Running Belt DIY

Running Belt Tutorial  ||  Erin of the Sewing Rabbit Team DIY

Love to exercise, but don’t want to wear arm band in order to listen to your favorite music? Erin from the Sewing Rabbit Team has the perfect solution for you, a Running Belt. This phenomenal little belt will eliminate all of the arm slippage, and make running while listening to music a breeze!

Running Belt DIY

Running Belt Tutorial  ||  Erin of the Sewing Rabbit Team DIY

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

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 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.

Running Belt Tutorial  ||  Erin of the Sewing Rabbit Team DIY

Running Belt Tutorial  ||  Erin of the Sewing Rabbit Team DIY

Here’s how to make one…


  • 1/4 yard of Spandex or Nylon Fabric
  • 7 Inch Zipper
  • Fold-Over Elastic (FOE)
  • Stretch Needle
  • 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.

Running Belt Tutorial  ||  Erin of the Sewing Rabbit Team DIY

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 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.

Running Belt Tutorial  ||  Erin of the Sewing Rabbit Team DIY

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.

Running Belt Tutorial  ||  Erin of the Sewing Rabbit Team DIY

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!

Running Belt Tutorial  ||  Erin of the Sewing Rabbit Team DIY

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

Running Belt Tutorial  ||  Erin of the Sewing Rabbit Team DIY

Turn the belt right side out.

Running Belt Tutorial  ||  Erin of the Sewing Rabbit Team DIY

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.

Running Belt Tutorial  ||  Erin of the Sewing Rabbit Team DIY

And that’s is! Now we 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!

Running Belt Tutorial  ||  Erin of the Sewing Rabbit Team DIY

Running Belt Tutorial  ||  Erin of the Sewing Rabbit Team DIY

Running Belt Tutorial  ||  Erin of the Sewing Rabbit Team DIY

Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…

Happy Sewing!


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Jess Abbott the Sewing Rabbit is the founder and creative director behind the me sew crazy blog, as well as, 5 & 10 Designs, GNO Events, and co-editor of STYLO. She resides in Virginia Beach with her husband and 3 children.
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  1. says

    I love this – a 21st century version of a fanny pack! I walk and ride a bike and this belt would be perfect for those activities, too!

    • says

      Thanks Sue! I picked up the fold over elastic on – it was my first time using it. It’s such a fun product! And, you can’t see it in the pictures, but I made it into a hair tie too so I would match! :)

  2. Julie M says

    Great idea! I have to ask though, what is that little red clip? Is that something to use in place of pins? A new type of sewing notion? Seems genius.

    • says

      Thanks Celina! Oh my gosh, I know right?! I counted the photo shoot where I was wearing the belt as a workout since I jogged up and down the street about 5 times trying to get a cute running shot – turns out I’m really awkward looking when I run!

  3. says

    This belt is genius. I don’t run, but walk (er, sometimes) and have had many an awkward moment with my phone when I’ve had to just hold it in my hand. Or wear something with a pocket to hold the phone such as regular khakis.
    Thank you for sharing!

  4. Mindy says

    I actually just bought one of the FLIP belts. Wish I had seen this tutorial two weeks ago. I might just have to make one as a backup. Thanks for the tutorial.

  5. Monica says

    Love this! How about adding an eyelet to string the earpiece thru and that way you don’t have to leave zipper open. Oooooh…can’t wait to try

      • Jane says

        Hi, instead of grommets or eyelets — why not a buttonhole? Don’t forget to stabilize it yet it could be easier than the other suggestions. My daughter and I will be making these. Great idea! Thanks!

  6. Lisa says

    I have been looking all over the web for tutorial like this! I, too, have problems with the armband version! :( I think I’m going to work on this tonight! Thanks again!

  7. Audrey says

    I love this! I’ve been carrying my phone and it drives me nuts. Can’t wait to make this!! Thanks for sharing :)

  8. says

    I may have to get some help in making one of these but it’s super cute. I LOVE to run (when I can, which I can’t right now due to injury but soon?)!! I also like that you can sit this on top of your love handles and not worry about that. :) LOL

  9. says

    I was just thinking to myself this afternoon as I was out for a run, I need something better then an arm band to hold my phone. This is perfect, it’s cute and not bulky at all! Love this, thanks for sharing!

