Home-Based Business: Making Beaded Flip-Flops (Slippers)

Put some style into regular rubber flip-flops with just a few household tools and embellishments of your choice. Wearing tsinelas (slippers) as a fashion statement began just a few years ago, but thanks to its extreme comfort and versatility, this trend is here to stay. Beltra shares that, “Nowadays, women treat flip-flops like dressed-up sandals, this is one of the best products to sell.”

Start-up capital is P50 (per pair (child-sized). Time to finish: “This depends on the skill of the maker,” advises Jaja Beltra of Colors and Me, a home-based business which not only offers beaded flip-flops, but also sells beading accessories and tools. “Expect to be slow at first — about an hour per pair. But with practice, you can finish a pair in 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the complexity of the design,” says Beltra.

Materials Needed (available at hardware and fabric stores)

  • Long nose pliers, P35 – P120
  • Fishing line (30mm thick), P40 for a big roll
  • Heavy duty glue gun, P200 – P300
  • Small glue stick, P3 – P5 per piece
  • Scissors
  • Needles
  • 1 pair of plain rubber slippers or flip-flops, P25 at wholesale price, available at department stores or Divisoria
  • 1 to 1.5 yards of satin or organza ribbons, P4 – P8 per yard
  • Various accessories (i.e. beads, pearls, sequins) P0.05 to P10 per piece

Getting Started

  1. Check the flip-flops to make sure there is no damage or defect, and the surface is clean and dry.
  2. To provide a strong base on which to secure the accessories, you’ll need to wrap the thong with a ribbon. Using the glue gun, attach one end of the ribbon to the base of the thong.
  3. Keep wrapping the ribbon around the thong, continuously using the glue gun as you go to secure placement. Make sure the ribbon lies flat on the thong, especially on the top middle part where the toes are inserted. Finish on the upper part of the flip-flop, so as not to make the wearer uncomfortable with the bump the glue may form.
  4. It’s best to plan how you want the accessories to be placed on the thong. Once you’ve decided, cut about half a yard of the fishing line and thread it through the needle. Sew on the accessories, stitching from the top middle part going downwards, and making sure that the knotted part is on the top of he thong.
  5. Survey your work to check that both sides have a balanced design. Then, tie a strong but clean knot on the end for durability.

Tips:

When starting out, don’t buy too much of the same accessory. You don’t want to invest all your profit in one item when you only really need a small amount.

Keep a good supply of sturdy needles. The rubber thong material on which you’ll sew the bead is quite hard and thick.

How Much Will You Make

Beltra spends about P47.25 to create a pair of child-sized flip-flops, and sells them for P65 – P75 to dealers, and P90 to P100 for outright sales. With these figures, Beltra already recoups her P1,000 starting capital after selling about 20 pairs of flip-flops.

source: Katrina Tan, www.entrepreneur.com.ph

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