How to Sew Kneepads into Work Pants

by Josh Baum ; Updated September 28, 2017

For applications like extreme sports or rock climbing, it makes sense to have professional molded kneepads. But for everyday projects like gardening, tuning up vehicles and cleaning floors, you can make kneeling and crawling more comfortable by sewing some makeshift kneepads into your work jeans or overalls. Just follow these steps to make your own built-in kneepads out of easy to find items.

Items you will need

  • Thick foam rubber
  • Large sew-on patches made from durable fabric
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Work pants or overalls
  • Pencil
Step 1

Begin by gathering your items. Most fabric stores will carry everything you need, with the possible exception of foam rubber. Smaller fabric shops may not carry this, but you should be able to find it at most hobby and craft stores.

Step 2

Put on your work pants and position one of the patches over one knee. Your padding will go under the patch, so keep that in mind as you put the patch in the ideal position. When you have it right where you want it, use a pencil to mark your pants at all four corners of the patch.

Step 3

Repeat Step 2 on the other knee.

Step 4

Start with a piece of thread about twice as long as your forearm. Tie a knot in one end of the thread to hold it in place when it rests up against the patch. Thread the needle and prepare to sew on the first patch.

Step 5

When sewing on the first patch, start at one of the top corners and sew downwards to the bottom corner. Then sew across the bottom, and finally up the other side. Do not sew the top side closed. Instead, tie the thread off with a double knot and cut off the excess.

Step 6

Repeat Step 5 with the other patch.

Step 7

Set a piece of foam rubber on top of the patch to estimate the size and shape you will need to cut. There's no need to measure; just eyeball it at first, favoring a slightly larger than necessary piece over a piece that is too small. When it's cut, stuff it into the pocket created by the patch. If it's a little too large, trim it down until it fits just right. Make sure that you have enough slack on the open end of the patch to finish sewing it.

Step 8

Repeat Step 7 with the other knee.

Step 9

Using a shorter length of thread, sew up the opening on one patch using the same method described in Steps 4 and 5.

Step 10

Repeat Step 9 on the other knee.


  • If you plan to make extensive use of your kneepads, consider leaving the top of each patch open. As long as the kneepads are in snugly enough to prevent them from falling out, leaving the top open will make it easy to replace the foam rubber when it starts to wear out. If you have an old pair of work pants of the same material type and color, you can cut patches directly out of that material.