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Sharon Raymond
145 Baker Road
Shutesbury, MA 01072

Tel: 413.259.1748
Fax: 413.241.6119

sharon @ simpleshoemaking.com (please eliminate spaces when using email address)

Instructions for Making the Fisherman's Sandal


  • leather or other material (double-layer denim etc)

  • lining leather, optional

  • soling material - bicycle tires, rubber sheets of soling, anti-fatigue mat

  • 2 buckles

  • contact cement such as rubber cement preferable, or white glue if contact cement is not available (if using white glue, clamp the surfaces together while the glue dries)


  • scissors or knife for cutting leather

  • stitching machine, stitching awl, or two blunt stitching needles

  • hole punch

  • Xacto or other knife and metal ruler


  1. While he or she stands on a piece of paper, draw around the foot of the person the sandals are being made for, with a pencil held upright. Cut this sole tracing out. Next, alter the sole pattern found below until the foot drawing exactly fits within the inner sole outline. The other pattern pieces need to be altered by the same percentage as the sole. Cut out all patterns.

  2. Cut two heel sections and a strap for each sandal. Make sure you flip heel section over on your leather for the other side of sandal, and flip the strap pattern over when making the second sandal. Apply contact cement to the strap and to the heel section in the area where the strap will be attached; when the cement is dry, cement both pieces together.

  3. If you want to line the heel section, make a pattern for the lining by taping the strap pattern to the heel section pattern. Cut the lining out slightly larger than the pattern. Apply cement to heel section and lining; when it is dry, cement the layers together, and trim the lining to match the heel section.

  4. Punch seven holes in the back of each heel section, as shown on the pattern. Stitch the two heel sections of each sandal together using the x and a bar stitch, see directions on "felt flat" page. If you would like to hide the stitches, cement a strip of leather in place over them, then stitch around the sides and top of the strip. If you are sewing by hand, punch holes first, then use a running stitch to attach the strip, first stitching in one direction, then back in the other direction to create a solid line of stitching.

  5. Stitch around the edge of the lined heel section, and at top and botom of strap attachment area. If you are stitching by hand, use same running stitch as described in step 3.

  6. To attach the buckle on the outside of the heel section, punch four holes as shown on the heel section, then attach the buckle with thread, similar to sewing on a button.

  7. Cut out the four strips that form the front of the sandal. For the toe strip, make small holes, as shown at the ends of the six slits, with your punch, then cut the six slits in the toe strip with an Xacto knife held against a metal ruler. (The small holes aren't necessary but they make the cutting of the slits easier.) Fold the end of the strip at the fold line, cement it in place, then stitch to make a channel for the strap to pass through.

  8. Line the three strips if you like, and stitch the layers together. Then, weave them through the toe strip, making sure that the shortest side of each strip is nearest the toe, and that the shortest strip is nearest the toe.

  9. Cut out your leather topsole and the outer soling you are planning to use, then cement them together.

  10. Cement the ends of all three strips and the toe strip and their placement area along the sole, then cement them in place along the edge of the sole. Cement the heel section in place.

  11. Make holes all around the edge of the sandal, then stitch using a stitching awl or two blunt needles with waxed thread. When you are finished, the sandals are complete!

Click on image below for a full-size fisherman's sandal pattern.

Fisherman's Sandal Pattern

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Contents Copyright 2005 Sharon Raymond, All Rights Reserved