Knitted ankle bells

I have been wanting to make some ankle bells for my sons for ages. So, armed with a groovy ball of wool and some bells I set to work. At the end of it I was pretty chuffed; My first knitting project was complete and I was surrounded by two foot stomping, jingly-jangly boys to boot!

Homemade musical instruments: Ankle bells

This project is especially great if you are just learning to knit (like me) as it’s dead easy and very quick – compared to knitting a cardigan or jumper anyway!

If knitting is not your thing then you can attach some bells to a felt strip and put a velcro fastening at either end.

Homemade musical instruments: Ankle bells

Click below to read the ‘how-to’. In the meantime I would love to here from you if you have other idea’s for simple kids knitting projects.

How to

To make your ankle bells you will need:

♥ Ball of wool
♥ Knitting needles
♥ Jingle bells (1.8mm) – I used five for each cuff
♥ Needle

1) To begin with you need to create a cuff to sew the bells onto. If you are a complete newbie to knitting then check out this pdf from The Little Experience. It’s very helpful. I also used this article at knitsimplemag. It’s very useful and explains how to knit cuffs.

Cast on a multiple of 4 stitches plus 2 extra – I cast on 36 stitches but you may need more or less depending on the size of your little ones ankles – my little boy is pretty skinny in the leg department!
Row 1 (right side) Knit two, *purl two, knit two; repeat from * to end.
Row 2 Purl two, knit two, purl two; repeat from * to end.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until your cuff is about 2 inches wide.
Cast off

2) Sew the sides together

3) Attach 5 bells at regular intervals around the cuff and Bob’s your uncle!

WARNINGS: Please remember to attach the bells securely and make sure you supervise little ones as the bells could be a choking hazard.


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42 Comments Leave yours

  1. wow..that looks lovely…

  2. Great idea! Next time I’m looking for a quick knitting project, I’m working on this! Thanks.

  3. Kate #

    Thanks Nina and Sonja. The boys have had a great time stomping around with their music on so I reckon its been a great success.

  4. Wow – they are great. The boys must love stomping around in them.

  5. Oh my gosh those are the cutest things ever! I just came across your blog via WhipUp. I would love to link to this if you didn’t mind.

  6. Kate #

    Hi Rachel. They are pretty cute and lots of fun too! Would love you to link up :)

  7. Gorgeous! And what a great gift for toddlers!

  8. Linda #

    Great way to use up little leftover bits of yarn that I can’t seem to throw away!

  9. Shelby Bryant #

    I have been trying to think up ways to attach bells to my wandering son (and musically inclined son) and these are not only ADORABLE but perfect!!! Thank you for an awesome idea!

  10. What a great idea! I’m a bit more of an advanced knitter, but that won’t stop me from making a pair of these for my adventurous baby girl.

  11. Sylvie #

    I like it very much !! :)

  12. KayakChickee #

    Instead of sewing them on, you can thread the four bells onto the yarn before you start knitting, then when you get to the place you want a bell, simply slide it up to your needle and knit it in, no sewing afterwards. (For a how to you can probably find a video of how to knit with beads on youtube.)

  13. Kate #

    Sounds like a great idea KayakChickee

  14. Great idea must make this!

  15. Gail OReilly #

    What size knitting needles and what weight of yarn did you use for these?

  16. Kate #

    Hi Gail,

    The needles were 3¾. I confess I’m not sure about the yarn as it was an old ball that I’ve had for years. Sorry :-)

  17. Can these be crocheted too? Really like this idea.

  18. Kate #

    Hi Mary, I am hopelessly bad at crocheting but I’m sure you could. Would love to hear back if you manage it.

  19. la paz #

    I wish I had thought of this when my son was two and a wanderer.

  20. This will be an awesome gift for those who have babies just started walking or ready for walking !!! Thanks for sharing !

  21. I came across these a little while ago, don’t know how I linked over, but I made some for my daughter for Christmas. They are so cute, and I can’t wait until I can give them to her! She loves bells, and these will be great for ‘bracelets’ or on her legs! I just posted on my blog today about it if you would like to see them.

