DIY Skate Guards

Skate Guards

By in sewing, tutorial on February 13, 2014
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My husband recently came into some hand-me-down hockey skates with skate guards that had seen better days. I worked through the trial error process of creating a replacement from scratch, and I hope the following tutorial helps you create a pair for your skates!

Also known as skate soakers, these aren’t the type you’d put on to walk around the rink. These just help dry the skate blade and keep them from cutting up other items in your bag.

old skate guards

Materials for One Pair:

  • two 5″ x 15″ strips of your outer fabric
    • I bought 1/8 yard of flannel, which is 4.5″ wide…close enough
  • two 5″ x 15″ strips of terry fabric in a coordinating color
    • I bought 1/8 yard again, same reason as above
  • two 5″ x 15″ strips of cushion fabric
    • I used some scrap fleece I had from another project
    • color won’t matter for this piece
  • two 3″ x 15″ strips of the same cushion/padding fabric
  • 40″ of flat elastic

Supplies Needed:

  • sewing machine
  • pins or sewing clips
  • hand needle and some thread
  • two threadable weights
    • I used two large paperclips
  • scissors


DSC_3662Cut a 15″ long strip of your exterior fabric, and repeat for your interior terry fabric. Since I bought 1/8 of a yard of each, the width was already fine. If you’re using a larger piece, cut each to 5″ wide.

DSC_3663From your padding fabric, cut a 5″ x 15″ strip and a 3″ x 15″ strip.

DSC_3664Center the skinnier padding strip atop the other and pin into place.

DSC_3665Sew a quick running stitch down both sides of the skinnier strip to hold into place. If you’re as sewing machine dependent as I am, you can use your standard straight stitch on the longest stitch length setting. This layering provides added reinforcement over the blade of the skate without adding extra bulk to the area where the elastic will eventually go.

DSC_3667Stack all three layers. I put the terry atop the cushion layer with the cushion side up so the exterior would be smoother. Make sure your “good side” of your exterior fabric is facing the cushion fabric. Pin or clip in place, then sew down each side of your stack with 1/4″ seam.

DSC_3669My double stitch is a result of my lazy usage of the 1/8-yard-from-the-fabric-store: the seam got a little short, and I didn’t want it to tear through after I inverted it since I plan on the seam flexing quite a bit in use. If you go the 1/8-yard-buy route, just watch as you’re sewing to make sure your stitch is far enough into the edge of all of your fabrics.

DSC_3670Once you’ve stitched the edges, invert the piece between your exterior and your cushion layer. Snip two 10″ strips from your elastic strip.

DSC_3671Hand sew through one end of an elastic strip. We’re essentially attaching a “handle” for you to stretch the elastic a few steps down the road. I tied the other end of my thread to a large safety pin, but you can use whatever weighted object you choose. Repeat for the second piece of elastic.

DSC_3674Tuck an elastic strip between the outer fabric and the padding fabric, keeping it flat and as close to the seam as possible. Pin the elastic in place, ensuring that your weighted “handle” is hanging out the end of the piece. Repeat on the opposite side with the other elastic, keeping the raw edges of the elastics on the same side of the work.

I forgot to photograph the next step, but straight stitch channels for the elastic down both long edges of the piece. This will keep your elastic on their respective edges of the finished skate guard. I stitched in 3/4″ from the seam.

DSC_3676We’re getting close! Fold the project lengthwise with the interior fabric facing out. Starting on the edge that has the raw edge of your elastic, clip or pin together.

DSC_3677Stitch the end closed from end to end, paying particular attention to the seam ends or the corners so that they are well sewn. The corners at the open edge will be tested every time the skate guard goes on and comes off.

DSC_3678I don’t know what to call the stitch I used, so I just took a picture of my screen. Maybe you’d call this a “zig-zag stitch with borders”; I’ve taken a liking to “zig-zag railroad.” I used the default width but shortened the default length to make sure the stitch was really thorough.

I didn’t have enough hands to photograph this next step either:
One at a time, gently pull your weight/thread to extend the elastic through the channel. Extend the elastic about 1″ beyond the edge of the work (you’ll trim it later). Clip or pin elastic at the open end of the work. Make sure you’ve actually got it secured before you release your pull. Repeat on the other piece of elastic.

Like you did on the other side, fold with terry out, clip including the elastic (that’s especially important on this side since your elastic is contracting…ask me how I know that!), and zig-zag-railroad stitch that baby closed. Once you’ve completed the seam and the elastic is secured, trim the elastic tails being careful to avoid cutting the threads

DSC_3680The moment of truth: flip your piece right-side-out! What a good-looking skate guard.

Now repeat each step again so you can cover the other skate.

DSC_3683Ta da! It was way easier on the second one, don’t you think? 😉

DSC_3679There you have it: a one-of-a-kind, super-reinforced custom skate guard.

DIY Skate Guards

The Financials:

Item Price Coupons Spent @ Checkout Usage Cost
1/8 yard flannel print $2.99/yd
(50% off sale)
20% off entire purchase 30¢ about 2/3 20¢
1/8 yard cotton terry $9.99/yd 20% off entire purchase $1 about 2/3 67¢
8yd of 1/4″ braided elastic $3.29 40% off a full-priced item
20% off entire purchase
$1.58 5/36 22¢
TOTAL: $1.09

This calculation includes both skate covers, and I think it’s a safe bet that these will be the best-looking skate covers at the rink. I’ll just assume my husband cares about that (which I’m sure he does not). Regardless, a successful craft experience!

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