Make Your Own DIY Balaclava

Last updated 16. January 2020


The balaclava is a staple in numerous countries around the world due to its warmth, uniqueness, and usability.

Instead of going out and buying a balaclava, why not make one at home and rock a design that’s fully personalized? Here are the steps to follow if a DIY balaclava is something you’re interested in.

Steps for Making a DIY Balaclava

1) Get The Right Materials

* Fabric
* Sewing Machine
* Eyelet Kit
* Serger
* Scissors

2) Plan The Design

You will want to sit down and plan the design whether it has to do with the size, shape, or pattern that’s chosen. Look into all of these details and have a small sketch in mind if possible. This will allow you to follow a pattern without getting confused or lost. Don’t worry, you won’t be making your own brand of handmade ski jackets. Something that works will suffice.

3) Trace the Hood

It’s time to get started on the balaclava and the first step involves your hood. Take a traditional hood and place it on your desired fabric. Remember, the goal is to have two full hood pieces in hand at the end of the process. During this process, you are going to place the neck on the fold while tracing. As soon as the tracing is done, you will want to cut it out. For the inside portion of your neck, trace a separate design and cut.

Remember, make sure the hood that’s being used for tracing is properly sized for your body. Don’t assume any old hood is going to cut it. Otherwise, you may have something that is skin tight or far too loose.

4) Sew The Hood

Now it’s time to start sewing the hood together.

Begin with the outside edge. A zig-zag pattern is going to be used along the edge. To do this properly, you are going to use a serger with your machine. Make sure to switch to the zig-zag stitch on your machine before beginning.

5) Place Eyelet Into The Hood

The eyelet is going to be an important part of the balaclava and you’re going to begin by measuring its placement. Find the right spot and mark its location on both sides of the hood. Cut out these holes, put the eyelet in, and then hammer the eyelet into place. Remember, to use the eyelet tool while doing this. Make sure it is close to the front edge so you do have room to get the cord out.

6) Hemming

With hemming, begin with the front edge and roll it over the eyelet. At this point, you will stitch along the edge and make sure it is fully secure.

7) Finalize the Neck Area

The neck area is an important part of this solution and has to be immaculately handled.

To do this, you want to set up the zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine and place both right sides together. This will make sure the thread doesn’t break during the process. Once you’re set up, it’s time to begin stitching the raw edge. You are going to move it a quarter of an inch and continue to stitch near the bottom.

With the other side, you want to sew along the back edge with the same stitch. Fold to make sure the opposite sides are touching for the “inside neck” portion. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to length based on how you want to wear it.

8) Pinning

With the pinning process, you are going to begin on the right side of your hood. It’s important to line up the piece before starting. Anyone that overdoes it with the pins isn’t going to like the finishing (i.e. using 4+ pins). All you need is enough for the front sides and back. This means you can get away with three pins and nothing more. Otherwise, you are not going to have enough room to breathe when it’s time to put on the DIY balaclava!

As soon as the pins go into place, you are going to grab the inside neck area and put it over the hood. This is going to act as a guide while you sew everything together later on.

9) Sewing Together

Now it’s time to put all of your work together and finalize the design that has been set up.

You are going to set a straight stitch on your sewing machine and go around the edges. It’s smart to go back and do it twice so the fabric doesn’t break apart on you as soon as it is put on. Once the sewing is done, you are going to pull the right side out.

10) Setting Up The Cord

The cord is going to be an important part of the DIY balaclava and is the final step in this process.

You will take a simple pin and put it at the end of the cord. This will make sure it locks in once set up. As soon as the pin is put in, you are going to feed the cord through your established eyelet. Take it all the way around to the other eyelet.

Make sure the cord stops work while doing this!

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