Hey guys so I wanted to share a quick and EASY tutorial on how to make a DIY car seat head support strap. This tutorial is going to BLOW YOUR MIND! Okay that sounded a little violent…. maybe it won’t blow your mind but it WILL solve the problem of your child having no head support during naps in the car. This car seat head strap is simple to make. The best part is it will fit your car seat perfectly, because you can customize it however you want.
Now I want you to know I’m not a car seat head support guru or anything like that. I’m just a mama who couldn’t stand to see her son sleeping with his head flinging around during the car ride. From the photo below you can see how sad a sight this was. He looks so small in that upright car seat. Because I just had my second baby he couldn’t stay in the infant seat any longer so he had to move up to an upright.
Some moms will tell you “just don’t go anywhere during nap time, so then they don’t sleep in the car”. But when you have a child under 2 1/2 they can take 2 naps a day. What about long car rides? You can’t avoid every nap in the car. Now that I’ve made this strap, I don’t worry about him straining his neck when he sleeps and you won’t have to worry either. Now onto the tutorial!
To Make The Car Seat Head Support Strap You’ll Need:
- Fabric Scrap about 12”x 8” Rectangle
- Felt (Any Color, Goes Inside As Padding)
- Thread In A Color Matching The Fabric
- Elastic (Length Depends On Car Seat)
- Sewing Machine //Or Hand Sew
To start I washed the fabric and dried it. Next I ironed it right sides together, and cut a 12” x 8” rectangle which I folded over right sides together so it was a long rectangle (12” x 4”) .
Then I took a piece of plain paper cut to 12”x4″. Using scissors I cut a rounded rectangle shape I wanted the padded part of the head support to be. I kind of just played with a shape and would hold it up to my sons head to make sure it would cover his forehead. The end result looked like the paper with the red outline in the photo below.
Cut the fabric in the shape of your paper pattern, then you will need to make a paper pattern for the inner felt padding. I choose to just cut another piece of paper that exact same size and trim it down. It’s important that the felt padding is smaller then the shell.
To easily do this, you’ll want to cut the same shape out in paper and draw a thick line around the edge like I did with the red marker. Then I cut off the red part so I knew I would have the same shape just smaller so it would fit inside the outer shell.
Here is what my padding looked like after I cut it out. If I measured I probably made the padding shorter on all sides by about 1/4 of an inch. That’s if you want to be really specific and make it uniform.
Now that you have your fabric shell and felt padding cut out, you will want to pin the edges of the shell right sides together. “Right sides together” means the side of the fabric you want to show touches each other, see photo below. Now you are going to sew along both edges of the fabric shell. NOTE: DO NOT SEW THE ENDS SHUT!
Okay once you sew the edges, you will turn it inside out. You will take your iron and press the fabric flat, making sure the edges are crisp and clean. Next place your padding inside the strap.
Once your padding is inside the fabric shell, you will want to tuck in the ends. You can see below I took detailed photos to show you just how I tucked them in. I did it this way so I could put the elastic inside and sew it shut so it had a smooth finish.
After you tuck it, place the elastic into the opening about a 1/4 inch and pin it. Before pinning the other side wrap it around the car seat head rest and pull the elastic so it fits snug. Then cut off the extra elastic and place the other unpinned end of the elastic in the other side of the fabric shell. I pinned that side as well, you can see it in the photo below, it will look like this.
Once both sides are pinned it will look like the photo below.
Now you just sew around the border of the fabric and over the elastic securing it in place and you’re done! It should look like this below when you’re done.
After this you can start using your very own handmade car seat head strap. I guess we could even call it a headband haha. Below is the only photo I have of my son using it. This picture was on a airplane ride where the strap came in handy over our red eye flight. Which leads me to point out why I look absolutely exhausted in the photo.
This is a very easy beginner sewing project. Anyone can make this and I can’t wait to hear how your turns out!
Did you enjoyed this post on making a car seat head strap? I would love to hear what you think.