Safety First : How to Make Reflective Wristbands

My exercise of choice is walking, particularly speed walking, where you swing your arms above your heart while striding quite forcibly. But let’s admit it … speed walking on the streets of a city might look a little bit dorky. So most of the time I do it in the evening when the fashionable daytime foot-traffic has left the neighbourhood, leaving the streets to local exercisers and dog-walkers. These friends in the ‘hood are used to seeing me go racing by! Sometimes I run too, but I limit that to intervals.

The reason I’m telling you this is not to give you an image in your head of a maniacal woman on the loose, but rather to talk about the reflective wristbands I recently made. While the weather has been absolutely spring-like this winter, the time the sun sets has not changed. By 6 in the evening it is dark out. I made the wristbands so that cars will see me. I thought about armbands that go further up, however decided wristbands would be more effective, because they move more while walking and would do a good job at alerting motorists that I was there.

Maybe you want to make a pair for yourself or a family member. They could also be worn as ankle bands for cyclists. I bought an 10 inch length of reflective material at my favourite hardware store, an independent merchant called Rotblott’s, (at 443 Adelaide Street West) whose family has been in business in the neighbourhood for decades. In fact, I bought it from the grandson of the founder and we had an interesting chat about the business. He also showed me the vintage cash register they have, going so far as opening the drawer up for me. Alas, I didn’t have my camera with me.

But I’m pretty sure you can buy a similar piece of reflective material at any hardware store. The guy told me it is the same stuff that they use to make reflective safety vests.

I had some yellow felt that I used as a backing to the reflective tape, and I bought some pre-made velcro and elastic bands at the dollar store (though you could make these yourself too, if you can’t find them pre-made), that I threaded through the tubes I made.

Making them was easy so I won’t insult your intelligence by describing the process, but should mention that my sewing machine wasn’t overly happy to be attaching a plastic-y material to a fabric one, and the tension was off. I really had to feed it through, and still the two types of material did not line up as perfectly as I would have liked. But hey, you people are the only ones who are ever going to be looking at this particular sewing job from so close up!

Thank you very much for your visit. Wishing you a happy Tuesday!
xo loulou