Flip flop sandals are one of our very favourite footwear options all throughout the summer, but if you tend to buy the cheaper ones like we do, then you know how fast they can wear out. For example, we often find that the toe straps on ours break from being walks in so much. Even if you don’t wear yours out, it’s easy to become weary of the style after a while, or simply to accumulate way too many pairs of flip flops all together.
That’s where your upcycling and repurposing skills come in handy! It’s amazing how versatile the bottom of a flip flop sandal can be when it comes to making yourself new, alternative, and homemade footwear options for the summer, which are always our favourite kind of course! Check out these 15 awesome ideas involving upcycled flip flops!
1. Wrapping fabric strap sandals
This style of sandal is particularly easy to make because the holes from the original plastic toe straps are already there, ready and waiting for you to string your strips of fabric through! Choose a colour or pattern of material from your scraps bin, or perhaps the discount ends bin at your local fabric shop, and follow the guide on Inspired Life to see how these adorable sandals are threaded and wrapped!
2. Stretch fabric slip-ons and fabric flowers
Do you love the idea of replacing the original plastic toe straps with nice fabric ones but a wrap-and-tie style might annoy you and you’d rather some sandals that you can easily slide on and off? Then check out this stretch strap design from Make It, Love It! We love their tutorial because it doesn’t just show you how to make the straps; it also shows you how to embellish them with an adorable fabric flower in a pretty contrasting material.
3. Beaded and pearl flip flops
Perhaps your flip flops are actually still in tact and also in quite good condition, but you’re simply bored of them or they’re just not quite fancy enough for you as they currently are? Then grab some pretty pearled beads and some ribbon and check out this look from Buzzfeed! You’ll use the ribbon to weave a toe panel that the beads can be sewn onto.
4. Braided toe sandals
Are you still very into the material and fabric sandal strap ideas but you haven’t quite seen one yet that’s really caught your eye? Then perhaps a little bit of simple braiding will do the trick for you! We love the way this idea from Trellian looks, especially because the technique is very simple even though the braids look quite intricate in the end.
5. Disc sequin sandals
Did you like the design and construction aspects of the pearled sandals but you’re not entirely sure that pearl beads are really the aesthetic for you? Then perhaps you’d prefer awesomely shiny disc sequins instead! This tutorial from Trinkets in Bloom takes you through a similar ribbon wrapping and weaving technique to the one above, but instead of sewing on beads you’ll carefully layer sequinned discs so they sit flat and catch the sun.
6. Crocheted summer shoes
Are you a crochet enthusiast who loves combining your DIY skills to make things you’ll really love and actually use? Then check out the pattern for these fantastically adorable crocheted summer shoes! You’ll begin by threading the yarn in your first stitches through periodic holes in the foam and then building upwards. See how it’s done in more detail on The Spinner’s Husband.
7. Flip flop flats with buttons
Do you love the idea of crocheted summer shoes but you’re just not quite feeling the style of the ones we described above, or perhaps you’re feeling up to more of a challenge in your construction of the shoes? Then check out this adorable buttoned alternative by A Crafty Cook! They look like a cute little pair of Mary Janes, only handmade.
8. Floral flip flops
Do you like the idea of working with fabric to make your flip flops a little fancier, but you’d actually rather keep the plastic toe straps because you like the structure they provide your foot? Then use fabric to build on top of those straps instead! This design featured on Pinterest suggests creating little fabric rosettes that look adorable bunched all along the strap.
9. Bead and embroidery braid flip flops
Have you always been into bracelet weaving and embroidery and now you’d like to add some sparkle to your sandals without having to resort to glues and messy looking adhesives? Then merge your skills and follow this tutorial on Stylish Wife! They guide you through the process of tying around the base of the gems on a rhinestone chain and through the back of a pretty gem stoned charm so that they pieces are woven right onto the straps of your sandals. If you’re careful and weave tightly, there’s almost no chance of the pretty stones falling off even if you wear the sandals all summer!
10. Silk ribbon and bow flip flops
We’ve talked a lot about weaving and wrapping using ribbons, but each technique we’ve described has only used this as a base rather than leaving it as the final aesthetic. Perhaps you love ribbons more than more other DIY embellishments, however, and would rather stop at that? Then we think this ribbon wrapping and bow design from Pinterest is the one for you!
11. Beaded chain flip flops
Were you intrigued by the rhinestone chain idea were outlined when we talked about embroidery above but you’d rather a more natural, sort of Boho chic look than shiny stones? Then check out these awesome dangling bead chains sewn into the plastic toe straps of a simple pair of flip flops! DIY Enthusiasts shows you how it’s done in just a few easy steps.
12. Duct tape decorated flip flops
Washi tape and patterned duct tape are at the height of fashion when it comes to DIY projects and trends right now. They’re easy to work with and they come in so many fancy colours and designs now that they’re practically a statement already, no matter how you use them! That’s why we loved these tape wrapped flip flops with a fringed flower design at the toe. See how it’s done on Crafty Sisters.
13. Beaded strap flip flops
Have you been intrigued so far by the beaded ideas we’ve talked about all throughout this list but we just haven’t quite found the one that really keeps your attention yet? Then consider this design made with a more classic type of beading instead! DIY Fashion shows you how to affix them by threading them onto the top of the strap with plastic jewelry floss.
14. Ruffled T-strap sandals
Are you totally open to keeping the flip flop style of sandal but you’d like to change the shape of the strap, rather than the whole construction itself? Then check out how Make It, Love It swapped the classic split shape for a T-strap instead! As if that wasn’t quite fun enough, they also go into detail about how you can make a cute ruffle all the way down the top of your foot to your toes.
15. Sequinned straps with little flowers
Perhaps you’re actually fine with leaving your sandals the way they are in terms of shape and construction, but you’d really like to liven them up just a little bit? Then adding a little bit of sequinned sparkle might be the only trick you need to make them more your style! Check out how Wedding Bee used sequinned trimmings and a little rosette to liven up their plain flip flops.