It’s that time of year!  With the ringing in of 2016 we have met a new doll and collection from American Girl, Lea Clark.  Change is fun.

One thing I noticed right off were several of her strappy shoes, one pair with her meet outfit and one pair with her shorts outfit.

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They are a fun style and I wanted to craft my own version.

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Do you know what is cool?  Mine are made from a pair of doll sandals I already had.  I have a thing for up-cycled doll shoe projects, like this one and this one.  Come and see this transformation and make your own strappy sandals inspired by Lea Clark, the new GOTY!

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I am using the Springfield Collection Strappy Sandals for the base of this new sandal for Lea Clark.  It is a great shape, easy to find at JoAnn’s or online and they are a great price.  The sandals are regularly priced at $5.99 but today on their website you can get a pair for $1.99.  Wow, amazing price huh?  Another option for a great deal is to use a 40% off coupon at JoAnn’s.

There are also a couple other options to adapt this craft if you don’t have these specific sandals.  You can adapt the idea to up-cycle any pair of doll sandals.  Or start from scratch and make your own sandal base with craft foam soles and strips of vinyl for the strap segments.

Let’s get started!

First, let’s take a close up look at the original sandal.  We will be removing some of the straps and adding braided cording.

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First remove the strap at the top of the sandal.

Cut off the dark pink strap in the center.

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These are the basic straps we will be modifying and trimming.

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Cut the strap in the front, down the middle.

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Trim a 1/4″ or so off of each side.

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Use a small hole punch (not the regular size) on each side.

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Cut each loop off the back straps.  Here is the cut loops and uncut loops side-by-side for comparison.

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Place a dab of glue at the base of the inside of the strap.  Fold down the strap, placing the end in the glue.  Hold it until the glue sets up.  Glue down both straps on each shoe.

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We are making our own braided cording for the sandal straps.  Use 3 pieces of embroidery thread.

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Tape them down together and braid the pieces.

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Thread the braid through the two holes on the front of the sandal.

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Cross the braid on the top of the foot and thread each side through the loop on either side.

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Tie together the braid ends close to one of the loops.  It is important to tie the braid while the sandal is on the doll’s foot, so you get a good fit.   Cut off the extra length of braid.

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When you take the shoe off you can re-adjust the braid so the knot is in the loop.  Place a dab of glue in the loop to hold the knot inside the loop.

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These strappy little sandals are finished!

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The colorful thread adds a fun look to the sandals.

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You can see with the side view how the braided strap follows the shape of the doll’s foot.

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It was fun to fashion these sandals into a whole new look!

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I love how these sandals are also a little sporty.  They would be great with shorts or pants.

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These strappy sandals are a fun summer look and great for the outdoorsy type!

Just in case you are interested, here is more about this post.

  • Doll– Kit is a Beforever doll from American Girl.
  • Outfit– Shirt pattern is here.  Skirt tutorial is here.
  • Scene– Chair is a thrift store find.  Chair cushion tutorial is here.  Bamboo background is a thrift store find.

I hope you will enjoy the crafting and play inspired by Lea!