How To Make A Car Seat Tent

How To Make a Car Seat Tent - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

How To Make a Car Seat Tent - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

How To Make a Car Seat Tent - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

How To Make a Car Seat Tent - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Car seat tents (or covers) weren’t very popular when I had my first little guy.

They are pretty much EVERYWHERE now!

With all the really cute designer fabrics, it’s just become a necessity. πŸ™‚

The great thing is that they are really easy to make and so much fun to personalize and make all your own.

I used fabric from All Star 2 by My Mind’s Eye for Riley Blake.
It’s the perfect little boy fabric, if you ask me.


1 1/4 yard of fabric for top
1 1/4 yard of fabric for back
Matching thread

These supplies are for just two fabrics.

If you want to piece it like I did, get 1/2 yard of the third fabric and get only 1 yard for the top.

You could probably get away with only getting 1 yard for the backing fabric, but the 1/4 yard extra is for just in case.

First Step:

Cut your top and backing to be 36″ wide x 42″ long.

Since I pieced mine, the top fabric I cut 36″ wide x 30.5″ long

For my piecing, I cut it to be 36″ wide x 6.25″ long. I did two of these for the front and back of the top.

Second Step:
(if you are piecing)

Sew the pieces to the main fabric, right sides together.

Press seams flat.

The top and back should now both measure the same at 36″ wide and 42″ long.
Make adjustments if it doesn’t match.

Third Step:

Put right sides together and pin in place.

Fourth Step:

Trace and cut curved edges.

To do this, get a large bowl, and I mean LARGE, and put it on the corner to trace the curved edge.

You can cut as you trace or you can cut all four edges at the same time. Just remember to remove pins and re-pin as you cut the edges.

Your fabric should look like this (except with right sides together). I did mine the hard way. πŸ™‚

Fifth Step:

Sew fabrics together using a 1/4″ seam.

Make sure to leave a small opening so you can turn it right side out.

Once sewn, clip the corners.

Sixth Step:

Turn your car seat cover right side out. Use a tool to push all the fabric to the seam.

You can get a great turning tool for this at The Ribbon Retreat.

Then press the edges down.

Make sure to press the edges of the opening under.

Seventh Step:

Pin the opening closed.

Stitch the opening closed, and continue to Top Stitch around the whole car seat tent.

Eighth Step:

Cut out your pieces for the straps.
(You can also use ribbon for the straps instead.)

Cut 2 pieces from the top and from the back fabrics to be 4″ x 9 1/2″.
(You will have four pieces, all 4″ x 9 1/2″.)

If you want to piece it like mine, cut two pieces of the third fabric to be 2″ x 9 1/2″. Cut 2 of the top fabric to be 6″ x 9 1/2″.

Ninth Step:

Sew pieces right sides together with 1/4″ seam. Leave one end open so you can turn it right side out.

To do the third fabric, sew the edges together and press like in the picture below.

Tenth Step:

While the straps are still inside out, sew one side of the straps shut.
(If you are only doing two fabrics, skip this part since you already sewed one side shut.
Continue to the next part of this step.)

Then turn the straps right side out and press.

When you are pressing the edges, press the open ends inside the strap.

Eleventh Step:

Cut your Velcro to be the width of your strap.

Place your Velcro on the straps where you want them to be.
Make sure that they are on the correct sides to fasten together.

Sew on your Velcro.
When sewing, make sure to stitch over the opening so it is sewn shut at the same time the Velcro is sewn on.

Twelfth Step:

Now that your straps are finished, we need to attach them to the car seat tent.

To find out where to put the straps, you can put the car seat tent on your car seat and mark where you want the straps to be.

I followed some instructions that suggested placing the straps to be 19β€³ inches from the top and 11 1/2β€³ from each side. There should be about 5 1/2β€³ between each strap and about 21β€³ from the strap to the bottom. Of course, I changed things a little bit to get it just right for my car seat. I brought the straps a little bit closer.

Pin your straps in place and stitch a rectangle like the picture below.
It was about one inch wide and the length of the strap.

Another great alternative to making the straps out of fabric, is using ribbon!

When using ribbon, you can add the Velcro or you can just tie the ribbon over the handle.

All finished!

How To Make a Car Seat Tent - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

There are so many different things you can do to embellish a car seat tent.

Get creative using ribbon, Ric Rac (I love the look of the Ric Rac sewn into the edge), different fabrics, buttons, bows, etc.

Another great thing I’ve heard of doing is adding an applique on the underside of the car seat tent so the baby has something to look at! Great idea!

The possibilities are endless!

I love mine, and I hope that this new baby likes it too. πŸ™‚

Idea inspiration from Make It Do.

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  1. Brittany
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Is this for your baby? I love it! For a minute I thought you were naming your baby Riley Blake, which by the way, I love! Then I realized that’s what the fabric line was called. Lol!

    • Shirley
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      haha Brittany! Riley Blake would be an adorable name.

  2. Posted March 17, 2011 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    So cool! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Brittany
    Posted July 30, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    I love this!! I dont like the store bought ones cause they are so stuffy.

  4. Kelley
    Posted February 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    These are a great idea. I just wish I knew how to sew.

