I’ll never forget my first pair of Tevas. It was the day before a week long river rafting trip down the legendary Salmon River – my first ever legitimate outdoor excursion – and I had knots in my stomach. Besides feeling the need to impress my husband (new boyfriend at the time) and not being sure of what I was getting myself into (I’m a city girl!), I quickly realized I came to Idaho completely unprepared without the proper gear. I needed a pair of river-appropriate sandals. Thankfully, Tevas were in abundance and in addition to sunscreen, those sandals were the only real essential needed. Our river adventure turned out to be one of the most memorable trips of my life so far and every time I spot a pair of Tevas, I’m reminded of it. Nearly a decade later, Teva came knocking at my door . . .

When I first learned that Teva was teaming up with Swarovski for a DIY collaboration, I thought that there couldn’t be a more divergent pairing of brands. But of course, that immediately piqued my interest and I couldn’t resist getting involved. Especially since I’m such a huge fan of both Teva and Swarovski. So for the past several months, we’ve worked together on creating a DIY kit inspired by my love of the great outdoors and my even greater love of fashion. I created a simple tribal pattern, using Swarovski’s easy to apply hot fix metallic transfers, that could easily be be taken apart, turned into various other shapes and thus, translated into numerous designs. It’s meant to be fun – and to allow your creativity to take you anywhere!! That’s what DIY is all about, isn’t it? Below is a design I came up with but really, anything is possible . . . hope you guys love it and are inspired to try it for yourself!

The kit includes:

  • a pair of Teva Original Universal or Flatform Universal
  • Swarovski hot fix metallic and crystal transfers
  • 8 Swarovski single stone crystals
  • Crystal Katana (crystal applicator)
  • E6000 glue
  • embroidery floss

You’ll need:

  • a flat iron
  • scissors
  • a toothpick
  • an embroidery needle (optional)

Start by cutting around the transfer film, close to the design. Peel the paper backing off the Swarovski crystal transfer.

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Place the film, sticky side down, onto the strap of the sandal. Set the flat iron on a medium-high setting. With the clear plastic film still adhered to the top of the crystals, sandwich the crystal transfer on the closed strap between the heated flat iron. Apply moderate pressure without moving the iron. Release the iron after approximately 10-20 seconds and repeat the process on other sections.

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Allow to cool for about 10 seconds, press the crystals firmly against the strap and slowly remove the plastic film. If any crystals stick to the film, press them back down and repeat the heat application. Another option is to remove the film completely and place the crystals on the strap individually and reheat with the iron. While the crystals and metallic pieces are still warm, you can use a toothpick to adjust or nudge them in place.

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To apply the fancy single set crystals, squeeze a dollop of E6000 onto a scrap piece of cardboard or paper. I like using those wooden ice cream spoons! Use a toothpick to scoop up a pin size amount of glue and place it on the backside of the crystal. Place the crystal on the strap and hold in place for about 2-3 minutes. Crystals applied with E6000 should be allowed to dry overnight. Test the crystals by budging them with your fingers. If they aren’t secure, you can peel them off with some force and reapply with more glue.

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If you choose to apply the tiny metallic studs to the sole, remove the studs and place them face up on a flat surface. Use a toothpick to dot glue onto the shoe. Then quickly pick up each stud with the Crystal Katana and place over the glue. Press, hold for 2 seconds and release the applicator. Because the studs have glue already attached to the bottom, you can also apply them onto the straps using the flat iron.

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There are so many ways you can play with the elements in the kit. We’ve included embroidery floss so that you can make tassels or personalize the Tevas by stitching a name, phrase or initials. Below is a design inspired by constellations using just the metallic studs, single set crystals and embroidery floss.

Here are the flatforms . . . in case you want to take your design to new heights!

The most important thing is to just have fun with it! Design a pair for you and get your friends in on it too. And in case you’re in LA this Wednesday on November 4th, stop by Nordstrom at The Grove for our special DIY event from 6-8pm. We can design a pair of Tevas together!

(DIY kits available at Nordstrom and at Teva.com; check out how the kit came together here)