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DIY Weightlifting Wrist Wraps Tutorial + Pattern

Welcome to my weightlifting wrist wraps pattern post! It’s one of my most popular tutorials because these wrist wraps are so easy to make and are incredibly helpful at the gym. With this tutorial, you can make fabric wrist wraps that are great for weightlifting, Olympic lifting, CrossFit, etc., and you can alter the pattern’s length to suit your personal needs if you have larger (or smaller!) wrists.

How to Make your Own Weightlifting Wrist Wraps

This tutorial has lots of photos and written instructions to help someone who at least knows how to use a sewing machine create a pair of wrist wraps. I’ve tried not to assume too much sewing terminology knowledge, but please let me know if you have questions. If the idea of sewing becomes overwhelming at some point, please stop by my Etsy store to see the wrist wraps I have for sale! Also, this method works best with mid-weight fabrics. Due to popular demand, I now also have a tutorial showing how to make heavy duty wrist wraps with fabrics like canvas and cotton duck!

How to Sew Heavy Duty Wrist Wraps

If you don’t have any experience sewing but want to learn, this is a great beginner project. One of my favorite resources for learning new skills is a site called Craftsy. They have professionally produced, HD video classes on a ridiculous variety of subjects. Their class Sew Confident: Essential Techniques for Beginners is an excellent choice if you want to learn how to sew but can’t take classes locally.

As a quick note on the fabric – I say to use 1 yard, but that’s really the maximum amount you’ll need. It depends on the design of your fabric and how you want them to look. If the design looks good vertical, or if there is no design,  you’ll only need about 1/2 a yard. If you buy one yard and only make one pair of warps, you will have fabric left over.

Materials needed for wrist wraps

  • 2 sheets of plain printer paper
  • A paper cutter
  • A ruler
  • A pen/pencil
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pins
  • 1 yard of pre-washed material. A mid to heavy-weight cotton works best. Don’t go with something lightweight like a quilting cotton because it won’t give you enough support!
  •  Thread
  • About 1 yard of paracord or twill tape (go for the “real” stuff, craft quality paracord is almost always too stiff or to slippery!)
  • A sewing machine (you could sew by hand, but it would take a little while!)

Wrist wraps tutorial

1. To make the pattern, cut three 11 x 3.5″ pieces from your printer paper. You could make four pieces from the two sheets, but you only need three.

cut the paper

2. Take one strip of paper and use your ruler to mark off 1.25″ from the left side and then 1.25″ from the right side (the second mark should be at the 2.25″ mark on the ruler) along the narrow edge, as shown.

making the point

3. Measure down each side 2″ and make a mark.

measure down 2 inches

4. Draw lines to connect the marks, as shown, to form a point.

pattern end markings

5. Cut along the two marked lines.

pattern end cut

6. Complete your pattern by taping two non-pointed 11″ strips of paper together and then tape your pointed strip into place on one end. It’s easiest to do this if you overlap the paper very slightly and then tape it in place on both sides. You’re finished with your pattern!

tape pattern

7. Before placing your pattern to cut the fabric, you should iron the fabric. I always iron fabric before cutting anything out because it makes the pieces more exact and the finished product better.

8. Fold your fabric so that the “right sides” face each other, place the pattern piece, and pin it in place. If your fabric has a distinct directional design, make sure your pattern is placed straight along the design instead of at a funny angle that will make the wraps look sideways.

layout pattern

9. Cut along your pattern through both fabric thicknesses.

10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 to create a the pieces for your second wrap.

11. Your fabric pieces should already be basically lined up and facing each other “wrong side out.” Make sure the ends are lined up as well as possible and then pin them in place.

pin pieces

12. Using a straight stitch, stitch all the way around each set of pieces, but make sure to leave the top point open, as shown. I like to stitch about 1/4″ away from the fabric’s edges. If you take in commercial seam allowances of 5/8″ using the pattern you just made, the wraps will be too narrow.

stitch

13. Clip the two bottom corners on each wrap to remove excess fabric. This allows the finished wraps to have crisper points without awkward lumps.

clip ends

14. Turn the wraps right side out by pulling the fabric out through the open point.

turn

15. Iron the turned wraps, making sure to turn under and press the unfinished edges along the open point.

press

16. Cut your tie material so you have two pieces that are each approximately 16-17″ long. If you’re using twill tape, you can simply knot one end of each tie to prevent the whole tie from fraying. I like to use paracord for my ties. I strip the inner white strands to use just the outer sheet and melt each end with a lighter to prevent unraveling.

