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How to Make Ankara Slippers – 8 Easy DIY Tips

Africans are a gifted lot. Besides the many natural resources we have, there is but a fabric in our midst that remains versatile and multipurpose. This fabric has been used to make clothes of all designs to suit man’s insatiable taste for fashion. And as the mind wanders in growth, many other functions of the Ankara fabric emerge every day. One of such is how to make Ankara slippers, earrings, bags and other accessories.

Everybody loves to wear the latest Ankara styles. Prior to the 2010s, it was strictly a native attire. Now the fabric has gained worldwide acceptance such that it is crafted creatively to produce different types of clothing and fashion accessories. Before proceeding to top up your DIY skills, let’s check out why you should learn how to make Ankara slippers in the first place.

Why Learn How to Make Ankara Slippers

new ankara palms on a lady's feet

Learning how to make Ankara slippers doesn’t just give you an opportunity to improve your style. It affords you ample room to have another source of income as you’ll be monetising the craft by selling the footwear you make to other fashion enthusiasts.

So do you have some old slippers you want to give a facelift? Or do you want to don some standout footwear that’ll help you make fashion statements? Read on to see how you can rebrand your feet by learning how to make Ankara slippers.

Materials Needed to Make Ankara Slippers

new anakara sandals

If you want to change the look of your old slippers rather than make one from the scratch, you need the following materials:

  • A pair of slippers
  • Ankara fabric
  • Scissors
  • Hairdryer (optional)
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Fabric glue

However, if you’re making them from scratch, you need the following materials:

  • Ankara
  • Kari board
  • Sole
  • Mako
  • Scissors
  • Shoe linen
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Fabric glue
  • Thread and needle
  • Marker, pencil or pen
  • Hairdryer (optional)

How to Make Ankara Slippers From Scratch

new ankara slippers

1. Trace Out Your Shoe Sole Size on Your Kari Board

Place any of your old shoes on your Kari board and carefully use your pencil or marker to trace out your sole size.

2. Cut Out the Marked Outline

Take off the slippers or shoe from the kari board. Then use a scissors to cut out the marked outline on the kari board. Do this carefully.

3. Cut Out the Mako and Sole to Your Size

Use the cut kari board sample to measure and as well cut your mako and sole to your exact shoe size. Afterwards, use your alcohol wipes to clean the surface of each so as to get rid of any rough particles on them and make them smooth.

4. Apply Fabric Glue

Apply your fabric glue generously to the surface of your mako and kari board. Join both together while ensuring that the edges are correctly married together. If you can’t wait for it to air-dry, make use of your hairdryer to make it dry faster.

5. Attach to Shoe Linen

After glueing your mako and kari board together and letting them dry, place them on a piece of shoe linen. Then use your marker or pen to trace out a foot size larger than the cut out sample. Cut out the linen and glue it together with your mako and kari board. Allow them air-dry or use your hairdryer to speed up the process again.

6. Cut Out Your Ankara Fabric

Lay your fabric on a surface, preferably a table, then measure and cut out 10cm length and 6cm breadth. Fold into two and run a seam on it. If there’s no sewing machine nearby, you can make use of needle and thread.

7. Attach to Your Slippers

To form the upper part of your slippers, fold the fabric into a triangular shape, then wrap it around the top of the parts you already glued together.

8. Attach Your Sole

Afterwards, generously apply glue to the sole you cut out in step three. Attach the sole to the parts you’ve already glued together and let it dry. Repeat step one to seven for your other foot so your pair of slippers is ready to be worn.

How to Make Ankara Slippers Using Your Old Slippers

blue and pink ankara sandals

1. Choose a Particular Pair of Slippers to Use

Take out a pair of your old slippers and assess properly to understand how it looks before cutting your fabric.

2. Cut Your Fabric

After assessing the slippers, measure and cut your Ankara fabric making sure that the cut out pieces will suffice to cover both the outer and inner part that goes over your feet. To achieve this, the fabric has to be a bit bigger than the parts of the slippers you’ll be decorating.

3. Wipe Surfaces Clean

Use your alcohol wipes or anything that can pass for it to wipe the surfaces of the slippers you’ll be attaching fabric to. This is necessary so as to make sure your fabric sticks well to the footwear.

4. Apply Glue on Slippers

Apply glue lightly on the parts of the slippers you’ll be attaching your fabric. Before the glue gets dry, arrange your fabric on it and smoothen out any rough or wrinkled surfaces. If there’s any excess fabric, glue it under the sleeves (the part that goes over your feet). Make sure you correct anything that’ll mar the look of your footwear before the glue gets dry.

5. Repeat Process on the Other Foot

Repeat the process on the other foot while making sure to adjust irregularities to ensure the patterns are proportionate. Afterwards, use your hairdryer to make your slippers dry quickly or if not available, simply let them air-dry.

When making Ankara footwear, you’re allowed to exercise your creativity so you can birth lovely designs. You can as well add stones, beads or ribbons to them. And if there’s an extra piece of fabric left, cut them into bows or different shapes to further beautify your footwear.

The process of making Ankara slippers is simple and easy. However, to quicken your understanding, you can watch the video below and practise as you learn.

How to Rock Ankara Slippers

ankara slippers on red nail polished feet

After learning how to make Ankara slippers, your next line of action is to rock it. To do so isn’t a difficult task as the footwear can be paired with any casual outfit to make you look stylish. Not forgetting to add the necessary accessories like anklets, bracelets, earrings and sunglasses to garnish your look.

However, Ankara slippers can be selective of clothes because most of the time, they are usually multicoloured. Hence, to be on the safer side, pair your slippers with neutral coloured outfits such as black, white, grey, brown, beige, etc.

No matter the type of dress, skirts or trousers you wear, as the case may be, donning a pair of these slippers is a sure way to look Afro-urban in a casual way.

If you’d like to get beautiful Ankara slippers and sandals like the ones seen in this article, contact Mercy Soft.

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or creating fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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