Skip to main content

How to Make a Sling

Making a sling is a simple procedure, and it is very handy to immobilize an injured shoulder, arm, or collarbone.


  • Step 1: Cut cloth into square Cut a large piece of cloth into a square that is at least 40" on each side.
  • TIP: If necessary, dress any wounds or make a splint before putting the arm in a sling.
  • Step 2: Fold in half Fold the cloth diagonally in half, forming a triangle.
  • Step 3: Place sling Drape the triangle so its base runs up and down the chest opposite the injured side, with the top corner dangling over and behind the shoulder on the uninjured side, and the bottom corner hanging below the waist. The corner opposite the base should wrap part way around the waist, lying between the torso and the injured arm's elbow.
  • Step 4: Support arm Gently support the injured arm at the elbow across the torso.
  • Step 5: Drape corner Lift the bottom corner up so the sling now cradles the injured arm. The hand should extend just past the base of the triangle and the elbow should be supported by the corner that's opposite the base. Drape that same corner you just lifted over and behind the shoulder above the injured arm.
  • Step 6: Tie two corners together Tie the two corners that are behind either shoulder to each other so they loop behind the neck, adjusting the knot so the elbow is bent at a right angle, not drooping low or pulled too high.
  • TIP: If you don't have a piece of cloth available, use a long-sleeved shirt or sweater. Simply tie the sleeves together behind the neck and anchor the arm with the body of the shirt.
  • Step 7: Secure sling w/ cloth To further immobilize the arm, wrap a long, thin piece of cloth around the body to keep the arm securely against the body.
  • FACT: After his arm was shattered in a car accident, legendary guitarist Les Paul instructed surgeons set his arm at an angle, allowing him to continue to play.

You Will Need

  • A large piece of cloth
  • A pair of scissors
  • And a long
  • thin piece of cloth
  • A long-sleeved shirt or sweater (optional) (optional)

Popular Categories