, 03.08 PMby Ivettlinda

    Han quedado muy hermosas :D

  • Missing

    Aug 20, 2011, 02.47 PMby amandaloschiavo

    what sort of glue do you recommend? As Id love to make some shoes but dont know anything about the glues

    1 Reply
    • Blurred_out_large

      Aug 22, 2011, 08.22 PMby Whitehaus

      The easiest glue to come by would probably be Shoe Goo. That can often be found in a drug store, with the shoe polish. Definitely a shoe repair shop should have some around. A couple of other glue options would be a heavy duty rubber cements such as Barge or Petronio’s.

      Be aware the all of these glues give off pretty intense vapors and require that you follow all directions as to use and having a properly ventilated area.

  • Img_8545_large

    Aug 19, 2011, 07.41 PMby asf

    Where do you get soling rubber? I’ve been wanting to get some to go from homemade slippers to homemade shoes.

    5 Replies
    • Blurred_out_large

      Aug 22, 2011, 08.26 PMby Whitehaus

      I’m able to get mine from a place that specializes in shoe making supplies. If you don’t have anything like that around I’d check at your local shoe repair shop. If they don’t have something that they could sell you, more than likely they could point you towards a place that could.

    • Img_8545_large

      Aug 22, 2011, 10.21 PMby asf

      Thank you. I think I might just need to live closer to a city.

    • Blurred_out_large

      Aug 23, 2011, 01.24 AMby Whitehaus

      Two things:
      1) I accidentally just marked you reply comment as inappropriate while trying to reply. So sorry:P
      It was an accident BurdaStyle!
      2)This place should be able to help with the soling supplies. Never used this company before, but man are they stocked!

    • Img_8545_large

      Aug 23, 2011, 05.23 PMby asf

      It’s because there needs to be a reply button on replies. I’m always going to click that little whatever-it-is too.

      And that’s the website I was looking at after a google search yesterday. :) The prices look reasonable too! Thanks so much for your help. Looking forward to giving shoes a try!

    • Blurred_out_large

      Aug 23, 2011, 05.45 PMby Whitehaus

      Please post results if you can!! I wanna see!

  • Missing

    Aug 19, 2011, 05.20 PMby iin

    lovely ideas.

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    Aug 19, 2011, 05.09 PMby nellyvdb

    This was already in my favourites when this post came up, great tutorial, I have one pair of sandals I love, I will try this on them. Thanks.

  • Aibeiaiaaabdcivp8_6utmdjkcildmnhcmrfcghvdg8qkduxmzljmtbkmzi0zjq1yzbkzme5mtewmmqymtzjode3ymzindhmzjewacujhxjosiikms4lfglgsrd75kga_large

    Aug 19, 2011, 11.11 AMby Shira B

    So beautiful!

  • Dodo_large

    Aug 19, 2011, 12.57 AMby lila-1

    this is fabulous! how do I add it to my toolkit/favourite it?

  • Vatten_large

    Aug 18, 2011, 10.15 PMby ichigogirl

    Wow! Shoes are intimidating, I never would have thought of this (but I already have a few candidates for pimping, come to think of it). Thanks for sharing!

  • 043011donna_large

    Aug 18, 2011, 09.52 PMby dborecky

    I’m bored with my flip flops. I would love to remake them into cool gladiator style ones. Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Feestje_eline_007_large

    Aug 18, 2011, 09.06 PMby lienepien

    Great! Next week with a bachelor party for my best friend. I planned a workshop flip flop pimping! But tthat is more beats etc. on the existing flip flop. But these are great ideas!

    1 Reply
    • Blurred_out_large

      Aug 22, 2011, 08.27 PMby Whitehaus

      Awesome idea for a party!

    • This is a question
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