How to Make Espadrilles


Espadrilles are a type of sandal with ribbons that wrap around the ankle and lower leg. They're a feminine and fashionable warm-weather style of shoe that work well with shorts or a skirt. Espadrilles can also help to create the illusion of shorter legs, making them a favorite among tall women. It's fairly easy to turn an old pair of sandals into a pair of espadrilles, giving new life to the shoes.

Things You'll Need

  • Thread
  • Ribbon
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Sandals with heel straps
  • Package of adhesive moleskin

How to Make Espadrilles

Find a pair of sandals with heel straps. The sandals can be flats, platforms or heels, preferably with straps made from fabric or a natural material like hemp. Shoes with leather or vinyl straps don't typically look right when turned into espadrilles, but there can be some exceptions.

Find a roll of ribbon that matches or complements the color of the shoe straps. The width of the ribbon will determine how prominent the espadrille straps will appear. Generally, the ribbon should be between 1/4 inch wide and 1 inch wide.

Cut two 3/4 lengths of ribbon. The ends should be cut at an angle to prevent fraying.

Thread a needle with thread that matches the color of the ribbon.

Fold a piece of ribbon in half and position the ribbon at the very center of the heel strap. It should be positioned vertically against the exterior side of the horizontal heel strap.

Use a backstitch to tack the ribbon (at the fold) to the center of the heel strap. It should be stitched on the exterior of the strap to avoid irritation to the heel. Stitching back and forth across the ribbon is sufficient to hold it in place. Knot the thread once complete.

Use a piece of adhesive moleskin (found in the foot care section of the drugstore) to cover the stitches on the inner side of the heel strap. This will prevent irritation from the stitches.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the moleskin does not adhere to the heel strap well, it can be tacked in place with a single stitch on either end of the moleskin.

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