Wooden Bear Paw Flip Flops




Introduction: Wooden Bear Paw Flip Flops

Today I will be showing you how to make these awesome flip flops! All you need is some wood, paint, and an old pair of flip flops. These wooden bear paw flip flops are perfect for the beach. They will get everyone talking and make them wonder where you got them.

Step 1: Glue the Wood

To begin the project we will be taking 4, 1 inch by 4 inch boards and gluing them together. These boards should be at least a foot long just to be sure that they will fit your feet. I placed bricks on the wood while it was gluing to be sure that the boards stayed flush with each other.

Step 2: Cut to Size

After the glue has dried, we are ready to move on. My foot is a size 9.5 U.S. so in measuring my foot I came up with the numbers 4.5 inches wide and 10.5 inches long for my boards.

  • When measuring your feet be sure to give about a half inch of extra room for your feet.

Step 3: Sand Edges

Sand all surfaces nice and smooth to be sure you don't get splinters while you walk. We will also round the corners so they are not so sharp.

  • You can easily round the corners using a file and sand paper

Step 4: Scrap Flip Flops

Now we will cut out the rubber straps from these old flip flops. It doesn't matter if you wreck the flip flops because we only need the straps for this project. These flip flops are just some old ones that I never wear anymore and I was going to get rid of them so I am glad I can repurpose them for this project.

Step 5: Drilling the Holes

If you don't end up wrecking the flip flops you can use them to mark the holes before you throw them away, but if they are wrecked you can use another pair as a guide or just guess.

  • Using forstner bits drill halfway into the board with a 1/2 inch drill bit.
  • Drill the hole out the rest of the way with a 3/8 inch drill bit.

Step 6: Round Edges

Using a router round over the edges of the boards so they will be more comfortable and can't cut your feet.

  • If you do not have a router you can round them over using a file and sand paper

Step 7: Find the Paw

For this project I wanted to make a bear paw flip flop, so I printed a picture of a bear's paw. Using the picture I will be able to trace out the paws onto boards.

  • Only trace out the toes and the palm
  • Labeling the toes makes it easy to know which piece goes where in the future

Step 8: Cut Out Paws

After tracing the paw prints cut them out roughly and sand them down to the correct size. After that, test out the pieces on the board to see if they look how you want them.

Step 9: Paint Paws

Now for some color: I chose to match the paws with the straps, but any color combination will look great! When you paint the paws make sure to label the paws and each toe so you know which one is which and where each one goes.

Step 10: Attach Straps

To attach the straps we will use boiling water to soften the rubber enough to push the strap ends through the holes. When attaching the straps make sure you have a needle nose pliers and a pot of boiling water.

  • Get a pot of water
  • Boil water
  • Place one end of the strap into the boiling water for 1:30 minutes
  • Take out end and pinch end with pliers
  • Using the pliers push the end into the hole and work it through
  • Twist the strap so that it is in the correct position. This will help for the other ends
  • Repeat the steps until all ends are in place

Step 11: Fill Holes

For this step we are filling the holes on the bottom with clear glue.

  • Use a putty knife to make them flat.

Step 12: Glue on the Paws

Now we will glue the paw pieces onto the flip flops. Using the print out, organize the pieces into the right places. Then glue them in place using wood glue.

Step 13: Apply Finish

To finish these sandals we can apply a clear wood finish. The finish will help protect the wood from scratches and dents.

  • Prepare the wood by sanding any rough parts
  • Then use tack cloth to clear the surfaces of any sawdust or dirt
  • Using a foam brush for the larger surfaces and a small painting brush for in between the toes
  • Wait for the finish to dry and apply at least 2 more coats for the best protection

Step 14: Finished!

Now you are done! You can take these awesome sandals to the beach and make some great paw prints. I really hope you have enjoyed this instructable and make your own. If you enjoyed this please give it a vote! Thanks for checking it out!

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    19 Discussions

    LOVE them so much! i'll have to make them with regular-type straps, though. my feet/toes cannot handle THONG sandals. x^b ~ they're PAINFUL. ?

    I will never, ever make these...but I love them.

    I like this! I would have rounded the prints a bit to make them look more natural, as the imprints look to harsh. All in it is a fun idea..

    These are just great! Are they comfortable? I think I'll try doing dear or bunny tracks.

    2 replies

    You could use the flipflops themselves and attach them to the blocks for the cushioning and cement the flipflop to the wood. Barring that, you could use a layer or two of PVA foam (fun foam) cut like the wood to give some cushion to your feet.

    Thank you! They are not super comfortable, but they are way better than I expected. I could defenitly go on any walk on the beach with these on. I think the sand helps a lot with the comfort.

    Do you like your neighbors?


    2 years ago

    Funny, there was a guy in the NW woods who made giant bigfoot strap on soles. He would stomp around popular lake and stream sandy or muddy shores to get the tourists all a twitter. He loved local media claiming that his bigfoot prints were the real thing.

    Very cool! Take only pictures, leave only footprints...

    May I suggest that you use Titebond III because it is "waterproof", not "water-resistant" like Titebond II. I know this because I built a boat using II...

    1 reply

    I guess I didn't really think about that, good thought I will have to do that on the next ones I make.

    these are awesome! I want to make a pair that are like dinosaur foot prints! awesome instructable i love it!

    1 reply

    Thank you so much! Dinosaur prints would look really cool!


    2 years ago

    A nice, large lion or tiger paw print could be more fun... or maybe a koala paw print.

    1 reply

    Yeah! I think that I will be making more and I will definatly try some cool paw prints like those.

    These are just great! Such a fun idea :) I didn't know you could heat up those flip flop straps in hot water to make them easier to work with like that. Good to know!

    1 reply

    Thank you so much for checking out my instructable. I'm really glad you liked it! Yeah the rubber on those straps is very hard but heating it up with water works great so soften them up.