DIY / Make

Sandal Making Workshop Saturday, October 14, 10:00 am

Engage in the millennia old craft of sandal making and take home a pair made by your own hands!

Sandal Making Workshop
Photo: Leia
Event Type

Advanced workshop


6 hrs


14 years and up


$175 for member
$200 for non-members


The Ecology Center
32701 Alipaz Street
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Google Map


Please wear shoes and clothing suitable for being in the outdoors. We recommend you bring a garden hat, sunscreen and a reusable water bottle/canteen.

We will be taking pictures and possibly video to use on our website, social and other educational media, and by registering for this workshop you agree to our photo/video release policy.

Enjoy this hands-on workshop learning to make one of the oldest forms of clothing. The sandals you will be making, are inspired by the barefoot running shoes of the Tarahumara, a Native American people of northwestern Mexico who are renowned for their long-distance running ability. The more we can feel the more we can connect with our environment and enter into a conversation with the natural world. When we wear thick-soled shoes we cut ourselves off from this connection and end up being intruders of the landscape, instead of a part of it–which is our birthright. You will leave this workshop feeling empowered, connected, curious and creative!

This workshop will include:
  • Hand and power tools to craft the sandals
  • All materials needed (American tanned leather & rubber)
  • One-on-one guidance from Madelyn Sullivan
  • History on the inspiration behind the process of sandal making
  • A farm fresh lunch in the garden
Lunch in the garden will include:
  • Seasonal Farm Salad
  • Fall Quiche
  • Vegan Panini
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Herbal teas, coffee, water

Each participant will make and take home a pair of sandals.


Madelyn Sullivan

Instructor Bio

Madelyn is an artist and craftswoman who is a self-taught sandal maker.  She has been making and teaching her craft since 2009. Her designs are inspired by the Tarahumara natives of Copper Canyon Mexico where they make traditional running sandals.  She wanted a pair but couldn’t find anyone making something both functional and beautiful, so she decided to make her own. Over the years she has continued to refine her craft in pursuit of a sandal that is made from conscious, local materials that serve to connect people back to the land, to beauty and to their own innate creative capacity. Learn more about Madelyn here.