Make your own DIY Car Seat Protector to keep the back of your seats clean and footprint free! Perfect for spring and winter!
Make a quick and easy DIY car seat protector and keep your car seats clean when your kids climb in and out! This post was updated in March, 2018 to add instructions for a new, improved and easier top tie!
*Edited to Add: my child only put his feet on the seat back for this photo to demonstrate what the DIY car seat protector does. Please be advised, the primary purpose of the DIY car seat back protector project is to protect the car seat back from accidental footprints, dirt, mud and water when your little one is climbing in and out of the car and getting settled. Having your feet propped up during an accident would be dangerous, please do not ride like this. Yes, my son does know how to follow rules and no, he does not ride with his feet propped up like this. No, I do not allow him to kick the seats on purpose because I’m a bad mother (*eyeroll). So if you make your own DIY car seat back protector, please keep that in mind!
Until you have children, you probably never thought about needing a back car seat protector. I know I didn’t, but a couple of years ago, we bought our first new (to us) car. 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 of the car. Which is especially bad in the winter with wet slushy boots. Yuck. So for two full years this was our solution:
Ugh. How embarassing! And it didn’t even work that well because O would just accidentally get his feet UNDER the towel and/or it kept falling off. So I quickly sewed my own DIY Car Seat 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 seats before you start!
DIY Car Seat Protector Supply List:
- 1/2 yard of two different fabrics (similar, similar)
- 1 yard cotton batting
- 1/4″ Elastic
- 24″ of half inch grosgrain ribbon
DIY Car Seat Protector Instructions:
- 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.
- Cut out the same shape from the backing fabric and two layers of cotton batting.
- UPDATED: Thencut one piece of elastic, that goes around the bottom of the car seat, the length of that elastic around the bottom of the seat depend on what kind of car you have so be sure to measure yours! Next, cut two 12″ pieces of ribbon. Make sure to use fray check or a quick stitch on the sewing machine to keep the ends of the ribbon from fraying. Finally, I also cut one pocket. It was one piece of patterned fabric equal to the width of the protector and about 8 inches tall.
- Next fold over the top and bottom of the pocket by 1/2″, pin and hem.
- 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. (Note, the new pink car seat protector I made has no pocket and it’s just as nice, but it was much faster to make!)
- Then lay all of the pieces down in this order: two layers of batting, backing fabric (right side UP), the elastic and ribbon in place as shown below, and finally the front fabric (right side DOWN).
- This picture shows the backing fabric with the elastic and ribbon 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 and ribbon in the right place.
- Sew around the edge of the car 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. I usually stitch back and forth a couple times over the ends of the elastic and ribbon to make them extra secure. Before you turn your car seat protector 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!)
- Turn the car seat 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.
- Slide the bottom elastic around the car seat and pull it down until it lays flat against the seat back, then tie the top ribbon ties around the headrest. Wash as necessary!
We are totally loving ours so far. It’s a huge improvement over “the towel”!
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