Flip-Flop Refashion: Part 1 (Braided Straps)


Summer is great. And warm.


And full of outdoor activities and trips to the pool and random walks around the neighborhood.


I love it.


And my shoe of choice for these warmer months??  Sandals, of course.  However, I have big feet.  Big, as in, a size 12.  (Boo.) So it’s hard to find variety.  Or colors that I want.  And if I do find my “special” size……they’re usually expensive.  (Boo again.)


So, I saw a tutorial for this flip-flop makeover (great work Mother Huddle), floating around the web…….and the wheels started turning.  And then turning some more.  And now I have about 3 or 4 new ideas I am working on.  And I can’t wait to share.  And all are made from cheapy Old Navy flip-flops.  Fantastic.





I decided to just string all of the ideas together and create a whole series.  Just for fun.  And who knows……maybe some of you have big feet like me.  Or just want to make some inexpensive little creations of your own.  They’re perfect for some summer fun.  Old Navy has about 50 different colors of flip-flops to choose from.  Which is perfect for this series.


First up?


A quick and easy flip flop…….made with some braided knit fabric scraps, using the 5 strand braiding technique, shown here.





These soft braided straps streeeeeetch the perfect amount, right around the back of my heel……..keeping the flip-flop snug and in place.




I added little loops of fabric to the sides, to keep the braided straps in place.  Works great.





These little sandals are so light, they’re soft and stretchy, and my favorite part……..they’re inexpensive.

($2.50 to be exact)




These flip-flops make me think of the beach……and make me miss GA.


I guess I better find a sandy spot at the lake.


Would you like to join in on this little series and start off with these flip flops with braided straps?



First of all, I found a very inexpensive pair of flip flops at Old Navy.  (Or dig in your shoe stash.  You know you have some in there.)  Then, cut the plastic straps off of both flip flops.




Next, snip pieces of the flip flop away on the back of the flip flop, right around each hole of the flip flop.  Don’t cut all the way through, making the hole bigger……..just make a bigger resting spot for your knot to lay (that you’ll be placing here in later steps).  Cut about 1/3 of the way through the thickness of the sole.




Next, create a long strand of braided knit material, following the tutorial here.  Make sure you’re using a semi stretchy knit fabric so that the strap will fit snugly around your foot.  This will help the sandal to stay in place.  To determine whether or not the braided section in long enough……wrap the braided knit around the back of your foot and then up over the top of your foot and down through your toes.  And then make sure that there is enough to stick through the sandal and then tie in a knot.  (Having a little more than you need helps.)  At the ends of the braid, I just wrapped with thread really tightly, and then knotted it in place.




Now, you need to shove the raw ends down into the hole by the toes of the sandal.  I used a pen (in the “off” position) to shove the ends down in there.  The hole will stretch so you can really shove a lot down in there with some effort.




You should have both ends coming out the bottom of the sandal.  Be sure that the braid isn’t all twisted on the other side.




Next, tie really tight knots into each end of the braid and then trim off the excess fabric.



Then add a little hot glue beneath your knots and into the crevice of the flip-flop that you dug out earlier.




While the glue is still hot, press the knots into the foam sandal and as hard as you can, to really secure the knots in place…….and to force them into the sole of the sandal.  (Depending on how big your knots are, depends on how much you should cut out of the sandal.  You may feel the knots a bit while walking if you have bigger knots, so keep that in mind as well.)



Now, cut more strips of your knit fabric and make a loop of fabric on each side of the sandal, including the braided strap as you loop the side strap down in place.




After you have both side loops in place, make knots in the bottom and trim off the excess.  Glue them in place the same way.




Your sandals should now look like this.




This next step is optional but it really helps make the section that goes between your toes, less bulky.  I just wrapped some thread around the toe section over and over again as tight as I could (without breaking the thread) and knotted it in place.




And that’s it.


Now your flip-flops are done and ready to wear.





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Filed under Accessory, Clothing, Featured, Mini Series, Miscellaneous, No Sew, Re-purposing, Women's Clothing


170 Responses to “Flip-Flop Refashion: Part 1 (Braided Straps)”
  1. 1
    Sandra says:

    What a cute refashion idea. Love it!

  2. 2
    Dana says:

    I wear size 12 too!!! Yay for boat feet! I love this idea and would probably try it myself if it weren’t for the minions in my dwelling that take over my spare time. I do find shoes on the internets that provide me with variety. Sure you don’t get to try them on first, but the places I shop give me free shipping. Good luck!

  3. 3
    Onna says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I cannot wear flip-flops with plastic because it always tears my foot up. It is so difficult to find flip-flops with cloth straps. Now I don’t have to search anymore!

