I chose this post because it seriously was such a pain in the butt, when I thought sticking rhinestones to flip flops would be a no-brainer. I almost threw my flip flops out the window. Almost.
So, I decided to tackle the flip-flop bedazzling, and let me tell you, what I thought would be my easiest DIY project to date ended up being the most time-consuming and annoying! I encountered a lot of trial and error along the way, but ultimately figured it out. So here was my bedazzling journey”¦
I bought some supplies at Jo-Jo-AnnJo-Ann Fabrics: 6 bags of flat-bottomed rhinestones in 3 different sizes, and a glue gun. And here’s everything I thought I would need”¦
flip-flops, a cup of water and a Q-Tip/toothpick, rhinestones, glue gun (also grab some tweezers)
In my salon days when people wanted rhinestones in their manicures, I’d dip a toothpick into water and touch it to the top of a rhinestone. It was an easy way to pick up the little ones and place them where you wanted them, so that’s where the water and toothpick come in to play.
I grabbed a plate and started arranging the rhinestones in a willy-nilly pattern I liked”¦
And I got started. The little trick with the toothpick? Yeah, about that”¦ apparently these rhinestones were just a bit too heavy for that so I ended up having to pick them all up one by one with tweezers. I put a little drop of glue on the bottom of each and started sticking them to the straps. I got about an inch down one strap and then this happened”¦
The whole thing started peeling off in a sheet of sparkly sadness. Hmmmm. I tried super glue next, and it was even worse than the hot glue gun because the rhinestones just slid right off the strap. I wasn’t sure what to do from here so I Googled “how to glue rhinestones to flip-flops”. And wouldn’t you know it, there are tons of websites giving instructions on how to do it best. Most of them suggested using some sort of glue that I of course didn’t have. Then I read this on one website and it all made sense”¦
“PLEASE NOTE: Not all flip-flops are created equal! Cheap flip-flops from China often “leak” oil out of all plastic parts, especially the “elastic rubber” straps. NO glue will hold stones to this type of plastic, for as soon as you remove the oil and glue stones on, more oil will end up on the surface, floating the stones off”¦ this oil can make the glue gummy and, in general, a mess. DO not waste time with cheap flip-flops! Just a little helpful hint from Phil”¦ it ain’t the glue, it is the flip-flop material you are fighting!”
Alrighty then. So what could I glue the rhinestones to and then attach to the straps? Non-stretchy white fabric would work! And me being one for immediate gratification and wanting to get these finished, I sacrificed my extra dust ruffle because it was the only thing I could think of that matched the fabric description. RIP dust ruffle, you gave your life for a good cause.
I cut 2 squares of fabric and laid them over the flip-flops to trace the pattern of the straps.
Yeah, it wasn’t the most professional looking, but I figured I could manipulate the fabric as I was sewing it on so that it fit. I started gluing rhinestones on the fabric”¦
And checked the width a few times along the way to make sure it would fit when I sewed it on the shoe”¦
Then I realized I am a moron and there was a MUCH EASIER way to do all this. (insert sound of me smacking myself in the forehead) Sew the fabric on first! Then I wouldn’t have to worry about the width being correct or any black marker showing. So I cut a square and then cut it down the middle so it would be easy to wrap around the inside.
I pulled it tight and sewed through the top and bottom so it wrapped around the sides”¦
I had sewn up one side and down the other”¦
And once it was all sewn, I cut off the extra fabric, and they looked like this”¦
Then I started gluing away. I used more of the medium-sized rhinestones this time around and used the little ones as filler”¦
I was getting really tired of gluing at this point but just kept chugging away”¦
And FINALLY, a shoe was finished!! Yeah, that’s sheer exhaustion in my eyes”¦
Oh shoe, you have no idea how much I love you and hate you at the same time”¦
The finished product”¦
I’m very happy with the finished look, I just seriously wish I knew then what I know now! I could have saved so much time if I had just sewn the fabric from the beginning, but all the frustration truly made this a labour of love (and a little bit of hate).
Did you have trouble with a project that you thought would be super easy peasy? Did it turn out the way you hoped it would in the end?