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.
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.
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.
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.
If you are inspired to start making your own sandals, check out my