“Repurposing Plastic Bags Into Homemade Flip Flops”

“Repurposing Plastic Bags Into Homemade Flip Flops”

Repurposing Plastic Bags Into Homemade Flip Flops

Introduction

As I look around my home, I see plastic bags everywhere – reusable shopping bags, produce bags, ziplock bags, and of course the common plastic grocery bags. While these bags serve an important purpose, their ubiquity means that many end up in landfills and contribute to plastic pollution. I started thinking about creative ways to repurpose these bags rather than throw them away. That’s when I came up with the idea of turning plastic bags into homemade flip flops!

In this article, I’ll walk through the full process of repurposing plastic bags into DIY flip flops. I’ll cover gathering supplies, prepping the bags, cutting the soles, assembling the sandals, and decorating them. With just a few materials and some simple steps, you can give plastic bags a second life while making a fun, functional pair of flip flops.

Gathering Supplies

The great thing about this project is that it requires supplies you likely already have at home. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Plastic bags – Grocery bags, shopping bags, ziplocks – any type of plastic bag will work. You’ll want to gather at least 2-3 bags per flip flop. Opt for thicker bags rather than flimsy produce bags.

  • Scissors – For cutting the plastic bags into pieces.

  • Ruler – To measure out the sole pieces.

  • Hole punch – For making holes to thread the strap through. A single hole punch or one built into scissors works.

  • Twine, ribbon, or cord – For the flip flop straps. About 24 inches per strap.

  • Decorative materials (optional) – Things like permanent markers, duct tape, fabric scraps, etc. For jazzing up your flip flops.

That’s it for supplies! Now let’s get into prepping the materials.

Prepping the Plastic Bags

Before cutting the sole pieces, you’ll want to prep the plastic bags:

  • Clean any dirt/residues – Give the bags a wipe down to remove any food particles, dirt, etc.

  • Flatten the bags – To make cutting easier, press out any air and flatten the bags.

  • Layer the bags – Stack 2-3 flattened bags directly on top of each other. This will create thicker, stiffer soles.

  • Smooth out the layers – Once stacked, run your hands over the layers to smooth out any wrinkles or air pockets.

The layered bags will act as the sole material. More layers makes a more durable sole. I recommend at least 2-3 layers per flip flop.

Cutting the Soles

Once your materials are prepped, it’s time to cut the sole pieces. Here’s how:

  • Measure and mark – On the flattened plastic bags, measure and mark the size you want your soles to be. A good size is around 8-10 inches long and 3-4 inches wide.

  • Cut around template – Use scissors to cut carefully around the marked template, cutting through all the layered bags at once.

  • Round the edges – Once cut out, round the edges and corners to create smooth soles.

Repeat these steps to cut a second sole piece for the other sandal. Set the sole pieces aside for now.

Assembling the Straps

With the soles cut, you can now assemble the flip flop straps:

  • Cut cord/ribbon – Measure and cut two 24-inch pieces of twine, ribbon, or other material for the straps.

  • Punch holes in sole – Use a hole punch to make holes near the edges of each sole piece. Space holes about 1 inch apart.

  • Thread cord through holes – Take one end of the cord and thread it from bottom to top through each hole in the sole.

  • Tie ends of cord – When you reach the last hole, tie the ends of the cord together with a tight knot or bow.

  • Trim excess cord – Trim off any excess cord so the knot lies flat against the sole.

Follow these same steps for the other sole to assemble both straps.

Decorating the Flip Flops

Now for the fun part – decorating your DIY flip flops! There are endless possibilities here. Some ideas:

  • Permanent markers – Draw designs, patterns, words, etc. Marker will adhere well to the plastic.

  • Duct tape – Cut colorful duct tape into strips and adhere to the straps.

  • Fabric scraps – Glue on pieces of fabric, lace, ribbons, etc. for a textured look.

  • Glitter glue – Add some sparkle by decorating with glitter glue.

  • Paint – Acrylic craft paint can give the soles a pop of color.

Let your creativity run wild when decorating – the possibilities are endless!

Putting Your Flip Flops to Use

Once assembled and decorated, put your homemade flip flops to good use! Here are some ways to enjoy them:

  • Wear as beach or pool shoes – They’ll come in handy on the sand or around the water.

  • Use for quick trips outdoors – Don your flip flops when stepping outside to grab the mail, walk the dog, etc.

  • Give as DIY gifts – These make great handmade gifts for friends and family!

  • Display as fun art pieces – Hang your decorated flip flops up as colorful wall art.

No matter how you use them, you’ll feel good knowing these flip flops kept plastic bags out of landfills.

Final Thoughts

Turning plastic bags into homemade flip flops is an easy, eco-friendly DIY project. With just scissors, plastic bags, cord, and creativity, you can make a functional pair of sandals while repurposing materials destined for the trash. Plus, decorating the flip flops allows for creative self-expression. The next time you’re tempted to throw away those leftover plastic bags, remember this project and give them new life! I hope you’ll gather some supplies and try making your own repurposed plastic bag flip flops.