DIY Doll Sandals

A few weeks ago I bought Hazel some sandals for her 18-inch dolls. A couple of weeks ago we went to a birthday party at the American Doll Store and now we are going back next week to celebrate my birthday with my mother-in-law. Hazel has been getting into dressing her dolls a bit more, so we decided to try to make our own sandals. The owner of the store where I bought the sandals told me his sister-in-law made them after looking up how to on-line, so I began looking. There are many different tutorials out there. Here is what we did. 

Somewhat following the tutorials I saw on line and playing around, I made three pairs (somewhat successfully) of sandals in different styles. I also had one disaster, but learned a lot from it. To get a pattern it is best to trace the dolls feet. Our dolls are not American Girl dolls, but here is the pattern I came up with. (Click on picture for the pdf form of it.)
I found it helpful to label the top of the feet not to mix them up or make reversed cuts. I wrote the name of the doll whose feet I traced. I happened to use Hazel's Hazel doll. Now you cut this pattern out of craft foam. I wanted to find thicker craft foam, but had trouble. I did however find some thick foam white ghosts and black spiders at A.C. Moore. I bought two of each. If you do not have the thicker foam, you can use more thinner layers (I would use a total of five or six after my experiences). With the thicker foam you will have three layers--one of the thicker foam and two regular craft foam thickness (a top and bottom). I mostly used sparkly foam for the top layer, but it does not matter. After cutting the foam, you glue the top to the thick layer or if not using thick layer, glue the top and two or three of the middle layers. If using only thin layers you want a few layers on top before gluing the ribbons to the bottom (or the ribbons can rip the top layer and yes, I had it happen). Then all the sandals or at least most I saw have some form of stretchy ankle ring to make sure the shoe is not lost if it falls off. You can add beads to it or not. A thin piece of ribbon holds the ankle ring onto the shoe. You glue this ribbon--both ends with the loop strung onto it-- onto the bottom of your glued layers. Next you measure the ribbon for the top part of the shoe and glue it on. I also remeasure after I have glued it on to make sure it will fit correctly.

Depending on the style you are doing, you may want to adjust this step. To do what I call the crisscross sandals, you first glue a ribbon folded in half and linked onto the ankle ring the length of the shoe and then put the crosses through it.

Or if you are using a wider ribbon and want to shape it or shape any ribbon more bow like, you can tie the ribbon with the ankle ring and use beads if you want.

My tutorial pictures are however for the simpler form of just having a ribbon going across the top. Hazel and I each made more pairs for the tutorial which are drying now. 

After the ribbon layer is glued on and attached if it is going to be to the ankle ring, I put a piece of tape over the glued areas just to hold it until it dries. Next glue on the bottom layer and clamp it with clothespins. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight for the glue to dry. If you want to hide your layers you can glue a ribbon of equal or less width around the edge of the shoes. You need to pin or hold until the glue sticks. You can buy special foam glue. I did not and used my regular Aleene's Original Tacky Glue. I will share our other two pairs after they are dry and finished. If you have questions about my tutorial, let me know.

Her dolls seem happy with the new sandals and playing my models. 

If you are looking for more doll clothes and craft ideas check out: