I have always wanted to make my own shoes...And handbags. And jewelry. I bet I'm not the only one out there with thisdesire. Which is why I bring you Popular Science's DIY plans for Spanish Sandals for Beach or Boat.
- approx. 12 feet sturdy 1/2" rope of your choice, i.e. manilla or hemp
- strong thread
- 3" curved upholstery needle
- 1/4 yard of canvas or other thick material
- shoe strings
- 1 board drilled to take 2" dowel pegs OR fitted with screws/nails (Note: the shoe size is dependent on the spacing of the pegs/nails)
Step 1 Constructing the Sole: Judge the distance of the pegs - about 3" apart is an good average distance to start off with. Place one end of the 6 foot against the heel peg. Loop it around the toe peg, then use a blanket stitch or whip stitch to sew the rope together as you go. Continue winding the rope around the pegs, sewing as you go until you judge your sole to be the proper size. Finish by whipping the end of the rope inside the instep.
Step 2 Constructing the Uppers: Cut 4 heel and 4 toe pieces. Stitch the two of each pattern face to face, leaving the ends open. These will form the double-thickness heel and toe. Turn the sewn pieces right side out.
Step 3 Constructing the Inner Soles: Cut two inner soles by tracing your rope sole on canvas (or just judging the size/shape if you are clever in that sense) about 1/4" larger. Lay the inner soles over the stitched side of the rope soles. For more comfort you can add padding of your choice between inner and outer sole. Turn the 1/4" edge under and pin in place as illustrated, then stitch into place, using a whip stitch.
Step 4 Fitting the Uppers: Place your foot onto the sole and mark the ideal placement of the heel and toe pieces. Turn their ends in and sew to complete.
Step 5 Finishing Up: Add laces or embellishments and voila! You are done. Enjoy your rockin' sweet sandals.