  22. Kate #

    Hi Stephanie….your knitted ankle bells look ace! I have included a link to your blog in my ‘you create’ list of links on the right hand side. Hope your daughter loves them. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  23. clara #

    Dear Kate,

    I have problems to contact through the web page, that is why I writte you here. Could you give me an email to talk in private? It is about some images we would need to a publication.

    Best Regards.


  24. Makes me think of tiny morris dancers – what fun!

  25. Kate #

    Hi Suzanne – can’t beat the morris dancing look – very cool ;-)

  26. I just started knitting too, so I excited to make these. I know my daughters will love them. So far my other projects have been doll blankets and bean bags.

  27. Kate #

    Hey Amy – send me some piccy’s when you finish! ;-)

  28. Oh my gosh, I love these! I am a pathetic knitter as I am very slow and it takes me so long to complete a project that I lose interest half way through. These look like just my size of project! And my Sweet Pea loves music – these would be so perfect for her! I can’t wait to start, thank you for the inspiration!

  29. MrsF #

    I’m originally from Africa where these (or a version of them, anyway!) are traditionally worn as part of dance costumes so I’m embarrassed to say that I can’t believe I’d never thought of making some myself!!!

    I’m not much of a knitter so I’d probably attach the bells to strips of leather, felt or some other sturdy fabric. My 17-month-old daughter would just love them!

    Oh, and I am awestruck by the creativity that is so prevalent in your blog!!!

  30. Kate R #

    Great idea! All the kids on my gift list will love these!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  31. Connie #

    Mrs F mentioned a version for dancers. I have another “adult” suggestion.

    For keeping track of confused wandering folks with dementia. e.g., Alzheimer. A daughter placed bells on her wandering mother’s walker so she could hear her when she got up in the night & during the day when she tried to go outdoors. Problem was that her mother started leaving the walker behind. One of these would work & it’s unlikely that a confused person would realize where the sound came from or attempt to remove them.

  32. Marcia #

    I am loving these, what a great simple musical idea! Young knitters could also try this.

    You have got me thinking about knitting again – I love the multi-colored yarn too.

    I am grateful for your ideas – all the best

  33. Awww…. pretty.. I loved it.. Colorful <3 :)

  34. Love these and just made a pair for a 1st birthday: Thanks for the inspiration!

  35. Htimsyc #

    So cute, going to make these for my 2-year-old great niece!

  36. Maureen #

    Hi Just adore these ankle bells.

    But i have two questions,
    What size needles did you use,?

    Did you use knitting worsted weight yarn?

    Maureen from Victoria Canada

  37. Jessica #

    I’m making these for my daughter who is learning how to walk :-D thanks for the great idea!

  38. Hi! Love these anklets!! how fun!! am going to make and send to my Grand Daughters for Christmas! Thank you for a great idea, and the pattern to boot!

    Merry Christmas!

  39. Rebecca #

    I made a bunch of these for Christmas presents for my daughter and other family/ friends. They are really cute and I love them! The only thing is that they came out too fat for my daughter’s ankles, and will probably also be too big for the other little kids. I am wondering if you have any suggestions for making them smaller? I knitted with acrylic rainbow colored yarn, and it seems to have stretched out some. I used 36 stitches as recommended.

    • I know this is a really old thread – but I thought I’d chime in here for the sake of someone coming in for the first time {these have been on my to-do list for.ever!}. Acrylic yarn doesn’t have the memory that wool yarn will have so will not stretch back into shape and will, in short order, be more stretched out than you’d probably want. Stick to wool if you can. Otherwise make the acrylic somewhat smaller to make up for the fact that they will stretch and stay more stretched than wool.

  40. I think kids would love to dance around the house with their bells on! I’ll be featuring this on The Crafty Crow!

  41. Adorable.. made on 12-28-14….everyone is thrilled with your invention.I used size ten needles and now will use size four….they are so cute…and what fun! Thanks!

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