Making sandal involves various designs and techniques and women love to explore different styles of sandals. How about making sandals from recycled materials as your next DIY project? Do not get surprised it is easier than it sounds to be. You can get all the materials required to make a recycled sandal. All you need is to become creative enough to design a sandal for yourself.
The following instructions will help you make a simple yet popular style of sandal with a Teva look from the recycled car tires.
Difficulty Level: Moderately Challenging May require expertise in few areas)
Time required: One or two days.
Estimated Cost: Make these pair of sandals for free by recycling a used tire
The materials given below are for an adult foot of average size. You will need to make adjustments for larger or smaller feet.
- 16 x 12 inch of 12 iron soling leather
- Water-based glue
- 60 Shoe-makerâs tacks 1/2 inch in length of
- 2 rivets
- 2 buckles
- Revolving hole punch
- Sharp knife
- A piece of card
- Non-petroleum jelly
- Measuring tape, rulers and pencil
- A sheet of sand paper
- Shoe polish or banana skin
- To find out how long to cut the leather strap, wrap a measuring tape around your foot in the required position. Note the required length with extra allowing for attaching one end to the sandal and passing the other through the buckle. Now cut two leather straps to that length and two buckle straps 3 inch in length.
- Apply some foot oil to all the leather pieces, which will make them supple and flexible for working. Now determine the size of the soles by placing your foot onto a piece of paper and drawing around it.
- Cut out with an additional 5 mm outline. This becomes the shape for the sandal. You can change the shape according to your preferences before cutting out, such as smooth out bumps, round the heel or square the toe section.
- To find out the location of the strap slots just bind the leather strap in the style desired around the foot and mark the points where straps go through the sole. Cut these slots slightly bigger than the width of the leather straps.
- Now place the pattern of sole on the leather that is to be used as the undersole. Mark the left and two right foot patterns. Cut four sole pieces from the sole leather.
- Cut slots of width 1/4 inch and length 1 inch in both the soles simultaneously the positions marked on the sole pattern to place the straps.
- The marked sole pieces will become the upper sole and the unmarked ones are the undersole.
- Using a hole punch make end of the slots on the two buckle straps. Later attach buckles to these straps with a tubular rivet and punch a hole for tongue of the buckle. Once done, place the other end of the buckle strap and slide it through the proper opening on the upper sole and glue it.
- Now slide the one end of the longer leather strap into the starting slot and glue it to the underside of the upper sole. Now thread the rest of the strap under and over the sole as the style requires.
- Apply some non-petroleum jelly onto these straps enabling them to slide smoothly. Now once you have given the desired style to the straps stick the undersole to the upper sole and press them firmly together.
- To create the heel, cut a heel shaped part from the soling leather using the 2 1/2 inch section of the sole pattern and paste them to the undersole of both the sandals.
- Apply tacks at a distance of 1/2 inches to secure the soles and heels, the starting position of the long strap and also the buckle section. Remember to flatten the points of the nails. Now cut off excess leather pieces from the straps and soles and sand the edges of the sandal using sandpaper.
- Once the edges become smooth apply a coat of the ecofriendly polish or rub the inside part of the banana peel to the leather.
- Now mark the hole positions on the straps for the buckle tongue and punch them using a hole puncher.
- Give coating of polish frequently to prevent the leather from drying out.
Frequently asked questions
How to easily cut out the tires?
Cut the sandal bottoms from the tire using a pair of used flip-flops as a pattern. Cut the pieces using the sawing motion by holding the tire under some pressure.
How to reduce the thickness of the rubber tire while making soles from it?
The rubber tires are thick so you would needs to cut in two stages, the first stage is to make the initial cut of the sole and then , then bend the cut section over a bench edge to separate the cut edges therby allowing you to cut through the leather.
- Use discarded leather and fabrics that you can easily find in garages or in your home. Use heavy cloth or tape and canvas for uppers.
- It can be expensive to buy thick soled leather so to lessen the cost get leather scrap pieces. Substitute the undersole by using rubber instead.
Things to watch out for
- When you rub a banana on leather its natural oils soak into the leather making your sandals durable and last longer. Potassium is the main ingredient used to make a shoe polish, which is also available in loads in bananas. So just polish with a banana peel and clean using a soft cloth.
- Find rubber that will provide the thickness you desire for a sandal of heavy duty type. Instead you can use old car tire pieces as rubber soles, which may be uncomfortable in comparison to shoe rubber. These soles are indeed harder than softer sole materials and durable. Recycling these tires that would either end up in the trash dump where they will take thousands of years to decompose.
There are several companies that lead in making quality leather sandals, but nothing compares to the sandals that are hand crafted.