HOW TO MAKE LEATHER FLIP FLOPS!!
LIST OF SUPPLIES
· About 2 square feet of leather (preferably about 1/10” or 3mm thick)
· Rubber (from the cobbler shop) or thicker leather (about 4 or 5mm) for soles. About 1 square foot should be enough.
· Shoe glue (I use Barge brand, but any will do)
· Utility knife or scissors
· Pen and thick paper
OK! 1- MAKE YOUR PATTERN
Trace your feet, while standing, onto thick paper.
Now trace a favorite pair of shoes, preferably sandals, on top of the foot drawing. If that looks right compared with your foot, cut this shoe shape out.
You should only need one foot to be your pattern since you can flip it upside down for the other foot!
2-CUT OUT YOUR PIECES
Cut 2 long strips from the edge of your leather:
Each strip should be about ¾” wide and 9” long.
These will be your straps for your flip-flops.
Trace the paper-pattern onto the leather, fitting the shapes in like puzzle pieces in order to conserve your material. This set will be your “insole”.
Cut a second set out of the rubber or thicker leather.
This set will be your “bottomsole”.
I found these “goodyear tire” soles at my cobbler-supply shop.
3- ROUGH-UP SURFACES
Using your utility knife, or a scratch-tool, scuff-up the tops of your bottomsoles.
Make lots of intersecting messy lines, all the way to the edges.
Scuff-up the bottoms of the topsoles as well.
We do this because the shoe glue sticks to this texturized surface better.
4- MAKE YOUR SLOTS
Stand on top of your insoles. Mark one with pen or pencil where the straps will enter between your toes. Also mark where the straps will enter the sides of the shoes, leaving at least ½” of space between the edge of the shoe and the mark for the slot.
The straps will be going through the slots at an angle so the slots will need to be a bit longer than 3/4”, especially the side slots which will be about 1” long.
The in-between-the-toe slot should be a bit thicker than one thickness of leather because you will be shoving 2 strips of leather into this slot and you want it to be tight!
Cut out your marked slots on the one your marked.
Check that it worked OK with your straps. If so, replicate these slots onto the other topsole!
5- FIT YOUR SHOE
Slip your strips into all slots. Try on the topsole with straps! Adjust straps until they are snug but not tight!
Make sure the straps are entering the topsole at an angle that is the most comfortable!
There should be at least 1” of extra tabs on each end of each strap coming through the bottom.
Anything beyond that you can cut off and discard.
Measure with the ruler to be sure both shoes have the same strap lengths.
When you are happy with the fit, (remember: not too tight!) mark the undersides of where you want these straps to get glued. You want the side tabs to angle towards the heel and you want the toe tabs to each go out to the side but sliightly upward. Scuff up these areas a little with a blade or scratch tool.
6- GLUE TIME
Apply glue to the areas that will be joined but before joining them, wait and let the glue set up for about 5 minutes.
When the glue is tacky, join and press FIRMLY together! (or hammer together)
You can use your knife to trim down the edge of the bottom tabs so it blends better on the bottom of the shoe. This will make your shoe more comfortable.
Scuff up the smooth tab surfaces so glue will stick to them.
Next, apply glue to the whole bottom of the topsole.
Also apply glue to the whole top of the bottomsole.
Wait 5 minutes for the glue to become tacky and then carefully join and then hammer together.
7- TRIM AND SAND
If you need to, carefully trim the edges of your flip-flop with the utility knife. Then sand with sandpaper, a sanding block, or a belt sander.
YOURE FINISHED! HAPPY SANDALMAKING!
*****Please note, I am a size 8.5, but was making a size 8 sandal for a friend when I took these pictures. Thats why they look a little small. You’ll want yours to have a bit more room around the edges.*******