Recovering a Baby Car Seat


Do you love your infant car seat……but hate the cover?
Is the material scratchy or stained?  Torn or outdated?
Well, then start picking apart that old one……and making it into a new one.
You will be so happy you did.
While searching for a new car seat, I wasn’t loving any of the fabric.  I know, not really all that important, but if I can re-cover it……why not?
We needed a new baby car seat anyway, so I found one online that had the frame/design that I wanted and then purchased the cheapest color and design.  (You know how the colors that don’t sell well, are always a bit cheaper…  Perfect for this.)
And then turned it into a fresh and original car seat cover. 

And I know, these little satin flowers are seen here, there, and everywhere.
But I couldn’t resist a little girliness added to the seat.
I even coordinated the little seat belt shoulder covers.
And yes, the canopy was completely re-done as well…….
………..and collapses perfectly.
The car seat cover tucks around the seat frame in the same way, keeping the seat nice and tailored to its specific size and dimension.
And of course, a little label attached to the side……marking my work.
(Click here for more info on my labels.)
Nice and bright and perfectly fitted to our new car seat.
This seat is happily awaiting the arrival of our little girl.  Perfect.

Disclaimer: Altering your car seat may void your car seat’s warranty.  Make It and Love It is not responsible for any decisions made regarding your own car seat or fabrics chosen.  I do, however, show how to use the exact same batting from the original seat and keep the same shape and dimensions, but just change out the top layer of fabric.  But the thickness of the fabric is the same…not changing the thickness of the cover at all.  However, in the event of an accident, your car seat may or may not be replaced with a brand new one.  So consider the risk of having to pay for a new one, if your seat was damaged in a way that your seat’s company would have been willing to replace it for free.  (I have heard of companies replacing the seat even though new covers were used, and other scenarios where they would not replace the seat.  So keep that in mind.)
Also, flame resistant fabrics can be used in event of fire, so choose fabrics accordingly.  (Consider using a spray such as this to treat your fabric, to make your fabric flame resistant.  But do some research to find a product suitable for you.)

Would you like to see how I transformed the original car seat cover into a new one?
(Keep in mind that every car seat brand constructs their seat covers a bit differently.  But with a visual of how to deconstruct a cover, you’ll be able to do this with any car seat brand.

First of all, I purchased the yellow fabric at HB Fabrics here.  (Alexander Henry Amelie in Yellow, Matisse Collection)  And I bought the gray fabric here.  (Ty Pennington, Lace Taupe)  I actually purchased the thicker Decor Fabric in the grey because I knew I’d be using some of it for the canopy, and wanted it thicker.  It has a nice sateen finish and is very soft.  But the Ty Pennington collection also comes in the regular weight cotton. 

I purchased 2 yards of the yellow and 1 yard of the gray.  But the amount of fabric you’ll need depends on how much fabric you need for your canopy, how much of the old canopy/car seat fabrics you use, how much of each color you use on the car seat, etc.
. . . . . . . . . . .

