Tutorial: how to decorate plain flip flops

If you have a yearning for a bit of sparkle on your feet, why not try customising a pair of flip flops to your own unique style and preference?  This step by step tutorial will show you how to take a plain pair of flip flops from boring to bling in no time at all.

How to decorate flip flops

You will need:

  • Plain flip flops.  Take note of the material the strap is made from as you need to be able to sew through this, so it can’t be too thick or tough to pass a needle through.
  • A thimble
  • An assortment of beads.  I used; Guttermann 4mm crystals, Craft Factory 3mm silver and 2.6mm pearls.
  • Needle
  • Strong cotton in a matching colour
  • Scissors

What to do:

Thread your needle with 5 long strands of cotton (the longer the better as this will avoid having to start a new piece of cotton part-way through).  Tie a double knot in the end, and bring the needle up from the under-side of the flip flop strap, as close to the middle as you can.

2.Thread through middle

Remove your needle, and separate out the strands of cotton so that you have two on each side, and one in the middle.

3.Divide thread

Take the individual strand of cotton in the middle, and re-thread your needle.  Now thread 1 silver bead and then 5 small pearls onto the cotton.

4.Add beads

Pass the needle back through the silver bead to make a loop with the pearls.

5.Create loop

Thread another 5 pearls onto the cotton, and pass back through the silver bead to make another loop.  Push your needle back through the middle of the flip flop strap, and from the underside pass the needle through the very tip of each loop of pearls to create a small tacking stitch.  This will help keep the pearls in place.  Tie a couple of knots and partially pass your needle through the flip flop strap and back out again on the under-side (don’t bring it all the way through to the top side).  This will help secure the end of the thread before cutting.  Cut the thread as close as possible to the strap.

6.Second loop

Now thread your needle onto one of the side strands of cotton running along the part of the strap that sits on the outside of your foot.  Thread a crystal bead and then a small silver bead.  Repeat this, and finish with a crystal.

7.Crystals and silver

Thread your needle on to the nearby second strand of cotton, and repeat.

8.Second strand

Now thread both of these strands of cotton onto the needle and add a silver bead to join them together.  Pass the needle through to the underside of the flip flip strap to create a loop with the beads.

9.Add silver bead

Bring the needle back through the strap at virtually the same spot, and repeat the above steps until you have another loop.  Again, pass the needle through to the under-side of the strap and back up again.

10.Make another loop

Repeat until you have 4 loops.

11.Make four loops

Pass the needle through to the under side of the flip flop strap and begin to secure each of these loops in place as you did before; you will need to create a series of small tacking stitches around the edge of each loop (I did two on each side), passing your needle under the flip flop strap, over the edge of the beaded loop, and back again.

Go from side to side and work your way back along the flip flip strap until all your beaded circles feel secure (you’ll create a kind of zig-zag pattern with the cotton on the underside of your strap).  Tie a couple of knots in your thread to secure, but don’t cut.

Bring your needle back through the middle of the strap, right by the central silver bead you added at the very start.  Thread 2 pearls, 1 silver bead, and 2 pearls onto your cotton working your way down the middle of your crystal bead circle.  (You might find you need to try and different combination of beads here, depending on the particular sizes you have used.  The idea is to create a line of beads that runs straight through the middle of your crystal bead circles).

15.Line of pearls

Pass your needle through the silver bead connecting this to the next circle and repeat.

16.Through silver bead

Again, pass your needle through the next silver bead, and continue all the way to the end of your circles.  Push your needle through to the under-side of the strap.  Tie off your cotton as you did before, and secure by partially passing through the strap and bringing back out on the underside.  Cut your thread.

Now repeat these steps with the thread running along the part of the strap that sits on the inside of your foot.  Start by threading crystal and silver pearls onto each stand, and bringing together with a silver bead to make a loop.  You may find that you need to make one side of your loops slightly smaller by only threading 1 crystal, 1 silver, and 1 crystal before joining together with the other thread.  This will enable this first loop to sit nice and flat.

19.Loop on inside

Repeat this until you have 4 beaded loops.

20.Loops all the way down

Pass the needle through the strap to the under-side, and work your way back along the circle of beads securing each with small stitches.

21.Back to the middle

Bring your needle back through the middle of the strap to the top side, and repeat the process of threading 2 pearls, 1 silver and 2 pearls, passing through each silver bead to create a line of beads through the middle of each circle.  Push your needle to the underside of the strap, tie of and secure as before.

22.Complete

Repeat for your second flip flop.

23.Both flip flops

Once you get the hang of it, these flip flops come together fairly quickly.  These would be ideal for a summer wedding, but you can experiment with all sorts of colours and types of beads to match your mood and your outfit.

This post was inspired by my Creative Sewing Challenge; a monthly source of inspiration for anyone who loves to sew.  To join in, sign up below for free or visit here for further information.

And if you think anyone you know would like to take part, please do save my pin…

Creative Sewing Challenge August

Thank you!  Happy sewing everyone,

Amy

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