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Shoes and Craft

A shoemaker's blog about shoemaking

Monthly Archives: October 2012


You asked about, where you can join to the Facebook community. Here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/128266510546383/

Why it is good? Because we can communicate, because more than 800 soulmate can help in resources and some encouraging words, and because I can comment your progress. For the hesitating ones: Facebook use ONLY those information, what YOU provide them.

And some update…

1. There are way more applications what I could handle in my free time. It is great! On the other hand it also means, that I can give less feedback – that is why I ask you to join to the community. I will ask some of my friends to help me in advising and giving feedbacks.

2. You also asked how much leather you should order. Well… usually you need to order a full hide. If you are in that lucky situation, that you can order less – than order enough for a pair. Twice, 4 times of your feet shape… and don’t worry, we will use the rest, soon.

3. I will keep on posting more advanced tutorials – those might be too much for a beginner, so just focus on the posts, which are tagged “online courses”. Some of my students saved and printed everything from the blog – even if I don’t plan to erase it, printing the course handouts might be a good idea.

4. First assignment comes in days, be prepared with some pencils and A/3 (approx. double letter size) papers!


First of all a little warmup – a flip flop. I know it sounds simple, but.. it can be artistic, sophisticated and comfortable, also a great present for the family and finally: people make living of it, so why not? Let’s make flip flops!

Before we would start let me suggest to buy a few stuff:

1. leather for upper. You need to get a thick upper leather, preferably a 2 – 3 mm thick  oil tanned leather. This will let us use it without stitches and reinforcements.

2.  get leather for insole – you can even use your upper leather here, if it is thick enough (2 – 3 mm).

3. midsole leather – I would suggest veg-tan, but not too thick. 3 mm s great. (you can calculate in oz too: 48 oz = 1 inch = 25.4 mm Good luck!)

4. outsole leather or a thinner EVA. 3-4 mm.

5. utility knife (a strong one – you need to cut those thick pieces as well)

6. Master Cement – buy a small box, 1 quart, this will be enough for several flip flops.

7. Sandpaper. Buy different grits: 40, 80, 150

8. and finally find an old flip flop, which fits you – that will be a big help for the sole shape. You can even make it – I will teach you how, in the next lesson.


Here is the idea: we make shoes together. I will make it here, you will make it home. Let’s see if it works or not.

What I am gonna do?

1. post every week – sometimes more often and guide you through every single steps.

2. tell what you need to order and from where. Don’t worry, you don’t need to buy anything expensive, leather, some basic tools.

3.  I will give you feedback – all you need to do, is only post your result. however it looks like on to our Facebook community.

What YOUneed to do?

1. Sign up! Right here, right now. You don’t need to pay anything for me, ever for this course, and I am not gonna try to sell you anything. Whatever you receive – you will receive free. Put a comment there, and you are in. You need to sign up from the beginning, there will be materials, only available for you, outsiders will not enjoy those options. You also have to be on Facebook and join to the Shoemakers’ Facebook community. (

2. Follow instruction. Don’t change anything on designs, methods, if I don’t encourage you. If you did – then don’t ask why it doesn’t work.

3. Keep working. It is not gonna be intense.

4. You all, together – be at least 10 and be active with communication! If the number of followers will be less than 10, I stop. Deal?

5. Don’t give up if something doesn’t work – it takes time.

Our first footwear will be a flip-flop. Perfectly good for beginners and hopefully will be ready soon. So?


It has been five years now, since I uploaded my old videos about the method I learned first for welted construction. Five years, which changed a lot in my life. It is not about the gorgeous statistics. Those videos generated some interest, but Justin Bieber can have more visitors in an hour, just puking up on the stage. On the other hand, they changed some people’s life, which is way more important than the number of hits.

But instead of meditation about the past, I do something for this anniversary, which hopefully please even more people, than those old videos – upload a new one, about a simple, cemented construction. Why it is more important? Because this is the first step to learn shoe making. The whole video was available on DVD, two hours solid shoemaking, just the point, no commentary, no distracting music, only making shoes. I stopped selling those DVD, so I cut the whole material again, and here is 24 minutes. It might be useful for some beginners out there.


I am hesitating to hold a shoemaking course in late November, early December in Savannah, GA. Would you leave a comment, if you are interested?