Embellished Flip Flops Using Water Balloons

A perfect summer project for a rainy day. These flip flops come together in about 90 minutes for kids, 60 minutes for adults. The only requisite skill is the ability to tie a balloon. If people already have flip flops, the materials cost is about $1 per person.

Each pair of flip flops will require about 100 water balloons. Dollar Tree sold them in packs of 100 with a nice array of individual colors (buy a pack or two of each if you have a group working on these), and they also offered a multicolored pack for someone who wanted to do this project solo. If you are picky about colors, it might cost up to $5 to make this project, and you will have lots of leftover balloons for future forays into flip flop embellishment.

The directions are pretty simple: tie water balloons onto the straps of the flip flops until the straps are covered. If you can tie a balloon, you can make this project. It’s actually a little easier than tying balloons because you have more length to work with: you have the whole balloon instead of the tiny end that isn’t inflated.

A few tips:

1. Establish a pattern before you get started, and count out the balloons. You will want an odd number of colors. 3 or 5 work best. I used a paper plate to organize mine so that I didn’t have to pay attention to the pattern while I was working – all of the colors were in order, so I just had to take a look at the last balloon I’d tied. Another advantage to this method is that I could cover the paper with cling wrap if I had to take the project on the go.

2. Alternate the direction of the balloon tails. Start with a balloon tail facing up towards the toe of the shoe. The next balloon should be upside down, with the tail facing toward the heel. This keeps all of the “blower” ends from bunching up on the same side, which makes the balloons uneven and is really unattractive. Once the balloon is knotted, the sides will be flipped, so don’t let that throw you off.

Have fun playing with different color combinations!

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