DIY: Flip Flops That'll Make Your Feet Sparkle!

Embellish your flip flops with the magic of hand stitch and easy-to-master beading techniques!

diy flip flops, nail varnish and necklace

I've shed my socks, bought new nail varnish and given myself a pedicure so it's with great glee and very sexy feet that I can announce Summer has arrived! And with it so has my yearly tradition
of Pimp My Flip Flops.

I used to buy a pair of pretty flip flops from Accessorize at the beginning of every summer spending between £12-15. At the end of the season I'd chuck them in the bin and repeat. Roll on 2014 and I was thinking about how I could curb my spending to gain greater control of my finances (after all, a 'love of economy is the route of all virtue') when I spotted a comfy but very plain seagrass pair in Asda for a mere £3! That day, unable to resist a bargain and knowing I had a stash of beads begging to be used, a challenge was born.

Black flip flops with pink and purple beads

Pimp My Flip Flops is now in its fourth year and so in time-honoured tradition I ordered myself a pair of Asda's finest and raided my bead stash. I'd love for other hand stitch enthusiasts to pimp their own flip flops so I'm sharing how I glitzyfied mine in the hope of inspiring you to join me!

Flower Flip Flops

Pair of plain flip flops
96x Size 9 Gold Beads
12x 18mm Lilac Shell Discs
12x 10mm Fuschia Shell Discs
(I bought mine from Beads Needs UK)
8x 10mm Lilac Acrylic Flatback Flower Rhinestones
8x 12mm Fuchsia Acrylic Flatback Round Rhinestones
(I got mine from a friend but I'm guessing Hobbycraft or Ebay is a good bet)
Pre-waxed Nylon Beading Thread in Black (or to match the colour of your flip flop strap)
General Sewing Needle
Craft Scissors
Bead Fantasies II by Takako Samejima

1. Using the fishing line and 60 of the Size 9 Gold Beads make two gold beaded beads following the instructions in this video: How to make a Crystal Ball. The instructions are in two parts, make sure you follow both or you'll only have half a ball and no one wants that. The finishing instructions are a little vague in the video tutorial so I've added some extra info to help make it clearer.

To finish the beaded beads, thread one end of the fishing line through the other beads in that round so that the ends of the fishing line are next to each other. 

How to make a simple beaded bead

Tie an over under knot to secure.

Easy woven bead tutorial

Thread the ends of the fishing line back through the beads on either side of the knot and trim the ends to finish.

Soccer Bead Tutorial

2. Make two beaded flowers following Takako's instructions on page 12 of Bead Fantasies II. I've adapted the pattern to make the flowers even more spectacular. For my version thread two shell beads at a time and use the beaded balls for the centre of the flower. When you thread the shell beads make sure they all face the same way.

To thread the beaded ball, bring the two ends of fishing line up through the holes of one set of shell disc beads, pass the line through the centre of the beaded ball and down through the holes of the discs opposite.

shell beads woven into a flower

3. Turn the flower over and tie an over under knot on the back and thread the ends through the gold beads on either side. Take care when you tie the knot; you want all of the petals to be secure but if you pull too hard it'll end up looking squashed.

4. Turn the flower back over and arrange the petals so they overlap prettily.  You should be able to arrange the lilac ones and then the pink so they fit nicely inside each other.

shell beads in flower shape
5. It's time to sew everything onto the straps of your flip flops! Thread the needle with the super strong nylon thread, secure it to the outside strap of one sandal and pass it through the loops underneath the flower.

6. Keep sewing through the loops, attaching the flower to the flip flop at lots of points so it's really securely on there. When you pass the needle through the bottom of the flip flop push it in between the two layers of fabric that the straps are made up of to move to the next spot. This means the thread won't rub against the tops of your feet and potentially break as it'll be safe between the two layers of strap fabric. When you turn your straps over you shouldn't see any thread underneath.

hand stitch flip flop strap

7. It's time to raid your rhinestone stash! Is there any greater joy than rummaging through these sparkly, colourful decorations? Answers welcome in the comments below.

Multicoloured gems

8. Check out the close up of the straps to see the order I stitched the beads and glued the flower rhinestones on in. As you sew make sure you hide the thread that would show underneath by passing the needle between the double layer of fabric the straps are made from. By the time you're done you'll have a series of tiny pin-prick stitches underneath but they won't rub so your decorations will be secure and last the whole summer at least!

Shell flower flip flops tutorial

For more inspiration here's the pair I decorated last year...

shell beads and sequin flip flops

Have I inspired you to join the challenge and pimp your own flip flops? I'd love to see your results, email me a picture or tag me on Instagram.

If you enjoyed this post, I'd be very grateful if you'd help spread it by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on Facebook or Pinterest.  Thank you!

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