The popularity of ninjas makes them perfect subjects for costumes. But creating a realistic depiction means having the right equipment. The ninja's tabi shoes are light and flexible with a separate big toe that makes them ideal for balance, speed and agility. While they'll hardly be authentic, it's possible to make a fairly effective pair at home.
Things You'll Need
- Pair of black socks (slightly larger than the wearer's foot)
- Needle and black thread
- Pair of fabric insoles
- Pair of black flip-flops
- Utility knife
- Awl or nail
- Shoe repair glue
Making the Sock and Template
Flip one of the socks inside out and put it on the wearer. Trace the footprint on a piece of plain paper. Make a mark on the paper between the big and first toe. Feel between the toes, and poke a pencil through the sock at the point where the toes meet. Then draw a dashed line connecting that mark to its corresponding toes. Cut the footprint out to use as a template.
Sew the sock along the dotted lines of the template, making a V-shape on the fabric. Stitch it tightly enough to create a sturdy seam.
Cut out the fabric inside the V-shaped stitching between the toes using scissors. Leave about 1/4 of an inch between the stitching and the cut. Then flip the sock inside out again.
Repeat the entire process for the other sock.
Place one template on one of the insoles and trace it using the pencil. Cut the insole based on the outline.
Cut the thong off the flip-flop. Trace the template onto the flip-flop. Then cut the flip-flop with the utility knife along the template outline.
Poke the awl or nail through the flip-flop and insole together repeatedly at 1/2-inch intervals along the edge. Do this about 1/4-inch in from the edges.
Cover the top of the flip-flop in a film of shoe repair glue. Slide the insole into the sock, lining up the big toes. Stick the sock onto the flip flop. Sew the sock onto the flip-flop using the holes you punched earlier. Place a heavy book on top of the shoe and leave the shoe repair glue to dry overnight.
Repeat the entire process for the other shoe.
Tips & Warnings
- Use the thickest thread you can to keep the shoe together longer.
- If you cut a channel along the inside of the sole of the flip-flop, between the holes you gouged with your awl or nail, it will keep the thread from dragging on the ground, thus keeping the shoe together longer.
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