Saturday 1 April 2017

What is a Sensory Body sock and how can I make one?

Have a guess at how many times I have been asked these question in the last few weeks..... Actually don't guess, they've been asked on numerous occasions and by many different people.

A sensory body sock is a sensory tool that L's Early Intervention centre uses for the children. We have two at home and they are magical. They're quite common among ASD families.

The idea behind the body sock is that the child, or adult, gets into the body sock to release pent up energy, to gain sensory input. to have a sensory break or to simply calm down. It has many uses and I must say that it is quite calming.

By pushing and stretching against the fabric, the individual feels the resistance which in turn stimulates their sensory receptors.

The smaller the body sock, the more resistance is given. The larger the body sock, the less resistance will be felt and as such the body sock becomes less effective.

I will say that I was on the receiving end of many a strange look as I was purchasing metres of brightly coloured spandex! The ladies at my local fabric store are now very well versed in sensory body socks. I even had to take in a photo of a body sock in action so that they could see how it is used.

In the last few weeks I have made three body socks and I have three more to make. I initially looked into purchasing a body sock however once I saw the price, I very quickly decided to try and make one. Put it this way, for the price of a body sock already made up I could have purchased 15 metres of spandex! That's a lot of leggings!

And wouldn't you know it, the body socks actually turned out quite well.

They are very easy to make so I thought that I would do up a tutorial for those who may want to attempt to make their own.

So here goes.......

What you will need:
Approximately 1 metre of spandex or lycra type fabric. The fabric must be stretchy. I found that 1 metre was the perfect length for O's body sock. The best bet is to measure the individuals height and that is roughly how many metres of fabric you will need.

Step 1:
Fold the fabric in half lengthways and pin the raw long edge. Make sure that you leave an opening on the long raw edge about a quarter of the length in. The opening needs to be wide enough for the child to get into the bag. I left an opening of about 30cm.

Step 2:
I got L to lie on the pinned fabric so that I could measure exactly how long the body sock needed to be. To get the full benefit of the body sock, it has to be just a little bit longer than the height of the individual who will be using it. For L's I had to cut off a small strip that I then turned into a sensory chair band - more on that later!

Step 3:
Sew the long raw edge, leaving the opening unsewn. I reinforced the edges close to the opening as it was going to get a lot of work out as my little superheroes went into and out of the body sock. I also zigzagged the raw edge for extra strength.

Step 4:
Open the body sock up so that the long seam that you just made, runs down the centre of the sock. You have essentially created a tube.

Step 5:
Pin the short edges of both ends of the tube. I folded the raw edges over to give them a little more strength.

Step 6:
Sew the short edges. I did two rows of straight stitch and one row of zigzag to give the ends more strength. The ends of the sock are where the most stretching is going to occur, especially the corners.

Step 7:
Turn the body sock through the opening that you left so that the seams are on the inside and it is then ready to be played with.

As soon as I made L's body sock he was in it. They are a really useful sensory tool. It took me about half an hour to sew and cost less than $10 to make!

I hope that my instructions are clear enough. Would love to see photos of the body socks that you make! Happy sensory seeking!


  1. Thanks for this, its brilliant. I have been looking at these and wondered how to make one.

  2. Were would u find the spandix fabric

    1. I got the material from Spotlight but any fabric outlet should sell this type of fabric. Hope that helps.

  3. Could this be made for an adult and what amount and size do you think you would need

  4. I'm going to try to make this for my 13 year old. It looks like something that may help him and be fun in the process. Currently he wraps up like a burrito in his blankets.

  5. Did you edge/hem the edges on the opening or leave them unsewn entirely?
    Also just to clarify, what was the width for your material? My son is 118cm tall, so I understand his suit should just be a little longer than that, but how wide? Perhaps this was the part you said should be 1meter.
    Thanks ☺️

    1. Hi there, sorry I only just saw this. I initially tried to hem the edges on the opening, but this restricted the stretch somewhat. As the fabric is lycra, it doesn't fray so leaving it unhemmed is fine. The usual width the lycra comes in on the bolt is definitely wide enough too.

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  7. Thank you! My grandson has just been diagnosed with Autism..My son has asked me to make gkid one. Thank you again!


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