Barefoot sandals is a fabulous way to decorate your feet for a day at the beach, a beach wedding, for walking around the house barefoot in summer, or hanging out by a pool. Barefoot sandals can also be worn in combination with pumps, or in addition to regular sandals.
Making barefoot sandals is a perfect summer project. Here is a pattern made with Turkish Flat Bead Crochet and C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord.
Materials and Tools
Turkish Flat Bead Crochet Kits -1 Full Kit + 1 additional Bead & Button Package. Each bead package has enough beads and 1 button for 1 barefoot sandal. In addition to the bead pack, the full kit includes a tapestry needle, a spool of C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord, and a quick printed reference of the Turkish Flat Bead Crochet.
Steel Crochet Hook - I like the Hamanaka 0-2 as one side is good for the Tex 400 cord and the other for the standard C-Lon Bead Cord, but any of the hooks recommended for C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord will do.
Thread Burner or Zapper - To finish the ends cleanly.
Fray Check - If you work with white or light colors and do not want a burn mark to show.
Turkish Flat Bead Crochet Bracelet Tutorial - Go to this earlier post for detailed crochet instructions.
Step by Step
1. Count all the beads in both bead packages and divide them equally. Beads are measured by volume and weight, not by exact amount of beads. Load half of the beads onto the cord. The other half will be for the second barefoot sandal.
In mine, the central section has 22 beads, the two side sections have 24 beads, and 1 bead is at the end of each chain, so that is a total of 72 beads. If you have less than 144 beads, then adjust the central or side section and make them with fewer beads.
2. Make a chain with chain stitch 9 cm (3.54 inch) long. I make my chain stitch taut, but pulling the loop closed after each chain stitch. I called this technique Closed Loop Chain.
3. Slide a bead down. Make a chain stitch right after the bead. It locks the bead in place. Insert the crochet hook back into the 2nd chain stitch prior to the bead and make a single crochet stitch. * Slide a bead. Make a chain stitch. Turn the work around. Insert the crochet hook right above the previous bead (not the one you just added) and do a single crochet stitch. * (Continue from * to *)
4. Make this section with 18-22 beads, approximately 7.5 cm to 9 cm (2.75 inch to 3.54 inch) long. Secure the cord end for the toe loop. Try it on to see if like the positioning before proceeding to the next step.
5. Start the next section. Make 2 chain stitches, slide a bead, and make 1 chain stitch.
6. Turn the work over, insert the crochet hook at the first chain stitch, and make a single crochet stitch.
7. Slide a bead and continue.
8. Make this section with 18-24 beads, approximately 7.5 cm to 9.5 cm (2.75 inch to 3.75 inch) long. Continue with the closed loop chain section for 12 cm (4.75 inch) long. Secure 1 bead at the end of the chain. Cut the cord off.
9. Make a new section repeating Steps 5 through 8. Now with the tapestry needle, stitch the separate section to the middle. Attach the button. Stitch the toe loop closed if you did not do it in step 4.
10. Secure the ends either with a thread burner or with Fray Check.
With the thread burner practice on a spare piece of cord, until you get it right. I cut my cord leaving a 3 mm (1/8th of an inch) tail and then I melt the end into a small bead and flatten it against the rest of the crochet. As it leaves a small burn mark I do it behind the button and behind at the toe loop.
For the end at the end of the closed loop chain, I prefer to use Fray Check, especially with light colored cord. With Fray Check, put a drop on the cord end and where the cord touches the other cords. Wait for it to dry. Cut the end and put another drop. Let it dry.
Over July 4th weekend I designed barefoot sandals out of existing bracelet kits. I wore this pair on July 4th at a pool party in Paradise, CA. I live down from Paradise in Chico, CA. The pictures below were taken after most guests had already left...
Design AlternativesThis design with the tie in the back of the foot will fit most feet. The first design I did which is below was not as adjustable, but it is a very pretty alternative if you are making these for yourself as you can easily fit them to your feet and toes.
Other option is to make hand decoration. Attach the toe loop on your middle finger instead and tie the cord around your wrist. Or use the design alternative shown below... and loop the bracelet over the button.
These were made as follows. First the toe loop, I made mine a bit short. It fit my toe, but will not fit someone with a larger toe... Then the first central section. I made mine with 24 beads. Then the second section goes all around the ankle and is finished by a loop that goes over the button.
Care for the Barefoot Sandals
The C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord as all bonded nylons is very durable. It can be washed with soap and water as needed. If it gets wet, it dries quickly. Occasional exposure to sea water and pools does not seem to be damaging, but rinsing after exposure is recommended. Colors will fade with long exposure in the sun, so if you are sunbathing, removing the barefoot sandals might be best.
I will test if an application of Thread Heaven is helpful as a UV protector, so keep posted... If you have any questions about this project, do not hesitate to leave a comment or contact me directly via my website. Have a great summer! - Marion