Introduction: DIY Duct Tape Flip Flops

How this came to be: I went through a whole duct tape phase when I was younger, and still have over a dozen rolls laying around my bedroom in all designs and colors. BUT, I used about 2/3s of every roll, then stopped using them. So I was stuck with a bunch of rolls, but not enough on any to make a real project. That’s when I started trying to think up good projects with a lot of hodgepodge duct tape, and I remembered a project I did years ago: Flip flops! Flip flops are known for their crazy, wild, decorative designs, and I thought “what better way to mix a bunch of different duct tape.” I hope you enjoy this instructable on how to make home made flip flops, and they are actually quite comfortable. Lemme know how you like this!


-Card board (the thicker it is, the more comfortable the flip flops, so I’d recommend a box used to ship something, like an amazon box)
-A layer of thin foam (optional, its just for extra comfort)
-Duct tape (as many different colors as you want)
-Exacto knife
-Cutting board
-Pen or pencil
-Pair of shoes to trace the bottoms of (I’d recommend flip flops, because you can trace the bottoms and use them for reference)

Step 1: Cutting the Cardboard

To begin, start by laying your shoes on top of a piece of card board, and tracing the bottoms of them. This will help you get a good shape for the bottoms of your flip flops. Once you have the outline, cut them out using scissors or an exacto knife, but be sure to label which is the right foot and which is the left foot. Then, to make the shoes more comfortable, trace your cut outs onto another piece of card board, and cut those out too. The double layer of card board will provide extra comfort.

Step 2: Cutting the Foam (Optional)

Now this is an optional step. If you want just a little bit of extra comfort, you can trace the cardboard cutouts onto a layer of foam, and add the foam to the top of your shoe. But if you don’t have foam laying around, not to worry! This isn’t an essential step, and can easily be skipped. If you have foam, I’d recommend it, but this step is more about preferences and what the individual deems comfortable. Whatever floats your boat. :)

Step 3: Loosely Tape the Parts Together

This step is exactly what the title implies. Roll up a few pieces of tape and loosely tape the layers of your shoes together by placing the tape between the layers of cardboard/foam. Avoid taping near you big toe, where you think the strap of the flip flop will go.

Step 4: Cutting the Strap Hole

On a normal flip flop, there’s the strap that goes between your biggest toe and second biggest toe. It’s time to cut that hole. You have two options here. Option A, the one I’d recommend, is taking a flip flop and seeing about where the strap falls, and marking it. That’s what the pictures above show how to do. Option B, for if you don’t have flip flops, is just putting your foot on the cardboard cut out and marking the space between your two toes, about where you think you’ll want the strap. Once you’ve made a mark, carefully cut out the hole. After you’ve cut out the hole, mark how far down you want the other two straps to connect with your flip flop. I just marked it with a couple X’s.

Step 5: Making the Strap

Start by cutting a piece of duct tape 9 inches long (The length of the strap will vary based on foot size- I am a woman’s size 8.5 and used a 9 inch strap), and fold it in half slowly, taking care to avoid air bubbles in the tape. The flatter you can get it, the better it will sit on your foot. Once it’s folded, lightly tape the edges down to your cutting board. You need to cut it in half again, and taping it down will help prevent it from slipping. Using your ruler as a straight edge, cut the duct tape in half through the middle long ways. You can crease the duct tape in the middle before hand if your having trouble finding the middle. After you cut it, you should be left with two skinny 9 inch straps.

Step 6: Prepping the Strap

Take the two straps you just made, and at one end, fold it in half for about one and a half inches. Do this to both straps. Then wrap a piece of duct tape around the two straps at their folded ends, to keep them stuck together. The width of normal duct tape is just over 1.5 inches, so if you wrap the two pieces together using the width of your duct tape as the height, it should be around the same length as the folded parts of the duct tape you’re trying to stick together. After the duct tape is on, it should be like a small tube. This is the part that will go between your toes.

Step 7: Inserting the Strap Part 1

Now that the strap is prepped, it’s time to start putting it in place. Take the part of the strap that you’ve tapped together and push it through the hole in the flip flop. Pull it a little ways through the bottom, so that between 1/2 and 1/4 inch is on the other side of the flip flop. Than tape that end in place.
(A/N The first picture has some green tape in the photo, but there should be no other duct tape on the bottom at this point. I just forgot to take a picture and had to un-do some of the tape to get the picture. The second and third pictures I took at the correct time)

Step 8: Inserting the Strap Part 2

Next up is taping the other two parts of the strap to the top of the flip flop. You should have the X’s already marked for around the right area, but to find the perfect fit, the best way is to put the flip flop on, and place the straps where they are most comfortable for you. Then tape the straps down, and try on the flip flops, and make any adjustments you need.

Step 9: Covering the Flip Flops in Duct Tape

And here’s the finishing touch, the part you’ve been waiting for... covering the flip flops in duct tape! Start at the bottom of the flip flop, working your way up. At the bottom, put the duct tape on about half on half off. This will leave enough to securely wrap around the edges. Then wrap it around to the back. Because of the curve, it may be a bit difficult, but a good way to fix that is to make small cuts in the duct tape. This will help the duct tape lie flatter and avoid giant wrinkles. I would suggest adding a piece of duct tape on top, to help keep the other stuff down. The key to making the flip flops strong and durable is making sure you cover the entire shoe in duct tape, front and back. This will also help keep water out and make them last longer. Keep adding duct tape until you hit the two flip flop straps.

Step 10: Getting Around Strap 1

Getting around the straps is pretty simple. If it’s in the middle of a piece of duct tape, line up the duct tape off to the side of the shoe, and mark where the strap would fall if you put the duct tape piece straight across, and rip it by the mark. Duct tape rips very easily if you rip it along the seams. Take the first piece and place it straight across the shoe. Than take the two straps and pull them back. While they’re pulled back, place the second piece of duct tape on the flip flop, going underneath the straps (Use the pictures above as your guide!!). Then continue putting duct tape under the straps until you reach the next hole.

Step 11: Getting Around Strap 2

Once you reach the second hole, you will need to use two separate pieces of duct tape. Place your first piece of duct tape on the right side of the hole, tucking it into the hole a little bit. Than continue to wrap it around the edge of the flip flop. Do the same with your other piece of duct tape, but on the left side.

Step 12: Finishing Touches

All that’s left to do is cover the top of the flip flop.Keep wrapping it in duct tape until you get to the top piece. Then, use the same technique you used at the bottom. Put a piece of duct tape half on and half over the edge, and make little cuts to help it sit flatter. Once you’ve placed the last piece, double check that there is no cardboard still showing. Once all of the cardboards finished, you’re done! Don’t forget to show off your new DIY kicks at the pool or beach!

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