The sound of water-wrinkled feet slapping against foam soles is a summertime staple. Dressing up your flip flops, with its Y-shaped thong wedged between first and second toes everywhere, can elevate the most basic of all shoes – not to mention a gloriously affordable warm-weather staple.
Nothing beats the ease of slipping into a pair and scurrying across scorching-hot sand for a cool dip for kids. So why not give this simple sandal a spiffy makeover for the summer? It’s a snap with fabric, ribbon, beads, and whatever else catches your eye!
- Get yourself some flip-flops. The simpler, the better. Find a worn-in pair from last season, or get some on the cheap from a discount or dollar store. We found ours in white, green, and pink at a local Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts store for a reasonable price of $1.39 each.
- It’s fabric time. Gather a few spools of cloth ribbon and/or about a 1/4 yard of fabric to give your shoes a scrappy look. Visit your local sewing store’s remnant and bargain bins – or delve into the depths of the kids’ closets, where outgrown clothes can be transformed into the perfect flip-flop fixings. Colors and patterns can be mixed and matched. We got a picnic-themed “fat quarter” (which is normally used for quilting) and some flashy, blue-bubbled swimsuit material (read: dries faster!).
- Form it up. Cut the fabric or ribbon into strips of varying widths. Aim for two to four inches in length, depending on how big or small those tootsies are.
- Everything is tied up. Start knotting and channel your inner Scout. Tie the strips onto the thong portion, beginning at the toe divider and working your way up. Sometimes a single tie is sufficient; we doubled up for our swimsuit material, a little slicker. Fill the entire strap or tie a “poof” in the middle.
- Extra glitz. Fill your flip-flops with as many trinkets as your feet can handle! Try weaving matching girly ribbon around the strap with pink and purple “pony beads” (Tips: A large plastic needle is great for threading two ribbons through one bead, and make sure the inch closest to the base portions is bead-free to avoid a painful stroll!). Tie on letter beads in the center for a finishing touch. The green pair was transformed into “creature flops” using bulging Styrofoam eyes. For the grand finale, our pink flops were embellished with fabric, beads, coordinating star and heart-shaped foam beads.