Wednesday, November 14, 2012

DIY Touchscreen Gloves

**I'm seeing comments about doing this with mittens- that WILL NOT WORK. You have to use gloves because the thread HAS to make contact with your finger in order to conduct electricity for the touchscreen to recognize**
Sooo... in keeping with yesterday's post about STAYING WARM, I wanted to make some touchscreen gloves.
John was cruising Macy's before having dinner with some friends and saw some awesome touchscreen gloves. He was pretty excited about them since he hates being cold as much as I do and *loves* his phone about nine million times MORE than I do. He took me back the next day to look at them and then we noticed the price...
Seventy-five buckeroos.
What? No, thanks.
I looked at the tips of the gloves and they simply had shiny thread sewn on to the end. I knew it had to be some sort of special thread, but didn't know what kind. So I came home and googled "touchscreen fabrics" and found some info online. Most were things like steel-infused wool, which didn't work (though I thought about making patches in heart shapes for the edge of the fingertips)... and finally saw something beautiful called, "conductive thread"... YES!
I went to my favorite place for things like that- Ebay- and ordered some for $4.80 (LINK HERE). Simply sew it on to the fingertips of any gloves you own and call it a day. So easy, right? Never have cold fingers again. This is about 100x better than finger-less gloves. Oh yes. Want some more steps?
Here you go!
Stitch it. I actually stitched mine while wearing them so I could make the lines clean. If you're worried about poking yourself, you can wear a thimble over the finger that is being stitched, but it is MUCH easier to stitch them while wearing them. Start by putting the knotted thread through the *inside* of the glove so that the knot doesn't show. Stitch straight lines all the way across making a box in one direction. Next, switch the direction and go over the entire box/circle/shape. (For example, if you were making a square shape, you would stitch out the shape going left to right and then switch and go up and down.) Your patch should be about 1/4th of an inch. I got away with less because my fingers are small. Test it before cutting your thread off, and if giving them away, make the patch the entire 1/4th inch. Also make sure you're stitching through the finger, the thread has to touch your skin in order to "conduct" ;).
Seal it. Lastly, take the gloves off and stick your needle into the middle of the patch. Carefully turn the gloves inside out while keeping your needle in position. Then knot the ends of your thread and cut off the excess. Flip them right side out and you're ready to wear them!
So easy, right? You can do all ten fingers for a tablet or just the thumb and forefinger for phones! These would  be another fun Christmas DIY present.
Magic Gloves can be purchased for $1-2 at dollar stores or Amazon.com
I haven't tried it yet, but I thought about how fun it would be for someone who is good at embroidery to embroider letters instead of patches, making a word across the fingers. Fun, right? I'm just not sure if it would be as effective as a patch, since you need a lot of area covered for the screen to recognize it.. So let me test that theory out :) I'm working on a whole list of easy, inexpensive DIY *and* purchasable Christmas gifts. Clearly it's time to post that since so many have already begun (or are even finishing) their seasonal shopping.
That's it for today- all the best and as always, thanks for reading!

11 comments:

  1. Just bought 4 feet for about $2! Thanks!

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    1. yay! that is awesome. 4 feet is the perfect length for two thumbs and two index fingers :)

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  2. Really like this idea and I've been getting questions about DIY gifts that men will actually like :) I forgot you had a Tumblr (bad, I know!) and posted a photo and link back to your site on two of my blogs.

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    1. You... are probably my favorite person in the whole internet world :) I forget I have a tumblr, too... in fact, I just remembered today! Thanks for always taking good care of la vie! <3

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    2. Well I love your projects because they are always something different! Will be looking out for your affordable DIYs - that's what my readers (and me) are looking for this holiday season.

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    3. Well it's a pleasure to be sent out to your readers. I know (and appreciate) that you keep high standards vs. just tossing around "stuff" :) Let's all save $$ together!!!! I should include a link to your holiday DIY Tumblr for my upcoming Christmas present post!

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    4. This whole conversation makes me DIY happy.

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    5. Me too, Jessica! Have you seen this lace stemware yet? I think it's an easy DIY for presents. http://laviediy.blogspot.com/2012/04/diy-fun-with-lace-part-3-lace-stemware.html

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  3. You can also use silver or gold metallic embroidery thread (the kind you get at your local craft store) if you can't get conductive thread easily. Works just as good.

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  4. Do you know if you can also use embroidery floss instead of conductive thread?

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    1. I had a reader comment that you could, but haven't tested it myself. I assume you would need it to contain actual metal and not just be a color. I'd test it by putting your finger behind it and trying it on a touchscreen before buying. I think it would vary greatly from brand to brand, possibly working with one and not another, so I wouldn't be willing to endorse it :)

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