Friday, January 6, 2012

{DIY} Padded Crutches Tutorial

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Emily had surgery on her foot a week ago and has made her way around on crutches quite well so far.  But, after two days of using the crutches full time at school her arms were very sore, so I knew I needed to come up with a fix, quickly.

I scouted the web and found many options to buy padded covers for the crutches but that didn't suit me well.  I needed something now, not a few days from now, so I went on a search for some instructions for making a set of covers at home.  I didn't find much.  I could duct tape a towel around them but I knew that would not go over well with Emily so I brainstormed and came up with my own solution.  And now I'm going to share with you.  You're welcome.

Lay the crutch on a piece of paper and trace around the top of it.  Cut out your pattern.

You need to cut the fabric quite a bit larger than your pattern because you need to adjust for a seam allowance and more padding than what is there now.
My first pieces weren't cut wide enough on the bottom.  Thankfully I pinned the pieces and tried it before sewing them or even cutting another set.
The bottom of your cover needs to be at least the width of the top of your crutches or the cover will not fit over the top when finished.  In the end, the top of mine could have been quite a bit more narrow, so you don't need as much extra as I have here.

With right sides together, sew your pieces leaving the bottom open; then clip the corners so the cover will lay correctly once turned right side out.

Time to iron your bottom hem.  Turn up the bottom edge 1/4" and press, then turn up 1/4" again to create a finished edge, press.  Sew hem in place close to left edge.

Now to make these covers stay on your crutches.  Using a small width elastic, place it an equal distance from bottom edge.  Secure elastic in place with a few stitches and then pull it taught with one hand while you sew.  This will gather the material as the elastic relaxes.  Fold over your ending piece of elastic and stitch to prevent it from unraveling.

To make your crutches more comfortable you will need some sort of padding.  I used quilt batting here because I had some left over but I would have used old towels or t-shirts if I didn't have the batting on hand.
Cut two pieces of padding, one just slightly smaller than the width of the top and the second piece the width of the middle of the crutch.  Most of the weight bearing is on the middle of the crutch so I felt it needed the most padding there.
Wrap it around your crutch and secure.  I used painters tape because I wanted to be able to easily remove it.  The painters tape secured the batting very well.

Place one side of your crutch into the cover and then carefully stretch the cover over the other side.
You now have much more comfortable crutches, and they're cute too!

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This is post is part of Made By You Monday at Skip to My Lou.  Skip on over to see what others have made this Monday.