17. Insert a tie end through the open hole and pin it in place so that it’s running down the point’s middle and ends just below the “shoulders” of the wrap. Repeat for the second wrap.

insert tie

18. Carefully stitch straight across from shoulder to shoulder, stitching the tie’s end in place in the process, on each wrap.

stitch tie

19. Starting at the point end, stitch all the way down the middle of each wrap.

stitch down the middle

20. Measure 18″ up from the flat end of each wrap and mark it on both sides with a pin.

mark

21. Straight stitch from one pin, down along the flat edge, and up to the other pin. Stitch no more than 1/4″ away from the edge and try to keep the spacing as consistent as possible. Repeat on the other wrap.

topstitch

22. Change your machine to a zigzag stitch and use this stitch to top stitch where you haven’t straight stitched. In other words, the zigzag should go up and around the point, then back down the other side to meet the straight stitching. Overlap the zigzag with the straight stitch slightly, but about 1/2″ or so. Repeat on the second wrap.

zigzag

23. Iron your wraps one last time and you’re ready to go!

green wrist wraps finishedThese wraps are very easy to wear – just wrap one around your wrist, then wrap the tie around your wrist, tuck the tie underneath itself, and twist slightly to tighten or loosen.

wearing wrist wraps

If sewing isn’t really your thing or you’re pressed for time, you can always stop by my Etsy store where I sell a variety of wrist wraps. =)

pink leaf wrist wraps

This pattern works best with mid-weight fabrics. If you want to make a more supportive pair of wrist wraps out of canvas or cotton duck, please stop by my tutorial for heavy duty wrist wraps!

I hope you enjoy lifting heavy with your new wrist wraps!

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{ 47 comments… add one }
  • Sarah ~ Magnolia Surprise March 27, 2014, 14:24

    Nice tutorial for the challenge! I really like your fabrics — very pretty! If you’re going to lift weights, you may as well look good doing it!

    • Natashalh March 27, 2014, 14:32

      I’m actually not a bit weights fan, so I enjoy making sure I’m at least wearing something I like! Of course, I don’t like running, either…I guess I’m just picky!

  • Edi March 28, 2014, 01:49

    These look like they could make cute headbands too! Great take on the challenge this month.

    • Natashalh March 28, 2014, 11:00

      You’re right – they could! I haven’t thought to make headbands, but it could be a great addition.

  • Paige @ Little Nostalgia March 28, 2014, 02:30

    So, these are really cute, but I want to talk about that rude person leaving that comment on your Hubpage. I agree 100% that if somebody really wants to find a tutorial to make something, they will. So why not be helpful and keep them coming back? I don’t get it. I never did a jewelry tutorial on my own blog, but I did them for other people as guest posts and it didn’t hurt my shops one bit. Honestly, none of the stuff we make is a secret so I wish people would stop treating it like one.

    • Natashalh March 28, 2014, 11:00

      I’m glad you have the same attitude as I do! I have other tutorials for things I sell and people have purchased them, even after the tutorials were available.

  • LeAnn Frobom March 30, 2014, 02:56

    Great tutorial. I love Marie Forleo’s line, “Everything is figure out-able”! My TeamMate, who will be starting high school in the Fall (Yikes!! How did she fast forward from 4th grade to high school so quickly?!!) will be taking a weight lifting class. In fact, I’m hoping we can schedule some of our visits during that period in the Fall, because it wouldn’t conflict with my day job, and she wouldn’t be missing of her “academics.” We’ll see how that goes. She’s an avid little (taller than I am) sewist, so she might want to whip up some wrist straps for herself.

    • Natashalh March 30, 2014, 10:46

      Ahaha – I’m so glad my “little” sister is actually shorter than me! She sounds like the kind of person who might both enjoy making the wraps and get some good use out of them. Speaking of growing up quickly, that same little sister turns 21 this week. Time really does fly!

  • Judy Nolan April 7, 2014, 13:52

    Natasha, your tutorial is very easy to follow, and your own results are fantastic! I don’t think it’s unprofessional at all to share a free tutorial–rather, it’s a sign of confidence. I read on a sewing blog where a poll was conducted of about 1,200 readers that the number one type of post they like to read is a free tutorial. Wouldn’t it be great to garner that number of readers?!

