Make Your Own Espadrille Sandals

Make your own leather sandalsWhen I was a senior in high school I had a good friend who was really into making leather stuff. He made leather journals, belts, bags, and then he got into making leather shoes. As you can probably guess, I tend to gravitate toward people who make stuff, or might be described as "crafty". I was super stoked when he made me one of his first attempts at a gladiator sandal. I thought they were way cool, I think in part because I was obsessed with Athena at the time.

Gosh, this probably makes me sound kind of nerdy (which I'm not denying). BUT, I would like to point out that this was before gladiator sandals came back into style and before Katniss ever let her first arrow fly (which is Athena's weapon of choice as well). So basically I was a trendsetter. Clearly. 


Make your own leather sandals   Anyway, I got the hankering to make some summer sandals, and I kept thinking about those homemade gladiator sandals from high school. My sandals are not quite as advanced…I simply used espadrille soles and customized them (so easy to do!). Here's how I made mine in case you're curious.

Diy shoe suppliesSupplies:
-espadrille soles (I bought mine on Etsy. The brand is Prym. They also sell add-on items to make the rest of the shoes too if you don't want to pick out your own leathers/fabrics)
-scrap paper and pencil
-scrap leather, pleather, or other sturdy fabric (you don't need much!)
-embroidery thread
-needle (for leather or tapestry)
-velcro or buckles

Note: I originally planned to use fabric glue (pictured), but after trying it, I just didn't think it held up as well as I wanted, even though it said it was good for leather projects (LIES!). So I just stitched the velcro on instead. So, skip the glue if you're doing this project. 

All together these shoes cost around $14 to make (not including the glue because, like I said, skip it).

Make a patternStep One: Use scrap paper to make a pattern or template for your shoe straps. Feel free to get creative here! Also, really do put your foot on the sole and hold the pattern in place to make sure it works well. And remember, you can always cut your leather (or other fabric) a little smaller if needed. Trimming is easy, adding on if it's too small is not. 

Once you have your pattern how you want it, use it to cut out your pieces.

Stitch up your shoesStep Two: Stitch on your pieces. Remember that you will be wearing these, so don't be afraid to double up your thread or sew through each hole twice for extra durability. Espadrille soles are great for this because they are made of plaited fiber (kind of like sewing through soft rope). Stitch on your velcro or buckles too.

Step Three: Wear your new shoes a few times and see what you think. If you notice the leather stretching a little (like most leather will) you can stitch them a little tighter. 

Make your own leather sandals Make some sandals this summer! It's super fun, easy and pretty inexpensive. xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • nice idea, want to try it soon! 😉 Thanks for sharing this, gives me something to do, thinking of making the front a burnt orange with a brown back.

  • Can’t believe you’ve made your own shoes, these are amazing
    livinginaboxx | bloglovin

  • Sandals are the best shoes for the season. So wow on this project. I have a few questions what is the measurements of the shoe pattern or how did you start to measure the shoe pattern? Thanks

  • didn’t know I could do this..I’ll probably try it 🙂

  • Just when we thought you girls couldn’t get any cooler you make your own shoes!!! Blown away.
    ♥Heather + Melissa

  • Very cool project! If I can get my hands (or feet?) on the espadrille soles, I’m down to make this one. I’ve seen so many similar pairs, so it’s definitely a trendy style.

    Monica / Mocha and Moccasins

  • Love espradilles for summer, they are the best shoes for hot days

  • This reminds me of making leather sandals in college for an art class. They were so comfortable because they fit my feet. Great job. Thanks for sharing.

  • Simple & cute! Probably costs a little less than buying the actual shoe! 🙂

  • Hi Pat! You can find them on Etsy: 🙂 -Jacki

  • These are so cute. Can’t believe how easy it looks.

  • Oh my goodness these are lovely! If it were on sale I’d surely buy it. On a different note, I also tend to lean to crafty and creative people. It’s probably also the reason why I was so drawn to this blog when I stumbled upon it a few years back.

  • I did this diy project myself and they turned out to
    be my favourites this Summer. Instead of leather
    I used a pretty fabric.

    I love your Blog!!!

  • Absolutely love them. Will be on my ‘To Do’ lists now. Love your waistcoat too x

  • Such a cool DIY! Never realised you can actually make your own sandals. Always thought of that as being to much out of my league, but I will give this a try.
    And I feel you Emma, Athena is the most fab goddess ever!

  • I would never think of making my own shoes! What an awesome idea, they look really comfy too!cx

  • They’re so so cool! I love espadrille sandals, they’re so summery! it’s such a nice DIY to be sure to have unique ones!
    Jennifer | Pretty as Summer

  • Thank you for telling us how much! I love to make things, but if it’s going to be more expensive than buying I hesitate. For me, the best part is knowing I can make the straps loose enough for my wide feet. Hooray!

  • Never thought about making my own shoes… this kinda makes me want to try. Thanks for the tutorial 🙂

  • Oh my gosh! I love espadrilles, I love that they are so easy to diy!

  • That’s really cool I didn’t know you could buy espadrille soles.


  • What a cool idea! I’ve been looking for a nice pair of sandals for quite a long time, but can’t find anything that I’d really like (especially in a lower price range). I need to challenge myself and try to make my own ones. These look awesome!

  • Just WOW! I didn’t know Espadrille soles are available on etsy. You’re very creative.
    I’d love to try creating leather stuff like your classmate.
    ❤︎ |

  • Could you please give a link to where you found the soles on Ebay because I have been searching and trying different wording and all I get are ready made shoes.

  • I had no idea espadrille soles were even something you can buy! Awesome idea!

  • Always the coolest Idea ever, and this one is my favourite one! I am an espadrilles addict in summer! I have never enough of them and it’s pretty cool to be able to make my own one 🙂

    Iman from

  • They look stunning! But I somehow have the feeling that I wouldn’t be able to actually build a shoe…

    Thanks for sharing this and good night from Germany,!on-almightiness/cmbz/559ae52a0cf28e68712c7f4e


  • Super simple and what a great price. I showed my friend and she said she’d love adding some lace to hers and I was thinking of adding a pop of aqua since thats the color Im wearing right now. I feel a girls nigt coming on, just add wine! Thanks for sharing.

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