Friday, July 20, 2012

Fabric Flip-Flops!

I saw a post about these on pinterest, and thought they looked so much more fun (and comfy!) than regular plastic-toe flip flops.  I immediately pulled my grungy old flip-flops out of my closet (well, actually, my laundry room that is standing in for my closet while we redo the bedroom, but that's another story), but it turned out they weren't the right kind.  So when I picked up a pair at Old Navy, I noticed that it would cost me $1.75 for one pair and about $2.25 for two pairs--so I made a pair for my bestie too!

I did read this no-sew tutorial to figure out how to do it, but I'll go ahead and spell it out for you here because I did mine a little differently--mainly, I sewed my fabric into a tube so it had finished edges.  It took a little more time, but I think it was worth it since I won't have to worry about fraying.  I would NOT recommend using a knit for these, because there would be too much stretch.  I just used some basic quilting cottons.

I started by cutting the plastic out of the original flip-flops.  You have to use the kind that has the plastic straps that go all the way through the sole of the flip-flop.  Kitchen shears or any heavier-duty scissors will do the trick, you just need to push the plastic through enough to get a spot to snip.

Next, I sewed my fabric into a tube.  For each flip-flop, I cut a rectangle of fabric that was about 22 inches long and 3 inches wide.  You can also just leave it in one big long strip and cut it later when you're actually fitting it into the sole.

To make the tube, fold your fabric in half lengthwise with the wrong side of the fabric on the outside.  I like to sew one end of my tube closed to help with turning it inside out.

Then use a pencil to poke the end of the tube that is sewn shut down inside your tube.

Start working the rest of the fabric up along the pencil...

pulling the fabric up as you go, until the closed end of your tube pokes out the other end and you can turn the tube right-side out.

Now you can snip the closed end off of your tube and iron flat, with the seam in the middle.

Now you're ready to start assembling your flip-flops!  Take one end of your tube, and fold it over. I didn't measure, but as you can see below there should be about 3 inches folded over.  This is for the piece that goes between your toes.

You're going to be stuffing this loop through the hole at the top of your flip-flop, so roll the fabric right at the fold as small as you can get it.

Shove it through the sole of the flip-flop from the bottom.

I had to use the point of my scissors to help poke it through.

Once you've got it through, straighten it out so that you have a 1 inch tall loop with the seam to the inside, and enough fabric sticking out the bottom to tie in a knot.  Leave a little extra for that, actually, because it's much easier to trim it off afterwards than to try and tie a knot with barely enough fabric.

Next tie the two ends together on the underside into a tight knot.  I did a double-knot, but in the future I will just do a single and secure it with hot glue.  Tug your knot so that as much of it as possible fits in the little cup where the plastic strap used to be.  Cut off the long end, and later you will trim off the edges when you're ready to secure it with glue.

Now with the remaining fabric tube, tie a knot at one end.  Shove the other end through one of the holes at the bottom of the sole (it will be easier this time, since it's only single thickness, not double, but I still needed the assistance of my scissors.)

Rolled up tight
Make sure the knot is on the underside of the sole
 You will also secure this knot with glue at the end.
Two knots down, one to go.
Then, thread the long fabric tube through the loop that goes between your toes.

Poke the rest of the fabric tube through the last hole from the top, then before tying the knot, try the flip flop on.

Oops, sorry about the sideways picture.
The fabric will stretch out as you wear it, so you want to pull the fabric quite tight before tying the knot in the underside.

So once you've got it very snug, slip your foot out and tie the last knot.

Now heat up the old glue gun.  If you haven't done so already, trim off extra fabric at the ends of the knots, then glue the raw edges so the knot won't come undone.

I also put some glue in the well where the knot sits to hold it in place.  Be careful if you do this that you don't get glue on your fabric that you're going to pull back through the sole, since you have to pull the knot up a little to get the glue in there.

And that's it!  There are so many fun variations that you can do on this.  Super-comfy; I kind of want to schedule a pedicure now since these would be PERFECT for the nail salon.

What do you say, Rachel?  Want to get a pedi with me next week?
I think these would make such a fun gift--either with a pedi gift certificate, or a summery fun basket of stuff for a teacher, or with bubble bath and a good book, or with a beach towel--so many options!


  1. I like your post and everything you share with us is very informative. write more!

  2. very creative! i liked it - cute!

  3. This is a great website. I will make sure that I stop back again!.



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