Sew a Thimble





Introduction: Sew a Thimble

About: I am powered by sugar and rainbows! For realz!

Learn how to easily sew your own thimble with just a thin piece of leather, a needle, and thread.

I was knitting the other day and noticed my very tight knitting style was causing me to really poke and abuse my finger. It was starting to get in the way of my working, so I figured I should use a thimble. I found that the one from my cheap Ikea sewing kit was just not going to work, so I took to the internet. That's when I found out most thimbles are actually made of leather now. So, I thought, why don't I just make one.

And I did.

Step 1: Supplies

If you don't like leather, please feel free to make this out of another material.

* Instructables member buildandsewandstuff has suggested cutting a circle from a plastic milk jug (or something similar) and placing that between the leather circle and body of the thimble. I think that would work really good for extra reinforcement.

This is my first time working with leather, so I apologize if I'm breaking a million rules every leatherworker knows to follow. I'm still learning :)

Step 2: Cut Out the Shape

I don't have a picky way of doing this. I just folded a piece of scrap leather over the figure I wanted the thimble for and cut I cut it out. Start too big and then you can trim it down if you need to.

To get an idea of the size of mine, all of those squares on the mat are 1' by 1'.

I decided to have a folded edge so I wouldn't have to do as much sewing and so one edge would be nice and smooth without a seem. If you'd prefer to do two seperate pieces, that's fine too.

Note: It is best if this thimble fits your finger snuggly. So if you want one for a finger, make it for your finger. If you want one for your thumb, make one to fit your thumb. Mine fits all of my fingers pretty well, but is too big for my pinky and too small for my thumb.

Step 3: Optional Reinforced Pad

Since my leather is kind of thin, I thought I would sew an extra piece to the part that would be at the pad of my finger.


You have to decide which way you want the seam to face in the end. If you put it on like I did, the seam is going to face your other fingers (if this is for your pointer finger like it was for me). While this may be uncomfortable if you are just wearing the thimble, I found this to be helpful while working as it kept the seam away from my work.

If you have the seam facing away from your other fingers, it won't rub up against them, but I found it to rub up against whatever I was working on and found that annoying.


I decided to do a circle and cut one out that is just smaller than the end of the thimble (I didn't want to have to sew through three layers of leather later, so I made it so I could sew it on the bad and still leave room to sew the thimble closed later). I found a spool of thread that was the perfect size (the same one I used while making my pom poms) so I just traced that.

Line it up and sew it on. I used a whip stitch. Make sure you are sewing it to the rough side of the leather and that the rough side of your piece faces out.

I doubled over my thread when I sewed for extra strength.

Note: You will be able to feel the stitches on the inside, so if that is going to be a bother to you, you probably don't want to put this on your thimble.

Step 4: Sew Up Your Thimble

Time to sew your thimble closed.

I started at the crease at the top of the thimble and went up and around. As I went, I would put the thimble on to make sure I wasn't sewing it too tightly or too loosely.

You can see in the last image that it looks kind of funny at the bottom left and that's because I decided I wanted it to be a bit tighter at the end. Makes it look funny, but it fits fine. I also whipped a stitch, at the end, around the bottom corner of the seam so that makes it look funny too.

The finished size was about 1" by 1 1/2'.

Step 5: Finished Thimble

You can see it fits nice and snug and I sewed mine so the seam faces my other fingers.

If you want to do anything to the bottom edge of the thimble, please feel free. I just left mine the way it was.



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    I sandwiched a disc from a plastic milk carton, cut the size of a dime, between the thimble and the reinforcement pad. It makes an almost pierce-proof spot, but is sort of flexible, too.

    1 reply

    Using that plastic sounds like a great idea! Thanks for sharing that :)

    LOVE this idea, genius! However, I wonder could I hot glue the "seams" rather than sew them as my sewing skills are totally NIL.

    Thank you so much for posting this great ible!

    2 replies

    I don't have any experience with leather (or faux leather) and hot glue, but it sounds like it would work to me :) It's so small that it is worth experimenting to see how it turns out :)

    Thank you so much for replying so quickly Penolopy,

    I'll definitely try it as soon as I find my little stash of leather/faux leather pieces. :)

    That's JUST the way I made my deer hide thimble years ago! but I never thought to reinforce it. I'm going to do that next time I get a chance. great idea. ( I put my seam inside.) I've had a few times using it to sew denim that I've pushed the eye of my needle right through the leather so reinforcement is just what I need. thanks!

    2 replies

    Yeah, so far I'm just using this for knitting, but I thought some reinforcement would be nice for sewing. Especially since the leather thimbles I saw on Amazon had metal plate things at the finger pad. I didn't have any metal, so I figured more leather would help.

    I guess metal would be pierce proof, but I believe this would be less awkward and still provide more protection. have to admit as well. I used deer hide and that's thinner than cowhide, in general.

    The point of the metal thimbles though is for sewing very tough material, such as webbing (think seatbelt material), since without it, the material is tough enough that the needle would pierce your finger before it would go through the webbing.

    This is so great! I do a lot of embroidery and hand sewing but I have large fingers. Finding a thimble that fits is a nightmare. Thanks so much for sharing!!

    Very cool indeed. Great idea! This thought never ocurred to me even though I am always cutting the fingers off my leather gloves ( I've even kept some in case I may use them for some future project). Not only that, but I really needed a thimble recently, but was too embarrassed to ask my mom for one of hers. She collects old stuff like that and I saw some really cool ones while I was snooping around in her garage.

    1 reply

    Thank you :) The leather fingers should be handy for this; you can even sew up one of the sides of it (or the back) to make it fitted if you wanted.

    Looks like a good idea.

    I will add a small coin or metal disc in the finger pad sandwich. To make a stronger thimble.

    2 replies

    I think that would be a great addition. I wasn't sure what to use, so I just went for the double leather :)

    cou can also use a few disks of soda bottle . They have a natural carve as well! 2-3 leayers flexible and inside the leather not issues. And still double the leather , it really does look nicer. Varve and stitch in style!!

    Just an amusing bit of trivia: The German word for thimble is fingerhut.

    1 reply

    faux leather is useless for protecting from needles, real leather please.

    I carve, I have many "thumbs" and wear gloves. The plastic "leather" does nothing, nor does knitted fabric , even a woven kevlar, does not stop a needle or a stab. Yours is way prettier then any I have made!!

    2 replies

    truth will set you free!! yours absolutely look nicer, and for my purpose will work a while before dying. But hey I had a brand new Kevlar glove take the bullet for me ,6 bucks saved me from a huge slash.

    when you work with leather or rope or sails on a ship , you may use a monkey's paw, a glove with a lead lined cup in the center.

    worth every penny

    have a great day