  4. 4
    Michele N says:

    I also wear size 12 & hate trying to find shoes. I don’t normally like flip flops because of the strap between my toes, but sandals that I like are getting harder & harder to find. What makes me the most mad is that most women who wear size 12, are tall, we don’t need sandals with 3″ heels, everything is wedges or heels or flat flat with absolutely no support. I will watch for the rest of this series, this particular one I think would bug me with the amount of fabric btwn toes, but my daughter will love it.

    • 4.1
      Anonymous says:

      I just thought of another way to make a sandal. Instead of placing fabric between the toes, make your braid design,but take it across the toes on both sides of the foot. Make a hole on each side of the foot, and make the little scooped out space under each hole on the bottom of the sole. Maybe two or three straps across the foot according to your preference. Add your own ideas. Thanks for this idea it’s gotten my creative juices flowing now. Probably won’t buy any sandals for a while, since I can now make my own. Great idea thank you!

  5. 5
    gabrielle says:

    wow! i have never seen this idea EVER before and i LOVE it! can’t wait to try this! thanks so much for sharing!

  6. 6
    Mareeyah says:

    Love it indeed! So easy and inexpensive, yet fun project to make and to wear. Too bad it’s winter here now, but I’ll save the idea for the warmer months ahead.

  7. 7
    Jill S. says:

    Ahh…I’m in almost the same “boat” as you; wearing a size 11 shoe. It’s so hard finding shoes. What a cute tutorial, and can be easily done with men”s flipflops to make them super feminine!

  8. 8
    Kati says:

    Cute! I might have to try this! My puppy chewed through one of my flip flops…for some reason I didn’t toss them yet! This must be why! :)

  9. 9
    Angie says:

    You clever girl! :) If only Old Navy wasn’t an hours drive from here!

  10. 10
    Amy says:

    oh! I loooove my flip flops with the interchangeable straps that came from your tutorial last year (and so does everyone I come across! the nurse in my drs office almost fell *out* over them about 2 weeks ago ;), and now i’m soooo excited to make these!!!!!!!

  11. 11
    Kathy w says:

    I’ve been wanting to make a pillow case dressfor my daughter but didn’t want to use the ribbon / bias recommended on some tutorials. I would LOVE to incorporate this braid instead. :-) Any thoughts on how I would adjust the length of the cut strips for a dress for an almost 3 year old? Thanks!

  12. 12
    Crystal says:

    Thank you so much! I just broke a pair of my favorite flip flops! I will now turn them back into wearable shoes! O you made my day!

  13. 13
    Jenni renee says:

    This is awesome. Im not really a fan of pulling my flip flops apart intentionally but normally at least one pair breaks by the end of summer and now I can still find ways to wear them! thanks!

  14. 14
    Cherie says:

    those are great! This would work for my daughter who has wide feet and flip flops never fit her right.

  15. 15

    Yay! My husband bought me two new pairs of flip flops during Old Navy’s dollar sale, but since I already have the same colors I’ve yet to wear them. This might be just perfect to add some variety to my flip flop line up. Thanks!

  16. 16
    Amanda H says:

    LoVe it!!! I made 2 of the hadbands last week while on vacation {so glad I brought along my “travel” craft kit ;)} I have the opposite shoe problem… I have tiny feet {5 1/2 or 6} and can never find shoes in my size… unless I’m shopping for light-up Dora sandals! Thanks for this great idea!

    • 16.1
      Courtney says:

      I wear a 7, whic might be the most common size ever, and stores always run out of my size. I stumbled upon the same pair for half the price at target…in the kids section! They have a lot of the same styles in the kids section as the adult section, plus they’re way cheaper! I am an adult 7 and a kids 5! Target is about the only place I have found that do the exact sandal in women’s and kids. Hope you have some luck there!

  17. 17
    Laura Z says:

    I’ve made mine already and LOVE them! I wear a 10 wide and have a hard time finding cute flip flops. I can’t wait for the next pair of flip flops in the series. Laura

  18. 18
    Anna says:

    You are just sooooo smart!!!! y daughter bought several pr of a flannel covered type flip flop on clearance last year and we were trying to think of a way to revamp them!!!! Cant wait to see what other ideas you have.

  19. 19
    Erin M. says:

    They’re cute. I’m looking forward to see your other ideas. I do appreciate that many of your crafts use common items. My question is: How durable are they? How long have you been wearing yours and how are they holding up?

  20. 20
    Carissa says:

    Wow I’ve never seen this before, that’s so cute! I love that it’s so simple too, I can’t wait to try it:)

  21. 21
    Ingrid says:

    Many thanks for this tutorial!
    I live in Venezuela, so it’s very useful to me, because here is summer all the year.

  22. 22
    Angela says:

    LOVE it!! Thanks so much for sharing such a fun tutorial! Looking forward to Part 2!

