How to Turn Old Flip-Flops & Jeans Into Cute DIY Denim Sandals

by AssunDIY
15 Materials
3 Hours

If you’ve got a pair of flip flops, old jeans, some sewing skills, and a few hours, you can create a beautiful, comfortable pair of flat denim sandals. These instructions are very detailed and take some time, but the result is totally worth it!

Let's learn how to make shoes out of jeans with this DIY denim shoes tutorial.

Best Espadrille shoes!

Love the look but don't have the time or tools to make these? Check out these cute Espadrille shoes that Amazon reviewers swear by!

Tools and materials:

  • Flip flops
  • Old jeans
  • Hot glue gun
  • Sewing machine with needle for denim
  • Small pliers or needle puller
  • Measuring tape
  • Awl
  • Hand-sewing needle for denim
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Tailor’s chalk or fabric pen
  • Marker
  • Pins
  • Small clips
  • Ribbon
Cutting the straps off the flip flops

1. Prepare the base

Cut the plastic strap and toe-post from the flip flop.

Hot gluing the posts of the flip flops

Hot glue the posts back into the bottom of the flip flop.

Drawing the pattern for the shoes

2. Create the pattern

First, trace the bottom of the flip flop on a piece of paper and cut it out. 

Next, put your foot on the flip flop. Lay paper on top of your foot. Press it around the platform and trace the shape around the top of your foot in a half-moon shape. 

It will look like a shoulder pad. Cut this pattern out, marking an arrow to show the direction of the shoe top to rest on your foot.

Tracing the back of the shoe

Keeping your foot on the platform, press the paper against the back of your foot, with the top of the paper level with the back of your ankle. Trace the pattern against the platform and the back of your foot. 

This shape will look like an elongated football. Put the arrow to let you know which direction to attach it to the shoe. 

Cutting the fabric pieces out of old jeans

3. Cut the jeans

Cut the jeans from the bottom legs upward on the seam, opening both legs. Place them right sides up.

Fabric pieces for the toe of the denim shoes

Trace your top/toe pattern on the denim with tailor’s chalk. Mark a 1cm or ½ inch seam allowance. Cut it out. Then, use the cut piece to trace and cut out 3 more pieces in the same size.

Sew two pieces right sides together along the bottom edge only. Repeat for the second pair.

Fabric pieces for the back of the denim shoes

Cut the shoe backs using the same technique, with the same 1cm or ½ inch seam allowance. You should have 4 pieces.

Remove 2 belt loops from the waistband of your jeans. Clip the loops to the top of two of the shapes, then cover with the matching pieces. Sew the top side where the loop is.

Cutting out the inside of the denim sandals

For the bottom of the shoe, cut two pieces with your pattern, leaving a ½ inch or 1cm edge.

Denim shoe pieces stitched together

4. Topstitch

Cut small snips up to the seams, then turn the pieces right sides out and clip in place. Add a topstitch to the seams.

Assembling all the denim shoe pieces together

5. Assemble the denim sandals

Arrange the bottom, toe, and back pieces of your shoe. Place your foot on the flat piece and attach the front and back pieces of the shoe using pins. For the back piece, make sure the loop is at the top. 

The denim sandal pinned in place

Trim loose edges and everything together.

Pinning the denim to the flip flop

6. Attach the denim pieces to the flip flop

Pin the denim shoe down into the platform.

Tucking in the raw edges

Gently pull the pin out, fold the fabric inward, and tuck the raw edges. Replace the pin after tucking.

Marking along the platform edge

Measure 1cm (0.4 inches) marks all around the platform.

Punching holes in the flip flop base

After marking, start at the bottom of the line puncturing a hole with the awl until you have holes all the way around. Wipe off the marks when done. 

Sewing the flip flop to the denim sandals

Sew the denim to the flip flop. Start at the toe of the shoe with a hand sewing needle (sizes 2-4) threaded with heavy-duty denim thread in a blanket stitch. Use a needle puller to move the thread through the hole in the plastic and denim. 

As you sew, remove the pins. Once finished, knot inside the toe.

Repeat for the second shoe.

Threading the ribbon through the shoe loops

7. Attach the ribbons as straps

Thread 100cm (40-inch) ribbons through the loop in the back. Wrap the ribbons around your ankles and tie them with a flirty bow.

DIY denim sandals tutorial

DIY denim sandals

Although it takes a bit of work and know-how, these DIY denim sandals are perfect for summer. Let me know in the comments how well this worked for you.

Suggested materials:
  • Flip flops
  • Old jeans
  • Hot glue gun
See all materials

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation
2 of 36 comments
  • Sharon Cobb Sharon Cobb on Mar 12, 2024

    Would be great using flip flops made with EVA foam. Like Yellow Box. EVA last a lot longer than regular flip flops.

  • Courtney Courtney on Mar 18, 2024

    I think This is a Great Idea for an Easy Project for Charities!Wish I had a bunch made!I have All kinds of ideas for This!Congrats & Thanks 4 Sharing!