    • Natashalh April 7, 2014, 19:22

      It would be pretty great to gain that many readers! For sure. Thank you for the complements. =) I’ve actually sold 5 pairs of wraps since posting this tutorial!

  • Andrea July 23, 2014, 17:00

    Hello and thanks for this great info. I do Crossfit and find these to be just what I need. The only thing is that you lost me at number 20 – 22. I am a semi newbie “seamstress” so I couldn’t see visually what I had to do next and reading it various times confused me further. the picture was difficult to see the stitching and pins. I thought this to be a great first project for me to start on. I just bought my own sewing machine today! I have normally just done things by hand which is therapeutic but not fast. I look forward to getting to your level soon! It’s such a treat to see a self made finished product. Thank you for sharing

    • Natashalh July 27, 2014, 17:15

      Hmmm…I’ll have to go back and look at those steps again to see if/how I can clarify them. Thanks for the feedback and I hope you enjoy!

  • Thunder August 12, 2014, 14:13

    Thanks for the great tutorial. My son just asked if I could make him some of these. found you via google search. I am a quilter, and had no idea what he was talking about. he sent me a link to another tut. and I could not follow it at all. Yours is fantastic.
    I will be making some of these tomorrow, and sending them off to Afghanistan. Army son and I thank you for sharing.

    • Natashalh August 12, 2014, 16:26

      I’m so glad you found the tutorial and that it works for you! My husband is Navy and I’m lucky he’s not currently on deployment. Best wishes for you and your son. =)

      • Thunder August 14, 2014, 15:18

        Thanks Natasha. I also have a son in the Navy. Best wishes to both of you, and thanks for his service.

  • Ashley October 17, 2014, 05:45

    Awesome tutorial. Thanks!!!

    • Natashalh October 17, 2014, 09:36

      Sure thing! I’m glad you like it. Comments like yours make my day =)

  • ruthie January 10, 2015, 05:29

    Thank you for the awesome instructions. I started CF about 8 months ago…and when I reach my goal weight I wanted to make something special for the girls who have supported me through this process. I think they will really love them!

    • Natashalh January 10, 2015, 07:58

      That sounds like a great idea! That’s one of the things I love about CF – so many people are so supportive of others. Good luck on your journey and thanks for stopping by!

  • luke January 13, 2015, 07:59

    great directions! Any issue using 100% nylon while doing this? the nylon felt stronger. Some of the cottons I was looking at felt kind of flimsy.

    • Natashalh January 13, 2015, 11:13

      I agree that some cottons (like printed quilting weight cottons) are super light! I am sure you could make them with nylon, I just don’t personally like it. Natural fibers breathe so much better! A lot of times you can find lightweight canvas or “duck” fabric that’s a lot stiffer than printed cotton. If you cut out one piece of this stiffer, natural fabric, place it on the back of one of your printed pieces, and treat those two pieces as one for the purposes of the pattern, it ends up sandwiched between the two light layers and adds stiffness while keeping breathability. I hope that’s helpful!

      • Luke January 14, 2015, 07:30

        That is a wonderful idea. Wifey sewed up the nylon ones…they won’t tighten down on themselves. I suspect it may be because of the synthetic material, it’s like it won’t bite down? She is going to whip up some cotton ones tonight.

        • Natashalh January 14, 2015, 10:05

          Yep, that slickness is another trait (besides not breathing so well) of nylon! Better luck with the sandwiched version. =)

  • Holly January 14, 2015, 20:26

    I’m not a weightlifter (but I do love to sew!) but I found your tutorial to make these for my husband who does lift at crossfit. Since I am not familiar with wrist straps, what is the purpose of straight stitching your top stitch around half of the strap and then doing a zigzag top stitch around the other half? Does it serve a particular function to do it that way, vs all straight or all zigzag top stitch? Thanks!

    • Natashalh January 15, 2015, 06:35

      Thanks for stopping in!
      I’ve seen wrist wraps with out the additional zig zag stitching, I just feel like it offers a bit more strength and protection from stretching than the straight stitch. I put it around the area that will be the top two wraps or so because that part will be on the outside and will be rotated to tighten or loosen the strap and, consequently, will usually be under a little more pressure. If the zig zag stitch annoys you, don’t let that keep you from sewing a pair of wrist wraps!