  23. 23
    Sammy Jo says:

    So, I made these last night… I love them! But I think maybe I should’ve made the loops on the side longer, because on the right foot the strap is always slipping down… Sort of annoying, but they’re so cute, I’ll deal with it. :) Thanks for a fun tutorial!! I’m stocking up on Old Navy flip-flops in anticipation of the rest of the series. :)

    • 23.1
      Anna says:

      I have the same problem- the straps are slipping down….when I try to make longer it flips and flops around the way you dont want it too…might be the material is too stretchy…?

  24. 24
    Kim says:

    I NEVER wear flip-flops and don’t even own a pair because the part between the toes is so uncomfortable to me, and I just like sandals with a back strap so much better… But- I really want to try these out because they look so comfy! And I think I will make a matching headband from your tutorial!

  25. 25
    Katherine says:

    I just made a pair, but made them like Mother Huddle. They are super comfy! I am still adjusting the knots but am excited to wear them! I actually had used on of my husbands old tshirts to make a tank top for me, and now used those scraps to make these flip flops! So excited to see the next parts in this series!

  26. 26
    Zerique says:

    that is the cutest idea for flip flops ever!!!!! I am going tp have to try this one!!! I cant wait!!!

  27. 27
    Krystal says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I am featuring this on Sassy Sanctuary tomorrow (Saturday). Love it!

  28. 28
    Lisa says:

    Love Love Love this tutorial. I love flip flops.

  29. 29
    Joy LaVon says:

    I am going to have a different pair for everyday next summer…this year, maybe 2 or 3 or 4 !!!

  30. 30

    This is awesome! I can’t wait to try it, thanks for sharing.

  31. 31
    Lidiana says:

    I love it! I’m brazilian blogger and I loved your site and I wrote about this on my blog your lesson. Congratulations! Visit me!
    Blog da Lili

  32. 32
    melanie says:

    I love your series on flipflops, nowi’ll have to decide which one to start with!!! thanks so much!

  33. 33
    Amy says:

    I made a cute pair here…http://bartonfamilyco.blogspot.com/2011/07/look-what-i-made.html

    They are for my daughter and she doesn’t even know it yet…heehee

  34. 34
    Liz says:

    I made a pair of these for myself while home with my daughter the other day (used sleeves off a t-shirt I am refashioning and an old pair of Old Navy flip flops) What a fun and easy project – they are also now my favorite and most comfortable sandals!!

  35. 35

    These are great! Do you think it would work to use shoe goo instead of hot glue?

  36. 36
    Kirsty says:

    Thanks for the great idea! I love to have a heel section on my thongs (Aussie for flip-flops lol) and this will be perfect since I can never find any to buy in adult sizes :)

  37. 37
    Nury says:

    How pretty! I am totally re-making myself a pair!

  38. 38
    Geri says:

    It’s a kind of thing where you think right off the bat “Damn why didn’t I think of that?” haha awesome I idea. Thanks for this. Now I have a fun project to do this weekend :-)

  39. 39
    Dawnie says:

    I just finished making a pair of these and LOVE them! They are so comfy on top of being adorable! Cannot wait to make a few more pairs and show them off! Plus, I got them from CVS of all places and they cost only $2.99 (2 for $5.00). Then I just took one of my husbands old shirts and went to town! Such a creative and simple idea!

  40. 40
  41. 41
    Stefani says:

    Great tutorial. =) I posted it on my blog… http://esmarksthespot.tumblr.com/

  42. 42
    amber says:

    i have size 12 feet too! when i find shoes that fit, i buy them! love this idea, thanks! i live in fl so i wear flippers just about all year!

  43. 43
    Tania says:

    wow im going to try to make me one :)
    since i notice you love flip flops so much, you need to check this ones out, they are beautiful and very comfortable, 100% rubber and with the designs of Pop artist Romero Britto printed on them…

  44. 44
    Sara B. says:

    I decided to take a stab at doing these (not as well as you) and posted them on my blog! :)
    Thanks again for the great idea!

  45. 45

    Great Idea! You could be busy all winter making a bunch of these flip flops and then you could list them to sell in my store http://www.latter-daycrafters.com next spring and make a killing :)

  46. 46

    Great Idea!X! You could buy all the clearance flip flops and take the winter to make a bunch of these and then list them to sell @ http://www.latter-daycrafters.com and make a killing :)

  47. 47
    christina says:


  48. 48
    Pao says:

    Hi you can’t imagine how much i love your web site, i spend last night just watching all your fabric tutorials, your sewing tips are AMAZING, and this flip flip, awww what can i say? i just loved them! …in fact i kinda just made my own version, and amazingly it turned out just perfeeeectly sorry for my writting, i am from mexico and i don’t know why we don’t have people who blogs this kind of tutorials but thanks good i undertood everything :) and im so looking forward to star more projects from you page ande make my own THANK YOU SO MUUUUC :) saludos desde mexico!!!!

