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Canning Day Quilt

Baby Car Seat Cover Tutorial

This car seat cover was a quick, fun project for me.  It makes a perfect gift for a new baby.  Mine is for my new baby nephew, Isaac.  A cover is wonderful for keeping a baby asleep, warm and safe from germs when out in public.

This is a project where you can definitely employ your imagination to embellish it as much or as little as you want.  I chose to piece a strip of my back polka dot fabric on the front top and bottom.  I also pieced the straps… but that was out of necessity.   I only bought 1 yard of the backing fabric, and didn’t have enough fabric complete the straps like I wanted, with backing fabric on one side and front on the other… so I pieced them, and in the end I liked them better than the way I had planned.  I love when this happens.  I make a mistake or run out of fabric, and the fix ends up being my favorite part of the project.  I think it’s because I’m forced to think out of the box and get more creative.

Here is what you need to complete this project:

  • 1 1/3 yards 100% cotton fabric or flannel for top
  • 1 1/3 yards 100% cotton fabric or flannel for backing
  • Sew on Velcro (I prefer not to use Velcro with adhesive, as it gums up my needle.)
  • fabric marking pen (either water erasable or disappearing) or fabric marking pencil

And here’s how:

1.  Cut top and backing fabrics 35″ wide x 42″ long.  If fabric has a directional pattern like my top fabric, make sure to cut it so it goes in the right direction.  If you are piecing either the top (like I did) or backing, make sure the finished dimensions are still 35″ wide x 42″ long.

2.  Create curved corners by placing a bowl in the corner and tracing with fabric marking pen or pencil, as shown.  Cut along tracing line.   (This curved corner is more than just decorative, it serves to keep the cover off the ground on the corners.  Next time around, I would use a larger bowl and take more off for the curve, as the corners in the front of the car seat touch slightly.)

3.  Cut straps 2 from backing and 2 from top 4″ x 9 1/2″.   (I was piecing the straps, so my “back” polka dot fabric was 2″, and the “top” fabric was cut 6″ thereby making my finished strap the same dimensions.)

4.  If you want to do any piecing (like I’ve done), make sure finished dimensions are same as above.

5.  For the main body of the cover, place right sides of front and backing together, stitch together using a 1/4″ seam, leaving a small opening.  Note: all seams are 1/4″ unless otherwise noted.

6.  Clip curved corners and turn right side out.  I like using a chopstick all the way around the seam, as it makes for a nice edge.  Press well.

7.  Using a scant 1/4 seam, stitch all the way around the outside edge to give it a finished look, and to close the opening.

8.  To make the straps place right sides of front and back fabric together.  Stitch around, leaving one end open.  (There are few added steps if you are making the straps pieced on top, like mine.  I stitch down the length, leaving both ends open,  I pressed the seams out, turned it right side out, and pressed so the straps looked even.  Then I turned it wrong sides together again and closed one end.  Then continue to step 9)

9.  Clip corners and turn right side out.   (Again I use chopstick)  Press well.

10.  Close opening.  Repeat steps 8-10 for second strap.

11.  Fold straps to check placement of Velcro, pin and stitch into place.  I made sure the end which I closed the opening was on the inside and therefore hidden.

12.  Press straps in half, to act as a guide.  For placement of stitching on the straps (to adhere the straps to the body), measure 4 1/4″ inches in from both sides and draw a line with fabric marking pen as shown below.

13.  For placement of straps measure 19″ inches from the top and 11 1/2″ from each side.  There should be about 5 1/2″ between each strap and about 21″ from the strap to the bottom.  If you are visual like me, see Illustration for strap placement.  Pin straps into place.  Stitch and then reinforce stitching.  (The stitching will be one inch apart, and I stitched in a box shape.)

And it’s done!  Remember, you really can use your imagination to embellish this cover.  You can add buttons, rickrack, or ribbon.  As usual, I like simplicity, and the piecing was enough embellishment for me.

Here’s a quick glimpse of the inside.

Now it’s time to wrap it up and deliver it to my dear sweet nephew.

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106 Responses to “Baby Car Seat Cover Tutorial”

  • What a great baby gift, thank you for the tutorial.

  • K.:

    love this. i am wanting to learn to sew. think this is too much for a new-new-newbie? hahaha… (p.s. do you have a Facebook page or e-mail subscription? love the site!)

    • This would be a great beginning project. The hardest part will be cutting, and I highly recommend a rotary cutter and mat for that. Let me know if you have any questions about the instructions.

