Introduction: DIY Sandals From Old Flip Flops + T-Shirt
1. What did you make?
I wanted a pair of simple, comfy summer shoes; I had a pair of old flip flops that were fraying and had pokey sequins. My mom had a bag of cloths we were about to donate so I had a nice selection of old t-shirts to choose from for the straps.
2. How did you make it?
I got the idea for this flip flop refashion and also instructions for the five strand braid from Make It, Love It (http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/07/flip-flop-refashion-part-1-braided-straps.html). However, when I was laying the straps on my feet, I found that having a single wide strap going up the top of my foot was more flattering than the traditional V shaped design.
3. Where did you make it?
I was all set up in my living room, ready to finish them in one go, but at 11 pm, I decided to leave it for the next day. Surprisingly, the second shoe went by much faster than the first one, probably because I had to figure out how to style the straps and connect all them together for the first shoe.
4.What did you learn?
Honestly, the hardest part was trying to stuff the fabric into the foam. Getting my superglued fingers unstuck was a close second. The most rewarding part was the fancy-smanchy five strand braid which was actually really easy and came out really well. If I were to do this again, I would start out with new, or at least cleaned, flip flops... the bottoms of the ones I worked with were kinda dusty and icky. I would also make my own soles out of leather so that the shoes look more streamlined and gladiator-like.
So let's begin!
In a nut shell:
(knot * glue) [ (flip flops - the plastic straps) + old t-shirt (cut * braid) ] = comfy strappy braided sandals
Materials and Tools Needed:
scissors for fabric
Step 1: Make the Straps
1. Cut out along the width of the t-shirt to make 5 strips about the width of your pinky nail.
2. Snip one end of the loops so that you get long strips.
3. Pull on the strips to make them look stringy.
Step 2: Some Fancy 5 Strand Braiding
1. Take the 5 strips you have and tie them together with a scrap piece of fabric.
2. Look at the three strips to the left side and pretend you're just braiding normally. Braid once.
(Translation: Pass the left-most strip -- aka Strip #1 -- over Strip #2 and then under Strip #3.)
3. Now take what used to be Strip #1 and push it to the right to make a group of three strips.
4. Now braid these three on the right once.
(Translation: Take the right-most strip and bring it over the one beside it and under ex-Strip #1)
5. Repeat until your braid goes a little longer than the distance from your big-toe crack to your ankle.
Step 3: Braid -- Normally
Take the left-most 3 strands and start braiding them until they go from the front of your ankle to the back of your ankle (aka half way around your ankle).
Step 4: Two Strand Knotting
Now take the two unbraided strands. We're going to forward knot (aka friendship bracelet knot) them.
1. Take one strand and pretend it's a stick. Keep it straight like one as you knot the other strand around it.
2. Take your other strand and cross it over the "stick" so there's a loop on the left.
3. Bring the strand under the knitting needle and pull the it through the loop.
Step 5: Connect the Ankle Braids
Now that you have two braids that meet at the back of your ankle... connect them together! This could work many ways: sewing, plain old knotting...
What I did was put the two strands next to each other, parallel and all, then wrapped a scrap piece of fabric around them, secured with dots of superglue.
Step 6: Prep Flip Flops
Cut off the plastic straps and discard them so you're left with the foam bottoms with 3 holes.
Step 7: Stuff the Main Braid Into the Foam
This is actually pretty tricky, but have faith -- it WILL fit.
Step 8: Make Supporting Straps
You'll find that the ankle loop kinda flops everywhere right now. You need to make some straps to tie the ankle loop down to the foam, and also to fill the two remaining holes in the foam.
Make two of these:
1. Braid three short-ish strands together.
2. Go until they reach from your ankle loop to the foam hole when you are wearing the sandals.
3. Now cut off excess so you have a fringe at both ends of the braid.
Step 9: Stuff the Ankle Straps Into the Foam
This is hard. It takes patience, persistence and ninja stuffing skills to fit all 6 strands of cloth into 1 hole. Be careful to make sure that the supporting straps actually loop over the ankle strap.
Now turn the shoe over and knot the little fringey ends together. I feel like if you take strands opposite each other and knot them, going around until you get 3 mini-knots creates an overall flatter knot than if you tried to tie them all together -- and you don't want huge bumby knots under your shoe... it'll feel like you're walking on rocks.
Put a dot of superglue on each of the knots and snip off the excess fabric.
Step 10: & You're Done!
Enjoy your new(-ish) comfy braided t-strap sandals!