How-To Geek

DIY Touch Screen Mod Makes Regular Gloves Smartphone-friendly

Smartphone-friendly winter gloves are expensive (and often ugly). Skip shelling out for store-bought gloves when, armed with a needle and thread, you can turn any gloves into smartphone-friendly ones.

Over at Popular Science, Taylor Kubota shares the simple trick:

1. Order silver-plated nylon thread (silver conducts electricity). This can be difficult to find in stores, but major online retailers carry it.

2. Pick a pair of gloves to modify. Although leather works, it’s harder to push a needle through.

3. Stitch the figure of a star or other solid shape onto the glove’s index finger with the thread, making sure it will contact both the touchscreen and your skin.

4. Bundle up and tap away.

If you’re looking for a small volume of conductive thread (and would prefer to skip paying $40+ for a whole bobbin of it), Etsy seller Urbanstein has small 15 feet packets of silver-coated thread in various colors for $5.

Turn Your Favorite Mitts into Gadget Compatible Manipulators [Popular Science]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/4/12

Comments (12)

  1. srsly tho

    Right, avoid buying expensive gloves by buying expensive thread?
    Here’s an idea… put the damn phone away and pay attention on where you’re walking.

  2. Ken

    @srsly tho: Didn’t seriously think this through, did you? How about people who work outside? Particularly for those with touch-screen only phones. Seems reasonable to buy a bit of expensive thread to modify a task-specific type of glove that probably can’t be purchased to be touch-screen compatible.
    I might even do this to modify my favourite running gloves as I use my phone for tracking and directing my runs.
    Need I go on?

  3. A.D.Wheeler

    Keep in mind, if you do this, make sure you have a screen protector. Silver plated thread will scratch.

  4. Martijn

    I bought a pair of gloves with fingers tips that work on touchscreens.
    just for € 3 euro.

    Saves a lot os hassle ;-)

  5. Parker

    I just carry a small stylus pen.

  6. Ken

    Glass is harder than silver anyway and siler thread is very unlikely to scratch the phone with normal pressure.

  7. synwave

    I just use my tongue and i’ve notice fewer people wanting to borrow my phone.

  8. Paul (Other)

    @Parker: Yeah, because a stylus works with the iPhone.

  9. Dic

    @synwave: better not tell you what I use.

  10. MC2

    I use my nose when I have gloves on to navigate my phone.

  11. tkr9000

    heres a better cheaper way buy some thermal grease like arctic silver, take a dab and rub it into the finger of the glove. now your hands can be warm and you can use ur phone

  12. Somebody to love

    Just get lumia 920. It works with gloves and nails

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