Introduction: Easy Leather Sandals - Sun Sandals

About: Lougaya began making moccasins in 2016. She started to sale custom-fitted moccasins on local craft and farmer’s markets until she gained enough confidence to start teaching the craft on person and online. In t…

Hello ! Here is an easy Soft-Soled Leather Sandals project that you can make at home with a very few tools.
It is a fairly common design that usually would be with overlapping petals at the front but here I use soft leather which enables to simply fold-up around the toes for a puckered-toe style. I have find that less sand and stones get in the shoes like this...

I really like to wear these outside in the summer time and in the winter, I wear them indoors with socks as the laces can easily adjust to wearing thicker layers.

Before you start, the full tutorial (with more pictures) and printable patterns are available for free download here : click on this link to receive them via email.

Instead of making standard sizes like you would get it the shoe-shop, I have designed the patterns to be adjustable to the morphology of each individual. This is the specificity of my work and all my other patterns that you can discover on


  • A permanent marker (silver, white or golden if on dark leather)
  • A pair of sharp scissors
  • Supple leather of about 1.2 to 2 mm thick (usually chrome tanned leather. It can also be recycled from an old jacket or furniture...)
  • A hammer and a hard wood tablet
  • A leather punch of 3 or 4 mm diameter or a plier leather punch

Before you get started, download the pattern and print them in full scale (100%).

To assemble the patterns you will need :

  • A ruler and a piece of non-elastic thread or a tape measure
  • Paper scissors (grand-ma said : “It’s better to keep your leather scissors ONLY for leather to keep them sharp!”) - Tape or glue to join parts together.
  • The leather punch and tools to go with (board and hammer)

Step 1: Choose the Right Size and Assemble Your Pattern

Measure the width of your foot where the shoe will close and compare that measurement with the patterns to find the best fit in terms of width. To do so, measure the distance between the two extreme opposite holes. We will take care of the length after... Once you choose if you are going to use pattern S, S+, M or L, cut the front, the back and the heel template. When you cut, follow the black line on the “inside” of the line so that the line will disappear from your patterns.

Glue or tape together the front and the back part of the pattern.

Take your heel template and place it on the line that matches with your size. Glue or tape it in place. Fold or cut the back of the pattern to hide it behind the heel template.

NB: The pattern can be used directly, without the heel template. This enables us to do a more precise fitting and also to use less leather. It will be explained in the Sun Sandals video tutorial available for purchase on our website.

Your pattern should look like in the picture above once your assembled the three parts. You can improve the curve that joins the back part and the heel template.

Poke holes in the paper where there are dots with your leather punch. Make sure they are at equal distance from the edge. This will enable you to easily copy the hole placement on the leather.

Step 2: Copy the Pattern on the Leather and Cut

On the inside of the leather, place the pattern on the leather an draw all around it with a permanent marker. Draw the holes too.

Flip the pattern over to have a left and a right foot.

Cut it out following the inside of the line to that the maker line will disappear from the shoe.

Step 3: Punch Holes

Place yourself on the wooden tablet and follow the marks to punch the holes.
Make sure you keep the same spacing from the edge, try to be as regular as possible.

Step 4: Cutting Out Some Lace

Take a piece of leather and round-up the edges to turn it into a “potato shape”

Decide of the thickness of your lace, here, 3 to 4mm is good, and start cutting in a spiraling manner (clockwise if you are right-handed, and anti-clockwise if left-handed) while keeping an eye on the spacing between your scissors and the edge. If the angle gets to narrow, round-it up again until only a little nugget is left. Prepare about 60cm to 75cm of lace for each shoe.

Step 5: Lacing Your Sandal

Place the outside side in front of you and start lacing going inside the first hole and outside the next hole. Continue in and out... Once you have finished lacing the front, pull tight and center your lace.

This will bring the front part of the shoe together. Make a double knot to secure the front part tightly.

Then lace the top 3 petals in a cross pattern.

Step 6: Lace the Heel

Like in the picture, lace the heel for the tongue to join the sides.

Start from the base of the heel. According to the pattern, Hole 1 will join on top of 1’, 2 matches with 2’ and so on... You can lace it in a cross pattern, going from one side to the other. Finish up like you feel... There is no special technique here...

Step 7: You've Made It ! Make Leather Soles on Them...

So you've made it! Here you can see how to make soles on them for durability.
It is best to walk with your new shoes for at least a week or 2 before your make soles to clearly see the footprint under the shoes.

Soles can be made and replaced as many times as needed of the years.

If you've appreciated this tutorial, you might be interested in learning how to make other styles of custom-fitted moccasins that I teach in Video and PDF tutorials like this one with more advanced techniques.
Feel free to have a look on my Etsy shop here :

If you have any question, suggestion or if you feel like sharing a picture of your creation, please send us an email:

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