I sometimes have to grab thorny or other rough objects that tear my hands up. I usually try to carry work gloves (just a example), but I don't always carry them and those are expensive. Other things I do is use my sleeves, pants or jacket, but that tears the clothing up. Is there something that I can carry with me that is cheap, I can somehow attach to several pieces of clothing and won't care if I lose?

I tried grabbing debris or using my foot but that never works. Cheap to me would be under $5.00 and something possibly over could be helpful, depending on the times I can use it. Any substitutes would be helpful. The task it would have to survive:

  • Climbing trees. They have bark and it needs to be gripping.
  • Grabbing thorns. Thorns tear at my hands and some fibres cut into the palms. I do a lot of gardening tasks.
  • I dig and touch dirty things a lot. So I would grade suggestions on how well they can be cleaned.
  • A plus would be anything warm. Because my hands swell when exposed to cold or even slight trauma.

The object would have to agree with some if not all of these terms. I will not discriminate

  • 1
    I don't think that this is what you're looking for, but these spray-on gloves were what came to mind when I saw your question title.
    – Shokhet
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 6:19
  • 1
    There is no substitute for thick leather gloves when working with thorny subjects - and I hope you're up to date with your tetanus shots.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 12:03
  • @darthnesscoveredthesky I don't know where you live, but in my country there are work gloves for under $2.5 (maybe even less) like these. You have to search and I am sure you will find. There is no cheaper and at the same time better substitute of these gloves. Even if you want to make gloves out of your old jeans, I don't think it worth spending your time.
    – vladiz
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 18:28
  • @vladiz Thank you for the suggestion :) However, my budget is low and I tend to lose things so buying is not a option really. I actually got good results from using denim, however work gloves aren't as grippy.
    – Pobrecita
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 18:31

5 Answers 5


The cheapest and most durable is the latex coated glove made for gardeners (the average price is $1.75/pair) which can be easily carried.

If you want some hacks you can make your own from jeans (denim) and paint/tar/silicone/flexible glue like:

enter image description here

In this case you should calculate with the cost of used materials and the time spent!

Nice LifeHacks in 2015!

  • 1
    Hi, this is a helpful answer with the potential to help a lot of people, Good Work! :) Only the first part seems like a product suggestion, I think this answer would benefit from some pics and explaining the last suggestions because they seem most helpful. Adding some links as to what a lot of these things are would also improve answer quality, these are some suggestions feel free to improve as you see fit. Thanks for your Contribution to the Community and Welcome to Life Hacks Stack Exchange. Enjoy your stay! :)
    – Pobrecita
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 21:16
  • 1
    Awesome answer 1+ surely :) But "How long does it take to dry" and "What is the cost for the glue?". Also, adding where you got the pic from is a necessary thing to help other people find it. These are some more suggestions to take your answer from Awesome to Extraordinary and have it get the upvotes it deserves :)
    – Pobrecita
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 22:38
  • 1
    Sewing gloves is hard, Sewing Denim is hard. Kudos to anyone who makes their own denim gloves. Making mittens is much \easier. Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 0:07

Some fabrics you could use are:

  • Denim. This is durable and easy to clean. Its a cheap fabric that can be found on Jeans, Fabric stores or other articles of clothing. Other similar fabrics are Corduroy.

These fabrics have less gripping, but if applied over clothing they can add to warmth. Apply it to sleeves in squares with sewing or fabric glue.

  • Using tape works, as well. But duct tape is slippery and less durable to grabbing.

I have made frequent use of duct tape in this situations. First layer is with sticky side out wrapped LOOSLY! around your hand, then cut it off and add a second layer with sticky side to the inside above the first layer.

That way you have the silver side inside and out and have some useful makeshift gloves.

If you want more softness wrap cloth around your hand before creating the gloves. This will give you good grip on many things as well, but I would not want to climb with such gloves.

As duct tape is an incredible useful tool anyway you would want to keep some rolls in your car / backpack anyway. So, if you forgot your gloves make some with tape.

There is a more complex way in creating duct tape gloves described in this video. It will fit better then just wrapping it around but it take considerably more time (15 minutes).

  • 1
    I did something similar with these thin disposable gloves (latex or vinyl kind), just wrap the tape around your hand wearing one of those. You can even get out and in a few times before they fall apart.
    – PlasmaHH
    Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 14:25

I feel your Pain. Sure, you can go buy "jersey gloves" anywhere, mine were 99 cents. That being said, it's a T-Shirt over your fingers. Any ideas of increased grip, protection from thorns, warmth, etc..... Not Happening. 1st: PRIORITY: what exactly do you need them for? In your case, protection against piercing objects, aka finger protection. 2nd: LIMITATIONS: Do you need a finger/thumb free for any reason? I.e. Touch screens, flipping lighters. 3rd: Cost: depending on you resources and supplies, if you do not want to spend ANY $, it's time to take inventory of what you Have.