      • Joanie:

        Thanks so much for the instructions! I used your instructions and made one pretty easily. I also pieced the straps and they looked cool. My daughter loves it and I plan to make another for my other daughter and also for gifts! It’s a really useful and unique gift, since each is tailored to the tastes if the recipient. THANKS AGAIN!!!

    • I didn’t answer your question about the facebook or email subscription. I have a facebook page but am dismally bad at ever going there or using it. The best way to follow me by clicking on the RSS feeds link on my right hand column.

  • Jessica:

    I ADORE this and I ADORE this fabric? Where did you get it?

    • The fabric comes from Elaine’s Quilt Block in Salt Lake City. It’s a Michael Miller called Grass Menagerie. The polka dot which matches perfectly is a Michael Miller fabric too.

  • [...] of Make It Do shares how to sew a car seat cover to help shield your wee one from cold temperatures, wind, sun and [...]

  • Sarah:

    Thanks for the tutorial. I was going to buy one of these at a local shop so I could figure out how to make them. I have 4 babies to make them for so it will be great!! Heading to the fabric store. Thanks again!!

  • Have to link you at my blog.
    What a great tutorial you have shared with us all.

  • aubrey:

    Thanks for posting this awesome tutorial!! I just finished making one for our upcoming baby! I’ve been wanting to make one and your tutorial made it a breeze!

  • Thanks so much for these easy to follow directions! I finished mine today and it turned out so cute! I also linked you from my website.
    You’ve got a lot of fun ideas on here! I’ll be back

  • Brecke:

    Thanks for these directions I’m going to try it this weekend! Great Blog.

  • Donna Huber:

    Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial. My daughter who expecting, sent me to this website and I am so glad she did. I will be making one of these for my new granddaughter with Michael Miller fabrics as well. I love their fabric line. THis blog is now on my favorites list.

  • Nichole:

    my mom and I made this tonight. It was super easy…and my first sewing project ever! With her help, we managed to finish it in one afternoon. We tinkered with the measurements to fit the carseat a bit, but it still came out super cool.

  • Question for ya… Can I do cotton on one side and flannel on the other? And if I do that, should I prewash? I’m kinda a beginner so I don’t really know what I’m doing but I want to make it a bit warmer. Thanks for the great tutorial!

    • I would recommend pre-washing the fabric if you are using flannel on one side. Flannel tends to shrink more than other fabrics… so you want to get that out of the way first. After washing, make sure to press the fabrics well, then there is no problem with using the two together. Good luck. This is a great project for a beginner, especially if you don’t piece the top like I did.

  • This is great. I’m showing this to my wife now and she is loving it. She will defininitely make this for our new grand baby.

  • Adrienne:

    This was fantastic! I’ve just made one for our first! I am by FAR a nervous and novice seamstress and I felt super confident in my abilities after following your tutorial! Thanks a million for making my (soon to be born) son a “looker” in his carseat!

  • Melissa:

    Lovely, adding to my to-do list for a great frien currently having a summer baby.

  • Aunt Barbara:

    So glad I found this! I saw them at a store for $35 each. I only bought 1 yard of each fabric. I cut the 35 inches from both and then cut 6 inches from each remaining strip to add to the bottom of the both front and back. That way, both front and back have contrasting fabric on the bottom.. I still had enough to make straps!! So it can be done with just 2 yards of fabric. Thank you – it turned out darling!

  • Kami:

    I am loving this tutorial!! Thanks for posting it. I do have a question for you, when you pieced the front, how big of a section did you cut for the bottom? I love that look!

    I am also loving this fabric! I am making one in the same pattern, just in the pink instead of the blue for a good friend. I LOVE IT!!

    I have 3 friends that just had babies or are about to have a baby and I am making one for each of them!

    • Hi Kami, it was about a 4″ strip at the bottom. I gave it away as a gift, so I don’t have exact measurements…. that is very close. good luck, Calli

  • [...] For a gift, I made her a car seat cover from the tutorial I made in January. [...]

  • I just made this using your tutorial and it was great! Thank you so much! It was super simple to follow your directions and I love my car seat cover! I linked to your page on my blog when I posted about the one I made. Thanks again!

  • Jill:

    I cant wait to give it a try, darling idea. Thanks

  • What a great idea for a baby gift. I thought you’d like to know I added a link to your blog on the homemade baby gifts page of my baby gift ideas site. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  • Julie:

    Hello. I made this project for a friend of mine at it turned out perfect. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I was wondering if you would give me permission to make and sell these car seat covers at a craft fair in my town. Thank you once again for the fantastic tutorial. :)

  • Amy:

    When you say you use a “chopstick for the edge” what exactly does that mean?

