Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Carseat Cooler Tutorial


I am quite flattered by the response that my carseat cooler received after someone pinned it to Pinterest.
My blog had more views in one day than in its lifetime!  After many kind encouragements in the comment section, I thought. "Maybe I will try and sell them."  I had to make a new one for Claire since it vanished from the church freezer after VBS and Joy needed one as well.  I made Claire's exactly the same as in my previous post, just a plain rectangle. But Joy's carseat was shaped differently at the top so I made her's in a different shape.  After making these two, it became very clear that I will NOT be making these to sell.  What a pain!  A couple here and there is fine but I definitely don't have the time or patience to mass produce them.  I decided to put together a tutorial for anyone who was interested in them.

This my first tutorial so....yeah.  and I'm not a photographer.

First, you will need to look at your carseat, figure out how long and wide it needs to be.  In my experience, the fabric should be 10.5 inches wide and 25.5 inches long.  Once you have the right size and shape to fit our seat, cut 2 pieces of your decorative fabric, 1 piece of the thermal fabric. (I used an old felty blanket for Claire's and a bassinet mattress pad for Joy's.  Any thick fabric that will keep the ice blocks insulted will do.) And 1 piece of knit fabric.



Next, sandwich the the thermal layer between the decorative pieces so the right sides off the decorative print are facing out.

Likes so.

Pin well and baste all 3 layers together around the outside edges.

Then, attach bias tape to one edge of the print cover and one edge of the knit.  This will be the side that open up to slide in the ice blocks.
Then sew the two pieces together around the 3 sides that don't have bias tape to make a pocket


Next, you will need to get a ruler and measure out sections to hold the ice blocks.  If you use the blocks that I recommend then each pocket needs to be exactly 4.25 inches.  Any more and the blocks with slide out too easily, any less and you will never get the blocks in.
Make your line 4.25 inches away from your sewn edge.  From that line measue .25 inch and make a buffer line. 
Then use that line to measure your next 4.25 space. The quarter inch space allows the blocks to fit better and give the seat cooler an overall better appearance.

After you make 2 spaces on the bottom half or foot of the cooler, then , go to the top or head of the cooler to mark your other 3.  The little space it creates is about 2 inches is right about where the cooler will bend to "sit" in the carseat.

You are almost done!  Now just sew along your lines to create the pockets for the ice blocks. 

Lastly, sew the bias tape all along the outside or the cooler to finish it off.
You are done! Insert your ice blocks!

(The plain rectangle version)
Roll it up and stick it in your freezer. 

On days that we have a lot of errands to run, I put the coolers in an isulated igloo bag so they stay cool while we are driving. When we arrive at our destination, I throw them on the seats so the girls will be welcomed back to the car with cold, refreshing seats.  My coolers stay cold for a good 6 hours, and that's in the Arizona heat!



Good luck!

26 comments:

  1. wow you're awesome. thank you for taking the time to put together a tutorial. i like the fabric choice. you did a great job on the photos too! now let's see if I have the patience to make one of these.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kathleen--even if you do not have time, you could at least draw a diagram with a short explanation, then have the idea patented. After that you could register an LLC, write up a more advanced set of instructions to make it, then have it mass produced! I really think you should!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for making the tutorial. I am excited to make one for my son, who is always sweaty and practically overheating when I get him out of the car seat!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That is majorly cool(no pun intended)! I will definitely be trying this out. Thanks for the work you put into writing this tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you so much for this idea! My son has a genetic disorder and cannot sweat. I am always worried about overheating him when we get in the car (we live in HOT and SUNNY Texas!)

    I will have to pull out the sewing machine and give this a try.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Agreed - you should patent this. Brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow! what a great idea! I live in Houston and boy would this be a welcome seat to come back to!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Even if you don't mass produce these for a profit, you still should sell the pattern. My son is SEVEN and gets carsick easily. I will be making this...in my spare time...yah, right. Love the idea, though.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Kathleen! My name is Bridget, I work for a company called Girl Power 2 cure and run the www.rettgirl.org website. Our website has product reviews, tips, resources, etc. for families that have girls with Rett Syndrome (a severe neurological disorder that affects only girls). A friend emailed me your gorgeous car seat coolers and I LOVE them!!! They are perfect for girls with Rett Syndrome who have a difficult time regulating their body temperatures. I put a review, pic and link of your post so that our rett families are aware of it and can hopefully take advantage. You can see the post here: http://rettgirl.org/2012/09/car-seat-cooler-tutorial/ We also have a FB page and a blog where we highlight different products. We were wondering if you would be interested in helping us with a raffle that we have quarterly for our families battling Rett Syndrome. Would you be interested in donating one of your Car Seat Coolers? Our raffle is only open to Rett Families and takes place on our Rett Girl site and is advertised on our FB page: http://www.facebook.com/rettgirl You can email me at bridgemacd@gmail.com for more information. Thank you so much for posting this great tutorial and considering a raffle item.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I have seen similar before, but at a cost. I love this simple tutorial. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. In the winter in colder areas, you can replace the ice packs with rice packs (hand sewn), throw it in the microwave to heat it up, and then you have a car seat warmer too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That Is A Great Idea! I May Have To Try That! :)

      Delete
  12. Brilliant! Can I make a request, though? Please, please add to your post that these are NOT to be used while the child is buckled into the seat. I know you haven't suggested that it be used that way, and from your post it doesn't sound like you are, but some parents may not realize that it would be incredibly dangerous to have this (or any after market product) between the child and the seat while the seat is in use. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to see someone mention this. I found this page via another blog and she pictured the child in the seat with it under him!

      Delete
  13. What size are your ice packs? I tried to see the size of the ice pack in the picture, but I didn't see it. I found some that are 5 1/8 in X 2.75 in. They look to be pretty similar to yours.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Do u have these for sale on etsy?

    ReplyDelete
  15. I also saw this on Pinterest by dumb luck - we took our little Crabapple on a long car drive in a very hot car and, boy, would these have come in handy. Can't wait to make one!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Do you think you could use batting instead of the felty blanket?

    ReplyDelete
  17. I need to make these for the darn Arizona heat, too. I should have done it four years ago, when we moved here! Thanks so very much for the tutorial, and for mentioning that you use a cooler, and that they stay cool for hours. I admit, I was a bit skeptical. :) Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Awesome!! I love this idea!! :) Thank You So Much For Sharing This For Free!! And I Think You Did A Great job, they are really nice!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just had a scare yesterday morning when I put my daughter in her carseat. It was SO hot and I checked to get those darn metal buckles outta the way of her cute legs. Well, instead of getting her legs, one buckle slipped under her t-shirt and burned her tummy! I am MORTIFIED and feel so badly for her! So, I searched this idea and am SO so grateful for your tutorial!! Very simple, whipped it out from stuff I already had, and I just need a couple more of those blocks---already had 2. Cant wait to try it out tomorrow! You are a lifesaver!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. one question! does the knit fabric get soaked when the bricks start to melt? thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Where can I get the ice blocks from? I'd love to make one for my nieces baby coming soon.
    Peggy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've found them at Wal-Mart and our local grocery store (HEB in Texas). They can also be purchased online from Amazon and the like, but I've found they are less expensive in-store. I've also heard rumor of them being at Dollar Tree and other dollar stores, but I haven't found any so far. (Not that I've been looking very hard.)

      Delete
  22. What are the dimensions of the ice blocks you used??

    ReplyDelete