Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Flippity flop straps

We've all been there...

Scouring through crowded Target aisles in search of the run away shoe. What gets me is why kids always only seem to throw ONE shoe out of the cart and not both. Maybe if it were both I'd decide to just count my losses, but there is something about the lone ranger that compels me to deploy the troops for a rescue mission.

Knowing this endearing habit of all toddlers, I'm quite disappointed in myself for even considering purchasing strapless flip flops for Sienna. I should've known the slip off factor would be too tempting, but she loved them so much and I admit, they were just too darn cute on those tiny feet! While they lasted...

Lesson learned.

I'd ask why any reasonable shoe manufacturer would construct backless flip flops for children, but I already know the answer-
so you will lose them and buy more again and again!

Not me! I made my own straps :) And it only took 30 minutes.

Here's all I did:

1- Gathered my supplies:
1) One pair of flip flops
2) 1/2 in elastic (I used 3/4 for these, because it's what I had, but slightly smaller would be nice)
3) Fabric scraps to match your flip flops

2- Took measurements for the length of the back strap:
Since Cinderella was already asleep when I made these, I estimated how long the back strap should be using the edge of the shoe as my guide. These flip flops were size 7. So for a size 7, the total elastic strip needed was 9 in for each foot.

I got that number by pulling the a string around the plastic toe strap end leaving room to sew it back to itself, then pulled it back to the edge of the shoe and back around the other plastic toe strap side. Like so :)

My string length ended up being about 10 in. Since it's elastic, I stretched the elastic a few times to loosen it out and cut 1 inch less than my measurement or 9 in.

3- Made fabric straps to cover the elastic:
After I did mine I found a really easy way to make straps without creasing the edges and having a visible seam that you have to check out!

But for these babies I didn't mind a visible seam and was in a hurry, so all I did was cut a fabric strip 2 1/2 inches wide by 1 1/2 times the length of my elastic plus 1 inch extra for seam allowance.

1.5(9) + 1 = 14.5 inches

4- Attached the elastic strap to the flip flops:

This is a little tricky and takes some wigglying around...

I started by making a loop with one end of the elastic strap around the plastic flip flip strap. I made my loop big enough so I could still fit the shoe to one side of my pressure foot and sew the strap on with my machine.

I did this with a little trial and error by pinning the strap in place as close as I could and then readjusting the distance back if needed. I also tucked the raw end of the elastic strap under before I sewed it in place to make it look a little more finished.

Using a zig zag stitch, I sewed the strap on back and forth 2 times on each side to make it extra strong.

Originally, I knew the loop wouldn't be perfectly tight around the plastic strap, because it was too close to sew onto the shoe with my sewing machine. But! I discovered an extra bonus when my Cinderella woke up and tried it on that I was actually glad it wasn't, because it gave a little flexibility to adjust the back strap higher or lower on the plastic strap so it stayed on better! Don't you love when a plan come together??

She loved her "new" flip flops and in her wise 2 years of life knew just the thing all girls need when to go with a new pair of cute shoes....

Manis and pedis of course!

And because she's still only 2 1/2 yrs old, it's hard to sit still until they dry. But not to worry, she'll let me know if the teenest of toes gets smudged.

I almost died when immediately she ran to the bathroom asking me to paint her nails! I couldn't resist adding these pictures.

Here she is modeling (shoe, pedicure or both, I really don't know!)

I would love to know how she thinks to ask for this. I rarely paint my nails! Does God program this cuteness into them so you'll never stop loving them more and more everyday no matter how many shoes they lose in the grocery store? I really love this little shoe throwing thing!


  1. hehe laughing at the whole cute post, love the straps and dialogue!

  2. You said you were going to put straps on and I though how is she going to do that and still have the sandles be cute? Well, that's how. Great idea.

  3. I seriously need these, only adult-size. Thanks!

  4. I have embellished my DD's flip flops. But straps never even thought of it, how dumb of me. Great Idea, kudos to you. I wish i could have thought of this before i had lost 2 sets of flip flops when i took her for a ride in a bike. hmmm better late than never.


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