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


$225 for member
$250 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, under the tutelage of Madelyn, 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. They are designed to feel barefoot when you wear them. 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. So much of the disease we experience is due to lack of connection, by slowing down, using our hands and making an everyday item from start to finish, we create a relationship to the item that is priceless. Leave feeling empowered, connected, curious and creative!

Together, in this workshop we will:

  • Work with leather and rubber to create a pair of sandals based on Madelyn’s designs
  • Use hand tools and power tools to make sandals from start to finish
  • Have a healthy and abundant lunch made with organic and local produce (1 to 2 PM)

Spend the day making sandals with Madelyn!

Materials: High quality vibram rubber soles and American tanned leather

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 serves to connect people back to the land, to beauty and to their own innate creative capacity.