Make Your Own Smartphone Gloves

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Introduction: Make Your Own Smartphone Gloves

About: I'm an engineering graduate and I also like to knit, sew, draw, paint, bake and just generally create!

I love wearing my warm woolly gloves when I'm outside in the cold British winter, the natural fibres keep my fingers warm and toasty.

What I don't love, is the need to take off my gloves to use the capacitive touchscreen on my smartphone (if you're wondering if your touchscreen is capacitive, if it doesn't work when you have gloves on, it probably is!)

My boyfriend knows that I've been struggling with this issue for ages so he bought me touchscreen gloves for Christmas, but for some unknown reason they stopped working after a couple of months.

So I was left with a dilemma, do I buy new touchscreen gloves that might stop working eventually anyway? or do I make one of my pairs of non-touchscreen gloves smarter?

This instructable is the result of picking the second option, enjoy!

Step 1: Things You'll Need

  • 1 glove (I think knitted, woollen gloves are easiest to work with)
  • approx 500mm of conductive thread (I bought mine from here)
  • a needle (I used a no.7 leather needle as it had a large enough eye for the thread, and it seemed to go through the knitting holes quite easily))
  • fabric scissors (other scissors will work but may not cut the thread as cleanly

Step 2: How Do You Touch Your Screen?

  • consider which digit (thumb or finger) you use to tap your screen
  • make a note of where on the glove it contacts the screen, this area is where you will sew with the conductive thread

Step 3: Identify the Area You Want to Sew

  • make sure you've identified the correct side of the digit that you want to sew, it's not going to be very useful to have a conductive patch on the back of your thumb/finger
  • also, pay close attention to the area where you will sew, if you put your thread in the wrong area, touchscreen use can be a bit uncomfortable as you'll find yourself stretching and straining (more time now equals less pain later)

Step 4: Thread the Needle

  • it helps to wet the tip of the thread to get it through the eye of the needle
  • double up the thread thickness of your stitches (you've not done any stitches yet but you will be soon) by pulling half the length through the needle and then holding the two ends together

Step 5: Begin Sewing From the Inside

  • I pushed the eye of the needle through the glove whilst making sure it didn't go all the way through to the other side by putting a finger into the thumb space and guiding the needle
  • I then located the eye of the needle by turning the thumb inside out whilst holding the needle partway inside and outside of the glove
  • I then pulled all of the thread through to the inside of the glove so that I could start sewing

Step 6: Make the First Stitch

  • do the first stitch as a "running stitch"
  • before going back through the glove with the needle for this first stitch I pull the thread so that only 3 inches of thread remain inside the glove
  • I keep a finger inside the thumb space whilst sewing to guide the needle and prevent accidentally stitching the thumb space closed

Step 7: Create Your Shape

  • create the outline of your shape using "back stitches" (I find that this looks better and creates more contact between the thread and your thumb/finger)
  • I made a heart shape, you don't have to copy that, make whatever shape you want, but remember simpler will probably look better and it needs to be able to be filled in
  • fill in your shape (your choice of running stitch or back stitch, do whatever you think looks best)
  • alternatively a busy pattern (with lots of closely spaced back stitches) will also work

Step 8: Finish Your Shape and Bring the Thread Back Inside

  • bringing the needle and thread back through to the inside of the glove is a little bit tricky
  • push the needle partway through the glove and guide it with the finger that should still be in the thumb space for guiding the needle
  • then hold the needle in place and turn the thumb inside out
  • it should now be easy to pull the needle and remaining thread all the way through to the inside of the glove
  • go slow and don't panic if it starts to tangle (the thread can be a bit 'fluffy' which makes it marginally prone to tangling), simply have a look at whats happened and untangle it (turn the thumb back through if you need to)

Step 9: Secure Both Ends of the Thread and Trim

  • bring the thread on your needle close to the start end of the thread so that both ends can be tied together
  • if need be, secure the thread on the needle to the inside of the glove by sewing into the back of the stitches you made earlier (but be careful not to go through to the front of the glove or you might ruin your shape/pattern)
  • when the two ends are reasonably close tie them together with a double knot
  • trim the ends to 5mm length

Step 10: Enjoy Using Your Smartphone Without Cold Hands

  • turn the thumb back through to the right way out
  • you can now try out your very own smartphone gloves and enjoy having warm hands!

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    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.

    2 Tips

    @gandhart surely aluminium foil would be uncomfortable, would be far less durable, wouldn't be in actual contact with your finger (this is necessary for the disruption of the electrostatic field of a capacitive touchscreen), and would probably scratch your screen over time. In my opinion that doesn't seem like a better idea.

    Another better and easy idea is to wrap the finger in aluminium foil. No need of stitching and easy to replace...

    1 Questions

    Every pair of touchscreen gloves that I have seen use a different colored conductive pad- that eventually dissipates heat faster than the rest of the glove. What if anything do you do differently to prevent heat loss while maintaining conductivity?

    0

    Hi Akira, I was wearing my gloves today (in 6C temperatures) and, as I have only sewn into the right thumb so far, I can give you an anecdotal report that I did not experience any noticeable heat difference between my left hand and my right hand. Perhaps this is because instead of replacing all of the material in that area with a conductive patch (which is often the case with touchscreen gloves), I sewed into the existing material, thus enabling it to continue to serve it's function (as wool tends to do so well).

    I did consider adding a small pocket on the inside of the glove to retain a hand warmer, however, I decided that for my first instructable I would keep it simple.

    Thanks for your question :)

    1 more answer

    Something I would suggest is to sew an extra bit of insulation on the inside where the patch is. I did that for my leathe work gloves.

    19 Comments

    I don't know if y'all consider me wrong in this too, being an american, but aren't gloves either rubber or plastic? That right there is a mitten.

    5 replies

    I'm quite certain the difference between a glove and a mitten is the finger openings (individual openings as opposed to one large opening), not the material.

    Okay, good to know. I have some wool "gloves" that I always thought were mittens. Thanks for letting me know!

    It's a glove here in the USA, too. we but them by the multiples! Mittens don't have separate finger spaces.

    temp_1921230390.jpg

    *buy.
    Not enough coffee this morning!

    Nice idea and beautiful realisation.

    I will try that ASAP, surely with an ugly result but hopefully functional.

    Vielen Dank, merci beaucoup, thanks

    Free delivery on orders over £5.

    Great idea. Thanks.

    That is such a good idea! Didn't know you could buy conductive thread. That's pure genius :D

    1 reply

    Thank you, I didn't know either until I embarked on this little project, I'm glad I've been able to share that discovery with so many people.

    Awesome - i hate having to remove gloves to check messages and such while out biking... so will be modding my biking gloves like this ASAP :-D

    Wonderful

    Wonderful! Thanks for this Instructable. Now I need to get my thread and get busy.

    Very nice for these cold months we have been having!