top of page

How To Make A Splint

Emergencies or accidents can happen anytime! Knowing how to make a splint can be super beneficial. Whether in the wilderness or at home, a splint can provide support and stability for a broken or injured bone. Here, we will show you how to make an effective splint using basic materials.

makeshift splint

Learn more about splinting in our Definitive Guide To Splints here.

Imagine this: You're on a hike and one of your friends falls and injures their arm. As the designated first aid expert, you must know what to do. Learning how to make a splint can help you quickly immobilize the injured limb and prevent more damage.

  1. Gather long and sturdy items that can serve as the backbone of your splint. Examples are branches, sticks, or rolled-up newspapers. Make sure they are straight and rigid enough to provide support.

  2. Carefully position the injured limb in its natural resting state. Avoid any movement that causes pain or discomfort. Lay your chosen objects alongside the limb. Ensure they run parallel along both sides of the limb, extending beyond the joints above and below it.

  3. Next, use cloth strips or bandages to secure the splint firmly in place. Tie a knot at one end and wrap it snuggly around both ends of each object until none are left exposed.

  4. Think about adding padding between the limb and your homemade splint for extra comfort and stability. Soft materials like clothing or towels can reduce friction and pressure points.

  5. Each situation may require slight adjustments. Assess the severity of the injury and adapt your approach accordingly.

What is a splint?

making a splint

A splint is a medical device that immobilizes a bone or joint to help it heal and prevent more damage. It's usually made of rigid materials like metal or plastic and provides support. Splints are used for fractures, sprains, and strains. They reduce pain, swelling, and the chance of further injury.

Plus, splints can be customized with padding or adjustable straps for comfort and a better fit. So, if you think you need one, seek medical attention right away. Delaying can cause complications or slow down healing.

Your healthcare professional will give you instructions on how to use and care for your splint. Don't be afraid to ask for help! Addressing your injury quickly and getting the right splint can make a big difference in your recovery. Don't miss out on valuable time that could help your well-being!

Tools and materials needed

When it comes to making a splint, some tools and materials are crucial. Let's explore the essentials!

  • Bandages: To secure and support the injured area.

  • Padding: Cushion the limb and avoid pressure sores.

  • Splinting material: Stiff cardboard, plastic or a ready-made splint.

  • Scissors: To cut bandages and padding.

  • Tape: To fasten the splint.

  • Gauze: To clean wounds before splinting.

Plus, make sure you have clean water and soap. Gloves may also be necessary.

Ready-made splints provide support tailored to injuries. Follow instructions for optimal results.

Splints have a long history. Ancient Egyptians used wooden boards for fractures. Over time, medical knowledge and tech have improved splint design and function.

Step-by-step instructions on making a splint

Gather supplies needed:

  • Supports: Get strong materials such as flat sticks, rolled-up magazines or folded cardboard.

  • Padding: Collect soft items like cloth, towels or foam padding.

  • Fasteners: Have sturdy bandages, strips of cloth or medical tape close by.

  • Scissors: Have a pair of scissors ready for cutting materials if required.

Prepare the injured limb:

  1. Check damage: Observe any visible injuries such as cuts or fractures before continuing.

  2. Clean: Gently clean any wounds with mild soap and water to stop infection.

  3. Remove jewelry: Take off any bracelets or rings that may obstruct blood flow or cause unease.

Put on the splint:

Position supports:

  • Match up supports evenly on both sides of the injured limb. Ensure they go beyond the affected area.

  • Place more padding along the inside of the supports for extra comfort and support.

Secure the splint:

  • Utilize fasteners to hold the supports in place by wrapping them firmly but not too tightly around the limb.

  • Knot or tape fasteners firmly to prevent movement and guarantee correct immobilization.

Supervise and get medical help:

It's essential to monitor the injured person's condition while expecting professional care since a splint is just a short-term solution. If there's increased pain, loss of feeling, or circulation problems, seek immediate medical aid.

Remember when building a splint:

  • Make sure supports are long enough to cover both joints above and below the injury area for successful immobilization.

  • Apply firm pressure while securing fasteners but don't overtighten to avoid discomfort or restriction of blood flow.

  • Select suitable padding materials to give cushioning and reduce friction between the supports and the injured limb.

By obeying these rules, you can efficiently stabilize an injured limb using a homemade splint until medical professionals can provide proper care.

