DIY Car Seat Back Protector

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Make your own Car Seat Back Cover to keep the back of your seats clean and footprint free! Perfect for winter!

DIY Car Seat Back Protector - keep the backs of your seats clean and free of little footprints! | littleredwindow.com

Need to brush up on your beginning sewing techniques before you get started?

*Edited to Add: apparently this photo is confusing people on pinterest and generating quite a few comments. Just so everyone knows, O only put his feet on the seat back for this photo. Please be advised, the primary point of the seat protector project is to protect the seat back from accidental footprints and dirt when your little one is climbing in and out and getting settled. Yes, my son does know how to follow rules and he does not ride with his feet propped up like this. Because, as one polite commenter pointed out, in the event of an accident, that wouldn’t be safe. So if you make your own seat protector, please keep that in mind!

A couple of years ago, we bought our first new (to us, it was actually used) car. Before that both Aa and I had only driven hand-me-downs. I had my grandma’s old car for a long time and then we drove my mother-in-law’s old Volvo until O was about 2. And those cars were both more than 15 years old by the time we even got them. So I wasn’t used to really being worried about getting the car dirty. But with our new car we were. And you know, if you have small children, that once you switch their car seats to facing forward, they get their little feet all over the back of the front seats when they get in and out. Which is especially bad in the winter with wet slushy boots. Yuck. So for two full years this was our solution:

DIY Car Seat Back Protector - keep the backs of your seats clean and free of little footprints! | littleredwindow.com

Ugh. How embarassing! And it didn’t even work that well because O would just get his feet UNDER the towel and/or it kept falling off. So I made my own DIY Seat Back Protector and I couldn’t be happier. It’s completely washable, protects the seat waaaay better than the towel and it even looks cute!  I’ll show you how I did it, but keep in mind, seats in different cars will be different sizes and shapes so measure your own car before you start!

DIY Car Seat Back Protector

1/2 yard of two different fabrics (similar)

1 yard cotton batting

Elastic


1. First measure your car seat back and cut a piece of fabric to fit. Mine was 24″ in height (including seams allowances) and 18″ across at the widest part.  To make the curved corners I traced a dinner plate.DIY Car Seat Back Protector - keep the backs of your seats clean and free of little footprints! | littleredwindow.com

2. Cut out the same shape from the backing fabric and two layers of cotton batting.DIY Car Seat Back Protector - keep the backs of your seats clean and free of little footprints! | littleredwindow.com

3. I also cut two pieces of elastic, one that will go around the prongs of the headrest, and one that goes around the bottom of the car seat. Again, the length of those will depend on what kind of car you have so be sure to measure yours!  I also cut one pocket. It was equal to the width of the protector and about 8 inches tall. DIY Car Seat Back Protector - keep the backs of your seats clean and free of little footprints! | littleredwindow.com

4. Next fold over 1/2″, pin and hem the top and bottom of the pocket piece.DIY Car Seat Back Protector - keep the backs of your seats clean and free of little footprints! | littleredwindow.com

5. Place the pocket where you want it on top of the main front fabric piece, pin in place and topstitch across the bottom edge and in two vertical places to divide the pocket. The red lines in the bottom photo show you where to sew.

I matched up the pattern between the front of the protector and the pocket, but it’s not necessary. You could use a coordinating fabric for the pocket if you want or even leave it off altogether.

DIY Car Seat Back Protector - keep the backs of your seats clean and free of little footprints! | littleredwindow.com DIY Car Seat Back Protector - keep the backs of your seats clean and free of little footprints! | littleredwindow.com

6. Then lay all of the pieces down in this order: two layers of batting, backing fabric (right side UP),  the elastic in place, and finally the front fabric (right side DOWN).  This picture shows the backing fabric with the elastic in place on top. After I took this photo I added the front fabric, right side down, on top and pinned everything together around the edges. Be sure to pin the elastic in the right place. DIY Car Seat Back Protector - keep the backs of your seats clean and free of little footprints! | littleredwindow.com