  49. 49

    Cool tutorial! :) I would be interested to know how they last (eg. will the flipflop crack in the area where it got cut down). I am keen to make/embellish my own this summer. :)

  50. 50
    Cate says:

    Thanks for this re-fashion! I actually only used part of it, and then did something totally different, so I thought I’d share. My friend had awesome sandals that have little loops to weave through ribbon so they are interchangeable with any color ribbon you want. Since I couldn’t find a pair anywhere I decided to make my own. So I used your instructions on how to make the loops for the sides and did the same for the toe as well. Then I can take whatever ribbon I want, loop it through and tie it around my ankle. So cute!

  51. 51
    Tess says:

    These are so cute! This is a really smart and creative idea and I love! These would be awesome for summer! Thanks for the idea and I love how it shows how to make them. Thanks!

  52. 52
    Anonymous says:

    I have never been able to wear flip flops because I need a back for my heel… I can’t wait to try this out! Great idea!!!

  53. 53

    I just made some of these last night to take on a trip to Hawaii later this month. They are so fun! I mad them greay and yellow. Thanks for a great idea!

  54. 54
    debra dean says:

    My daughter has cp she wants to wear flipflops so badly, this is going to be great for her . she will be able to wear them without triping and be able to keep them on her feet! so excited about this idea.

  55. 55
    haylee says:

    i am going to make these and some for my mom cause she has plates in her feet so she cant wear flip flop but this will work cause the fabric is soft not all hard stuff like normal flip flops

  56. 56
    Beth says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I made these today and they are so comfy! I plan to make a few more pairs. I love your tutorials and the high quality photos you use so we can see what you are doing! Thanks again!

  57. 57
    Clara says:

    Oh my goodness! That was such a fun project, thanks so much for sharing!!!!!!!!

  58. 58
    Clara says:

    Thanks so much for sharing how easy

  59. 59
    Carol O. says:

    Okay, you did an awsome service to womankind today. My girls have sensitive feet. They can not wear flip flops with any kind of plastic hardwear. This project will allow us to get some CHEAP flops and customize them to wear all summer, comfortably. YEAH! I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  60. 60
    Theresa says:

    I’m curious how well these held up? I’ve had manufactured flip-flops fall apart on me before… Did they stay together all summer?

  61. 61
    Amber says:

    OMG! I love you!!!!! I have giant feet too and live in a tropical climate. I can never find cute sandals for my size 11.5-12 W foot. So yay for this!!!

  62. 62
    Elizabeth says:

    I too wear a Size 12….I’m going to give this a try!

  63. 63

    Cool idea! I’ll make it, too. It’s so cool! Thanx!

  64. 64
    eryfoo♥ says:

    love love LOVE!!!! i just finished making my first pair and they’re awesome!! it was super easy and took hardly any time at all…the soft material feels way comfier between the toes, too!! thanks so much for the share!!

  65. 65
    Praveena says:

    wow … awesome..i am gonna try this out :)

  66. 66
    Gretchen says:

    For the fabric you could use an old T shirt. It is knit and has a little stretch.

  67. 67
    katie says:

    this shoe size 13 gal says thanks for the idea!!!!!!!!

  68. 68
    Tobie says:

    The back of my flip flop keeps sliding down…help?!

  69. 69

    Love the idea for this flip-flop. It looks much nicer and also more comfortable to wear.

  70. 70
    Carol says:

    Ashley, I love this idea; I love the ease of slipping on flip flops in the summer months however since my appendix burst a couple of years ago I am super sensitive to plastic and vinyl of all kinds (can’t ever throw a plastic grocery bag around my wrist to carry it from the car without having a ‘swollen bracelet’ for hours after) and even the ‘cloth’ flip flops in stores mostly have plastic or vinyl between the toes so it’s been a real bummer. I am going to pull out my old t-shirts and dig out my flops and get to work! Will keep an eye out for your other ideas as well. Bless you for sharing!!

  71. 71
    mitch says:

    Hi.. ur very clever… I made 1 becausee my flip flop just broke last week… but mine was bulky at the sole of the foot because of vey thick and big knot… anyway maybe ill just use it inside the house….thanks for ur. Great ides. …godbless

  72. 72

    What a cute project! I love it so much that I decided to feature it in our roundup of upcycled t-shirt crafts! Check it out here: http://www.favecraftsblog.com/upcycled-t-shirt-crafts/

    Have a great day!

  73. 73
    zineb says:

    wow it’s really nice and i love it zineb

  74. 74
    misa tanabe says:

    Hallo.I’m Japanese.
    I can’t speak English.
    But there are awesome ideas! I think.

    Thank you sharing.
    I would like to come back here again.
    (And Im going to study English more little…)

    Good luck!

  75. 75
    Shavon says:

    I,too,wear a size 12. Thank so much for sharing.

  76. 76
    kiara says:

    I love it because it looks cute and comfy!