Common mistakes to avoid

Wrong materials? Make sure to use sturdy sticks or strong cardboard for a splint. Avoid weak or flimsy materials that won't provide enough support.

Sizing is essential; get it right! A splint too tight can restrict circulation, and one that's too loose won't provide enough immobilization.

Padding is a must. Soft materials like cloth or foam cushion the affected area and prevent discomfort and pressure sores.

Positioning matters too. Align joints correctly and make sure there are no abnormal bends in the splinted limb.

Regular check-ups are key; look out for any signs of complications such as swelling, numbness or increased pain. Seek medical help if needed.

Immobilize thoroughly to avoid delaying healing or further injury. Securely support the entire affected area with the splint.

Also, don't overtighten the securing bands to prevent blood flow blockage. Monitor for signs of infection, such as redness, pus or warmth around the injury site.

Seek professional help for regular follow-up appointments to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments.

Be mindful when making a splint, so you're on track towards a speedy and successful recovery. Don't let improper splinting prolong your healing process.

When to seek professional medical help

In certain situations, seeking professional medical help is a must. Severe pain, excessive bleeding, or symptoms that get worse? Time to consult a healthcare pro! They have the expertise to accurately assess your condition and give the right treatment.

Seek professional medical help if you can't use or move an affected body part, if there's a visible deformity or wound, or if you suspect a fracture or dislocation. Quick attention can avoid more complications and ensure proper healing.

Especially important for those with pre-existing medical conditions, like diabetes or weak immune systems. They could be more prone to complications and need special care.

Robert's story is a reminder of why professional medical help is important. He had a minor sprain and kept walking for miles, but by the time he got help, his ankle was swollen and he couldn't put any weight on it. He learned that immediate intervention could have avoided more damage and sped up his recovery.

Seeking professional medical help should never be taken lightly. It's better to be cautious and consult a healthcare professional who can give the right guidance and treatment.


  1. Making a splint is key. It can help heal fractures and sprains. But the materials have to be comfy, yet strong.

  2. Start by checking the injured area. Spot any deformed or strange movement. This will help you know what type of splint is needed. Clean and dry the area with care to avoid infections.

  3. Pick materials like cardboard, sticks, or newspapers, to build the rigid structure. Size should not restrict blood flow. Secure these materials to the affected limb with tape or bandages. Not too loose or too tight. Wrap extra for stability.

  4. When swelling may happen, lift the limb up a bit to reduce pain and promote circulation. Monitor the area regularly for pain, numbness, or discoloration.

  5. By following these steps, you can make an effective splint. Always seek medical attention right away. Knowing how to make a splint can be hugely helpful in recovery. Get this essential knowledge now!

Frequently Asked Questions

What materials do I need to make a splint?

To make a splint, you will need materials such as sturdy boards, padding material (such as cloth or foam), adhesive tape, and scissors.

How do I prepare the splinting materials?

Cut the boards to the desired length and width for the splint. Cut the padding material into strips that are slightly longer and wider than the boards.

How do I apply the splint?

Place the padding material on one side of the board, and then place the injured limb on top of the padding. Fold the padding over the limb, and wrap the adhesive tape around the splint to secure it in place.

Are there any precautions I should take while applying a splint?

When applying a splint, be careful not to wrap it too tightly, as it may restrict blood circulation. Make sure the splint is long enough to immobilize the joint above and below the injury.

How long should a splint stay on?

The duration for wearing a splint may vary depending on the severity of the injury. It is best to consult a healthcare professional to determine how long the splint should be worn.

When should I seek medical help after splinting an injury?

It is advisable to seek medical help if the pain worsens, there is increased swelling, or if any unusual symptoms develop after applying the splint.


Commenting has been turned off.

Get Our Free CPR Guide

Hey, I'm Steve Grella, founder of Lifeguard LI. It is my mission to teach every capable person CPR and lifesaving skills. My only question is, do you have what it takes to save a life?


About Our Founder

Steve Grella is a father of two young boys. He is a Police Detective, EMT, lifeguard trainer and swim instructor, who brings over 20 years of knowledge and expertise in safety and service. He has dedicated his life to educating students in vital lifesaving training and now strives to provide expert resources to arm you with the skills and training to one day save a life if called upon.

bottom of page