How to Make A DIY Running Belt: FREE Tutorial

Almost everyone does some form of exercise, whether it be inside a gym, at boot camp or outdoors. No matter what sport you participate in, you likely share the dilemma of where to stash small personal items, like your phone, keys and ID card, while working out.

An easy and practical solution is to wear a belt that will hold those items while keeping your hands free. But exercise gear can be expensive, so why not sew your own DIY running belt? In just one evening and with a few supplies you likely already have on hand, you can sew your own for far less money than you would spend on a similiar store-bought item.

Keep reading to enjoy a fast and fun DIY running belt tutorial!

DIY running belt

DIY running belt tutorial

DIY running belt tutorial

What you’ll need:

  • 1/3 yard knit fabric, the stretcher the better, jersey or one with spandex works great here
  • One 14” nylon zipper
  • 1-2 yards of fold-over elastic (FOE) – this should equal two packs
  • Approximately 6” of sew-on Velcro™
  • Matching thread

Step 1:

Determine the finished length of the belt by measuring your waist and adding 6″. This allows for a 3″ overlap for a Velcro closure.

Measuring the waist

Step 2:

Cut a strip of the knit fabric that is 12” wide. For the length use the measurement from Step 1.

Step 3:

With the right side of the strip facing up, identify the length’s center point and mark both the top and bottom edge. Mark the center of the zipper as well. Now lay the zipper, face down matching the center point to the center mark of the fabric. Line up the edges of both the zipper and fabric and pin the zipper to the fabric to ready it for sewing.

zipper pinned to fabric

Step 4:

Using a zipper foot, stitch the zipper to the fabric, sewing close to the zipper teeth. Turn the zipper up so the top side is exposed and sew close to the fold along the length of the zipper.

attaching zipper to fabric for DIY running belt

Step 5:

To sew the zipper to the other edge, fold the fabric up to the sewn zipper with right sides of the fabric facing each other and the top side of the zipper facing up. Pin the edges of the fabric to the zipper making sure the center points of both piece align. Stitch the zipper to the fabric in the same fashion as in Step 4.

other side of strip pinned to zipper
Step 6:

Join the raw edges together on both ends of the zipper and stitch them shut using a ½” seam allowance. Press the seams open.

seams stitched and pressed open

Step 7:

Turn the belt right side out. Lay the belt flat so the zipper sits approximately 1/3 of the way down from the top fold. Make sure the seam runs straight across the strip and is spaced accordingly within the width of the belt. Now round off the two square ends by trimming away the corners. This will make applying the FOE much easier.

square ends rounded off
Step 8:

Pin the folded edges at the top to hold it in place and do the same for the bottom fold as well as the rounded ends. Press all the folds and ends flat. This will prepare the belt for adding the FOE.

Fold-over elastic - FOE
Step 9:

Take the FOE and fold it in half and press in place. Starting anywhere around the perimeter of the belt (toward one of the ends is best) begin to pin the elastic so it encases the folded edges of the belt. Stitch the FOE to the fold using a zigzag stitch (3mm length, 3mm wide looks best) around the entire belt. Since FOE is typically sold in 1 yard packs, you will need to add additional FOE as you sew. Simply overlap the new FOE over the sewn one by ¼ to 1/3 inch and continue sewing.

stitching the FOE
Step 10:

To finish the belt position two 3” strips of Velcro onto each end, centering them within the curved end. Pin them in place and then stitch them in place.

velcro attached to DIY running belt

finished DIY running belt

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