How to Easily Make Sandals From Old Flip Flops & Contact Cement

by MijoDIY
10 Materials
1 Hour

If you have an old pair of flip-flops that are ready for an upgrade, this DIY sandal tutorial is for you. With just a few simple tools and materials, you can create a beautiful new pair of one-of-a-kind sandals. Let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Flip-flops with separate sole and footbed
  • Scissors
  • Fabric
  • Mod Podge or strong crafting glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Heavy-duty contact cement
  • Plastic bag
  • Iron
  • Measuring tape
  • Pen
Taking apart the old flip-flops

1. Separate

To begin, separate the footbed from the sole of the sandal and remove the straps. 

Gluing the flip-flops

2. Apply glue

Apply Mod Podge to the top side of the footbed, and spread it over the whole surface with a paintbrush. 

Applying the fabric

3. Apply fabric and cut

Lay your fabric of choice on the glue, pressing and smoothing it, so there are no wrinkles or bubbles. Then, cut the fabric around the footbed, leaving about 1.5 inches of fabric overhanging the edges. 

DIY sandals

4. Apply glue and fold

Apply Mod Podge to the edges of the bottom side of the footbed, and then fold and press the excess fabric over into the glue. 

How to make sandals

5. Trim

Once the fabric is glued down along the edges, wait for it to dry, and then cut off any excess fabric.

Making the sandal strap

6. Fold

Next, take your plastic bag, and fold it into a 3- to 4-inch wide strip.

Fusing the plastic

7. Fuse

Cover the plastic bag with a piece of fabric, and use an iron to fuse the layers of plastic together. 

Easy DIY sandals

8. Cut

Cut the plastic into a long strip with straight edges. 

How to make DIY sandals

9. Measure and mark

Measure 2 centimeters (0.78 inches) from one end of the plastic strip, and draw a line. From that line, measure 15 centimeters (5.9 inches) and draw another line. From that line, measure 3 centimeters (1.2 inches), and draw a third line. Cut the strip at the third line. 

Simple DIY sandals

Then, use the first strip to cut another strip of equal length. 

Tie-dye sandal fabric

10. Cut fabric

Cut a rectangle of fabric that is about 2 inches longer than the plastic strips and about 3 times as wide. 

Gluing the fabric strip

11. Apply glue

Apply glue to one side of the fabric strip, then spread it across the entire surface with a paintbrush.

DIY sandals tutorial

12. Fold

Fold one edge of the fabric about halfway across the width of the plastic strip. Then continue folding the fabric around the plastic strip until you reach the end.

Gluing the edges

13. Glue

Once you reach the end of the fabric, fold the raw edge in by about half an inch, and glue it down. 

Measuring the straps

14. Measure

Measure and mark where you want the straps of your sandals. Also, measure and mark how much of the strap will be folded under the footbed.

Gluing the strap

15. Glue

Apply glue to the ends of the strap, then press the bottom side of the footbed onto the glue. Repeat on the other side.

Applying the contact cement

16. Apply cement

Apply contact cement to the entire top surface of the sole of the shoe. Attach the footbed to the sole, and press down hard.

Finishing up the DIY sandals

17. Finishing touches

If there are any parts of the footbed that did not stick well, reapply the cement and press it hard in place. 

Basic DIY sandals

Once the cement is dry, you have a brand new pair of sandals!

What do you think of this sandal upgrade craft? If you use this tutorial to make DIY sandals of your own, please post your results!

Suggested materials:
  • Flip-flops with separate sole and footbed
  • Scissors
  • Fabric
See all materials

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Join the conversation
3 of 10 comments
  • Roberta D Treichel Roberta D Treichel on Aug 06, 2021

    I wonder if you could just use two pairs of dollar store flip flops and do the same thing, Just glue the two together after making the sandal strap and covering the top pair of sandals with fabric.

    • Zoe Emiko Zoe Emiko on Aug 14, 2022

      Yes, you can. I've been making my own sandals using 2 or 3 pairs of dollar tree flip flops for years. It's so much fun. I've even made espadrilles using 3 pair of flip flops, jute & fabric. It's much easier than you'd think.

  • Tygress72 Tygress72 on Aug 14, 2021

    DEFINITELY gonna do this, using Roberta's suggestion about using 2 prs!! 😁 I'm only 5'4", so maybe I'll even do 3 or even 4 bottom layers to give me more height!! LMAO 🀣 (if ya think about it, those dollar store flip flops are pretty thin anyways, so it won't look THAT bad πŸ˜πŸ€—) πŸ€ͺ

    • Crystal Farrell Crystal Farrell on Jul 11, 2022

      Seeing this a yr later but NOW is the perfect time to do it! Platform sandals are all the rage now....(I mean. Again) haha