Make your own clogs

IMG_3141.JPG

I'm half Swedish, and I think a love of clogs must be embedded in my DNA. These may not be traditional style, but there's something about the click clack of wood on pavement that reminds me of home. Dad likes them because it means you always have a hammer on hand - so versatile.

I have been wanting a pair of Bryr clogs like crazy. The SF based company combines the most beautiful colors and patterns. With each pair running upwards of $200+ though, it's not in budget.

There are definitely less expensive pairs on Amazon or Poshmark - but what's the fun in that?

Before we get started, there's one more thing you need to know. I am NOT a professional. I have made all of ONE pair my entire life. The following instructions are what I've pieced together from the internet. It worked for me, so I hope it works for you!


MATERIALS

  • Leather or Leather scraps - Amazon and Etsy are your source for all things crafty. But your local leather store might have a scrap area that has what you need for free! A quick search got me to this Etsy listing: ETSY LINK. When selecting leather, keep in mind thickness, color, and making sure you have enough of your material to make the straps. A piece around 4"x8" should be enough for a simple strap like I've made. 
  • Wood Base - Traditional clog makers would make the base from scratch. Since we're working with limited tools, we're going to buy the base premade. There are two routes you can take. (1) A base blank: ETSY LINK or (2) a used pair! I found mine on Poshmark for $4. 
  • Upholstery nailsLINK
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Sand Paper - I used this Dremel because it's what I had on hand: LINK, but I also love using sanding sponges: LINK
  • Fabric scissors or Leather scissors
  • Felt or printer paper
  • Pencil or pen
  • Masking Tape
  • Leather glue (optional)

LET'S GET STARTED

Prepping the base

If like me, you purchased an old pair, it's probably going to need a little bit of prep. 

IMG_3082.JPG
IMG_3090.JPG

1. Using pliers, pull out the original nails and leather strap and set aside.

2. Using the dremel, sand paper, or sand paper sponge, begin to sand down the wood base. Give some extra attention to any chips or dents that need to be worked out. Be sure to follow the natural curves of the clogs to avoid sanding down any ergonomic character of the sole.

 One clog down, Just keep sanding!

One clog down, Just keep sanding!

3. If you plan to coat, stain, or weather protect the wood base of your clogs, now is the time. I opted to skip this step, but that doesn’t mean you have to!

4. The rubber soles of my clogs were pretty worn down. I was able to use a box cutter to make it flat but be careful with this! If the soles on your clog are in really bad shape, you may consider bringing them to a professional for some final repair touches.

 

IMG_3093.JPG
 

Designing Straps

QUICK NOTE: Traditional Swedish clogs are made from a single piece of leather that is molded to curve around the top of the foot and toes. This utilizes a process called “lasting” where leather is wet before being stretched over a wood form or “last.” The process of wetting leather allows the flat piece of leather to curve over the toes and arch and dry into its iconic structured shape.

Because it’s unlikely that you have a last on hand, I recommend making your clogs as strappy sandals. An open toe leather will be much more manageable  for our DIY method.

5. Regardless of your artistic ability, give yourself a quick sketch of the design you are looking to achieve. Testing out a few different patterns will help you figure out how much material you will need. I knew I wanted a wider strap than what was originally on the clogs. Without a large swatch of any one material, I opted for one medium and one small strap in two different leathers.

IMG_3365.jpg

6. Trace the strap previously removed from the clogs onto a piece of paper to create your template.

7. Adjust the template as needed to match your design.

8. Cut the template out of a piece of felt to test out your design. Tape the felt to the shoe to understand the shape and layout, and trim excess material as needed.

IMG_3374.jpeg

9. When you are happy with the design use your felt template to cut the leather strap.

 

 

 

 

IMG_3410.jpg

QUICK TIP: because I didn’t have the tools on hand, I opted not to “finish” the edges of my straps. So far, it hasn’t affected the durability of my shoes and I actually like the rough edges. If rough edges aren’t your style, head over to this great video for guidance on the process: LINK

You may also want to coat your leather straps with a leather protectant, bear in mind that this may alter the color of your leather.

 

Attaching The Straps

This next step is really going to test your flexibility. There will be ots of leaning over to hold the straps in place, adjust, and hammer into place.

While traditional clog makers use a form or “last” to ensure the correct placement and stretch, we will be using our feet.

10. Place your feet on the wood base making sure your toes are aligned.

IMG_3421.jpg

11. With your feet on the base, place your pre-cut leather straps over your feet and tape to the wood base. Make sure the straps are even and fall in the same spot on both feet.

12. Once taped, remove your foot from the clog and use your hammer to nail in one side of the strap. Work from front to back, making sure you pull tight and flat as you work. Slowly pull back the tape as you hammer so that tape does not get stuck between the nail and the leather. 

IMG_3440.jpg

13. Once one side is completely secure, place your foot back into the shoe and adjust the other side of the strap. Pull the strap snug and any trim any excess leather. Remove your foot again and hammer the strap into place again working from front to back. 

14. Repeat this process with the other shoe.

 

15. For additional comfort you may decide to add a heel cushion. Cut an oval, leather shape to cushion your step. Apply an even coating of leather glue to the underside of the leather cushion. Align the leather to heel of the wood sole and press to secure.

QUICK TIP: I attempted to reuse the nails from the clogs. I would not recommend this. I squashing or damaged enough nails that I only had a few left for each clog. For a shoe like mine, I probably should have used 16 nails per clog (8 each side – 6 on the tan strap and two on the silver) instead of 8 total which has allowed some of the corners of the leather to “peel up.”