  • Suzanne February 15, 2015, 10:38

    Thank you for the tutorial! I found it easy to follow and my finished product looked a lot like yours! ha! One change I made to speed up the process was after I lined up the strap pieces I (used flat cotton that I had folded over 1/8″ twice and stitched to hide the fray) lay the flat cord sandwiched down the center of the unsewn strips, leaving about 1-1/2″ extended. Then I stitched from corner to point and down the side to the square edge, leaving square edge open. Then stitched up the other side to the point where I started. Using my thumbs I pushed and gathered the fabric up until I found the cord and then turned the whole piece by pulling the cord through the open end. After that I was able to stitch across, catching the cord. That was when stitched all the way around, tucking the open end in 1/4″, and finished with the ‘down the center’ stitch. Of course, I ironed between steps, but turning it by using the cord saved me some frustration! I have them packaged and ready to mail to my crossfit sister as a surprise!

    • Natashalh February 15, 2015, 19:28

      Cool idea! I’m glad you figured out a way to make turning the wraps a little less annoying. I’m actually thinking of sending my sister a surprise pair soon, too, because she’s recently started lifting. =)
      I’m so glad you liked the tutorial and thank you for letting me know!

  • Jill February 16, 2015, 18:55

    Hi Natasha. Just found your website yesterday when my granddaughter, who is doing lots of CF training and competition, sent me the link and asked if I could make her some of your wristbands. My question is could I use a very, very light interfacing…perhaps one that I could iron on…to give more body to the wristbands? Some of the fabric I found today will do just fine without the interfacing, but there were some really pretty quilting fabrics that I would love to try and hesitated because of the thinness of the fabric. I don’t think there would be a “breathing” problem with the fabric if interfacing was used…not like nylon and other man-made fabrics, but wanted your take on my idea before continuing with the thinner fabric. Thanks for sharing your ideas and pattern. I will be waiting for your reply.

    • Natashalh February 16, 2015, 19:26

      Thanks for stopping by!
      I think something like a featherweight interfacing should be okay, but it would ultimately come down to personal preference. I agree that many quilting fabrics are really nice and would make great wrist wraps! I’d suggest simply making one pair and seeing if she finds them breathable/flexible enough. =) I’d probably use an iron-on light weight interfacing and cut it about 1/2″-1″ smaller than the actual fabric pieces to avoid unneeded bulk at the seams.
      Best of luck and I hope you enjoy the project!

  • danielle May 3, 2015, 14:34

    I used paracord as you suggested but it wont stay tucked or tight. I tried knotting the end but its still not working. wraps are tightening but paracord keeps letting them slip. I went to hobby lobby and asked for the twill tape and the lady looked at me like I had 3 heads. I tried finding it on my own in the store but failed. Where can I find twill tape? and until then, can you give me any advice on making the paracord work?

    • Natashalh May 3, 2015, 16:28

      Hmmm. Is it the crafting-quality paracord or “real” paracord?

      My best advice with your slippery cord is to tie a half hitch. There’s a diagram here: http://s422.photobucket.com/user/Irvin44_2008/media/twohalfhitches.png.html?t=1312555962

      Hobby Lobby does have a fabric department, but they’re not really a fabric store. Is there a local fabric store you could check for twill tape? If not, Amazon has lots of it. I just just checked to make sure! I wear a pair of wrist wraps that has 1/2″ will tape, but 1/4″ would work, too. One of each size are the two two results when I search “twill tape” on Amazon!

      I hope that’s helpful. =)

  • Helena May 17, 2015, 12:52

    Thanks so much for sharing this great tutorial! Have made a couple of pairs and was surprised to see how well they turned out! .- I’m new to sewing 😮
    I have used some light weight quilting fabrics backed by a heavier plainer cotton so that you get the cute design but a sturdier wrap. Also added some extra zigzag stitch across the shoulders and from the centre point down to shoulder line jst to give a bit of extra support around the tie and to help it keep shape where it could be twisted the most. Anyone I’ve made them for have loved them! So again thanks for sharing! <3

    • Natashalh May 17, 2015, 13:38

      Mixing and matching fabrics works! I’m so glad you’ve had success using my pattern. =) I’ve actually been meaning to write a second tutorial showing how to use lighter weight fabrics, I just haven’t found the chance to actually create it! The tutorial, not the method. I’m glad you found a way that works and thank you for letting me know!

