DIY Barefoot Sandals

Okay, this is one of my favorite little summer accessories for my beach baby: barefoot sandals!

As you may know, when babies are learning to walk, it is actually recommended that they do not wear thick-soled shoes.  If you cannot bend the show completely in half, it isn’t great to have on a newly walking/ learning to walk baby.  Most pediatricians and experts agree that just socks or barefoot (when in a safe environment) is best for little feet. Enter barefoot sandals!

They are cute and finish an outfit off nicely, but they still give your baby plenty of wiggle room.  My husband bought a pair for ten dollars, I looked at them and said we will never buy a pair again- they are just too easy to make!

All you need is some elastic, scissors, sewing machine/ hand sewing kit, and adornments.  You can use tulle bows or flowers, glue fake flowers onto them, or make little fabric bows and such- whatever you can think up.

Today I’m going to make fabric bows that will match Vi’s Fourth of July shirt.  What better way than go barefoot to the BBQ?

Take some elastic and make a figure 8 pattern around baby’s foot.


If you use a fabric measuring tape, subtract about a quarter of an inch from that measurement and cut.  If you use elastic simply snip where the two ends meet.

Use your cut elastic as a guide to cut a second piece (because we can’t have the baby running around with one sandal, right?)

Great, now take one piece and sew its two ends together, making a circle.  (Repeat with second piece of elastic)

I like to use the #15 stitch, with my brother sewing machine, with elastic ends

Take the elastic circle and twist it in half, forming the “8” pattern again.


Now give the overlap a few stitches to hold the 8 shape.


You have the basic piece of the barefoot sandal now.  All you need is to use whatever frills you want to make it adorable!

Since I’m using fabric bows, I will show you how to do that.  Take your fabric and cut two square pieces.  Mine are right about five-inch squares.


Now fold in half, so the backside of the fabric is showing. Sew two of the three open sides together.


Flip inside out so you can see the pattern.  Tuck the edges of the unsewn side together and sew that.  I used this as an opportunity to put two little stitch patterns down each side of the rectangle to give it a little rustic touch (salute to Mary Pickersgill).


So you should have a basic fabric rectangle (repeat the above steps with the other square piece)

Pinch the middle of the rectangle together.


Now put a stitch right down the center of that pinched center.


You can use matching fabric to your bows to use as the center; since this is for the Fourth, I wanted to use blue.  I took some spare tulle from Vi’s Fourth of July tutu I made (two pieces of two inch wide tulle per bow) and folded them in half.


I took the folded in half tulle and made the basic tutu knot around the center of each bow.


Push the knot tight, and secure with a simple stitch.


Beautiful!  Now you have your two bows for your barefoot sandals.  You could just use the spare tulle to tie around their feet and skip the figure 8 elastic steps altogether, Vi seems to prefer elastic over tulle around her feet, so I cut the excess tulle.

I like to give it a few stitches to the top of the center piece of the figure 8, but you could likely get away with hot glue (what I use for fake flower sandals) in a pinch.

My preferred way of sewing the bows on is to hand stitch right through the bow and elastic.  I was in a pinch, being alone with two feisty littles, who were running thin on patience, so I used my sewing machine.


And there you have it!  Inexpensive, personalized barefoot sandals for your baby.  Perfect to pair with your homemade tutu (directions here).


Have you seen a cuter firecracker?!

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