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Adjustable/Universal Fit Yoga Mat Carrier Sling Strap Tutorial

I’m such a wild and crazy person that I’m publishing my fourth tutorial on how to make something I sell in my Etsy shop! As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve received a couple snide remarks in the past about how a real professional wouldn’t “give away” knowledge, but I think that’s a bunch of nonsense. I think if someone wants to make something, they’re going to give it a try with or without my help! In that spirit, today’s tutorial is how to make an adjustable yoga mat carrier slip strap. That’s a lot of words, but I think it’s the most accurate description! Unlike a fitted carrier strap that I also make, this strap is totally adjustable, giving it a more universal fit.

Adjustable Yoga Mat Sling Tutorial

You can use a wide variety of fabrics, but very lightweight quilting cottons won’t work unless your yoga mat is very light. I use medium/heavy cotton prints because they’re fun, but if you use canvas or duck, your mat sling can double as a yoga strap to help you with those poses that make your legs seem too long. 😉

If your chosen fabric is less than 36″ wide, you’ll need to get a full yard, but if it’s wider than that, you can just get half a yard. I prefer finished straps that are about 6′ long, so I like to use 45″ fabrics, cut two 45″ long pieces, and then trim them down a little. When I’ve tried to make straps with two yard-long pieces, they’ve ended up a little short for my taste. It’s up to you, though – if you want a shorter strap that’s easier to use across your back, go for it!

Materials for making your own yoga mat carrier sling

  • Fabric – see above. =)
  • Sharp scissors
  • Iron/ironing board
  • A fabric cutting board
  • Straight pins
  • Matching or contrasting thread – whatever you like with your fabric!
  • Sewing machine – you could sew this by hand, but it would take you a little while and be a sort of boring project

You could do this project without a fabric cutting board (one of those large, folding cardboard ones, not a little self-healing mat), but it is more time consuming. They’re available at most craft stores, but I got this one on Amazon because everything costs a lot in Hawaii! That isn’t really true, but it feels like it sometimes.

supplies for making your own yoga mat strap

How to make an adjustable yoga mat strap

1. Wash and dry your fabric after purchasing it. Then, right before you’re ready to make your sling, iron the entire piece.

2. Lay your fabric out on your cutting mat, lining it up along the side and top or bottom.

cutting mat and fabric

3. While being careful not to let the fabric slip, use the marked grid to cut a 6″ strip the full length of the fabric.

cut a 6 inch strip

4. Realign the fabric, if needed, and cut a second 6″ strip along the fabric’s length.

two strips of fabric

5. Lay the two strips on top of one another, right sides together. If you have a directional pattern, make sure it’s oriented so that both sides will match after they’re stitched together! Pin the two strips together along one short edge.

short edge pinned

6. Stitch the pinned short edge. Use whatever seam allowance you’re comfortable with, but I personally only use 1/4″ – 3/8″.

short edge stitched

7. Press the stitched seam open.

seam pressed open

8. This is the time to trim your strap to make it shorter, if desired. Throw it over your shoulder and see what you like, but keep in mind that the finished length will be at least 8″ shorter than how long it is now. I usually only take about 2 or 3 inches off each end. Make sure to take the same amount of each side if you want the finished strap to look even!

9. Once your strap is trimmed down, press 1/4″ – 1/2″ up on each end. I stitch close to the edge, so I turn up a smaller amount. If you feel more comfortable stitching further away from the edge, turn up more. Make sure the edge is turned “in” on the wrong side, as shown!

press ends under

10. Now it’s time for a lot of ironing! Working in sections (unless you haven’t the world’s longest ironing board), fold the fabric in half hotdog style (length-ways), wrong sides together, and iron to make a nice crease right down the middle of the entire length of fabric.

fold and iron the entire strap

11. Unfold the strip and place it wrong side up on the ironing board. Time for more ironing! Fold each side to the center line and press. Do this the entire length for both sides.

pressed in half

press the sides to meet the middle

12. Once again, fold the strap along the center line, encasing the raw edges. Iron again, if needed. I usually have to fiddle wit the turned under needs a little bit to make sure everything lines up, but rarely have to re-iron the center crease.

