How to Make Simple Crutches

If you find yourself in need of a pair of crutches when none is available, whether for role-playing, or for a minor leg or foot injury, you can build your own with some simple woodworking tools and scrap lumber.


  1. Image titled Make Simple Crutches Step 1
    Choose some straight-grained sound lumber suitable for the project. Oak, poplar, ash, or hickory are good, strong, bendable hardwoods, but even a softwood like white pine used in the illustrations will do in a pinch.
  2. Image titled Make Simple Crutches Step 2
    Rip the wood to yield two 1 14 inch (3.2 cm) by 1 12 inch (3.8 cm) boards about 66 inches (167.6 cm) long. Mark these 12 inches (30.5 cm) from one end and rip them down their centers from the end to the mark so the two limbs can be separated.
  3. Image titled Make Simple Crutches Step 3
    Drill a 38 inch (1.0 cm) hole through the center 2 inches (5.1 cm) below the mark at the end of the rip cut in the previous step. Insert a 38 inch (1.0 cm) hex bolt through this hole with a flat washer on the head of the bolt, place another washer on the threaded end, and then install the hex nut, tightening it snugly.
  4. Image titled Make Simple Crutches Step 4
    Cut a wedge 34 inch (1.9 cm) wide to a point, 3 inches (7.6 cm) long, and drive it between the two limbs to spread them out. The sides should each bow out symmetrically and form a "Y" shape.
  5. Image titled Make Simple Crutches Step 5
    Cut a 1X1 inch block of your wood 4 inches (10.2 cm) long with a 15 degree bevel on each end for each crutch grip, then bore a 38 inch (1.0 cm) hole through the center, lengthwise. Sand or shape these blocks round so they are comfortable to hold.
  6. Image titled Make Simple Crutches Step 6
    Mark a center where the grip should fit through the limbs by placing the end of the crutch on the ground and dropping your hand to a comfortable height between the limbs. For an adjustable grip, a series of holes can be drilled so the grip can be raised or lowered for persons who are different heights. For a crutch being used by one person, the single mark you have made is all that needs to be drilled.
  7. Image titled Make Simple Crutches Step 7
    Push a 3/8 all-thread rod through one limb, the grip, and then the other limb, place flat washers and then nuts on each end of these bolts. Tighten the nuts securely, and cut off any of the all-thread rod that extends beyond the nuts.
  8. Image titled Make Simple Crutches Step 8
    Hold the crutches by the grips in the position you would use the crutches in, and mark the height the limbs need to be trimmed at. Cut the limbs off at these marks.
  9. Image titled Make Simple Crutches Step 9
    Cut two more blocks of wood 1 1/2 inches (5.1 cm) square and 7 inches (17.8 cm) long, then notch each end 12 inch (1.3 cm) back from the ends and 12 inch (1.3 cm) deep to create steps for the limbs to fit into. Glue and nail the ends of the limbs in these notches to form the tops of the crutches.
  10. Image titled Make Simple Crutches Step 10
    Sand or smooth any rough surfaces of the crutches for a more comfortable and attractive crutches.


  • If the tops are uncomfortable, wrap some cloth around or put some padding on top.
  • Cut the bottom of the crutch down, so a rubber end cap can be placed on it to prevent slipping.
  • Make sure the poles are thick and made of a sturdy wood, devoid of knots or grain that run out. They must be strong enough to support a person's full weight. Try them out carefully at first!
  • If the limbs do not bend equally, shave the side that bends the least a little thinner so the finished crutch is symmetrical.
  • Choose straight grained lumber with no knots for the best results.
  • Make sure you have socks or cushion for you arm pits so they don't hurt.


  • Use appropriate safety equipment when using power tools.
  • Please use "Rubber Feet" at indoor on the floor which tends to be slippery.

Things You'll Need

  • 6 feet (1.8 m) of 2X4 lumber, straight grained and free of large knots.
  • Drill with 3/8" bit
  • Sander or sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Nails
  • Two 2 inch (5.1 cm) long 3/8 hex bolts
  • Two 6 inch (15.2 cm) long 3/8 all-thread rod
  • Six 3/8 hex nuts
  • Eight 3/8 flat washers

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