Sew around the edge of the seat protector using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Be sure to leave a 6″-8″ opening along the bottom edge for turning it right side out.  Before you turn it right side out, clip the corners and the curves to reduce bulk in the seams. Be careful not to clip your stitches (ask me how I know!)DIY Car Seat Back Protector - keep the backs of your seats clean and free of little footprints! | littleredwindow.com DIY Car Seat Back Protector - keep the backs of your seats clean and free of little footprints! | littleredwindow.com

7. Turn the protector right side out, press it and then topstitch around the edge of the entire thing making sure to stitch the opening on the bottom edge closed. DIY Car Seat Back Protector - keep the backs of your seats clean and free of little footprints! | littleredwindow.com

9. Slide the elastic around the car seat and pull it down until it lays flat against the seat back. Wash as necessary!

DIY Car Seat Back Protector - keep the backs of your seats clean and free of little footprints! | littleredwindow.com DIY Car Seat Back Protector - keep the backs of your seats clean and free of little footprints! | littleredwindow.com DIY Car Seat Back Protector - keep the backs of your seats clean and free of little footprints! | littleredwindow.com DIY Car Seat Back Protector - keep the backs of your seats clean and free of little footprints! | littleredwindow.com

We are totally loving ours so far. It’s a huge improvement over “the towel”!

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29 thoughts on “DIY Car Seat Back Protector

  1. Wow what an awesome idea!!! Looks like a money maker to me wink wink. I think it’s a great thoughtful gift as well to friends & family with little ones. Very personal. Thanks for share :)!

  2. I keep wanting to make one of these but since we’re flying back to Japan on the 3rd of December I keep trying to put it out of my mind… I hate taking off his shoes though every time he gets in the car! Too much extra work haha. 🙂 LOVE the fabric too!

    XO/Lena @ Root&Blossom

  3. I’m not sure how this can be confusing or negative. My son is special needs, one of his favorite things to do is ride in the car. When he does he tends to get very excited about the things he sees and likes to try to move around to look; he often puts his feet on the back of the seat to get a better view. He managed (bless his heart, he knows no better) to tear the back of the seat right off. When I saw this on Facebook, I thought, “what a life saver”. Your child doesn’t have to be disobedient or I’ll mannered. Sometimes they are SPECIAL and for that I thank you.

    1. You know, I was totally surprised too! I suspect the negative nellies don’t have any children of their own 😉 Glad it’s an idea that works for you! Thanks for stopping by!

      1. Sorry you had to suffer thru negative responses to your wonderful idea! It takes all kinds. I will be making this soon. Remember, everyone’s sewing projects are unique and it is wonderful if you and other sewers take the time to share your ideas. I so appreciate them!

    2. oh and p.s. if he’s already ripped the seat back, I would consider using two reinforced straps that tie around the headrest at the top instead of the elastic I show. I think that would work better and be stronger for you! good luck!

  4. What a GREAT idea!! No matter how many times we tell my three year old to put her feet down, she keeps trying to touch the back of the seat with her toes. Someday her stubbornness will serve her well in life, but until then, a seat cover it is!

  5. Great IDEA!!!! I am happy someone thought of that. I have some fabric left over and will be making one this weekend. And the best thing is that I will not have to tell my 23 mont old to keep his feed down.:) thank you 🙂

    1. Thank you! As several people have pointed out, little ones shouldn’t ride with their feet propped up, it’s dangerous in the event of a crash. But this seat cover works great for when they’re wiggling or kicking or climbing in and out! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Kudos to you! Kids will always be that “just kids” ! They will always put their feet on the back of the seat in front of them. No point in stressing it! This is a great idea! Hats off to you for thinking of it. Thanks for the idea. Mommy of 2 and grandma of 5 wish I had this 36 years ago!

  7. I agree that the negative comments must be coming from childless people or those 3 or 4 people with perfect children. I am going to make these for my car and my daughter’s van. Great idea!

  8. I love your idea. I don’t have little kids, but I do have a small dog who literally shredded the back of my driver’s seat. He loves to go for rides in the car, but if we leave him in the car, even for just a few minutes, he gets bored and starts destroying things. I thought I was going to have to replace the seat, but now I can make one of your ingenious covers and not be embarrassed when my friends ride in the back seat.

    Thanks

    p.s. Do you have any ideas for covering chewed up sun visors & the head liner in my car?

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