Spring is coming, starting sandal wearing season. I was sitting on my favorite blue chair thinking about all the lame sandals that I own, and thinking that it would be cool to drop 100$ on a pair of leathers. But that's not cool, so necessity, the mother of all inventions turned my eye to the corner of my room. There sits my mortally abused work boots where years of swimming, kicking and concrete slathering, made them unusable, destined for the can. Could it be? Could these helpless creatures be revived into a new creation, could those holes be shaped into beauty, into molded perfection? Roman sandals became my goal, designs perfected by thousands of years worth of desert walkers, some of these people strong and masculine, and some not, but we always think of them as soldiers, so I wanted a pair.
Materials: sharp knife, leather cord/ lacing/string, white vinegar (leather cleaner), linseed oil/ cocoa butter, needle/ thread (optional), contact cement (optional), seam ripper (optional)
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Step 1: Choose Boot and Design
Find yourself a boot, dress shoe, hiking shoe ect... the size of the boot doesn't have to be perfect, but it sure helps. Experiment, you're on this website for a reason. So, you're welcome, I've done the work for you, of looking for hours on the internet for sandal designs. Choose your fancy, mindful of...
- The size of your boot
- Cuts and scuffs in your way
- Seams and non leather material
- Difficulty of crisscrossing leather, unless new piece is added
- Your job will be harder if your boot has a lining, it should be removed.
I chose to mesh several designs together because of the reasons above. Of course, feel free to use my designs.
Step 2: Draw It Out
Draw it on paper, on an old slipper (like i did), and on the boot. Draw it out a bit bigger than the end result because things happen. Remember if your boot has a lining, the straps will be loose on your foot; unless you disconnect and re-sew. in the last picture above, I experimented with leaving a half inch of leather uncut where the rubber meets the leather to prevent unsightly edges. You can also cut it all the way out and sand it, or put a material over the seam.
Step 3: Cut It Out and Open It Up
Cut your lines. I suggest hacking the excess off before exterminating the lining off to prevent extra work. I kept the original stitching wherever possible, and glued the ends of thread to prevent unravel.
Step 4: Clean It Up
Cut all edges of the leather to be smooth, and sand it smoother, if you like. Take a toothbrush, or cloth, dip it in white vinegar to scrub the leather clean as a greased pig. And then imagine your hand as leather, what would you use to moisturize that hand? cocoa butter? olive oil? beeswax? essential oils? peanut butter? Even lotion, can be used to moisturize leather. Or you could buy commercial leather treatment, but then you wouldn't have the fun of explaining that irritating peanut butter smell to the person next to you.
Step 5: Wear It!
Woah! instantly in the style of the ages. Some sandals will fall into the ridiculous abyss of out of style, maybe to return, but probably not, but the roman sandal is respected by even the most critical of generations. These creative crafts will not only last you many more miles, but for many more smiles. If this was an everlasting infomercial, I would have instructable users on camera saying "well ah just never coulda' thought i'd ever see these ole shoes walkin' on me in style ever again". My friends, Jesus thought that these sandals were cool, and so do I.
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Trash to Treasure