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How to Make Sap Gloves: Detailed Guide For A DIY Project

Fact checked by A. Thompson

how to make sap gloves

Sap gloves or weight-knuckled gloves are designed for offensive combat and self-defense. The added powdered steel or lead in the back of the glove fingers allows added kinetic energy to throw sharp punches and hand strikes.

For whichever purpose we need this safety gear for, we can create it at home from available materials. So, if you are here for the tutorial, read on to know how to make sap gloves and make them right.

What Items to Prepare for This Tutorial

We are going to make a pair of weighted leather gloves, so here’re what to gather before starting our DIY project:

  • A pair of gloves – Many of us are tempted to buy new gloves to make functional sap gloves. But, it is not necessary if you already have a spare leather pair still in good condition. Also, since we plan to put powdered metal inside the gloves to create knuckle pouches, a fingerless pair could work.
  • Metal powder – We can encounter many 8oz sap gloves in the market. That means the amount of steel, lead or iron powder inside the gloves is around 8 oz. You can use this as a reference when purchasing metal powder for this tutorial.
  • Leather strips – It is rather easy to find leather strips that match your gloves’ color. Make sure you go with thin strips to avoid making too-bulky gloves.
  • Sewing kit – The sewing kit should have a suitable needle for tough leather gloves. Also, the thread color should go well with the glove’s look and your preference.
  • A soft tape measure and fabric scissors – When making gloves, correct measurements are essential. You can use a ruler, but a soft tape measure is easier to handle. Plus, if you own a sewing kit, there might already be a tape measure and fabric scissors inside.
  • Sewing machine – Many might assume they can hand-sew the gloves knuckles, but it is very challenging with the thin leather strips and metal powder. To avoid making a mess, make sure you prepare a sewing machine.

Step-by-step Guide for Making Sap Gloves


Step 1: Measure your gloves

This step serves two purposes: buying well-fitted gloves and figuring out the amount and sizing of leather strips we need. If you already have a leather pair ready for the remake, save its dimensions to prepare the strips.

As you have to fold your fingers to make a fist when punching, make sure the added strips with powder can support the movement. So, use the tape measure to determine the distance from 1 inch above your knuckle to its middle joint.

Then, measure the width of every glove finger, except for the thumb.

Step 2: Prepare the strips

Now, it is time to cut the leather strips according to the exact measurements above. Make a total of eight rectangular pieces, one for each finger on both hands. Use your sharp fabric scissors for this step.

Step 3: Attach the leather strips by sewing

As we have eight leather strips for each finger except two thumbs, we should position them on the glove knuckle. Instead of placing them right in the middle, we can move them down along the finger a bit. With that, the powder will be gathered at the right place when we make a punch.

Now, sew three sides of each strip, leaving one side to make a little hole to pour in powdered lead or iron later.

Step 4: Add the metal/steel powder

Carefully pour the lead or iron powder into these eight small holes. Make sure to divide the amount fairly and pour into them one at a time. After filling one finger with the powder, sew it securely right away to prevent spilling. Do the same for the rest of the fingers.

And that’s how we make powdered lead sap gloves with available items around the house. Also, other than powdered lead gloves, you can make ones with iron and steel powder underneath tough leather strips.


Since my old Hatch sap gloves were torn badly and I had a spare leather pair that is no longer in use, I fixed it to make a good sap glove for self-defense. Any reader wanting a rugged hand protection piece can follow our guide on how to make sap gloves and create one for themselves.

When you are finished with this little DIY project, feel free to share it with us by leaving a comment. Thank you for reading.

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