DIY Armband Case Tutorial for Touchscreen Devices

Make this DIY armband case for touchscreen devices - a tutorial by Melly Sews

Today I’m going to show you how I made my new armband case for my touchscreen phone.

So remember last year when I made myself an iPod armband so I could listen to music while sewing/running/etc? Well, this is what it currently looks like after a year of use.

Old iPhone armband

Fraying elastic on old iPhone armband

This particular type of elastic, while comfortable, just hasn’t worn very well. So I decided to make myself a new one, but decided that as long as I was doing that, I might as well see if I could figure out how to make touchscreen access easier. I started experimenting with things to see what I could still use my touchscreen through – starting with putting my phone in a sandwich bag. The screen still worked, so I figured vinyl would work as well.

DIY armband case for touchscreen devices - a tutorial by Melly Sews

I went to Joann to get vinyl. At my local store it’s in the back where the upholstery fabric is on rolls on the wall. They actually had several thicknesses of vinyl. I got the 4mm thick kind – the thinnest one they carried. It looks like this:

4mm clear vinyl

Want to make your own armband? Here’s what you’ll need

  • Fabric and vinyl (you might want to lay the vinyl over your particular device to test before buying)
  • Elastic
  • Small strip of 1/2″ double fold bias tape
  • Measurements for your device

 

Let’s talk more about measurements. Measure your device as you intend to use it with the case. In other words, if you already have a protective case you don’t plan to take off while using your armband, measure with the case in place.

Cut these pieces:

  • Vinyl should be the same length and width of the face of your device plus seam allowances. Mine is approximately 2.75″ x 5″, so I cut my vinyl to 3.25″ x 5.5″ – giving myself quarter inch seams.
  • Fabric should be a long rectangle. The length of the rectangle should be (Length of device)2 +depth of device + seam allowance. So mine is 5″ long and 3/8″ deep, so I cut my fabric to be (5)2 +3/8 +1/2 = 10 7/8, which I just rounded off to 11″
    (*Special note – I constructed mine out of charm pack squares, so I did not have anything 11″ long. Therefore I sewed several pieces together to get my 11″ length. But for purposes of this tutorial we’re going to pretend it’s one piece of fabric. Also I made several of these, so the fabric doesn’t match in all the pictures. It’s OK, I made them all the same way.)
  • Fabric width should be the width of your device + (depth)2 + seam allowances. So mine was 2.75 + (3/8)2 + 1/2″  = 4″
  • Elastic length should be the circumference of your arm – the width of your device. No seam allowances since it’s supposed to fit tightly. In fact you might even want to cut an extra 1/2″ off.

Materials for DIY armband for touchscreen devices - a tutorial by Melly Sews

Arrange your materials like in the picture below. The vinyl should be lined up with the top edge of the fabric. Fold the bottom part of the fabric up so it lines up with the top edge as well.

Step 1 DIY armband for touchscreen devices - a tutorial by Melly Sews

Sew one side shut. (Right side of the picture below. And remember the seam you see on top is because I stitched several charm pack pieces of fabric together to get my long rectangle).

Step 2 DIY armband for touchscreen devices - a tutorial by Melly Sews

Fold the elastic in so that it matches along the other edge. You may want to pin it, but remember pins leave marks in the vinyl, so if you do, pin in the seam allowance.

Step 2 DIY armband for touchscreen devices - a tutorial by Melly Sews

Sew down the other edge of the pouch.

Step 3 DIY armband for touchscreen devices - a tutorial by Melly Sews

Turn the pouch right side out. The vinyl will not be attached at the bottom – so I can still stick my finger in between the vinyl and the fabric.

Step 4 DIY armband for touchscreen devices - a tutorial by Melly Sews

The back side will look like this.

Step 5 DIY armband for touchscreen devices - a tutorial by Melly Sews

Unfold your bias tape. Place it around the top edge of the pouch, with the right side facing the vinyl. Fold the short edge to the wrong side of the fabric at the beginning of the bias tape, and overlap that edge at the end.

Step 6-1 DIY armband for touchscreen devices - a tutorial by Melly Sews

Sew along the fold line closest to the edge. I find this easiest to do by putting my needle inside the pouch, as shown below.

Step 6-2 DIY armband for touchscreen devices - a tutorial by Melly Sews

Fold the bias tape toward the outside, pinning if necessary. Keep the short raw edge folded under to the wrong side and stitch around the bias tape again to secure in place.

Step 7 DIY armband for touchscreen devices - a tutorial by Melly Sews

Stitch across the bottom of the vinyl to close the pouch.

Finished DIY armband for touchscreen devices - a tutorial by Melly Sews

Slide your device inside and have fun wearing to listen to podcasts, books or music while sewing or otherwise moving around. All with easy access to your touchscreen.

Close up DIY armband for touchscreen devices - a tutorial by Melly Sews

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Comments

  1. lori says

    OMG! thanks for the tutorial!!! I am going to make one for when I am out doing my gardening!! I love to listening to books when I am out and about!! thanks!!!!!

  2. Kim says

    Yay! I’ve been looking for a tutorial for one of these! Is there a reason you use two pieces of elastic rather than one piece of a wider (2″) elastic?

  3. says

    I just bought vinyl for the first time this week, too! I have a couple of projects in mind, but this is a neat idea! Might have to make a manly version for my husband! Thanks!

  4. Jan says

    Making this for my daughter who runs . In fact she sent me this in pinterest! I was just wondering, it looks like the bottom is left unfinished. Could you also add bias tape to this edge? Thanks for the pattern it is so nice!

  5. says

    If you’re looking for vinyl only for a small project like this — make sure to check the remnants bins. I always see bits of vinyl in the remnants bins at my joann’s

  6. says

    So I really want to make this… I like to go on walks, and my workout pants don’t have pockets. So I’m sitting here reading about the vinyl… and i look around my room for anything similar. I have a halloween costume in the bag it came in… so i tested it out, my phone works through it. Pretty cool :) I think it will work :D

  7. says

    My mom just asked for one of these for Christmas, and I remembered you did this tutorial a while back, and knew it would be perfect! Thanks again for this tute!!

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