How to Use Old Jewelry To Upcycle Sandals

Sew Much 2 Wear
by Sew Much 2 Wear
4 Materials
15 Minutes

Have you ever had a pair of sandals that you felt were missing something?

I had a pair of black woven leather sandals that were nice, but they were screaming for some character.

So when I was cleaning out a box of broken/unwanted jewelry I decided it was time to do a DIY thrift flip and use the old beads and stones to spice up my shoes.

This took about 15 minutes and was free and super easy to do!

Upcycled sandals

This project is the second pair of shoes I DIY'ed in the video above.

Give it a watch if you'd like to see how I did this in action! You'll also get two more ideas about how to upcycle your shoes with old jewelry.

Sandals to be upcycled

Here are the shoes I started with. As I mentioned, there's nothing wrong with them but I thought they could use an extra "pop of color."

Anthropologie sandals inspo

I came across these sandals on the Anthropologie website and they inspired this project!

Unfortunately I didn't have any shells, but I thought the beads would work perfectly.


I had so many different pieces of unworn and broken jewelry, so I decided I would embellish these shoes with a mismatch of pieces to give them a true "Anthropologie-style" look.

Adding beads to sandals

The first thing I did was clip the necklaces with scissors so I could take the beads off.

Some of the stones came from mismatched earrings. I used pliers to bend the metal on the earrings to free up the beads so I could use them in this project.

To attach the pieces to the sandals I got out a needle and thread.

Then I got out my spool of stretchy clear elastic cord. The same kind that you might use on a beaded necklace.

I simply tied a large knot at the end of the cord and pulled the needle through the edges of the woven pieces of leather.

I weaved up and down, attaching a new bead randomly throughout the body of the shoe.

For extra security I looped the cord through some of the beads twice.

Upcycled bead sandals

When I had all the of pieces I wanted on the shoe I looped it through the back and knotted it several times.

While I wasn't able to make both shoes match perfectly I did try to make them look like "cousins" to bring some sense of order to this project.

Upcycled bead sandals

Upcycled bead sandals

Here's how they came out!

I realize these sandals may not be for everyone but I like how they add a little character to shoes that are otherwise plain.

If you would like more of a "streamlined" look to your own shoes consider trying this method with one size or similar color of beads.

You could also try upcycling a purse, backpack with this same method.

Let me know in the comments how you recycle your own jewelry. I still have tons to work with after I finished the shoes and need to find something else to refashion!

If you want to see other upcycling ideas, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel, Sew Much 2 Wear!

Thanks for reading, and happy upcycling!

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Suggested materials:
  • Old jewelry
  • Woven sandals
  • Elastic clear cord
See all materials

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2 of 47 comments
  • Cathy Cathy on Aug 25, 2023

    Good idea, I can see my granddaughter wanting to do this.

    She's helped me decorate picture frames, flower pots & lamp bases using beads, buttons or anything else we find that can be wired or glued into place.

  • Shirley Jacobs Shirley Jacobs on Nov 03, 2023

    I have done this many times with shoes. Taking off decorative items like turquoise and jewels putting on my jackets or blouse collars