    • Calli:

      Hi Amy, I run the chopstick (which has a pointed, yet blunt tip) around the inside of the seam of the body of the cover. It makes the seam neat and crisp. You can buy a tool called a point turner… but a chopstick does a great job and doesn’t cost me anything. I hope that makes sense! cheers, Calli

  • April:

    This is so adorable. I am a newbie at sewing (my husband bought me a sewing machine for my birthday!) and will attempt to make this as my first project. The tutorial I know will def help.

  • Thank you so much for sharing your project….love it!! I’m getting ready for new granddaughter in January and it’s on my list to make. You really explained things in your tutorial and it is much appreciated.

  • [...] For a gift, I made her a car seat cover from the tutorial I made in January. [...]

  • tiffany:

    thanks for the tutorial! love it !

  • actually i love velvet clothe seat covers because they are very comfortable to touch:

  • i love baby gifts and i love to give baby gifts to my baby and also the my sister’s baby `*”

  • Marcia:

    A wonderful tutorial, thank you!
    I just completed one for my new grandson, I added an applique inside the front cover, just incase he is awake, I thought he should have something to look at.
    This will be a project I make again, a beautiful and practical gift. How perfect is that!

  • WOW!

    That is beautiful to say the least!
    The fabric you used is just ever so cute and the finished product and detail in the process is perfect!
    Do you market these?
    Have you considered doing so?

  • Jacquie:

    Love this but I am having a problem placing the straps. If it is 42 inches in length and I place the top of one strap 19 inches from the front and my strap is 8.75 inches, there isn’t 21 inches on the other side. What am I reading wrong?

    Any help would be so appreciated, as is this tutorial.

    • Calli:

      Hi Jacquie, You are only tacking down a small section of the center of the strap, in a box shape. So I didn’t include the entire strap in my calculations. I hope that makes sense. I should think about reworking my diagram to show that more clearly. Good luck! Calli

      • Jacquie:

        Sorry Calli. I didn’t see my message go through. Thank you for all your help. This is a great tutorial. I love it. Have a super day.

  • Jacquie:

    I love this but I need help on placing the straps. The length is 42 inches. If I place one strap 19 inches in and the strap is 8.75 inches, that doesn’t leave 21 inches on the other side.
    I must not be reading this right. Can you explain it to me? I would so appreciate any help.

  • Great article. I will link to my website.

  • Shelly:

    This is great!!! I love your colors and excellent directions! Off to the fabric store.

  • Liz:

    What a wonderful idea. My daughter is expecting twins and the car seats they purchased from the hospital dont have any canopy. One question, they are Evanflo and have a ergonamic L shaped handle. If I follow this pattern, wont it be lop-sided?

    • Calli:

      Yes they will be lopsided, but it can be remedied. I would adjust them by pinning until they seem like they are in the proper position… and then sew them into place. Good luck! It’s a lot of work to have twin babies (especially with a toddler like I did) but they are so wonderful! I love having my twins!

  • Hey Calli,

    I found this post through StumbleUpon and i`m so happy i did. Being a baby car seat cover junkie i`m gonna try to make one this weekend.

  • Danielle:

    love this tutorial and I made one for my carseat. I only got 1 yard of fabric so I had to tinker with it a bit for my carseat, but hopefully it will work. My only question is, when you turned it inside out, did you just hand stitch the opening closed? I wasn’t sure what to do, or how to get a good hand stitch, so I ended up just sewing it closed which looking at it now, looks a little ridiculous, but i am VERY new at sewing and this was in fact my first sewing project.

  • Vera:

    Thanks so much, I made one for my granddaughter. It was easy to follow and I really enjoyed making it. Now it is ready to ship and I hope she and her parents like it as much as I do. Thanks again for your help.

  • Monique:

    Hi Thanks for the tutorial i love it!
    im actually working on one right now and im stuck lol
    im bearly started sewing so….

    im stuck on 3. and 4. i cut 4″ x9 1/2″ but i dont get what i need to do with them in your picture it looks to big to be the bottom part, also on my main fabric what i understood was cut the corners and i did but here you have the polkadots round in the coroners not the deer one?

    do i make sense i hope i do i hope you can help me thanks

    • Calli:

      Hi Monique, I can see how that photo is confusing. It’s because I am piecing the strap- meaning I am sewing two different fabrics together- so the top of the strap shows both fabrics. If you are a beginning sewer, I highly recommend NOT piecing. You will be cutting two of each for the two straps. Cut (2) straps of the backing fabric 4″ x 9 1/2″ and 2 from top fabric 4″ x 9 1/2″. Layer your back fabric and top fabric right sides together and stitch down both sides and across one end. Clip the corners, turn right side out and press neatly. The fold raw edge in and close the opening.

