Sandals With A Punched Design – Sandalmaking

sandals with a punched design
Here are some of the tools I used to make these sandals, a mallet, revolving punch, chisels, sewing awl, shape punch and edge burnisher

Every spring I make my children new sandals, so this year I decided to make sandals with a punched design. Before I start making them I look for inspiration on the Internet.

I love traditional leather decorating techniques from India or Africa so that is where I often look first.

For these sandals, I decided to punch the leather inspired by Gujarati leather craftspeople. They make wonderful bags, phone covers, stationary and lampshades out of leather using just a few simple punching tools.

sandals with a punched design

I only needed one shape punch tool and my revolving punch pliers to make this design. I first cut out a paper pattern and drew the design on it which I then transferred to the uppers.

Leather Dyes

I love the look of hand-dyed leather, therefore always buy natural veg tan leather. In my search for the perfect leather dye, I have tried quite a few different brands over the years.

My favourite dyes are still water-based dyes but the choice of colours is so small and I sometimes long for new ones.

So here I used alcohol-based Teinture Francaise. They have a few base colours that you can blend to make quite a lot of other colours.

Each box comes with a sheet that explains the blending ratios to get the different colours which I found helpful. The dyes worked fine, they are lightfast and shiny and I do like the green I got by blending the base colours blue and yellow.

Diamond Chisels

I also tried out a new leathercraft tool: diamond chisels. I usually punch my stitching holes with revolving punch pliers but wanted to try out something different.

So, I bought a set that came with 4 chisels. I used the 4 teeth for the straighter bits and the 2 teeth to get around the curves.

My chisels have 6mm spacing between each tooth. To me, the stitching line looks just perfect thanks to the very even diamond-shaped stitching holes.

I used scrap pieces of thick midsole leather underneath the soles when punching the holes. To make the pulling out a bit easier I applied some beeswax to the chisels.

sandals with a punched design

If you are inspired to start making your own sandals, check out my Sandalmaking eBook that explains all the tools, materials and steps involved in more detail.

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