Craft with Cooey: How to make iPhone / Touchscreen gloves

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 outΒ 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”.Β 

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.Β  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.


  1. thezenofmaking
    January 20, 2012

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

    • Deadly Knitshade
      January 20, 2012

      Thanks! There will be more Craft with Cooey I think. Saves me having to think of ways to photograph myself. Plus Cooey likes the fame. πŸ™‚

  2. Telma costa
    January 20, 2012

    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 πŸ™‚ thank you!!!!

    • Deadly Knitshade
      January 20, 2012

      Cooey and I thank you for your kind words. Good luck with the handmade hacking!

  3. Brittany
    January 20, 2012

    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.)

    • Deadly Knitshade
      January 20, 2012

      Frank and Cooey are a similar colour and have the same vague expression. Maybe they’re related…

      Nice blog by the way. Lovely pics!

      • Brittany
        January 21, 2012

        Maybe this is why I find Cooey so gosh-darn-extra cute? Second cousins once removed? It’s the only thing that makes sense!

  4. Eva
    January 21, 2012

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

    • Deadly Knitshade
      January 21, 2012

      Thanks. Cooey is happy you like it. πŸ™‚

  5. Kate
    January 22, 2012

    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!)

    • Deadly Knitshade
      January 23, 2012

      Cooey is chuffed that you like it. πŸ™‚ The touchscreen gloves we have seen are all pretty hideous. Now you get to turn your pretty knitty ones into cyber gloves!

  6. Kirsty
    January 23, 2012

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

    • Deadly Knitshade
      January 23, 2012

      It works with any touch screen thing. Just make them and go around touching touch screens. That’s what Cooey and I do. πŸ™‚

  7. Sarah
    January 28, 2012

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

    • Deadly Knitshade
      January 29, 2012

      Hmm… Not sure. You’d still need the inside loops and to ensure the outside thread was outside. Might be a bit hit and miss.

      Love to know if it works if you try it out. πŸ™‚

  8. susannah
    February 1, 2012

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

    • Deadly Knitshade
      February 1, 2012

      Poor old Cooey. She’ll never get that hat. xxx