I didn’t hate the color scheme/design of this car seat……..but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted.  And even though the fabric was a bit slick, and would have wiped well, my babies tend to be sweaty and the fabric wasn’t very breathable.
**I used the exact padding and sizing…….keeping the cover true to its fit inside of the car seat.  So it is exactly the same size, fits the exact same way, and will be just as safe as the original.
Before taking anything apart, I took pictures of the car seat from every angle, so if I had any questions later on, I could take a look at how something looked.
Then, I started picking apart each piece of the car seat, using a seam ripper to carefully un-sew each seam.
Each piece had a top layer of fabric and then a layer of batting.  I had to pick apart each fabric piece from its batting piece as well.
Then I used each fabric piece as a pattern and cut out each piece in the color that I wanted.
**You’ll see that the gray piece at the bottom (where the feet would go) didn’t make it to the final car seat cover.  I changed my mind at the end and swapped it for the yellow fabric.
Then I placed each pattern piece with its appropriate batting piece, pinned them together with the fabric facing right side up, and zig-zagged around the entire piece.
Then I made seams in the appropriate places, just like on the original pieces.  Seams such as these just allow the cover to bend at the appropriate spot.
Now your car seat cover may look differently in some spots, but mine has a hole where a narrow strap comes out to be able to adjust the tightness of the shoulder straps.  I took the original fabric piece, placed it on top, and traced the size of the opening.
As you deconstruct a tricky area such as this, take pictures and pay close attention how to put it back together.
Mine had another piece of fabric that was used to finish off the opening.  So I recreated mine in the same way.  I used the original fabric piece (shown above) to draw the right square size on there too.
Then I placed the fabric square right side down, lined up the 2 squares, and sewed right on top of the traced square shape.
Then I cut the square open, trimmed down the edges, then cut slits in towards the corners of the square, allowing for turning the fabric in the next step.
So next, shove the fabric through the hole, flipping the fabric out to the back side.
Pull the fabric square towards the back, nice and snug, and pin in place. Then sew around the square opening.
If you turn this piece over, you’ll see the square on the back side.  I trimmed the square with pinking shears, to help avoid fraying.  But you could also zig-zag the edges before attaching the square several steps ago.
Now, onto the center piece of the car seat, where the slits for the straps go.
I placed the original piece over the top of my new piece, and marked little dots at each side of each slit with a pencil.
Can you see the little dots that I used to mark the width of each opening?
I then used those dots as a guide, and made button holes that were the same width and the same location as the original openings.
Then I used a seam ripper to slice the button holes open.
The rest of my pieces were basic, with no other tricky parts to it.
So I referred back to my first picture, and started putting the pieces back together.  I used pins each time I put 2 pieces together, and then sewed it together……..keeping things very precise.
You want to put the top of the seat together by itself……and then the bottom section.
And then sew the 2 sections together.  This can be tricky to maneuver under your needle, so do it slowly.
The view from the back side.
Next, I took some shortcuts.  I used the original fitted pieces, that keep the cover tucked into place over the car seat.  The color matched perfectly and saved me some time.  Perfect.  But you may need to use your original pieces to cut out new ones that match your new fabric……..but I just don’t have pictures showing that step.
So I just skipped to adding the fitted sleeve to the top of the seat cover, with right sides together……….
………and to the foot section of the car seat as well.
Then I used the original bias tape (because, again, the color was perfect) and attached it to the car seat, all the way around the raw edges.  You can either buy some or make some of your own if you don’t use the original stuff.  (Need help making bias tape?  Click here.)
Now slide your cover onto your seat…….it should fit exactly the same way your original one did.
Are you ready to tackle the canopy?
Make sure to take pictures just like you did with the car seat cover.  You don’t want to forget how anything looked.
**If you are taking apart an old GRACO canopy, the main plastic pieces of the canopy attach like shown in the image below, right at the center of each piece.  You will have to hold on either side of the center of the arch, and tug really hard to pull them apart.  Then slide them out from each end of the canopy.
Then I picked all of the pieces apart, just like I did with the car seat cover above.  Each section has a light pink piece of satin material on the underside that I peeled off the top piece……but didn’t take a picture to show you.
Another shortcut. I used some of the original pieces in my final canopy…..simply because they were the exact color I needed.  And each piece of the canopy was double layered, so I used the main pieces as pattern pieces to cut out the new pieces in the colors that I needed.  And then I used double-sided-iron-on-adhesive to seal the two pieces together, with wrong sides together.  (Sealing these 2 layers together for each section, will also give the canopy a sturdier structure.)
But if you are completely re-making your canopy, remember that you will need to cut out 2 pieces of fabric for each canopy section……..and then seal them together with wrong sides together, with the adhesive.  (Keep in mind that you may want a thicker/sturdier fabric for your canopy, to give it more shape and to protect the baby a bit more.)
My canopy had 2 little tube sections down the center, that housed little plastic piping pieces.  So I made sure to duplicate those strips of fabric, sewed them into tubes the same way as the originals…….
……..slid in the plastic forms, to be sure they fit…………
……….then sewed the tubes right to the center section of the canopy (just like it was done on the original canopy), with the raw edges matched up with the outer raw edges of the center canopy strip.
Then I slid the plastic pieces back in…
……..and sewed off each end with a zig-zag stitch, keeping the plastic pieces securely inside.
Now, the back piece of my canopy has a casing to slide the main plastic structure of the canopy.  I cut the strip for the structure just like the original, then serged the raw edge (you can zig–zag it too).
Then I folded under each end of the strip, then sewed along each long edge of the casing, securing it right to this section of the canopy.  (Make sure your are re-creating the same casing as the original…….so that the canopy will fit the same way.  So cut your pieces precisely and remember to take many pictures.)
The front of my canopy, has a little extra fold down strip, which is how the front casing is actually attached.  So I re-created it the same way as the original (and serged the lower raw edge like the one above), but this time, the casing was sewn with the right side of the fabric facing down.  And remember to tuck the ends under again like shown above.
See, this is my very front piece, with the gray color on the outside.
The next step, is to attach that front strip to the next canopy section.
I placed the two strips together with right sides together, then sewed along that edge.
Then I folded that casing piece away from that more narrow front canopy strip.
Then, I opened up these 2 canopy pieces, with the bottom side facing up.  I folded over that casing section, along with the raw edges underneath that casing, and sewed the casing down to the bigger canopy section.  (Make sure it lays flat and that you sew evenly, as the seam will show from the other side.)
Attach the other canopy sections in the same way, creating the domed shape.
Then use the original bias tape like I did, purchase some, or make your own (click here for help) and encase each raw seam where each canopy section was sewn together.
Now, again, remember that not every canopy style is the same, but mine has a little extra piece of plastic boning along the front.  This helps that little extra addition to the canopy at the front to keep it’s shape.  So, because the next step is to attach bias tape all the way around the canopy, you’ll use the bias tape as a casing for teh boning along the front for this style of canopy.  So I attached the bias tape along the front only…….
………then slid the plastic boning on in.
Then I finished attaching the bias tape the rest of the way around the canopy.
Now, if you have a GRACO brand car seat, the main plastic pieces attach like this right at the center of the arch of the canopy.  (If you were taking your canopy apart, you would need to pull it apart, by tugging really hard.)  To put back into the canopy, slide one piece into each side, and slide each piece back into each other.
Then attach the plastic pieces to the car seat……..allowing your canopy to stand up.
Last step……the seat belt shoulder covers.
I took apart each shoulder cover and cut out new fabric pieces……just like above.  (If you’re wanting to create your own shoulder covers from scratch, click here for tutorial.)
I then zig-zagged around each fabric piece, attaching it to the original piece of batting.
Then, I made my own bias tape (click here for help) and attached it to the raw edges of each shoulder cover.  And lastly, I attached the velcro to each strap……just like the original ones.
And that is it. Whew.  I know, a lot of steps.
But pat yourself on that hard working back of yours, because you just created your own custom car seat cover and canopy. 