fold in half to form a narrow strip

13. Stitch all the way around the entire strap. All four sides. Keep your seam allowance narrow and even – I usually just line the fabric up with the outside of the presser foot.

stitch the whole thing

14. Now it’s time to make the loops! You can just sew the loops and then wrangle the strap through them to form the sling, but I find it’s easiest to just fold the fabric over itself and have at it. Lay the fabric strip out and then loop it around so that a short end sticks out from under the main portion of the strap. Just look below. =)

cross the strip over itself

14. Fold the tab up over the strap. You’ll need the tab to come up past the strap by at least an inch. Once you’re satisfied, pin, as needed.

fold up

15. Stitch the tab in place. Make sure you don’t accidentally sew through the other portion of the strap, though! It needs to move freely. I don’t have an exact order I make the stitches in each time, but I always sew all four edges and a reinforcing X. What you do is up to you and how heavy your yoga mat is, but I do recommend making it look like this:

stitch

16. Repeat steps 14-16 with the other side. You may want to lay the strap out and make sure sew the second loop so that it faces the same was as the first loop. Not that it really matters, I guess, but I think it’s nicer.

make the second loop

17. Use and enjoy!

DIY Adjustable Yoga Mat Strap

Even if you’re not into yoga, this would be a thoughtful homemade gift idea for someone who is. Plus, don’t forget that lot’s of people who don’t do yoga do take a “yoga mat” to other fitness classes! We always use one at my favorite ab class, and my husband uses ours with the TRX. It seems like there are a lot of steps, but it’s actually a very easy project. For me, the trickiest part is not burning myself while ironing! Our iron is apparently stuck on “full steam ahead,” no matter what I set it to.

Do you use a yoga mat for yoga? Or for something else?

natashal

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{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Edi November 6, 2014, 09:50

    You’re right that yoga mats are great for many workout activities.
    I think it’s great that you share your tutorials. Like you said, someone who is going to make one themselves is going to find a way to do it. But those of us who can’t (sewing challenged here!) will still buy it from you 🙂

    • Natashalh November 6, 2014, 11:45

      I don’t understand why people get so worked up about people sharing knowledge, but I know more than a handful of folks who do. I could read the manual for your laster engraver all day long, but it wouldn’t make me rush out to buy one just because I wanted an engraved cutting board! I’m extremely thankful for people who’ve taught me along the way, and I hope to continue sharing what I know for a long time. =)

  • Paige @ Little Nostalgia November 7, 2014, 04:42

    Thanks for the tip about that cutting mat! I really need a new one (making a lot of things the same size has caused some pretty deep slice marks and I don’t want to go through it) and that’s an amazing deal. 🙂

    I agree with you and Edi: if people really want to make it, they’ll try whether or not you give them instructions. And I feel like there will always be enough people who don’t feel like giving it a shot, anyway, even if you share the information. Like, I never want to make soap. I know it’s not that hard, but I just have zero interest.

    • Paige @ Little Nostalgia November 7, 2014, 04:45

      Wait, I’m a goober. Now that I’m actually reading the listing, I see that the cutting mat is cardboard. Haha. That won’t work with my rotary tool!

      • Natashalh November 7, 2014, 07:08

        Ahahaha. Yep, it’s cardboard. I had a rotary tool, but I wasn’t very good at using it. I actually use the exact mat I linked to and it suits me fine, but I think it is best for cutting things out with scissors! I bet cutting things the same size with a rotary does do some pretty serious damage. That’s what happens to my Silhouette Cameo mats.

  • Lana November 9, 2014, 01:49

    I love to saw occasionally. You may not know that I taught fashion school and college class on fashion design 🙂 In elementary school my students saw quilts and dolls, so sawing is a second nature for me, but lately it is not enough time to even make a simple stitch 🙂 I always admire your detailed instruction… thank you for sharing!

    • Natashalh November 9, 2014, 08:09

      That is really cool! Some of my friends in college took clothing and costume design courses, but I never did. I just got out my freezer paper, ruler, and scissors and started making things on my own. Sometimes I feel like my tutorials have too much detail, but then I get annoyed when I see tutorials that don’t have enough information and I keep on taking lots of photos.

