DIY Gladiator Sandals

diy gladiator sandals for under $25
I have been dying to get a pair of brown gladiator sandals. Ever since I was young I have loved lace up shoes. I used to wear my converse with the laces tied up around my legs like a ballerina in middle school. Recently, I bought this pair of sandals from Target and a light bulb went off in my mind. I realized they would be the perfect bases for gladiator sandals. So off to Joann’s Fabrics I went. I found some leather string that was a bit lighter than the shoes but matched the width of the straps on my Target shoes. They turned out sort of ombre in the end and I think they look even better with the different colors. Store bought brands of these same type of shoes range from $90 to $1,400. Mine only costed me $22.50.

What you need:

  • Sandals (get these from Target)
  • Hot glue gun (optional)
  • 6 yards of leather string (I got mine from Joann’s)
  • Needle and thread

gladiator sandals

The first step is to cut your 6 yards of leather string in half to make 3 yards. Then you will cut those two 3 yard pieces in half again so that you are left with 4 equal strands. I first tried to glue the strands on but learned the glue did not hold for longer than a few minutes. So what I did was take 1 strand and wrap it twice around the strap on the sandal, like in the picture below, and hot glue it to stay in place while I sewed. Then I took a needle and thread and sewed the leather strap to itself. I did not sew it to the base sandal strap so that I could move it around on the sandal. Repeat that step 4 times. Then all you do is tie them around your legs and make a bow, so that it will stay. To take them off your just untie them. You can wear them wrapped high to your knees or low towards your ankles.

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Breaking down the cost:

Sandals – $7.50 (Buy 1 get 1 50% off)
6 yards of leather string – $15 (with coupon & student discount)

Total cost = $22.50

As compared to Miu Miu sandals for $690, K. Jacques sandals for $265, and Valentino sandals for $1,495.

Would you wear the sandals I made?




  1. July 20, 2015 / 10:37 am

    Absolutely fabulous!! I’d LOVE to sport a pair! Thanks for the great tutorial! 🙂

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