I still have high hopes I can get my Sewing Summit recap done here soon (sigh), but in the meantime, I wanted to bring one of my favorite tutorials home – this Running and Exercise Belt DIY!

Sewbon.com || Sewbon Running and Exercise Belt DIY Tutorial

I have a love/hate relationship with running. On one hand, it’s healthy and all good for you. On the other, it’s hard. Like really hard.

Sewbon.com || Sewbon Running Belt

To help make the time (and me) go a little faster, I like to listen to music. I’ve tried running with my iPhone in one of those arm band things, but they don’t usually stay on my non-bulging biceps and I just end up resorting to tucking my phone into my sports bra (gross, I know). After seeing some of these running belts on much faster runners back at a race in the spring, I decided it was a genius solution and that I needed one. Not wanting to shell out the big bucks for it, I figured I could easily make one! This running belt is perfect for holding your phone, keys, and your ID.

Sewbon.com || Sewbon Running Belt    Sewbon.com || Sewbon Running Belt

Want to make one too? Here’s the DIY…


  • 1/4 yard of Spandex, Nylon, or Athletic Fabric
  • 7 Inch Zipper
  • Fold-Over Elastic (FOE)
  • Stretch Needle
  • Zipper Foot
  • General Sewing Supplies


Measure your waist or hips, depending on where you want to wear your belt, and cut your fabric to that length. You are going to want the belt to be snug, so it doesn’t bounce around when you run.


Next, place the zipper and the fabric centered, right sides together with the tops aligned and pin in place. I centered my zipper, but you could put it anywhere.

Using a a stretch needle and zipper foot, stitch close to the zipper teeth. Then, turn the fabric over and top stitch. This will help prevent the fabric from getting caught in the zipper teeth when opening and closing the zipper.


Now, align the non-sewn side of your zipper up with the top side of the other half of the fabric, right sides together. Using your zipper foot, stitch close to the zipper teeth. Then, turn the fabric so the right side is facing out and top stitch.

Sewbon.com || Sewbon Running Belt

Now, turn the belt wrong side out and stitch up the sides. I used my serger for this part, but a zig zag or stretch stitch would work great too!

Sewbon.com || Sewbon Running Belt

Unzip the zipper half way and tuck the ends into each other so that right sides are together then top stitch around the tube.


Turn the belt right side out.

Sewbon.com || Sewbon Running Belt

Cut 2 pieces of your FOE to the length of the belt, plus 1/2 inch. Attach the fold-over elastic to the top and bottom of the belt using a zig zag stitch. I set my sewing machine with a stitch length of 4.0 and a stitch width of 3.0. This FOE will help keep the belt from rolling and bunching up.

Tip: This part can be a little tricky as the fabric is slippery. I used binder clips to help keep the elastic in place as I sewed. Just keep working the fabric and be careful not to rotate the fabric when sewing.

Sewbon.com || Sewbon Running Belt

And that’s is! Now you can be hands free on walks, runs, and prancercise sessions!

Also, big thanks to my awesome friend Katie of Katie Hellinger Photography for taking the pictures of the running belt in action!

Sewbon.com || Sewbon Running Belt

Sewbon.com || Sewbon Running Belt

Sewbon.com || Sewbon Running Belt


After airing this tutorial on The Sewing Rabbit back in August, I learned about a company called Hips Sister and their running belts. If you aren’t up for making an exercise belt yourself, check out Hipssister.com.

Linking up with Make It Handmade and Feather’s Flight.

  • Elena

    I love this. Exactly what I need to. You’re a star – thanks for sharing this!

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      Aw, thank you so much Elena! :)

  • Heather Feather

    This is brilliant! Maybe if I feel cute and I’m listening to awesome music, I’d actually go running! And I love FOE!

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      Aw, thanks Heather!! :)

  • palak

    where did you get such cute foe? I love it. BTW, I’m featuring this at Sewistry next week– here’s the link: sewistry.com/2013/10/running-and-exercise-belt-sewing-tutorial/ Great tutorial Erin!!!!!!

