Introduction: Popsicle Stick Flip-Flops

About: I make stuff, or at least I try. When I'm am not making things, I enjoy learning what I can in the areas of history, religion, electronics, and 3D printing.

Hi All.

I was cleaning out my closet last week and came across a big bag of popsicle sticks. So I started thinking of ideas to make use of some of them. Here is the end product of all my brainstorming: Popsicle Stick Flip Flops. Each of my flip flops used about 28 jumbo popsicle sticks. However, the number of sticks used depends entirely on the size the flip flop.

Step 1: What You'll Need

Tools You'll Need:

- Pencil (or pen, sharpie, crayon...something to draw with)

- Band Saw (or Jig Saw)

- Heavy Duty Stapler (with staples)

- Sandpaper (optional)

Materials You'll Need:

- Jumbo Popsicle Sticks

- A piece of Cork-board (I used a 12" x 12" Cork Tile from Walmart)

- Wood Glue

- A Strap of some kind (I used an old purse strap my sister let me borrow)

Step 2: Creating the Soles

Once you've gathered your supplies you're ready to make some soles. Take the piece of cork board and draw the outlines of your flip flops. Because I was making these flip flops for my sister, both soles fit on one Cork Tile; if you've got a bigger foot you could draw the soles on the tile diagonally.

When you're satisfied with your sketch, cut your cork down to a simple rectangle surrounding your outline. It will be easier to work with your soles if they are separated. Now take a popsicle stick and run a line of wood glue down its length. Then place the stick on your sketch covering the top of the outline. The stick should be situated diagonally on your sketch so that the top of the popsicle stick is pointing toward the big toe of the flip flop. Continue to glue popsicle sticks down the entire length of the outline. Make sure the sticks are flush up against each other and are fully covering the sole's outline. After you have all the sticks in place, lay the sole down on a flat surface and weight it down with a large version of Webster's Dictionary ( you could alternatively use some clamps or something else to hold the sole while the glue dries, but a heavy dictionary seemed to work just fine).

Repeat the gluing and drying process with the other sole outline. Then do the same thing to the back side of the cork-board pieces. When you are done, you should have two pieces of cork-board each sandwiched in between two layers of popsicle sticks as see in the picture above.

Step 3: Shaping the Soles

So now that you have two popsicle stick and cork sandwiches, all you have to do is make them look like flip flops. Redraw your flip flop outlines on top of the popsicle sticks. Once you have your outlines where you want them, use a band saw (or jig saw) to cut out the flip flop shape along the outline. Take your time when you make your cuts and don't rush things. It always easier to trim more off if you didn't cut off enough than to glue some back on when you've cut too much off.

If you want, you can take some sandpaper and smooth down the cut edges a bit.

Step 4: Adding the Straps

With the soles now completed, you can add the straps. I was able to use a 14 inch long piece for my flip flop straps, but this was for a women's size 9. If you've got a bigger foot, it follows that you'll need a longer strap.

First make three marks on the sole. One will need to be near the front of the sole in between where your two largest toes will be, and the two other marks will be along the sides of the sole just a bit above where your heel will be. These will be where the strap will be secured to the flip flop.Using a heavy duty stapler, attach one end of your strap to one of the marks you made closer to the middle of the flip flop. Then pull the strap to it full length and twist it 180 degrees. Then staple the twisted end to the mark across the sole from the first one. Finally, staple the middle of the strap to the mark on the front of the sole.

Attach a second strap to the other sole and you're done.

Step 5: Enjoy!

And there you have it! With your Popsicle Stick Flip Flops fully completed you're ready to go anywhere.

Thanks for reading this post and enjoy!


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