Learn to make your own pair of Handmade Leather Sandals in this One-Day Workshop led by Stace Fulwiler Wood
In this workshop, you will craft your own leather sandals using high quality materials and traditional craft techniques. Their versatile simplicity will provide years of wear and they will become more beautiful with age, forming to your feet and acquiring a rich patina. Your leather sandals will be made with leather soles, leather heels, and leather uppers – no rubber or plastic is used in the construction of these sandals. Wearing your leather sandals allows your feet to conduct energy from the Earth, ‘grounding’ with every step. The focus of this workshop is to make yourself a pair of sandals that you wear, care for, and return to year after year. Both men and women are welcome to join, and no previous experience is necessary.
Leather sandals have been worn for centuries, and for good reason: they are durable, breathable, comfortable, repairable and grow more beautiful with wear and age. Sandal Making shops once dotted coastal towns throughout California, though this craft has become rare as shoe production has moved away from artisan methods & materials. Stace has been working to revive this craft by teaching sandal making workshops, showing others how they can make their own shoes in one day.
You will start by choosing from a handful of simple, versatile sandal designs. You will learn how to modify the design to fit your unique feet, taking into consideration your bone structure and arch height. You will learn how to shape the leather soles to your arch, attach a stacked leather heel, and use leather-working tools to cut your insoles and straps.
Stace will bring a selection of neutral leather colors (browns, black, tan, caramel) as well as more colorful pieces to accent your sandals. Mixing and matching is encouraged! You will learn how to strategically place your sandal straps to create the most comfortable sandal for your unique foot, and how to select the correct weight of leather for your specific sandal design.
You will learn how to use shoe glue to securely attach your straps, insoles and soles, resulting in a sturdy pair of sandals that you can wear for years to come. Once your sandals are assembled, you will use the sander in the woodshop to refine the edges of your sandals (alternatively, Stace can finish them for you if you are uncomfortable using a power too) and…. Voilà! You’ve made your first pair of leather sandals. You will be able to walk out of the workshop wearing your new shoes.
In addition to your handmade sandals, you will also take home an outline of the sandal making process, including a list of local resources for shoemaking if you want to replicate the process at home. Stace will also provide instructions for ‘care and feeding’ of your sandals.
Note: This workshop requires you to kneel, bend, and use arm & hand strength. You will be asked for your sandal size & width upon checkout so Stace can cut your sandal soles ahead of time.
What to bring: Bring a water bottle and snacks to keep you going. It’s best to wear sandals, since we will be getting barefoot during the fitting process. We will be bending, kneeling, and crouching during the making process so wear clothing that is comfortable to work in. This class takes place outside, so bring extra sun protection if you prefer.
What we will make: Leather sandals made with round-toe leather soles, a 3/8” stacked leather heel, and leather uppers. There will be approximately 6 sandal designs to choose from.