Flip Flop Towel Holder

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Trace pattern onto board

This fun project is the perfect way to try out those new Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint spring color mixes! Using scrap wood, paint and some hooks, you can create this Flip Flop Towel Holder in just a few hours.


STEP 1 – TEMPLATE

I first created a template by tracing around one of my flip flops and modifying it to the size I wanted. I traced the template shape onto some scrap ½" plywood board. 

Flip Flop PDF Download

(To make it easier if you decide to make one, use the PDF template provided here for download, which includes marks for where to place the flip flop strap. Proceed to Step 2.)

Cut out 6 flip flops - 3 left, 3 right

STEP 2CUT PATTERN

To cut out the flip flops, you could use a scrollsaw or bandsaw. My dad lives close by, so I visited him in his workshop, where he cut mine for me on his bandsaw following my traced lines. Be sure to use the best side of the wood to get 3 “lefts” and 3 “rights.” 

Smooth edges on a sander

He used the belt sander to smooth out the edges and tops.  

2 coats of white, then tape for fun patterns

STEP 3 – PAINT

Since I was using raw wood, I gave all the flip flops 2 coats of Clean Canvas to give me a … clean canvas. Then I used painter’s tape to mask off some lines to help me create the patterns on the sandals. 

Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint spring color mixes are perfect for these!

This was the fun part. I had already mixed up my paint in small containers so I could seal them up when finished. I used a tablespoon for measuring each “part” and still had plenty of paint left over after this project to make something else later.

To see the easy-peasy recipes for the 7 spring colors I used for this project, go to this story. 

I painted the 6 flip flops with a different pattern on each one for a super colorful look. 


Cute, huh?

STEP 4 – BACKBOARD

Spacing out the flip flops across a board, I determined that I needed something about 25-27ʺ wide. I wanted the backboard to have a weathered, beachy look, so I used Pioneer Wood Patina over some scrap 3/4ʺ pine boards 5-1/2ʺ wide to achieve this. This product is really cool – you mix up the powder concentrate with water, brush it on, and then set your wood in the sun for several days to age it into a warm, rustic barn wood look. It even rained a few days on the boards but that just enhances the aged appearance. After about a week, I was ready to put all the pieces of my project together. 

You could also use real barn wood, some pieces of old trim, or even a cool piece of driftwood as a backer.  

Pioneer Wood Patina can make new boards look old and weathered. 
DAY 2 after application of Pioneer Wood       

DAY 4 after application of Pioneer Wood       

Arrange flip flops on backer board

STEP 5 – ASSEMBLY

I brought my project in to the office, and Kent Harpool from Product Development assisted with the assembly.

For the decoration between the “toes,” I upcycled some beach-themed shower hooks by removing the hook on the back. You could use actual seashells, painted medallions or starfish cut out on a bandsaw.  

First I spaced out the “feet” into pairs and matched up a seashell with each one to check for placement on the board. I put the far left and far right flip flops in position so the ends of the board were not showing and I eye-balled the rest.  We attached them to the board using some two-part epoxy, plus we added a screw through the back side of each one for extra stability. 

Glue seashells onto screw head with epoxy

Next, we needed to attach a shell to each foot. I marked a spot on each one that looked about where the “toe thong” would be on a real flip flop. We drilled a screw into each one using a HIGHPOINT 7/8ʺ drawer front adjusting screw with a large flat head on it, in order for the shell to have something to sit on. We left the screw “high,” about 3/8ʺ so the straps could go underneath. Then we glued a seashell on top of each screw using the two-part epoxy. 

Straps and seashells complete the flip flop look

STEP 6 – STRAPS

For the straps, I placed two marks on each flip flop for the left and right sides and drilled each one down about 1/8ʺ. Match the drill bit to the size of rope or cord you are using. My measurements showed that 5ʺ would be the ideal length for each strap to go into each hole and up around the screw where the seashell was held. 

I marked 5ʺ increments on some 1/4ʺ cotton craft rope, then taped over the mark so when cut, the ends would not fray. When I had six 5ʺ pieces cut, I saturated each end with Titebond Instant Bond thin glue. After that was dry, I removed the tape, and the rope ends all stayed intact.

Using some Titebond Instant Bond thick glue this time, I put a small amount into one hole at a time and held one end of the rope in for a few seconds until it was set. I ran the cord up around the seashell screw, then back down into the other hole in the same way. 

Mark a spot for each strap

Drill holes for the cord

Cut cord to length

Glue straps in place

STEP 7 – HANGERS

I found a pack of six hangers at Walmart, but they were black, which I thought was too dark for this project. So I painted over them and the heads of the included screws with two coats of Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint in Clean Canvas. Then I lightly sanded the edges of the hangers to give them a more worn look.

We screwed the hangers onto the flip flops, placing one near the bottom of each. 

Hangers painted white then sanded for a worn look
Attach a hanger at the bottom of each

All assembled and ready to hang!

Attach hardware for hanging

STEP 8 – HANG IT UP

To hang the completed towel holder onto the wall, we used StripLox hardware.  You could also use a French cleat, keyhole hanger or some D-rings and heavy-duty wire. With the StripLox Pro 23 and the Mark-out Template, installation was super easy and quick. The sliding-lock system holds an amazing amount of weight and is reusable. Watch for this new product at Woodcraft soon! 

Who's ready for a pool party? Stop by your local Woodcraft store to get all the supplies and advice you need for your next project! 

We hope you'll be inspired!

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