IMG_3139.JPG
 

Enjoy!

Walk your new clogs around town and enjoy!

 Click Clack!

Click Clack!

Chelseamakes interview from FourLittleWalls

Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 9.00.18 AM.png

Four Little Walls is a UK based miniature maker and enthusiast. In January, blogger Kat interviewed Chelseamakes to learn about our current projects. Check out the interview below or head over to Four Little Walls to see the original interview.

 

FLW: What first drew you to working with miniatures?

CHELSEAMAKES: "As a kid I loved miniatures, my friend and I would spend hours decorating and redesigning her dollhouse room by room. In high school, however, it wasn’t cool to be interested in miniatures and so my interest fell quiet for a while.

By trade, I’m a Landscape Architect. In college we often had to make physical scale models of the designs we were working on. That was when I remembered how much I LOVED miniatures. That was also when I discovered Laser cutting- the obsession that would carry over into ChelseaMakes and the Simplekits.

After college I moved to California from New York for work with Nick. Like any big change, it was scary, and the adjustment was depressing. I knew I needed help adapting. I really wanted to find a hobby that would help me ground myself- meet people, learn something new. That was when I got the flyer for TamMakers, a creative group and maker-space in town. I took my first woodworking class there and was hooked. I still teach the Laser cutting class there.
With only a 500sf apartment, the Bay Area doesn’t lend itself to being a great place for furniture building. That’s when I decided I would continue furniture making in 12 scale!
I bought a Glowforge brand laser cutter, and ChelseaMakes really got started. "

 

FLW: What is inspiring your projects currently?

CHELSEAMAKES: "Simplekits are designed to be assembled by anyone, young or old. And what really inspires me is finding different ways to adapt the same principals of assembly. There’s no better guide than trial and error. "

 

FLW: If you had to choose just one of your pieces, what is your favorite item to create? 

CHELSEAMAKES: "I love making replicas of the furniture I actually have. One of the first minis I made was a replica of our Ikea Poang chair. That was my favorite for a long time. Right now my favorite item is the Moroccan pouf. My grandmother had two in her house and I absolutely loved them. If we had a bigger apartment I would have them everywhere. Since we don’t, I’ll just have settle for the 12scale version!"

 

Thanks Kat for the great interview and wonderful work you do to showcase makers from around the world!

 

Martin Goes to Japan

Martin visits "Japan"

I might be a little biased, but I'm pretty sure Martin is the cutest Hamster in the world. This weekend Nick was working, and whenever I have a little too much free time on my hands, you'll see Martin doing something extravagant. Inspired by our dinner (Sushi, of course) I decided Martin might like to take a trip to Japan. I laser cut some Shoji screens out of 1/8" plywood and pasted on a thin trace-paper backdrop. The chopsticks are sanded down tooth picks. His sushi? I saved him some rice from our dinner - it would have been super rude not to share!

MALLORY & GARRETT'S LONG ISLAND WEDDING

Mallory and I put together a sweet collection of wedding decor for her intimate 50 guest wedding in Jamesport, Long Island. Surrounded by vineyards and farmland, the Jamesport Manor Inn was the perfect Summer venue for Mallory and Garrett.

Mallory knew she wanted Lavender in the table settings, so we went to work building her rustic theme around pale purples, ivory, and natural additions of burlap and twine.

I painted watercolor lavender and eucalyptus leaves and modified them in photoshop for the table numbers, invitations, RSVP cards, and seat assignment charts. The table number holders were made from a reclaimed piece of interior molding. 

Taking cues from Mallory's favorite movie, The Princess Bride, we created an adorable laser cut cake topper, and welcome sign with quotes from the film.

Congratulations Mallory and Garrett! Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness!

 

STEPHANIE & SCOTT'S MAINE WEDDING

When my beyond beautiful Best friend Steph told me about the plans for her dreamy Summer wedding, I could not wait to get started on her decorations. She hadn't quite asked me yet (oops) but my being Pinterest obsessed and a compulsive crafter immediately had me brainstorming.

Steph and Scott met when we were all in college and planned the wedding to be held on the same family property that Scott's parents got married (Swoon). Wildflower meadows, a beautiful waterfront cove, tall evergreens, you couldn't have asked for a more perfect place for these two. The lobster shack across the street serving up fresh Maine lobster rolls and the creamiest lobster stew didn't hurt either :)

The thing about rustic weddings, is that they're simply begging to be DIY. The imperfections in the finished decorations are what make them all the more charming. Since we all graduated from an Environmental college, it seemed only fitting to make as much as we could from what was reclaimed or locally available.

All of the signs were built from reclaimed pallets. The text isn't quite straight, not exactly centered, and the lettering could use some work... BUT, I think that's what makes them so lovable. Don't be afraid to try something new. Worried about messing up? Print some example text and practice a few times. If you can believe it, I got a C, (a C!!!), in penmanship in grade school. 

The table numbers were all laser cut from scrap ply previously used to protect higher grade lumber. I scored it all from the trash bin! That said, the trash is a GREAT place to find decor for a rustic wedding. You'd be surprised how much good a coat of paint can do.

Scott's incredible mom Marcia clipped wildflowers and greenery from her own yard to add to their locally purchased florals. Due to the time constraints, I ended up being the one to decorate the arbor. For someone who is clueless on flower arranging, I think it came out pretty good. I just wish I had realized how wilted the more delicate flowers were going to get in that hot summer weather. Live and Learn!

Congratulations Steph and Scott! Thanks for letting me be a part of your big day.

 

Beautiful photos by:

http://www.alexabonseyphotography.com/

and

http://www.ianbarin.com/