Kooky little knits, words and pix

Craft with Cooey: How to make iPhone / Touchscreen gloves

Posted by on 20 Jan, 2012 in Blog, Cooey the Pigeon, Craft with Cooey, Tutorials and How Tos | 17 comments

Craft with Cooey is a brand new feature on my blog. Cooey the Pigeon is so much more than just a pretty fibre-feathered face and the star of my Stitch London book.

She’s a handmade crafty creature who likes to keep her wings busy with the making of many things. Not only that but she’s stupidly excited about everything she makes and wants you to make the projects too. So here’s the first in the Craft with Cooey series:

Cooey iPhone gloves - credentials

Cooey's got skillz

How to Make iPhone / Touchscreen Gloves (with Cooey the Pigeon)

It’s cold! So very cold! London is amazingly chilly right now and that means gloves. My gloves aren’t knitted (I know, I know) but they keep my mitts cosy when London is getting its freeze on. There’s one problem. When I’m wearing my lovely pirate gloves I can’t use my iPhone! AGH!

Since I’m the kind of person who spends the majority of their day on Twitter, Facebook, Angry Birds, Scramble with Friends and the wonder that is Instagram I’m a little lost without my fabulous phone. So it’s either frozen fingers or no phone. Why must I choose, dammit!!?!

Cooey the Pigeon to the rescue! She flapped off into London and came back with a reel of thread, a needle and, surprisingly, a Girl Guides Badge in Sewing.

What are we making?

Cooey the Pigeon is a bit of an Apple fan. She loves my iPhone and she perches on my Mac whenever I’m writing patterns, cooing softly at the Apple logo. Bless her.

So her plan is to show you how to keep your iPhone (or any smartphone or Android) happily occupied even when it’s chilly. Yes, there are iPhone gloves for sale out there (I’m looking at you, Primani) but this way you get to choose the gloves and weave Cooey’s woolly magic to make them work with your smartphone.

Gubbins (stuff you will need):

  • 1 pair of gloves (wool or thermal gloves work best. Don’t go poking holes in leather gloves unless you really want to)
  • Conductive thread (I bought mine from Cool Components but there are tons of smaller amounts to be found on eBay etc. Google it!)
  • 1 sewing needle (with an eye big enough to put the thread through)
  • Scissors
  • Teeny bit of contrasting thread to mark where to sew

Cooey iPhone gloves - materials

I'm not sure those scissors are practical for a pigeon, are they?

Step 1. Work out which part of your finger you use to tap your screen.

Cooey iPhone gloves - step 1

Cooey often wonders why the Angry Birds don't hide their eggs better

Step 2. Mark the area with a teeny stitch to show you where to sew.

Cooey iPhone gloves - step 2

Cooey marks the spot

Step 3. Tie a knot in the end of the yarn leaving a tail of about 5 cm then thread the needle.

Turn the finger of the glove inside out and push the needle into the end of the finger so it comes out on the outside of the glove, just next to your marker stitch.

Then pull the thread all the way through and turn the finger right side out again. It’s time to sew.

Cooey iPhone gloves - step 3

Cooey - needle ninja

Cooey iPhone gloves - step 4

The glove finger appears to be just the right size for Cooey's head. She asks if I might chop the finger off to make her a hat. I say no.

Step 4. Sew sew sew like a maniac to make a little circle of thread. Just sew lines from one side of the area to the other over and over. It doesn’t need to be neat (as you can see Cooey isn’t the neatest sewing bird).

The area should be about as big as the area of your finger that normally taps the screen. Don’t make it too big or you’ll end up texting “GHerlklkoppo” when you mean to type “Hello”. 

Cooey iPhone gloves - step 5

Sweatshop pigeon

It’s about this point that Cooey likes to stop for a tea break. Cooey really likes tea. She also likes Johnny Depp.

Cooey iPhone gloves - tea break

Cooey casually flirts with the giant Captain Jack Sparrow mug. It doesn't look like she's getting anywhere.

Step 5. Thread the needle back inside the glove and turn the finger inside out one last time.

Now sew a few big loops into the inside. This is to make sure that the thread inside is in contact with your skin. That way the electricity you generate (which is what lets the screen know it’s being tapped) will flow along the thread from the inside to the outside. Technology, eh?

Cooey iPhone gloves - step 6

She's always been a bit loopy, has Cooey

Step 6. Knot the thread and cut it off. Turn it the right side out and admire the work you have done.

Cooey iPhone gloves - step 7

Coo! Lookit!

Step 7.  Test out your gloves by sending a text message to a local baker asking them to send you bread for your hardworking hungry pigeon.

If the gloves don’t work try sewing a wider area or putting more loops inside.

Cooey iPhone gloves - testing they work

Cooey spells out B-R-E-A-D patiently for me

More fingers? If it works then you might want to add more thread patches on other parts of the glove you use with your phone. We added a bit to the thumb too.

Et voila! A perfect pair of Touchscreen gloves, one happy smartphone user and one very proud purly pigeon.

Cooey iPhone gloves - finished

Cooey showcases her hacked handmade iPhone glove modification

Cooey and I wish you and your cosy digits a happy handmade New Year. That’s all from this edition of Craft with Cooey. More Craft with Cooey very soon.

For a collection of all our How to Tutorials check out the Craft with Cooey page.

[Play theme music here. We don't have any yet so just hum something catchy]

Missing us already? You can stalk us on Twitter @deadlyknitshade and @cooeythepigeon for more crafty madness, and check out Crafty Crafty where I write about craft every single day.


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. thezenofmaking

    Awesome. I mean, who could resist a tutorial from a pigeon?!

  2. Telma costa

    All hail cooey!!! I’ve seen these magical gloves online and they’re all so Bleh. Whith these magical tricks…. I can have some stylish yet oh so technologically functional gloves :) thank you!!!!

  3. Brittany

    OH MY GOD!!!! I pretty much just had a panic attack at how CUTE Cooey is! Her name is Cooey! Oh, my gosh, I wish I had a pigeon named Cooey who would do crafts for me. (Instead, I have a travel cat named Frank who takes pictures while we travel.)

  4. Eva

    OMG, this is awesome! I love the photos of Cooey in action!

  5. Kate

    Thank you Cooey for saving my fingers from the cold! (and me a whole lot of money bc the touchscreen gloves I’ve seen are expensive!)

  6. Kirsty

    Almost makes me wish I had an iPhone, just so I could do this.

  7. Sarah

    Hmm, do you think it would work with handknit gloves – holding the conductive thread along with the yarn?

  8. susannah

    hahahaha , love the tutorial with Cooey, especially when she asked for a new hat x

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