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How to Make Your Own Reflective Safety Vest

If you’re running in the dark, it’s always a good idea to wear some sort of reflective gear. If you’re running near traffic, it’s an absolute necessity. If you’re planning on running in an overnight relay race, you’ll probably be required to wear a reflective safety vest even when you’re not running. While reflective safety gear pales in comparison to shoes in the expense department, you can save a little cash by making your own reflective safety vest.

What you need:

Reflective tape is usually sold in 36-inch rolls. One roll will be enough for a maximum of three vests, and will cover one vest quite liberally with reflectivity.

Step 1: Measure out strips of reflective tape and cut them to size. When covering three vests, cut three 12-inch strips of tape.

Step 2: Use one strip per vest. Cut that strip into 4 smaller 3-inch pieces.

Step 3: Place two pieces on the rear of the vest and two pieces on the front. If you’re making fewer vests, you can cut more strips, or make the strips longer. Just be sure to place the reflective tape in areas where it won’t be covered by your arms when you are wearing the vest.

That’s all there is to it! The tape sticks to the scrimmage vests quite well, and stands up to sweat without any problems whatsoever. We haven’t put these reflective vests through the washer yet, but we suspect they’ll last through a few cycles at least.

at Ragnar Relay in our reflective vests

Team 142 at the Ragnar Relay in our reflective vests

Written by

Brian Darrow is a running coach in St. Petersburg, FL who specializes in online coaching for beginners. Follow him at

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One Response to "How to Make Your Own Reflective Safety Vest"

  1. lali says:

    that was pretty quick and cost effective too . thanks for the whole tutorial ;)

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