Arte Es Vida

Lady Bug Beaded Flipflops by arteesvida
December 17, 2006, 2:07 am
Filed under: Bead Embroidery, Beading, Fabric Arts

Ok, I admit to a wee bit of the Imelda in me. I love me some shoes. Growing up with super wide feet before wide sized shoes were readily and cheaply available, my parents could only afford to buy me one ridiculously expensive pair that I would have to wear until I grew out of them. To this day, I am completely traumatized by black and white saddle shoes!

Now that wide sizes are available everywhere I can indulge in inexpensive shoes to my hearts content. I especially love flip-flops in the summer. But this poses another problem. Flip flops are not made to last, and I manage to wear them out even more quickly than the average person. The constant trips to the pool and the perpetual paint splatters probably don’t help any!

I love the look of funky beaded flip flops, but 15 to 20 dollars a pop adds up when you wear them through several pair a season. ! Then I found some plain black flip-flops at my local dollar store (that’s the 99 Cents Only store chain if you live in the Houston area) with sturdy cloth bands that just begged to be beaded!

The neat thing about this project is you can go as simple or as wild as you want! I beaded these with red and black seed beads with some simple ladybug buttons in the middle. I wanted something unique but not utterly outrageous (I’ll make that pair next!). The design is a perfect foil for my white summer jeans!


Nylon beading thread

Beading needle

Seed beads or delica beads in the color of your choice (I used red and black)

Buttons or other sew-able embellishments (I used ladybug buttons)

Scissors for cutting thread

All of these supplies can be found in the craft section of your local Wal-Mart. Beading needles will be with the beading supplies, not the sewing needles. The eye of the needle is no thicker than the rest of the needle so they can pass through even small beads. Seed beads work fine for this project although they are not all uniformly made, so even with a beading needle so of them will not be able to pass over the eye of the needle. Delicas are uniform and easier to use for needle weaving projects but are substationally more expensive and will have to be purchased at a specialty store or web site.

Cut a length of beading thread and double knot the end. You can add a dab of jewelry grade adhesive to the knot for extra security if you wish. Run the needle and thread through the flip flop at one end from back to front. To create the same look around the edges of the flip flop (as in the above picture), add four beads of one color to your thread and whipstitch the thread through the sandal one more time from back to front. Since your needle and thread are already running through to the front of the sandal, this will loop the thread with the beads around the edge of the sandal.

Repeat this stitch alternating colors of beads. You can bead over the whole sandal or just do the edges like I did.

In the middle of each flip-flop, I sewed on a ladybug button instead of beading the whole strap.

These sandals have been hugely popular among my friends and family ever since I finished them…my mom has been volunteering me to make them for everyone she knows! If you whip up a pair I would love to see a scan of your design!

Added 6/28/04:

My daughter and her best friend wanted some matching beaded flip flops…this is one of the pairs I did for them. Please excuse the stray bits of beading thread that got caught in the scan! Girls Flipflops

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