Introduction: Simple Homemade Wood/Leather Summer Sandal

For this instructable i decided to make a simple yet stylish sandal out of limited supplies and equipment, some of the steps are optional and obviously alterations can be made, i myself felt quite restricted by my poor tools, so a higher quality product could be easily made and id love to see someone try and use cork instead of wood!


  • Small block of light wood for the sole
  • An old leather insole from a shoe
  • Foam for padding
  • Strong glue like evostick
  • Leather cord around 3/4 mm thick around 2/3 meters long
  • Power tools (drill)
  • Saw/Hacksaw
  • Sand paper
  • Pen and paper

Note: tutorial for only one shoe however obviously the reflected version can be created and used!

Step 1: Step 1 - Creating the Sole

Step one, having printed a shoe outline off the internet I stuck this to my wood to act as a template and cut the shape with a saw, this could be done better with the proper equipment but after lots of sanding I had a shoe shaped sole! I also curved the area around the arch of the foot to create a more fluid shape.

After this I drew and then drilled a sequence of evenly spaced dots around the widest part of the shoe and also the heel, this is where the leather cord will thread through in order to make the straps of the shoe, so ensure the next when you drill the holes they are wide enough to fit the cord through.

Step 2: Step 2 - Adding Detail and Padding

I also decided to create a more complex sole by creating a heel and a thinner toe section I did this by cutting a chunk out on the middle and front of the shoe to make a more sole like sole, I then sanded the entire thing to ensure smoothness.

I thought that a bare wooden sole wouldn’t be comfortable so by shrinking the template I previously used I made a shape to cut out of an old leather insole making sure it was small enough to still leave the drilled holes exposed.

To add extra comfort, I added some layers of foam at the heel and front of the foot and then glued the insole down over the foam and on to the wood.

Step 3: Step 3 - Straps

Almost done! The last stage despite completing the shoe is the simplest, simply tie a knot in the leather cord and begin threading it around the shoe leaving enough space on the top side to fit in your foot! This also creates grip for the sole on the bottom side (see pics). For the heel I did the same thing but made the loop furthest from the back of the shoe the longest meaning the wearer’s heel could slip in to place with comfort and then tied the knot finishing the shoe on the centre/back most hole! I feel that this shoe is a definite prototype for me and would love to create a better produced better as I believe the design has real potential, wooden beads could be added along the leather or the cord could be woven for an excellent effect, good luck with your attempts!

Maker Olympics Contest 2016

Participated in the
Maker Olympics Contest 2016

Footwear Challenge

Participated in the
Footwear Challenge