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      Hooray! Thank you Palak! :)

      Oh, and I found the FOE on Amazon! They have some cool options!

  • Tabitha Swain Klucking

    GREAT idea! The pockets in the running clothes are never big enough and I hate fanny packs. This is perfect. Thanks so much for sharing (I caught this at Sew Mama Sew).

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      Aw, thanks so much Tabitha! :)

  • Ann

    This might be a silly question, but how do you put on the running belt, since it’s a tube, do you step into it? Thanks!!

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      Hi Ann! I just step into it like a skirt. :)

  • karri

    Thanks so much! I am making one to wear at Disney. Much nicer than a fanny pack :)

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      I would love to see yours, Karri! And great idea for having it at Disney! Have a good trip too! :)

  • Kathy

    Oh my! How awesome!! I’m really not that great with the sewing machine yet but I seriously need this for when I run! Better get at it :)

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      Yay! I’m glad you like it, Kathy! :)

  • Jordan W

    Awesome! Great tutorial. I made one, but skipped the FOE because I’ll be walking instead of running. I love it!!

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      Eeeep! I love it!! Thank you so much for sharing!! :)

    • pokerwife1

      Love that fabric!

  • jette schrøder rasmussen

    Cool – what a good idea. – Thanks for sharing :-)

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      I’m so glad you like it! :)

  • http://newlywoodwards.com/ Kim@NewlyWoodwards

    Okay, this is too cool. I pretty much come up with any excuse NOT to run. And seriously, one of the reasons is that I hate that I have to put my iPhone in my sports bra. Ha. I’m just looking for reasons. But this could solve the dilemma.

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      Thanks so much for stopping by from East Coast Creative! :) I’m so glad you like my running belt!

  • http://newlywoodwards.com/ Kim@NewlyWoodwards

    PS – stopping over from East Coast Creative.

  • MKE gal

    I expected one step to be sewing across the belt the short way to make a pocket around the zipper (whatever length you want) & prevent your items from shifting to an inconvenient place.
    In your experience, do they not shift, or is it not a problem to fish them out when they do?

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      You could definitely sew across the short way to make a pocket, but I’ve never had any problems with things shifting since the belt is tight around my hips.

  • http://goldpolkadots.com Hanna @ Gold Polka Dots

    Oh my gosh such a great idea!!! I always struggle with holding my phone and keys when I run because I don’t have any pockets. Will be trying this soon!! Thanks for the tutorial :)

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      Yay! I’m so glad you liked the turorial!

  • Becky B

    This is going to be great for my insulin pump too! THANK YOU!

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      I’m so glad you like the tutorial! I would love to see a picture of your belt if you make it! :)

    • pokerwife1

      How did this work for your insulin pump? I’m going to make a belt for my daughter’s. Did it work well?

  • yasyas

    what a fantastic idea, thank you for sharing!My daughter was looking for something like this! what a nice blog you have!

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      Aww, thanks for the kind words! I’m so glad you like it! :)

  • pokerwife1

    I’m glad I read this. I’m making a belt for my 13 yr old daughter’s insulin pump. This gives me direction to head in. :-)

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      I’d love to see yours when you make it! :)

  • Sylvia Seal

    Great Idea! Thank you!

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      Thanks, Sylvia! I’m so glad you like it!

  • Princess Lyea

    DID IT!!! amazing!!! thank you very much for your instructions and sharing this idea.!!!

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      Yay! I’m so happy you made it!

  • Kati R.

    Such a great tutorial, thank you! I heard you on the modern sewciety podcast, and clicked Stephanie’s link to the belt. I just got a serger for Christmas, this could be a great project to break it in :) PS we have the same running shoes! (even the color)

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      I’m so glad you like the tutorial! I would love to see your version if you make it! Happy serging! :)