Flip Flops From Car Tire




About: I'm a social-worker, working with 12 - 23 year-olds. I used to be a printer. In 2018 I opened a small makerspace (www.imdib.nl) in my house, where I have lasercutters, 3d-printers, Arduino's, Mindstorms and ...

I always wanted to do something cool with an old tire.

I have a tire with the sides cut off laying around for a long time now. It is nice weather in The Netherlands so this seems like the right time to make some flip flops.

Step 1: You Will Need


  • A car tire
  • Paracord (or something like that)


  • Sharpy
  • Jigsaw
  • Beltsander (or something)
  • Drillpress
  • Ruler
  • File
  • Big needle (or wire)
  • Superglue
  • Safety equipment

Step 2: The Tire

Get yourself an old, nice, wide tire. Your local garage will be glad to give you one.

First you need to cut off the sides. This is the easy part. This rubber is thin and easy to cut with a metal saw in a jigsaw. (I already did this a long time ago, so I don't have pictures of this part.)

Mark the design of your soles on the inside of the piece of tire.

Use a jigsaw with a metal saw to cut it out.

*** Use gloves, eye protection, face mask and hearing protection. Also have water or something to fight fire with nearby. ***

Sawing the tire is not really easy. The tire has metal wire inside and the tire will smoke when the saw get hot. I don't think the fumes are healthy so do this in a ventilated room or outside with a dust mask.

Don't put the saw to fast and use a little pendle if you have it on your saw.

Step 3: Smooth the Edges

The wire in the tire will make the edges very sharp. (that is why you wear thick gloves)

Use a belt sander or file to smooth this off. The wire is really sturdy, so it will take some work to get this smooth.

Step 4: Drill the Holes

Measure where you want the holes for the upper part of your flip flop.

For the paracord straps you need three sets of two holes.

Drill this holes a lot bigger than you need them, because the rubber will close again after you drilled it.

Transfer the holes from one flip flop to the other by drilling through one sole in to the other.

Use a small round file to get the sharp metal uit of the holes.

The paracord will need to go from one hole to the other under the sole, so we need to make a channel for it to go trough, otherwise you would walk on it.

I used a hobby knife to cut a channel.

Step 5: The Paracord Frame

Use a big needle or a metal wire to lace the cord through the holes. (see the pictures)

Put your foot in to find out exactly how tight it needs to be.

The knot should be where the two wires between your toes separate.

You need enough cord left over after the knot to knot all the way to the back. Something like 1 meter is enough.

On the bottom the cord should go through the channels that you cut.

Step 6: Knot the Paracord

Use an other piece of cord to start under at the toe piece.

(there are many Instructables on how to knot paracord)

Knot up until you reach the knot in the first cord.

From here use one of the wires that you just knotted up and one wire from the knot of the frist wire, to knot to the back.

Put a knot on the outside when you reach the end.

Put a drop of superglue on the knot.

Cut the left over cord from the glued knot.

Do the same with the other side.

Step 7: Final Thoughts

The flip flops look really cool.

They are comfortable as long as you put the knots on the outside and don't walk with them.

The tire-soles are to heavy and not soft and flexible enough to be comfortable.

*In the comment I was told that rubber tires can have some harmful chemicals on them, so it might be a good idee to thoroughly wash them with water and soap and some rubbing alcohol before you where them. I am not even sure if that is enough, but I wear them anyway. You might on your own risk!

But still they are cool :)

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    9 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I had gotten some sandels similar to your flipflops in Guatemala but they had leather nailed to the tire. Very comfortable to wear and still have them. Kuddo's and keep up the re-use and recycle items.


    2 years ago

    Cool idea but could you recommend something to place over the top of the flop? Theres a lot of nasty chemicals in tire rubber and your feet skin are very diffusive

    3 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    I've seen cheap memory foam things for that on eBay. I think they can work :)


    Reply 2 years ago

    thank you for telling me, because I didn't know this. Do you know what kind of chemicals are on the tire? I can only find the chemicals used in the tire that might come out when you grind them into mulch, when I do a Google search on it. It might be a good idea to give them a good wash with rubbing alcohol and water and soap. I will add your concern to the Ible though.

    Uncle Kudzu

    2 years ago

    Cool! I've always been afraid of the wire, but you made it safe by sanding it. Smart!

    1 reply
    kenyerUncle Kudzu

    Reply 2 years ago

    I didn't even know about these wires until I started with cutting. Some blood did flow. But when you know and use good gloves and sand them clean, than it is no problem.