  5. Jo Anne
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I have made two of these covers. One for my new granddaughter and one for her mother’s friend. I am in the process of trying to figure out how to make one for rainy weather. These are so easy to make. On mine, I put velcro on the side to keep the flaps from blowing up and keep baby a little more snug.

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted April 10, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Hi Jo Anne! The velcro sounds like a great idea! I’ll have to try it out. Maybe one suggestion for rainy weather is using a table cloth on the inside cover? The fabric would still get wet though. Or maybe use a shower curtain as the fabric? If you figure something out, let us know. πŸ™‚

  6. Britney
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Try putting plastic vinyl in between the two fabrics for the rain maybe….

  7. Penny
    Posted October 16, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I think to make the covers rainproof you may be able to use the waterproof spray. It has to dry for 24 hrs to take full effect, but I am not sure if it would affect the baby or not, as it is completely oderless when it is dry…..not sure it is a good idea or fully safe but would make the fabric waterproof and keep baby dry.

  8. Crystal
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    I know it is a little late but you could try PUL for a water proof cover. It is used for the outside of cloth diapers and it comes in some cute patterns.

  9. Laura
    Posted February 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the wonderful tutorial! Very easy to follow for a beginner. THANK YOU again!

  10. Judy
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I made one of these for my daughter and she loved it! She used it the entire time the baby fit in the infant seat. It was easy to make and now I am making one for my daughter-in-law for their first child. It is great for keeping the sun out of the baby’s eyes and to cover them when they are sleeping…also great on a windy day.

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Hi Judy! Thank you for your comment. This car seat canopy is amazing! I made one for my new baby too and it was a life saver! Thanks for sharing! You are awesome! πŸ™‚

  11. Shaina
    Posted October 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    This may be a silly question, but do you leave the “umbrella” part of the carseat on with this or take it off?

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted October 2, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Hi Shaina! Thank you for your question. It is SO not a silly question at all. Yes, you do leave the “umbrella” part of the car seat on. The Car Seat Tent will actually rest on the “umbrella” so the tent will not lay directly on the babies face. Thank you so much for your question. Good luck creating your tent. They are so fun to make and so so cute when on your car seat! Have a great day! Michelle πŸ™‚

  12. Posted November 14, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I’ve been following your site for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go
    ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Tx!

    Just wanted to mention keep up the great

  13. Sandra Gessner
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Awesome! I made it the other day for our one month old. Here is the link to mine.

  14. Sandra Gessner
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    I should have said our one month old GRANDAUGHTER…..who’s name is obviously “Willow” πŸ™‚

    • Posted January 27, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Hi Sandra! So, cute! You did an amazing job on your Car Seat Tent for your little granddaughter! Congratulations on your new addition to your family and great job again on your car seat tent! Thank you for sharing it with us! Have a wonderful day! Michelle πŸ™‚

  15. Bonnie Stalker
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    I’m having a little trouble understanding the strap placement. Are the measurements; 19″ from the top, 21″ from the bottom and 11 1-/2 in from the sides, to the center of the strap? I don’t have a car seat to try it out on. Thanks for your help.

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted April 8, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Hi Bonnie! Thank you for your question. I love this sweet little Car Seat Tent, and I am so excited that you are making one too! Yes, the measurements that you measured and mentioned are correct, in regards to the measurements that Shirley used for her car seat. Each car seat is a little different so since you don’t have a car seat in front of you it is hard to be 100%, but you should be pretty close. I hope this helps and that your Car Seat Tent turns out perfect! Thank you for stopping by Bonnie and good luck! Have a wonderful day! Michelle πŸ™‚

  16. Tina Sharrar
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Hello. I’m attempting to make two of these for two friends who are having babies. When I was sewing the pieced pieces on, the smaller fabric was shifting while I sewed. Do you have any idea why this might have been happening? Any possible solutions? Not enough pins or not pinned correctly maybe? Thanks so much!

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted April 8, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Hi Tina! Thank you so much for your question. You are so awesome to make these for your friends. They will love them! πŸ™‚ I am sorry you are having some difficulties with your fabric slipping. I have experienced the same issue before, and I was able to resolve the slipping with repinning and adding more pins where I was noticing the most slipping. I also tried to pin a little closer to where I was actually sewing the pieces together which also helped to resolve the issue. Good luck Tina and thank you again! Have a wonderful day! Michelle πŸ™‚

  17. meredith
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    This is great! Can’t wait to start it! I’m making 1 for a friend who is pregnant & doesn’t yet have a car seat… the measurements you gave for the straps, are those kinda “basic they will work on any car seat measurements”? I know you said you tweaked yours to fit the specific car seat but I don’t think I’ll get that chance. Thanks!

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Hi Meredith! Thank you so much for your question. I have made quite a few of these Car Seat Tents and have not ran into any problems in regards to the measurements. I have not had the car seats with me either when sewing them for friends or family, but they have all seemed to fit without any issues. You are a great friend to make one of these Car Seat Tents for friend. She will love it! Good Luck and Happy Sewing! Have a great day and thank you again! Michelle πŸ™‚

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