Supplies: duct tape, base gloves (like the cloth jersey-style), shoestring, string, scissors, knife, paper,pen or pencil,pieces of "junk" I.e. Thin tin, aluminum foil, cork board, cardboard, flexible rubber, hard rubber, hard plastic that can be cut, dryer lint, CLOTH (Not just denim, Canvas is The Best, the more durable, the better, BUT it needs to be pliant, to move your fingers.

From there, it's all about what you need. For thorns, your MainHand Right or Left, should be given an extra Layer. Perhaps your offhand could provide a cut-off index finger for touch screens or the same for thumb for lighters, etc. Then: can you do a mitten shape? Easier all around, but no practical for thorns, heck I don't know, it's up to you.

Paper/thin cloth/anything you can cut and is movable and comfortable: trace hand over 2x folded paper. That's your pattern. For mittens keep fingers semi-closed, for fingèrs, spread hand out, to ensure thickness around fingers. If you can make your own gloves using spit and paper,glue, tape, whatever, you can make gloves protecting anything. There will be trial and error. Cut them out after 2 exaggerated copies of both hands. Now you have a base. TEMPORARILY Cut/spit/tape/paste to fit. BUT don't secure anything yet.

Now look at what you have already from list above,and what you thought of while reading me. My favorites as a 1st layer: t Shirt fabric, old soft towels, COMFORT is king. 2nd layer: Duct Tape. aluminum foil, pieces of old rubber inner-tubing or old kitchen glove pieces. Remember,pliable. This is gonna bend. Reinforce joints as much as possible,but not too thick. I have used all of the above, but you are gonna need an adhesive. Glue, Wax, TREE SAP, tape, whatever. Set out your base layer. Threading is nice, but you cam use any adhesive you can find. Look at "pressure points" for the job. Those need reinforced. Remember Pliability, but I made some Bitchin Mad Max gloves that included pieces of tin/copper/steel/iron and lead (watch out for load) For you, you want the PINCHER design re: thorns. Main Hand forefinger and thumb need to be the strongest. Sap really does work well with thin fabric. Will they last? No, they are homemade with tree sap! My Ideal Design: Cotton or fleece 1st layer. Finger Design, with cup-like mitten fold over. (Pattern on paper with fingers very slightly apart) use a safety pin or button and thread to hold finger cover on) if I use this, I may put something heavier on at least one mitten, metal, defense or frustration in mind. Or not. Duct Tape is good, but only on fingertips, palms, wrists, and between knuckles. Pliability! So you have at least Paper Gloves with 2 sides "glued", threaded, safety pinned, band aided, whatever. Go to town. One Glove at a time with hand in if possible, add string, tape, bungee, wire mesh, anything you can adhere to the outside. Not too tight on string and same rules as Duct Tape. I love the string type method as well. Now, aside from joints you have a canvas. Go crazy with the paint!

Reinforced pincher fingers: do you have any rubber? Mix it in for grip as a 3rd layer. Knuckles? For extra "punch", use your imagination. Duct tape plus wax plus more duct tape, or mix in some metal, thread rope horizontally across and add dimes under duct tape. Spikes are tricky, If you need them, Figure it Out. Make mistakes at your own peril with sharp objects. I prefer metal under the pinky to wrist area, use as a hammer.. Base=comfort and support, wrist support can be added by using coat hangers either wrapped or errrrrrrr clawed.". Secondary: essential surface that is your canvas to suit your needs. PLIABLE. TERTIARY: added reinforcement where you need it, want it or might Need it.

Think fleece or cotton with superglue reinforced by tape, then strips of duct tape around anything that does not bend. Or deerskin, moleskin, rats kin, make sure it is secure. The best base is 99 cents and. From there, you can make gloves for gardening, or for combat against the Sharks, or Skinheads. In that case, remember the hammer blow, and avoid glass in any capacity" also, don't fight. Thin wire can be the best of all, but it takes awhile to construct. But you can salvage it easily, champagne wire over cork for example, wire from cords, coat hangers, all is good stuff.

OK an hour of my life for ideas. Buy the 99c Jerseey Gloves as a base. Thin wire around finger tips but not thumb' then duct tape. Coat hangers for wrist/forearm, mix with your favorite rope, metal' or dare I say it Spike. Leave a way to get to skin somewhere whether by mitten flap or open. I use RIGHTY Index, Lefty Thumb.

Good Luck. Wish I could post my "HomeMade Tactical Gloves", but, I think you might get the idea now...........

  • I personally do not use latex as a base. Too hot too slippery when wet. But good for cut-out grips. Base needs to breathe. Also, don't just take advice, think about your goal, you know what you are asking here....
    – Zero77
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 6:40

Archers use various leather finger guards, some with simple designs. If you really want to avoid gloves but still be able to handle thorns, you may be able to fashion for yourself (from scraps?) a piece of leather or other protective material with one or more finger loops (which could be string) that can protect the "inside" of your hand while still letting the fingers "breathe" (and exposing the back of the hand/fingers to thorns etc.).

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