Tassled Sandals


It is a little late into the summer to be doing a sandal DIY, but having just booked flights to Guam, Palau and Sri Lanka for the coming months, I feel like it's still justified.

I have a pair of Tommy Hilfiger leather and cord flip flops that have been with me from Mexico to Australia, with stops in Florida, Sri Lanka and Bali. Needless to say, they had seen better days. The cord was dirty and breaking in many places but I couldn't quite throw them away yet. So they stayed in the shoe closet for a while until inspiration (read Pinterest and a pair of Zara sandals) hit me.

Revamping the sandals was really pretty straight forward. All you need are a few tools and supplies and a little time, patience and a couple of episodes of your favorite TV show.

  • Thread (9m)
  • Ribbon or Cord (60cm)
  • Leather Strap (30cm)
  • Metal rings (x6)
  • Tassel heads (x4)
  • an awl 
  • scissors
  • liquid glue
  • pliers (small jewelry pliers are best)
  • a bodkin (optional, but very handy for the final parts)
As my sandals had two cords each, I thought the effect of winding the thread in a sort of figure 8 around each cord created an interesting effect, as well as strengthening very weakened spots. This is the most time-consuming part but perhaps the most impactful. I used one base color and just added a little hint of another color which I then picked up again in other details, but the options are almost endless (in fact, I'm already planning another sandal revamp of a similar style). When winding, make sure to pull the thread tight to really strengthen it and avoid old pieces of cord showing through.

When you've finished winding the thread around the cord (or whatever initial support you're starting with), you'll need to grab your pliers and the metal rings and add them to either side of the main strap.

Then, grab the leather strap and cut two pieces to go across your feet (I measured them directly on my foot). Then, with the awl, you'll need to make holes on either end and in the middle of the strap. Pass another metal ring through the central hole and attach the leather strap to the rings on the sandal straps. It's also a good time to add the ribbon to these metal rings.

Now it's time to make the tassels. Cut pieces of thread roughly twice as long as you'd like your tassels to be. Fold them in half and then put a blob of glue in the tassel head and twist the the folded threads into it. Let it dry then attach to the central metal ring.

Voila! All done!

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