Introduction: DIY Summer Sandals

About: The best and the worst.

Ever wanted to make shoes by yourself? But failed miserably even thinking about it? No? Good. Yes? Now we are talking.

In this instructable, I will show you how to make these sandals from scratch.

Happy reading. Enjoy!

Step 1: What Will You Need?

Soles of an old shoe pair
T-shirt cloth
Foam piece
String for the straps
Decorative flowers
Decorative string
Press buckram

Needle & Thread
Hot Glue Gun
Bonding glue
Permanent markers
Safety pins
Rubber bands

Step 2: Cut

First of all, lay out your soles on the pieces of cardboard and trace them.
Cut out the traced figures using scissors or x-acto knife. The figures may come out messy. You will want to scrape the edges with a paper cutter or a knife to get a nice, smooth shape that you require.

Now take your foam piece (mine was about 2 cm thick) and lay out the cardboard shapes on it. Again trace out the shapes and cut them out of the foam. Here, again, you will need to smooth the edges. Do it by the use of scissors.

Step 3: Mark

In this step, you will mark the points where you want your straps to be.

For the point of the toe strap, I used the old shoes- the soles I had taken of- as a guide. Passing a needle through the point of the shoe's junction, a point was marked on the aligned cardboard. With a hard hand, make the point big enough to be seen.
Otherwise, you can put your foot on the cardboard shape and mark the point between the first two toes.

Using the same technique, I made points on the lower parts. I connected the points on each side of each shape and marked its midpoint. Then I made a line connecting the midpoints. I continued the line on the width of the cardboard with a marker, since we will not be able to see the points once the foam is glued to it. Refer to the pictures shown.

Step 4: Add the String

Now take your foam cut-outs, and glue them to the cardboard figures.

Once it is glued, take an iron nail and hammer it through the point of the toe strap. This will make a hole through the foam. With the nail still inside, cut the foam on the around the circumference of the nail; so as to it make wide enough for your string to pass through. See the images.

The hole should be big enough to fit the diameter of two strings. Take two string pieces of equal length and pass each through the hole. The length should be enough to tie a knot above your heels. Basically, you will want to take both the string pieces to the back of your foot, i.e. above your heels, make a cross with string pieces and bring them back to the front and tie a ribbon knot. If it is even bigger, you can make a cross again and tie at the back of your foot. It can also be long enough so that the crosses reach your mid-calves. It's totally up to you!

Turn your base over and tie a knot with the string pieces on the outside; these should be short around 4 cm in length. Now with the iron nail scrape the cardboard so as to make make lines as a space for the string pieces to be glued on. The string pieces will be more firm when they are glued down in these spaces. See the images. Once that is done, grab your glue gun and hot glue the string pieces down. Put on an additional coat of hot glue on the string so as to ensure it doesn't come off.

Next, make four loops of the same length from the string and tie a double knot. Now take your shoe base and taking the (purple) point as a guide, scrape a space out. Now glue the knot of the loop on the space scraped. Repeating the same step, scrape some lines and glue the sticking ends of the loops down. Repeat the step for all four loops. Refer to the images for clarity of description.

Turn over your base so that the right side faces upward and pass the toe straps through the loops. THIS Is your basic structure of your sandals.

Step 5: Cover

Take your T-shirt cloth and mark a point where you want the toe strap junction to be. Now, cut a little hole in the cloth and pass the two strings of the shoe through it, as shown in the images. As for the loops, feel where they are and cut a little hole where you felt them and pop the loop to the outside through it. Do the same for the other. Before pulling the whole loop to the outside, put some hot glue around the loop knot. Then stretch the cloth over it. Refer to the images.

Step 6: Stitch

Now turn your shoe over. Stretch the cloth first to the middle part of the shoe, roll it and secure with a safety pin. Next, gather the cloth at each end tightly and secure with a rubber band. You might want to use some more safety pins or rubber bands to tightly wrap the cloth over the shoe. See the second picture as to know what should you see on the other side.

Double thread a needle and start stitching. Pinch some cloth tightly close to the perimeter of the shoe and pass the needle through the cloth and make a knot. Go again like this; pinch, pass your needle through and make a knot. You can do any stitching you like, but I thought making a knot at every stage would make it more strong. See the images for a better understanding.

When you are done with the stitching, start cutting close to the stitches along the perimeter. My cloth from the middle wasn't tightly wrapped so I made a few more stitches from the outside. Please refer to the images.

Otherwise, you could use hot glue. Take a smaller piece of cloth and stretch it from it's edges over the shoe and glue it to the back of the shoe. This could save more cloth. However, I was not sure about the neatness of the result, so I avoided this method.

Step 7: Secure the Junction

This step is pretty much self-explanatory. Make a few stitches at the junction so that the foam does not show and the two string are joined to one another. I think the pictures say it all.

Now from my old shoe pair, I took out the rubber tubes that are usually between the first and second toe. Next, I passed the tube through the two pieces of string and rested it at the junction; making a double knot on it afterward.

Step 8: Bond

Take your bonding glue and stick the soles to your shoes. Follow the instructions on it. Mine was to apply on both surfaces, leaving to air-dry for 5-25 minutes and firmly sticking both the surfaces.

Almost there!

Step 9: The Flowers

I had cut my flowers out of a lace piece. With a gold paint marker, I colored the centre golden. Then using brown and pink permanent markers, I coloured the petals.

Then I took a strip of press buckram and laid out the flowers on it. Ironing it caused the flowers to stick to it. Next, I simply cut them out.

Step 10: Glue the Flowers

This step is again pretty simple. Take your flowers and hot glue them to the straps. I alternated between brown and pink. I put on the shoes and held the string as to where I wanted the flowers and put them off.
I put an additional coat of the hot glue to make the flowers stick strongly to the string.

Then again I took my markers and colored the back of the flowers.

Just a moment!

Step 11: Finish

Next, I took my golden string and tied the two ends of a piece together. Gluing the knot at a point, I twisted the string and glued it along the perimeter of the whole shoe. This is to be done making sure that the string is glued to the slight space between the sole and the shoe. This serves as a finishing touch to the shoe and gives it a neater look. Refer to the images.

And we are...

Step 12: Flaunt


I actually cannot believe that I came this far by just a mere idea that popped in my mind after a glimpse of the Footwear Challenge. I am so happy. Literally so happy because of the fact it was purely a creation of my own. No help, no nothing.

I hope you liked it and would try it. For who doesn't have old shoes lying around their house? And who doesn't hate seeing them go in a waste?

Thank you for reading!

Summer Fun Contest 2016

Participated in the
Summer Fun Contest 2016

Maker Olympics Contest 2016

Participated in the
Maker Olympics Contest 2016

Footwear Challenge

Participated in the
Footwear Challenge