Published September 08, 2010
The carseat is the most valuable baby gift you could ever give your child to keep them safe. Now, you may be the type of mom who is excited to carry around Winnie-the-Pooh diaper bags and bright pink car seats. Or you may be the type who wants her diaper bag to double as a chic purse or would love a fun leopard-print car seat cover. Or you just may be the type of mom who needs to cover an old car seat with a new fabric. If you have some sewing skills and patience, you can make a custom baby car seat cover that you’ll love buckling your child into. The safety of your child is paramount, so make sure to follow the instructions carefully and ensure that the cover is installed securely. As for the Winne-the-Pooh diaper bags, well, that's for another day.
Here are the materials you will need:
- Measuring tape
- Tissue paper
- Two yards of fabric
- Pins, scissors, sewing needle
- Sewing machine and thread
- Elastic and clasp holder
After you’ve assembled your materials, it’s time to get started. Go slowly and carefully, and enlist the aid of a veteran seamstress if you get stuck.
- The first step is to measure your car seat. Measure from side to side and top to bottom. You’ll want to add a good ten inches to the measurements to allow you to wrap the fabric around the seat.
- Put the tissue paper on the floor and use your measuring tape to draw on the measurements. Add five inches to the top and bottom measurement, and five to each of the side measurements.
- Connect the measurements by drawing a circle. This will give you your car seat cover pattern.
- Cut the pattern out.
- Fold your chosen fabric in half and use straight pins to attach the pattern. Next, cut the fabric to match the pattern exactly.
- You will have two identical pieces of fabric now. Turn them so the wrong side is showing – the pattern or front of the fabric will be facing each other – and pin.
- Sew three sides of the cover using your sewing machine or a sewing needle. If you are sewing by hand, make sure to make tight, small stitches for extra security and strength.
- Once you’ve sewn the three sides, turn the fabric inside out so the front of the fabric is facing out. Sew the remaining side but leave a one-inch hole for the elastic that you will insert in just a few more steps.
- Trace a one-inch hem around all four sides and pin to secure the fabric. Then sew the hem, again leaving a hole where the one-inch hole is.
- You’re almost there. Next, attach a large safety pin onto one end of the elastic (sold in a long strip that is looped together) and insert the pin into the one-inch hole. Push the pin with your fingers through the one-inch hem all the way around the cover and take it out of the other side. This will allow you to make the cover tighter or looser.
- Put the cover into your child’s car seat and wrap the sides around the seat. Tighten the elastic to make sure you have made a snug fit.
- Use your pencil or a fabric pen to mark where the car seat straps will go through the cover. If the straps are two inches wide, make a two-inch mark on the fabric to correspond with their position on the seat.
- Take your cover back off, and use an Exacto or other sharp knife or straight cutting tool to cut slits in the fabric for the straps.
- Sew the edges of these slits so they do not fray.
- Put the cover back on, adjust the straps, and congratulate yourself on a job well done. You can be sure you’ll get plenty of complements on your imaginative car seat cover.