My favorite crafts are both functional and adorable, and that’s exactly what these fabric strap flip flops are. They are super cute, totally customizable, totally comfortable, plus you can make them in about fifteen minutes, and they cost less than $5 to make! So today I’m going to show you how to make fabric flip flops!
I wore these all day while running errands, and then I wore them all day the next day at the airport while flying to the Haven conference, and I wore them at the cocktail reception the first night at Haven, and they are probably the most comfortable flip flops I own! The thick fabric straps don’t cut into your feet or cause blisters, which is great. And you can completely customize them because Old Navy flip flops come in tons of colors, and plain quilting cotton fabric comes in tons of colors and patterns!
How To Make Fabric Flip Flops
Here’s what you need:
- a pair of flip flops (I got mine at Old Navy for $2.50 on sale, but even full price they’re only $4!)
- a fat quarter of fabric, 18″ x 22″ (a fat quarter is enough to make 2 pairs, just make sure the fabric isn’t scratchy! I used plain quilting cotton and the shoes are totally comfortable!)
- glue gun or superglue
If you already have an old pair of flip flops you want to dress up, that’s great! It doesn’t matter where your flip flops come from; as long as the straps go through to the underside of the flip flop in three places, and you can completely remove those straps, you’re good to go!
Start by cutting your fabric. For each shoe you will need two strips of fabric; one that is 22″ long and 3″ or 4″ wide, and one that is 11″ long and 3″ or 4″ wide. The width of your fabric will determine how wide the straps are in the finished shoe; mine were 3″ wide, but if you like wider or bulker straps, feel free to make your fabric strips wider!
If you have a sewing machine, you can quickly turn the right sides of the fabric strips together and sew them into a tube. Then turn the tubes inside out to hide the raw edges. But if you don’t have a sewing machine, don’t worry! You can hide the raw edges by folding them to the inside when you attach the fabric straps onto the flip flops. More on that later!
Once you have your fabric cut, remove the current straps from the flip flops. The easiest way is to push the straps down and out the bottom of the shoe and then just snip the ends off with your scissors.
Repeat for all three attachment points and completely remove the straps so that all you have is a flip flop base.
Take your shorter strap and fold it in half. Then bunch up the middle as tight as you can. You’re going to thread it through a hole in the flip flop, so make it super small!
Starting from the bottom of the flip flop sole, push the center of your folded strip of fabric up through the hole in the shoe nearest to the front, pulling it out about an inch and a half at the top. You should have a loop at the top and the two ends hanging off the bottom of the flip flop. If you’re having trouble getting the fabric through the hole, use the back end of a pen to help you push it through.
If you didn’t sew your fabric, just tuck the raw edges under so that they are hidden within the loop of the fabric.
Then, making sure you still have about an inch and a half of fabric sticking out the top of the flip flop, turn the shoe over and tie the two ends into a knot. A single knot will work fine; you’re going to glue it into place later.
Pull up on the fabric loop from the top of the flip flop to help the knot slide securely into the little divot in the bottom of the shoe where the straps used to be. Don’t worry about the ends; you’ll trim them later once you’ve made sure the shoe will fit!
Now take the longer strip of fabric and tie one end into a knot, leaving about a half inch of fabric as a “tail”. Scrunch up the other end of the strip of fabric and put it through one of the remaining two holes in the flip flop. Make sure you push the fabric through from the bottom so that the knot ends up on the underside.
Pull the fabric strip from the top to slide the knot into the divot on the bottom of the shoe. Then thread the fabric through the loop you made earlier.
At this point, if you didn’t sew your fabric into a tube and still have raw edges showing, fold the fabric strip up so that the raw edges are together. Then make sure the raw edges are towards the inside of the shoe (where your foot will be) so that they will be hidden when you put the shoes on.
Scrunch up the end of the strip of fabric again and poke it down through the final hole in the shoe.
At this point, put the shoe on and then pull the end of the fabric so that the flip flop fits tight against your foot. The fabric will stretch a bit as you wear it, so make sure it’s pretty tight now so that it’s not too loose later!
Once you have the fabric pulled tightly, so that the flip flop fits snugly against your foot, draw a tiny line with a pen to mark where the fabric comes out of the bottom of the shoe. Then take the flip flop off.
Pull the fabric strip further out from the bottom of the shoe to give you room to tie it in a knot. Make sure that the knot is just above the pen line so that your shoe still fits properly when you’re finished.
Now plug in your hot glue gun and cut all of the ends of the fabric off so that only about a quarter inch remains. You can also use superglue for this part if you don’t have a hot glue gun.
Pull all of the knots out from the bottom of the shoe so that there is at least a half inch of space between the knots and the divots on the bottom of the shoe.
Pick a knot to start with. Tuck the quarter inch tail of fabric around and under the knot, then add a few spots of hot glue to the fabric on the side of the knot that will touch the shoe. Then pull the fabric from the top of the shoe to slide the knot firmly into the divot. Hold it in place for a few seconds while the glue dries.
You can also try placing the hot glue directly into the divot in the bottom of the shoe, but be careful as you pull the fabric up from the top so that you don’t drag any hot glue up to the top of the shoe with the fabric! If you do, just peel it off quickly so that it doesn’t show from the top and you should be fine!
Don’t worry if the knot sticks out a bit from the bottom of the shoe and doesn’t completely fit flat within the divot; you don’t walk on these areas of the shoe anyway, so you won’t even notice it when you wear the finished flip flops!
Repeat for the other two knots to hide the tail ends and glue the knots to the shoes.
Repeat all of the steps for the other flip flop, and you’re done! You have a lovely pair of fabric strap flip flops!
Slip them on, head outside, and enjoy!
I’m so happy with how these turned out! They’re so cute, and really comfortable; I’m going to make myself a second pair in a different color!
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