  • Duni November 10, 2014, 04:57

    Wonderful! I need one of these to hold my yoga mat. I do actually use it for yoga, and sometimes Sammy uses it to sleep on 🙂

  • Kim Schaaf December 14, 2014, 09:10

    Hi Natasha!
    Thank you so much for the tutorial. Like you I think sharing is okay and I’m always happy to show someone how to make something…not sure my teaching skills are up to par though! haha. Love the tutorial, appreciate the detail a lot. Even though I have sewn almost my whole life I still appreciate it when directions include all the details, I can always skip the parts I don’t need but figuring out the parts I need can be challenging!

    Anyway I am trying to make all my Christmas gifts this year and this one is perfect for a friend of mine! Thank you so much for sharing! I will check out your Etsy site too because there are many things that I COULD make but don’t want to….and that is where buying comes in handy!

    Thanks again!

    • Natashalh December 15, 2014, 06:26

      There’s nothing worse than figuring out confusing patterns! I’ve had commercial patterns that I swear skipped a whole step in the instructions!

      I hope you have fun making gifts this year! I’m probably making slightly fewer gifts than other years (as in: not every single person on my list is getting handmade from me), but still making plenty.

  • Catherine October 11, 2015, 05:26

    Thanks! I wanted to make my own and found these directions. They were awesome! Thank you so much!

    • Natashalh October 11, 2015, 14:18

      Great! So glad you found my tutorial helpful and thank you for letting me know.

  • Amhar November 8, 2015, 15:31

    Thank-you for sharing your pattern. I am new to yoga and wanted a yoga sling that would match my style. I searched for free patterns and several came up. I looked at them all, but yours caught my eye, great directions and nice pictures. Easy to understand. Be Well. Amhar

    • Natashalh November 9, 2015, 06:25

      Thank you! I’m so glad my pattern helped and appreciate you taking the time to let me know. =)

  • Debbie December 9, 2015, 17:55

    I have a quick question – you refer to using 45 inch wide fabric. When cutting the 6 inch strips, don’t you mean to cut them along the width of the fabric, which would be the 45 inch side? This is the only thing that makes sense, as you mentioned that you need only half of a yard in length and that would only be 18 inches. Thanks!

    • Natashalh December 9, 2015, 20:55

      Yes, that’s it, exactly. Cut the fabric so the narrow, 6″ ends are along the selvedge. In other words, as you said, cut along the 45″ width of the fabric. I’ll try to think of a way to make that more clear in the tutorial when it’s not so late at night for me! Thank you and I hope you enjoy. =)

  • Brooke April 18, 2016, 11:39

    Hey, I was wondering why you say to wash the fabric first before you make it.
    Thanks!

    • Natashalh April 18, 2016, 11:45

      You should always wash fabric before any sewing project for a couple reasons. Most importantly, washing can cause a bit of shrinkage or maybe even the dye to bleed a little. It’s better to go ahead and have your fabric shrink “now” before you begin sewing so you don’t wash the finished product later and find it smaller than expected! Also, there are frequently residual chemicals on fabric from the manufacturing process and you want to go ahead and get those off. I hope that’s helpful!

  • Cristin May 21, 2016, 12:23

    Thanks so much for the tutorial! I just made it for my yoga mat and it turned out awesome.

    • Natashalh May 21, 2016, 14:57

      That’s fantastic! I’m so glad and thank you for letting me know =)

  • Becky July 24, 2016, 13:10

    Hey there any tricks for looping the second loop? I’ve tried it a couple of ways and it keeps either twisting or the tab is on the opposite side!

    • Natashalh July 24, 2016, 15:15

      The biggest thing is making sure it’s all sewn “correctly.” If you look at step #16, try to match your project to that picture. =) I hope that helps!

  • Meghan Sommers November 17, 2016, 07:39

    Thanks so much for sharing! Do you think it will work with high quality quilting cotton?

    • Natashalh November 17, 2016, 08:44

      I have made this with quilting cotton, yes. =) It if’s a lighter weight, I recommend adding some lightweight fusible interfacing inside – even a single strip can really help out! However, if it’s a lighter mat and a better quilting cotton, then you shouldn’t have any problems.

  • Gretchen February 17, 2017, 08:49

    Just made this last night. Super easy and works great!

    • Natashalh February 17, 2017, 09:03

      Awesome! So glad you like it and thank you for letting me know. =)

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