How to Make Thumb Sleeves for Gaming?

how to make thumb sleeve for gaming

Thumb sleeves are affordable. Some cost less than $10, and for the price, you can get more than a pair.

Homemade sleeves are also an option.

However, there could be some problems. First, it’s not easy to find woven materials that are conductive.

If you make one with regular fabric, then it won’t have conductive properties, so it’s not going to work like a store-bought sleeve.

Another problem is the stitching. You can sew with a machine or manually, but it’s probably not as neat as a commercial sleeve.

That said, we’ll still provide instructions on how to make thumb sleeves for gaming.

In case you’re interested in making it a DIY project, then the first step is to prepare the materials and tools.

Here are some that you need.

Materials and Tools for Making Thumb Sleeves


  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Pins
  • Scissors

When it comes to a fabric, please choose an elastic one, so that it fits in your thumbs.

And then, avoid thick fabric especially if it doesn’t have conductive properties.

Non-conductive fabric may disrupt the flow of electric charge, which in turn reduces the sensitivity of the touch function.

You can opt for spandex because it’s a common choice for finger sleeves.

Or if you need one that’s actually conductive, choose something like this product:

Adafruit Knit Jersey Conductive Fabric – 20cm square [ADA1364]


The first impression you’ll get from the textile is that it’s elastic.

We can tell from how easy it’s stretched out. It turns out that the fabric also contains silver yarn and spandex.

The metal element is responsible for the conductive nature, making it ideal for thumb sleeves.

But, why buy a fabric when you can get sleeves for a lower price?

Well, working on a DIY project can give you a sense of accomplishment, so there’s no need to compare it to buying a premade sleeve.

If you’re ecstatic to make your own sleeve, then go ahead.

By the way, the complete specs of this fabric are available on the listing page.

You can click on the link above for more information about the product.

Instructions – DIY Thumb Sleeve / Finger Sleeve


  1. Now that you have prepared all the supplies, let’s proceed with the next steps.
  2. Trace your thumb on the fabric. Make sure to cut the fabric into a smaller piece prior to tracing because it will be a lot easier. Can you skip this step? No, the purpose of tracing is the get the precise measurement of your thumb. Do it twice on both thumbs because they could be slightly different in size. The right and left thumbs look somewhat identical, but they may differ in some people. Just do it to be on the safe side.
  3. You can wrap the textile around the finger and then do the tracing. Make sure to not trace far from the thumb outline because you may end up with a loose sleeve. Bear in mind that the fabric is elastic. Even if it snug fits, it won’t feel constricted. Now if it’s the opposite, the sleeve can slip off easily. This would give you nuisance while playing video games.
  4. Leave some room for seam allowance. Although you want it to snug fit, seam allowance is still necessary for easy stitching. For those unaware, this is an area between the stitching line and cut raw edge. This is a basic requirement for making clothes. Failure in adding the right allowance may make the clothing too tight or loose. It’s probably not a big deal for something as small as a sleeve, but there’s no reason to skip it.
  5. Once you’re done tracing, cut out the fabric along the lines with the scissors.
  6. In case you have difficulty cutting precisely, use pins to keep the fabric in place. Finger sleeves are small, so we believe you can do just fine without pins. They’re not only useful during the cutting process. If you choose to stitch manually, pins can also help stabilize the fabric pieces.
  7. Now it’s time to sew. You have to thread the needle first. What we explain here is manual stitching. Using a machine is okay, too, but if you don’t have one or you’re not skilled enough to use it, hand stitching can be an option.
  8. There are several sewing techniques available, but for this project, you can try the backstitch because it’s easy to learn. Not only that, it also creates a strong bind, which ensures better durability.
  9. To do it, you need to make a quarter-inch stitch, and then insert the needle into the hole of the first stitch. Go one stitch forward, but instead of following the running stitch pattern, bring back the thread into the previous hole you poked through. Done right, there will be no dashed pattern on the fabric, but a straight line, instead. You basically use the thread the close the gap. Below is a tutorial video of sewing a backstitch. The video has nothing to do with a finger sleeve, just a demonstration of this sewing technique. You can apply it to your sleeve later.
  1. The last step is to turn the inside of the fabric out. This will hide the seam allowance and make the sleeve looks neat.

Final Thoughts


Hopefully, after reading this article you can now understand how to make thumb sleeves for gaming.

You can resort to this as the last option, anyway.

Why?

Even if you sew correctly, the final product won’t still be as neat as a store-bought sleeve.

Besides, there’s a seam line inside the fabric.

While it always comes with stitching, it could give some discomfort especially for something supposed to fit snug like a sleeve.

In most commercial sleeves, like our own Ensleeve™ Gaming Thumb Sleeves, the inside is typically smooth because they use a different method.

But we won’t stop you if you still want to carry out the project as it’s probably pleasurable for you to make it yourself.

Just remember to choose a thin textile especially if it’s non-conductive.

Or if you can find a conductive fabric, that would be better, so that it resembles a commercial sleeve in terms of touch sensitivity.

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