  10. says

    This is brilliant. The lack of useable pockets in all my running clothes makes me so mad. I too keep all my stuff in my sports bra. So nasty, but what else am I going to do? Last week my phone went flying out too–in the middle of an intersection and I’m running so of course I kick it and send it flying, so embarrassing. God forbid that happen on the trail somewhere where there’s no one to observe my humiliation.

  11. Carol says

    Hi there, I need a little help. I can´t find a Fold-Over Elastic (FOE) in Czech republic – do you have some ideas what to replace? Thank you very much!!!!

    • says

      Hi Carol! Hmm… the fold over elastic is great for keeping the belt from rolling over itself, but it’s not necessary. You could try making one without it, or maybe you could use regular elastic and sew two pieces side by side (maybe with a zig sag stitch? Or something stronger?) and kind of make your own? I find a lot of FOE on online retailers… have you looked there? I’m not sure how shipping works to the Czech Republic though.

    • says

      Hi Aubree – The FOE I used was 5/8 inch, but it was a little tricky. I would recommend something wider.

      I picked mine up on Amazon… just search Fold Over Elastic FOE 5/8 Inch Grey Chevron Zig Zag 10 Yards. :)

  12. says

    I don’t like running either… so I don’t, LOL. But this belt would still be great to use at the gym! I have an armband but sometimes I have to place my iPod elsewhere because the cords get in the way… like when lifting weights. Thanks for sharing!

  13. says

    Thanks for sharing this, I am definitely going to make one – also perfect for poo bags for when I am out walking the dog in the summer – I sometimes end up wrapping a jacket around my waist just so I have pockets!

  14. Diana says

    I hike year-round. In the summer my husband has to be the pockets for both of us. I’m going to make myself one of these as soon as I can get out and get fabric. I can also see a GREAT use for this when shopping – no need to carry a purse and worry about leaving it in a cart or having someone get into it. Thanks!!

  15. Ila says

    Love this! I hate the armband and feel uncomfortable running holding the phone especially when I run with my dog. This will be perfect for when I walk the dog and take him to the river to hold keys also!

  16. Rene says

    I am so in love with this! Heck, I am contemplating making one just so I don’t have to carry a purse any more! I could totally see myself wearing one to work each day, going to pick up our lunch will be sooo much easier with one of these. Or going to my son’s football games. Heck, make several in different colors/designs to go with each outfit! Yes, I do believe I’m gonna have to try this! My best friend will be so proud of me for using the ol’ sewing machine again!

    • says

      Oh my gosh, Renee! Your comment made me smile from ear to ear! I’m SO happy you like this tutorial! Please send some pics my way if you make one (or one in every color!!)! I would LOVE to see it and share it on my blog!

  17. says

    Thank you so much for this great tutorial! I don’t run but I do wear an insulin pump and have been looking for a holder to use when my clothes have no pockets. What is available on the market are waistband clips and bra pouches, neither fit with my lifestyle. Like Erin (above) says, this could be made in several fashion styles by changing up materials. You can’t know how much easier this will make life with an insulin pump. Thank you so much!

  18. says

    this is genius, don’t know why i never thought of something like this before. i hate the arm bands and i’m always afraid i’ll just drop my phone from my sweaty hands while running. what a great idea and a perfect use for all this random fold over elastic i have that i’m not using…

  19. Peggy says

    I just made my second one of these (first one was practice) and added some cording with toggle stops when I finished the seam to use during races. Thanks for the inspiration!

  20. says

    Hi, Thank you so Much for this DIY !!!!!
    I’ve just translate it in french for my sewing friends ! I can send you by mail this translation if you want !

    Cornaline50 (In France)

  21. Mieyra says

    This is amazing!i usually run with an armband but i dont like how it feels on my arm.i was looking through flip belts by LEVEL and BANDI but they dont ship to Malaysia and they are very expensive too.your DIY tutorial is amazing.i just cant wait to make one for myself soon!

  22. Anja says

    I just made myself one of these yesterday. I don’t really need it for my music player (ipod shuffle, clips on my clothes) and I don’t carry keys when I go running (code lock, yay), but I did want something I can stuff things like fingerless gloves, headband, fructose tablets, perhaps even my camera in when I go running. Not to mention little bags for collecting seeds from wild plants in the autumn (yes, I’m hooked on gardening, why do you ask).

    I made mine a bit higher, as I found I can always scrunch it up if I want to, but making the pocket bigger would be impossible. I also didn’t have fold over elastic, instead I just used normal white elastic (1.5cm wide) on the back side of the belt, stitching it down with a triple stitch zig-zag. Works fine and the edge doesn’t roll. And mine is dark red.

