P’s Handmade Leather Sandals


Back in June I pinned in my to do list the idea to make some saltwater sandals, or at least something similar. I mean, how hard could making sandals be? I had almost all the materials, the 4oz leather from this project & tons of lighter weight leathers; I just didn’t have a pattern or buckles.

I got the buckles for 79¢ each and everything else I had on hand. Making the pattern for her was a bit tricky. First, I fleshed out what the pattern would look like on paper; then I took lightweight cotton, draped it over her foot & drew lines where I wanted the straps to go. From there I scanned it in, vectorized my drawing then printed out the pattern pieces. It was another 2 or three revisions before I figured out the fit. Even then, the fit isn’t flawless. It’s good, but not perfect. I sort of had a squirmy model.

I used one of her shoes to trace a pattern of the sole, then I had her stand on the pattern while I made adjustments for a better fit. I have to admit, it was more than a little nerve wracking to get all of the pattern pieces glued in place. I didn’t know how it all would fit (exactly) until I got the final shoe on her foot.

Overall this project took me 2 weeks on & off. Most of that time was spent trying to get the correct fit. Once I got the pattern nailed down, it took about 2-3 hours to make the entire shoe. It’s not much more intense than binding a book, in my opinion. I used a lot of the same techniques, too.

I love these little shoes on her & she’s pretty cool with them, too. I was so afraid she wouldn’t like them! Now hopefully I can make a pair for me before the snow hits the ground.

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    1. Leanne says:

      You’re amazing with the projects you come up with. I can’t believe you just made sandals. They are so cute and P looks adorable in them.

    2. Lydia says:

      Fancy. They look amazing.

    3. Lynne says:

      Wow! Fabulous!

    4. Kayla says:

      I feel like all of my comments on your blog begin with, “Umm holy crap!”

      I want a pair for me!!

    5. Emily says:

      You made those?! They look awesome!! Great pictures too. :)

    6. Heidi says:

      Wow, you never cease to amaze! You say it’s no big deal and the rest of us are sitting here with our jaws on the floor like ‘Wah? You just MADE sandals for your kid??” Go you, those are awesome!

    7. michael ann says:

      these are darling! i just saw some salt water sandals this morning that i wanted, who knew it was possible to make them!? you go girl :]

    8. Jina says:

      Ummm.. I think you might be my new hero! Oh, and where did you get P’s shirt? I love it.

    9. Diana Smith says:

      WOW these are great! You really are soo talented. I wish you sold these!

    10. Ellen says:

      Those are fantastic! PLEASE do a grown-up version!

    11. meredith says:

      amaze amaze. LOVE it. you both rock leather.

    12. madison says:

      those are so cute!! i cannot believe you made them…well i can. haha thats so awesome!!

    13. Libby K. says:

      what the what?! really-i’m a bit in awe at the moment. so hip. so inventive. so great.

      penelope is one lucky lil’ gal to have such a creative mama. maybe in another life, i can come back as one of your children!

    14. Erin says:

      I am way impressed Melissa. Can’t wait to see yours!


    16. stacy says:

      so impressed! they are so cute and look comfy, i would wear them too!

    17. Bellesme says:

      Thats so cute! I love it, amazing that you can make shoes =)

    18. ARE YOU SERIOUS?! how freakin’ cute is this. you are such a talent.

    19. So stinkin’ cute! Love her little t-shirt, too.

    20. Meghan says:

      Oh my goodness, you can make ANYTHING. I’m so impressed. I don’t think I’m brave enough to attempt sandals.

      P.S. Where did you get P’s shirt? It is as cute as her sandals.

    21. SarahJane says:

      These are insane. I’m totally blown away. Love her shirt too.

    22. Jeri says:

      Nicely done. And Happy Anniversary. I didn’t realize it had been that long. Where has the time gone? Loved the wedding pics.

    23. Katie H. says:

      very nice! I’m impressed with your 2D to 3D transition. wow.

    24. Alysa says:

      Wow you’re inspiring. It just seems like every project you complete gets more in-depth and awesome. Way to go! I’ll have to file this sandal idea away until I have kids.

    25. Alysa says:


    26. […] these little leather sandals for Penelope had to have been my favorite craft project all year, if not of all time. I’m […]

    27. wanting says:

      how do you make these shoes?!!?! tutorial pls! i’ve been dreaming of making my own shoes!

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