Saturday, April 19, 2014

Valentine's Sandals

Valentine weighed in at 4 lb. 9 oz at birth. Full term. Soaking wet. We discovered it runs in the Burmese side of the family. Needless to say, she may be 7 1/2 months old, but her clothes are still 3-6 mo. And she still wears newborn shoes.

It's a real pill to spend $15 on shoes made of fabric, that she'll maybe wear for a few more minutes. So, in the interest of making something unique and well-fitted for Easter, I took matters in my own hands (and a few other assorted tools).

Tada! (These cost me nothing, because I had everything on hand. But at best, you're out the cost of a whole bag of scrap stiff leather from Hobby Lobby, which is maybe $6 after the coupon, and obvs = more projects.)

Wanna learn how? You need 1-2 hours of time, and the instructions after the jump.

So, Supplies:

The sharpening tool is for the craft knife, which must be absolutely sharp for best results. The lighter is optional, if your ribbon (not pictured) needs the ends melted. Also not pictured: baby foot, leather.

Step one: Get squirmy baby to stay still long enough to trace his/her foot. Valentine didn't think I needed a picture of her foot for my tutorial, so you get the product without cute chubby baby toes.

Step two: cut this out, and trace around it to create the following design. Important Note: Add just a teensy bit of room around the edge as you trace, and make your, uh... flap thingies longer than I did. You'll see my fix below, in a couple photos.

I taped a tailored, longer flap after trying the paper template on her
Step 3: Trace onto some stiff leather. Color up to you.

Make sure you flip your template for the second tracing, so you have both a left and right sandal.

Step 4: Wet, and cut, and wet, and cut, and wet, and cut ad nauseam. Let me share with you what works. Craft knife. Sharp craft knife. Craft knife = workie. Scissors = no workie. I did all kinds of test cuts so you won't have to. I used a dropper to wet the line I'm cutting. Wet leather cuts more uniformly.

Also, I use undying love of a husband to empower me and give me stamina and the hope to carry on. Sorry. Husband took over the blog for a sec. :/

Also, I use the knife sharpener on the craft knife between each cut. A metal ruler can ensure long lines are straight.

Step 5: mark and punch ribbon/lacing holes. Could probably use an awl, if you don't have a leather hole puncher.

Optional: wet leather, bend, and press at key points.

Lastly: admire yourself your handiwork.

These could be doo-dadded up in all kinds of ways. Studs. Leather laces. Different colors. Even the way the laces operate could be different. I'll be doing more as she grows. Kinda want some for me...

(Possibly) Linking Here:






  1. Love these! My youngest was 3 lb 11 oz, and I remember how hard it was to find shoes OR socks that fit!

    1. Oh my, how teeny! I followed up on your blog (amazing party for the teens -- I'd have been in heaven), and am happy to see you have a healthy kiddo!

  2. Adorable! I have tons of leather samples from a furniture store, and I need to make some of these right now... I'm glad I found your post through the Mondays Fundays link party.

    1. So glad they inspired you! I've been having too much fun working with leather lately.

  3. These are darling! And this fantastic pattern could be used to create so many other versions. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I agree! I'm wanting to try a mix of soft and stiff leathers next. More complex, but hopefully, equally cute!

  4. These are just so darned cute!

    1. Thanks! I'm excited to try to do some variations on the same design.

  5. Thanks so much for linking up to Your Whims Wednesday, I featured this on my blog today! Come stop by and grab a featured button :)

    1. Thank you so much, Rebecca! I am so glad they captured your fancy!