  • Karlie July 18, 2015, 18:47

    Curious where you got the unicorn and rainbow fabric from. I like it! Do you have suggestions on places to look for fun patterns in a heavy enough to weight?

    • Natashalh July 19, 2015, 04:57

      Absolutely! Fabric.com. That’s where I got the unicorn fabrics and where I get anything not locally sourced (I purchase my batiks and Hawaiian fabrics at a nearby fabric store in Hawaii). Fabric.com has a mind-boggling variety of fabrics, good prices, and they ship Priority Mail so you don’t have to wait too long for your goodies.

  • Abi September 23, 2015, 04:17

    These are great! Easy instructions to follow, I’ve been looking for some strength wraps for ages in the UK and you can’t seem to find them (the US shipping charges are extortionate!). Thank you for putting the tutorial up, I’ll have to dig out my sewing machine 🙂

    • Natashalh September 23, 2015, 07:01

      I know what you mean about shipping charges! So many US companies offer “free domestic shipping,” but they always exclude Hawaii and then almost always overcharge. I wanted a pair of jeans a couple weeks ago and they claimed shipping would be $40! No, thank you. Anyway, so glad you found my tutorial and I hope you enjoy your wrist wraps. =)

  • KC December 6, 2015, 14:26

    The fabrics shown in your tutorial look like batik. Is there a difference between batik and the Hawaiian fabric?

    • Natashalh December 6, 2015, 15:28

      Yes, there is a difference between a batik and Hawaiian fabric. Batik refers to a specific method of dying fabric using wax resist. Hawaiian fabric could be one of several different things representing or depicting Hawaii’s unique, diverse culture and history. So the pictured green sea turtles and hibiscus fabric can be both batik and Hawaiian, whereas the pink and purple leaves in the last photo are ‘just’ batik and other fabrics I use are ‘just’ Hawaiian prints (rather than batik). I hope that makes sense!

  • Tricia A December 10, 2015, 12:30

    Thanks so much for the tutorial. I bought a bunch of fabrics and supplies today to make a bunch for my husband and all my friends at Crossfit for Christmas. I can’t wait! I was just wondering if you could tell me approximately how long does it take for you to make one? I am sure my first one will take longer than the rest, but just trying to budget my time. Thanks so much!

    • Natashalh December 10, 2015, 12:36

      Sounds like a neat project! It’s a little boring to do it this way, but your work will go a lot faster if you kind of “assembly line” the wrist wraps instead of making each one all the way through before starting on the next. So do all of the first step of stitching the pieces together wrong side out, then turn all of the wrist wraps, iron them all, then do all the straight stitching, and finish up by doing the zig-zag on all the pairs. It really does save a lot of time and you have to change machine settings once instead of for each pair! Individually a pair would probably take about half an hour, but you’ll spend less time per pair if you can make them like I described. I hope that’s helpful and that you enjoy!

      • Tricia A December 10, 2015, 12:51

        Great idea! Thanks for the tip and the quick response!

  • Rebekah January 7, 2016, 08:13

    Hi Natashalh,
    Great tutorial! Glad I found it, can’t wait try them out. I also checked out your Etsy shop. Super cool!
    Question, Have you ever used shoelaces?
    Also, how do you strip the middle white cord from the paracord?
    Thank you!

    • Natashalh January 7, 2016, 09:35

      Hi!
      I don’t really use shoe laces, but they certainly can work if they’re the flat type as opposed to the round type. Pulling the center strands out of paracord is so super easy! Just cut the paracord then grab the strands and pull them out. They aren’t really attached or anything. They’re always visible and they’re usually even sticking out a little, but you can use a pair of tweezers or pliers to reach in and pull them out if you need to. Then just use a lighter to melt the open ends of the cord you’re using so they don’t fray!
      I hope that’s helpful and makes sense – I haven’t had all my coffee yet this morning. =)

  • Lauren D February 13, 2016, 10:22

    I decided recently to make my own wrist wraps and found your post on pinterest. It was a lifesaver! Great instructions. I love my finished product and cannot wait to show them off at the box. THANK YOU!

    • Natashalh February 13, 2016, 19:05

      So glad you liked it!! Thank you for letting me know. =)

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