Introduction: Up Cycled Leather Clogs

This is our introduction on how to make a pair of fun up cycled clogs! Enjoy!

Step 1: Get Your Wood

Make sure to do some research before heading to the wood shop. Checkout local places and figure out who sells proper "clog making wood." We learned that Willow, Popler, and Alder wood are all great options. We went with Alder. Make sure your wood has no nails or staples before bringing to the shop.

Step 2: Get Your Wood Cut & Start Sketching

Cut down the pieces of your wood to about foot length using a table saw.

Then sketch out the desired heel shape for your shoes, it is helpful to do this step on paper first. This might take 4 separate planks for 2 shoes. We wanted our heel to have more height so we used two pieces of wood per shoe to combine together.

The best wood shop device to use to cut these pieces is the bandsaw. It allows more curved shapes, but takes a bit more patience and time.

Step 3: Make Sure Your Shoes Match

Before you move on to the gluing process, make sure your shoes are identical before cutting the second one. We used pieces of scrap paper to help trace and measure the different parts we had already made for the first shoe.

Step 4: Get the Pieces Ready

Once you cut the pieces you have sketched out from both of the shoes, put them together like a puzzle and plan how you are going to glue them together. We chose to glue the top portion onto the bottom first, and then added the heel. We did this buy holding it upside down to get a flatter surface.

Step 5: It Is Ok for Them to Look Weird

Word of advice: Do not panic if your shoes are looking square and funky before you glue them. It is okay, you will fix it later. As long as the heel, bottom portion, and the top portion fit well together you are good to go.

Step 6: Glue

Get some wood glue and attach the pieces together. Use a good amount of glue for this. It is okay if it is dripping out from the sides, you can sand it or cut it off later.

Wait about 5 minutes before clamping the pieces. You have so many different pieces that are wet with glue, the clamp will cause the pieces to slip and become uneven if you try to do it too early.

Step 7: Clamp

Use scraps of wood to help clamp your shoes. Clamping is important so that there are no gaps between the different pieces. Make sure you give your shoes at least 24 hours before working on them again. Use roughly 3-4 clamps to help your shoe look the most complete and whole. Having a second set of hands on this section can be helpful, the pieces of your shoe tend to shift so having an extra hand helps avoid that. DO NOT GET DOWN ON YOURSELF... this part is quite frustrating.

Step 8: Trace

Now that your wooden pieces are glued together, it is time to make them look more "shoe-like." Have someone help trace around your foot while you are standing on top of the wooden shoe. Another option is to trace your foot on paper/or paper towel and then trace that onto the wood. Give yourself some room around where your foot should be when you are tracing.

Step 9: Bandsaw Time!

Now that you have traced your foot, take the wood to the bandsaw and carefully cut out the shape of your foot. Do this slowly and not all at once. It may help to draw some straight lines around the area where you are cutting to make the process of cutting a little easier.

Step 10: Smooth It Out

Once you are done cutting out the shape of your foot, smooth it out using sandpaper or similar equipment that helps shave down rough parts of the shoe.

Step 11: Make Sure They Are Perfect

Double check any issues before attaching the straps. You might need to go back to the band saw to fix minor spots. Try them on to see what areas don't feel right.

Step 12: Prepare the Strap

Measure (with your foot on the wooden shoe) the leather of your choice. We chose to do open toed straps so we measured how much we needed while one of us stood on the shoe and made marks on the side of the leather we weren't going to show. Once you are done, cut the area that you marked up.

You will also need to get a piece of pigskin and cut it so that it covers the portion of your strap to make it easier to hammer onto the wood and to look more sturdy.

Step 13: Glue Again

Get some shoe glue, gloves, and a piece to rest your materials on and glue your leather and pigskin pieces together. Don't worry about how perfect the pigskin looks because you can always trim it down after.

Step 14: Prepare and Hammer

You are almost done! Get your pieces of leather and mark on your shoe where they need to be hammered in. This is easier by placing your foot on the shoe, placing the leather on, and making the wood where you are going to attach the strap. Once you are ready to hammer the shoe nails in, go for it and be careful. Make sure you are not hammering in any area the leather may tear or where the nail may possibly through the sole portion of the wood.


Finally!! You have made some rocking shoes. Add a foot sole for decoration and comfort if you want! Make sure all nails are hammered right and no wood is rough and splintery! Enjoy :)