    • says

      Hi Amanda! I think jersey knit would accomplish the same thing, but I would recommend making sure the stretch of the jersey knit is enough to be able to pull the belt on and that it has a nice recovery so it doesn’t get too stretched out.

  23. Sumé says

    Love love love!! Just made one….took me less than 30min….and it is perfect!! Will test it out tomorrow, but I’m thinking ‘christmas prezzies!!’.
    Also going to europe in Jan, and this will indeed make a much more stylish option than a fanny pack! Thank YOU

  24. Kate says

    Many many thanks from Germany!!! Great idea and great tutorial!
    I’ve made one just now from a lovely belly belt with had a decoration of strass crystals on it.
    That’s why I’ve used a glittering Fold-Over Elastic (FOE). I didn’t use a zipper than leave only four slits (like the original flip belt I think).
    Perhaps I’ll send you some pictures, but they aren’t pretty as yours!
    The next one will be of neon-green spandex with a red zipper and black FOE’s with a red stripe in :)
    On sunday I’ll test it in my fitness-studio! Hope it will work fine :)

  25. Dana says

    Thank you for this! I am going to get some fabric and see if my son likes it for his insulin pump. It might suit him better than what we are currently using. I passed on your blog to fellow diabetes mamas. :)

  26. Tandy says

    Can’t sleep the night before the big half marathon? Whip up one of these baby’s for the race! It holds A LOT of stuff!

  27. Gwen says

    Cute & functional! You rock. I love the colors & how you added the trim. That trim really completes the piece & pulls your running outfit together. I might need to make one for my photo walking. The phone is in & out of my pocket constantly while spotify plays my walking tracks.

  28. Lisa Crabtree says

    Hi Erin. Thanks for this post. I’d like to have a go. Sourcing the nice FOE here in the UK is proving to be a bit tricky; (I can get plain but like the chevron effect). Can you recommend any larger suppliers in the US that may send to me over here? Happy Christmas. Lisa.

  29. Jenn says

    I will have to make this for trail rides. I used to have a phone that clipped to my belt, but my new phone is just too big. I feel a lot better when I am alone riding my horse when I have my phone with me, just in case.

  30. michele says

    Love this idea! Hate my armband. However, I can barely thread the needle on my machine. Do you sell these by any chance? They are a great :-)

    • says

      Hi Michele! Unfortunately I’m not selling any of these, but you should check out or as they are super similar to this tutorial. I didn’t realize how close hipssister was until after I wrote the tutorial and someone told me about it! Oops. ;)

  31. Paula says

    I love your running belt. I made mine from the bottom of a spandex t-shirt that I didn’t mind sacrificing for something better. This is great for my radio and cell phone when I do housework.

  32. SABRINA says

    Hi! Thanks for this tutorial! I bought the materials today and wanted to make this for our upcoming Disney Cruise this week. With 2 small children, I love wearing fanny packs because I love being hands free and don’t like carrying a purse around, but fanny packs can be too bulky for me! I love the idea of this version! I was wondering if you can put a second zipper on, so one for the front and one in the back and sew a seam on both sides, so I can have 2 big pockets. I feel like with only zipper, there is a lot of wasted space that could be utilized. I’m also new to sewing, so I wanted to know if you can kindly explain to me how I would incorporate a 2nd zipper, if that’s possible? Thank you so much in advance!

  33. Lori says

    Love this idea and made one with two zippers as a trial. When putting the FOE on do you stretch the fabric as you are sewing it on?


  34. Teresa says

    This is great! I am a novice at sewing. Do you by chance have a video for this? I am struggling getting the two ends to workout. I have sewed them all the wrong possible ways, but haven’t successful master how you connected them.


  35. April M says

    Binder clips, genius! I coach a run club for SAHMs and I can’t wait to make one of these for each of them! Your tutorial is awesome!

  36. Cara says

    Thanks for posting this great tutorial. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a running belt (or fold-over elastic) but as soon as I saw it I had to make one! I ended up making mine a little differently but I couldn’t have done it without your tutorial. You can see mine on Pinterest at

  37. Michelle M says

    My daughter has to wear a heart monitor for a month and we were trying to figure out how she can wear it while she runs and does karate. This is perfect! Now I just have to wait for the fabric store to open. Thank you for sharing your talents!

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