My first pair of handmade mens flip flops

handmade mens flip flops
The flip flops I made for my brother-in-law

After attending Sandal Making 1 at the Chicago School of Shoemaking, I decided to try to make some shoes on my own.  And what better way to get a project done then to have an impending deadline… like my brother-in-law’s birthday.

My brother-in-law is the perfect recipient for custom handmade shoes.  He’s a bit of a clothes horse and he likes stuff other people don’t have.  So – I thought my custom shoes would fit the bill perfectly (despite the fact that I had no idea what I was doing.)

I started by stealing a pair of his flip flops which I used to determine the size of the insole and the sole.   I cut the insoles out of leather, then stained and sealed them.  I sewed the main straps from some upholstery fabric and fashioned the piece between the toes from a grosgrain ribbon.  And to give it a personalized touch – I monogrammed the ribbon before stitching it all into place. To connect the straps to the insole, I punched holes in the leather and fed the straps through, glueing them on the bottom side.  Finally I glued the shoe tops to the vibram soles.  My dad stepped in at the end for help with trimming and sanding, but I put on the fishing touch of painting the edges with edge dressing.  And what a difference this makes – it gives the edge of the shoes a nice clean look.

I have to admit – I was pretty impressed with myself.  He really seemed to like them too.  Too bad they are a little loose.  ugh.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.