Wrist and ankle weights are a great way to add some heft to your home workout or a brisk walk outdoors. This easy tutorial lets you make your own weights in almost any fabric you want and with whatever weight you need. Start with a pair of one- or two-pound weights then increase the size to make heavier weights as needed.
Equipment / Tools
- Rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting mat
- Sewing machine
- Pins and sewing clips
- Iron and ironing board
- Chalk pencil or disappearing marking pen
- 1/3 yard tightly woven cotton or nylon
- 1 yard 1-inch-wide webbing
- 24 inch snag-free sew-on hook-and-loop tape
- 2 1-inch-diameter D-rings or rectangle hardware
- 2 to 3 pound weighted filler: (aquarium substrate, rice, sand, etc.)
- Quality thread
Cut the Fabric and Strap Pieces
Cut two pieces of fabric, 13 inches by 9 inches each.
Cut the webbing into two 18-inch pieces. If you're using nylon webbing, carefully melt the ends of the sections with a hot knife tool or flame to prevent the webbing from fraying.
Cut the hook-and-loop tape into two 12-inch pieces.
Snag-free hook-and-loop tape (Velcro) is soft, single-sided, and sticks to itself, making it perfect for this project. If you'd prefer to use standard hook-and-loop tape, work with two 6-inch sections of the matching sides.
Make the Straps
Fold over about 1 inch on one end of the first webbing section. Place a ring in the fold, then fold the end of the tape under. Sew across the fold to secure it. Fold the other end down about 1/4 inch and then fold it under and sew to secure it.
Center the hook-and-loop tape on the webbing with the tape pushed up against the fold on the plain (non-D-ring) end. Sew around the tape.
Repeat with the second strap.
If you're using strips of hook tape and loop tape, start with a 6-inch piece of hook tape, then place the 6-inch piece of loop tape next to it on the strap. Sew the edges and the ends of both pieces.
Attach the Straps
Mark the center point of the hook-and-loop tape. Position the strap so it is centered on the first fabric piece with the D-ring end 1-1/2 inches from one end and the marked tape center is 1-1/2 inches from the other end.
Pin in place. Sew the strap in place by stitching from the folded section, along one edge, across the marked center of the hook-and-loop tape, along the second edges, and then across where you started. Backstitch to secure your stitching.
Repeat with the second piece of fabric and strap.
Sew the Weight Body
Fold the hook-and-loop tape in on itself so it's out of the way. Fold the fabric in half with right sides together. Pin and sew along the long edge with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.
Press the seam open, then center it on the sewn tube shape.
Sew across one end of the tube with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Backstitch each end, and be sure to sew all the way to the folded edges.
Repeat with the second fabric piece.
Mark the Sections
Turn the tube right side out. Measure and mark across the tube starting 3 inches from the sewn end, then at the 6- and 9- inch points. Use a marking tool that is easy to see, but also easy to remove.
Weigh and Fill the Sections
Decide how much you want each wrist or ankle weight to weigh. Divide that amount by four—one for each section in the weight. Use a kitchen scale to weigh the filler. Be sure to take into account the weight of the bowl!
Try to find a filler with a higher density so you get more weight for the volume. For example, 1/4 lb. of aquarium substrate takes less space than the same weight of rice or plastic pellets. Also, remember that if you use rice, you won't want to get the weights wet, so you'll need to be careful when cleaning them.
Roll a piece of paper into a funnel shape and pour the first 1/4 of the filler into the weight.
Sew the Sections
Tap all of the filler down and use pins to hold it away from the first marked line. Sew across the line from edge to edge, backstitching at the beginning and end.
Add each portion of filler and sew across the lines to close the sections.
Sew the End Closed
When you add the last portion of filler, fold the open end in 1/2 inch. Pin or clip the end together, keeping the filler away from the end.
Topstitch across the end, sewing 1/8 inch from the edge.
Repeat the filling and sewing for each weight.
To wear the weights, wrap them around your wrists or ankles and slide the strap through the ring. Fold the strap down and attach the hook-and-loop tape. When wearing them on your ankles, try placing them so they are more open at the front to give your feet more mobility.
This size weight works best with a maximum of 1 lb of filler per weight, but you can adjust the size to accommodate more weight. Try increasing the fabric to 13 x 11 inches or lengthening the strap.
Use your weights during a workout, on a walk, or simply to add some resistance during daily tasks.