      For your second question, I also pieced the main body of the cover, which is why you see the other fabric. If you are not piecing (again not recommended for a beginning sewer) you would be seeing the deer fabric.

      I hope I’ve made things a little clearer, if I haven’t, email me or comment and I can try to clarify more. Good luck! Calli

  • Toby:

    When my daughter, now 21 was a baby, I was constantly plagued by “do gooders” thinking they knew what was best for her .. a coughing woman with a runny nosed kid in the drs office thought it was best that her hat come off so she reached over and started untying it .. I am quite forward and mince no words and said “WTH are you doing to MY BABY?” .. she said “the child is hot!” .. I said “you take that hat off and you’ll see someone HOT” .. oh how I wish I had had this cover for her! Our middle girl is expecting her third baby, a girl after two boys and this will be perfect for her .. she HATES it when people try to touch her kids! This is a perfect deterrant!!! LOVE IT!!

  • I love this tutorial! I am hoping to make one very soon for our little baby boy who is due at the end of August. I am learning to sew and this looks like a great project! Thanks for your posts!

  • Linda Harding:

    Thank you so much–as a grandma of 17+, this is a perfect project to sew for my newest granddaughter! Keep on sharing!

  • I just made one for our baby due in October. Thanks for the awesome tutorial and if you want to see my blogpost about it and shout-out to your blog go to http://www.kristikelly.com. I also pinned it on pinterest!!! LOVE your stuff!

  • I just finished my car seat and included a link on my blog: herhomemadelife.blogspot.com.


  • Shari Kellems:

    Great tutorial. What are the dimensions of the fabric for the straps?

  • This looks so cute! I have seen tutorials for these before, but yours seems the most clear, and looks very easy! I think will be making one for myself for my baby girl due in Jan! :)

  • Pam:

    Thank-you thank-you thank-you for posting a tutorial for a safe car seat cover that doesn’t interfere with straps! I cringe every time I see an innocent little baby strapped into a seat with one of those covers that go under them. My babies are out of their infant seats now, but I would totally be making one of these tonight if they weren’t! Maybe for the hypothetical baby #3!

    And it’s adorable. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Kristin:

    EEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKK!!!!! I am just SO flippin excited! I just finished my car seat cover using your tutorial, and it is AWESOME!!!! I’m a total newbie at sewing, and this is my very first project…and now I’m hooked. :) Thank you so much for the tutorial, you ROCK! Now I have to wrap it up for MY little nephew that should be here in a few weeks…(is it bad that I want to keep it for myself?)

  • Jodi:

    Just finished my car seat cover for my friend who is have a baby girl in February, it turned out great! I plan to make one for my 2nd baby due in April. Thanks so much for sharing your great tutorial.

  • irene:

    Was super easy to make following your tute! thanks so much! Got it made in a couple hours,, now that makes for a quick gift!

  • Jenn:

    Thank you so much for the great tutorial!

  • Jody Applegate:

    What a great tutorial! This is exactly what I was looking for.

  • Jayne G:

    Is it possible to print the directions? And, the directions disappear early on after saying something like “make sure the dimesnions are…” Please help.

    Also, thank you for what looks like a great baby gift for my friend’s daughter who is having twins!

  • Just finished my cover. Thanks for the tutorial. Now I just can’t wait to put it to use. I linked to you from my blog. http://thatcrazyfamof5.blogspot.com/2012/01/getting-ready.html

  • Thank you so much for the great tutorial. I finished my cover yesterday and cannot wait until my cousin (patiently awaiting the birth of her first child) gets it in the mail. I just know she’s going to love it!

  • Jan Squires:

    THANK YOU….just today got an invite to shower for my great niece. I am going to be a great-great auntie and I can’t wait to make this unique gift.

  • Jessica Y.:

    I just have to say I love this design! I’m almost done creating my own for a baby shower and it’s so easy but it’s already looking really nice, even with my limited experience!

    This project may be my go-to project for future showers and such.

    So thanks for posting it!

  • Jennifer A:

    when you use a cover like this are you/should you take the canopy off the carseat and just use the fabric cover?

  • Codi:

    Great tutorial. Just finished one for my soon-to-be-here nephew!!

  • This is such a gorgeous idea! Would love to try making one! Do you think that it would work (if adjusted) as a pram cover also? The fact that it has the straps makes perfect sense, because a blanket thrown over the pram always slides off. Loving it =)Adorable fabric too!

  • LouAnn~SewBizzyStitchin':

    Hi Calli,
    Do you have a printable version of this great Car Seat cover? I may have missed it, but I looked (I think) all over the page but didn’t see a link.
    Making my daughter’s 1st baby’s bedding ensemble and I love your pattern! Looking forward to making it!

  • I would love to print this tutorial so as to make the car seat cover. Can you please e-mail me the pattern? Thanks


  • Here’s a link to the cover I just made. :) I made another about a year and a half ago (which I mention in my post). I just love these!


  • Leanne:

    Awesome instructions! I whipped through this in about 2 hours today, and it looks fantastic!! Thank you for posting these instructions!

  • Gwen:

    So disappointed. I was really looking forward to making this and using this tutorial. I am a beginner and needed a step by step like I thought this one is. I love the picture of the tutorial and wanted mine to be just like that. Well, it skips the part of how to piece the top cover to have a nice border like the picture. So disappointed.

  • Michelle:

    Thanks for the GREAT tutorial. Was just wondering what the extra steps would be to sew an elastic at the top to go around the top of the car seat?

  • Tiffany:

    Love it! Just finished one for a baby shower. Jealous that I didn’t have one for my kids!

  • Molly:

    Not having children of my own and not knowing much about car seats….. is the “top” going over the front or the back of the carseat? Thanks for sharing such a great pattern, one of my sweet girlfriends has been wanting one of these for her new baby.

  • Wonderful Tutorial! Such an adorable car seat cover! I love it!

    I linked to it on my blog post on the best baby tutorials, here:


    <3 Hannah

  • Amy W.:

    I have used this tutorial several times now. I am always glad when I come back and find that it is still here!!! Thanks a ton!

  • Jodie:

    Hi there! This tutorial is perfect! I was wondering if you think it would work to use minky for the backing and cotton for the top. I don’t know if it will hang properly since minky is a but heavier than flannel. What do you think?

  • Gloria:

    Great pattern, easy to use, end product is exactly what I was looking for.

    Thank you!

  • Grammy O:

    Thanks so much for the great tutorial; I have been looking for one for my new grandbaby! Didn’t know you could buy them! The one I saw had an opening in front w/ flap covering! Does anyone have a pattern for one like that?

  • Melissa:

    This is a great tutorial. Just one question…do you round all four corners or only the front corners?

  • Awesome tutorial! Great, clear directions. It was easy to read, & easy to make! I enjoyed it! Thanks so much. :)

  • I just wanted to thank you for this awesome tutorial. My car seat cover came out looking great! http://fromthesunnyside.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/finished-car-seat-cover/ thank you so much!

  • Dee:

    I’m a little confused on the placement of the straps. It says to place the top of strap 19 inches from the top of the cover and the bottom of the strap 21 inches from the bottom of the cover. The straps are 9 1/2 long that’s adds up to more than the total length of the car seat cover of 42 inches. Am I not reading that right? It doesn’t seem to work when I put the straps on top of cover with those measurements. Please clarify. Thanks.

  • Jen:

    I want to thank you so much for this pattern. I have used it to make a couple dozen carseat covers. I’ve used other patterns, but I always revert back to this one. It’s a “NO FAIL” size…

    I appreciate you taking the time to post this.
    Jen @ lacecrazy.blogspot.com

  • Wonderful tutorial! This is exactly what I needed. I’m going to make one for a baby shower. Thank you so much!

  • Thank you for the tutorial, it was just what I was looking for and you did a great job explaining how to make the carrier cover.
    Your time a efforts to share with others is appriciated.

  • [...] a few little projects to make.  This fabric is car seat canopy cover for my new baby niece due in a few weeks.  I can hardly wait to meet [...]

  • Annette:

    Just finished one for our grandson (due in Sept). Turned out beautiful. Thank you

  • DeeAnna:

    HI! Thank you for sharing this great pattern. I’ve made this car seat cover numerous times as baby gift and always get requests for more. Your tutorial is so easy to follow and I appreciate it!!! :-D

  • Linda:

    Could you please explain how to piece the front and back covers. I understand how to piece the straps.

    Thank you

  • KatieBatie:

    I am loving your capsule cover tutorial – just what I have been hunting for, for months.

    Here is a photo of the second one I made.


  • [...] to make one for a sweetie pie.  This is another thing I wish we’d had when Bud was little.  Make It Do has the how-to on this great gift [...]

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