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Filed under Accessory, Baby, Re-purposing, Sewing


151 Responses to “Recovering a Baby Car Seat”
  1. 1
    Lexie & Jeff says:

    WoW! This looks amazing. It looks like a lot of thought went into it, and I love how it turned out! What a thorough tutorial.

  2. 2
    Kristen says:

    It does look amazing! Sewing skills out of my league but definitely amazing!

  3. 3
    Johnson Family says:

    That's fantastic!!! I have made carseat covers and I KNOW how much work that is, but your method is so awesome! It looks so professional, fits perfectly, and it's still safe. And the canopy, genius! I remade the canopy but did not use anything from the old canopy. I couldn't find boning stong enough, didn't use fabric stiff enough, and the canopy was always flopping around – disaster. I will definitely be using your tutorial when I need to recover it again. Thank you SO much for sharing!

    • 3.1
      jessica says:

      ITS NOT SAFE!!! ANYTHING that isnt part of the seat when you buy it VOIDS VOIDS VOIDS!!! the munufacturer warranty!!! DO SOME RESEARCH!!! Cute does NOT NOT NOT = SAFE!!!

  4. 4
    Mrs. Knitters says:

    It looks G R E A T !!! The makeover of the cover is really gorgious… so sunny and sweet :) just perfect :)

  5. 5
    mandimadeit says:

    Amazing! You make it look so easy!
    I will definitely be saving this tutorial for the next baby.
    Thank you so much! :)

  6. 6
    Jamin, Margaret & Elena says:

    wow! I actually like my carseat cover but I may try this if I ever want a change.

  7. 7
    D and G Stories says:

    Wow, I'm amazed! You are so clever! I may just get brave enough to try this. Thanks for an awesome tutorial!

  8. 8
    Inle says:

    You make me want to have another baby!

  9. 9
  10. 10
    CoconutKate says:

    I just re-did mine as well! I'm still working on the canopy, but I got the seat part finished (just in case this guy comes right away-probably wishful thinking). I love your yellow fabric…so nice and bright!

  11. 11
    Anne Marie... says:

    holy camoly……that is the BEST sewing job – that looks so difficult to me… the colors chosen too!
    I'm just loving your blog – I've only been following you for a few weeks – but so happy I did –

    Anne Marie

  12. 12
    Joanna says:

    This is absolutely incredible. However, I won't be showing this to my husband, because he would be begging me to recover both of our car seats immediately!!

  13. 13
    Prudently Painted Vintage says:

    You are very talented! Love it! You will be getting a million compliments on your car seat. Everyone will be asking where you bought it!

  14. 14
    Zaira says:

    That is really cute!

    I think though that the disclaimer should be a little more obvious, maybe at the top of the post? Yes, using 3rd party carseat covers (including homemade) and other products that don't come with the seat will void your seat's warranty and your insurance company will also not be impressed should they find out in the event of an accident; I have heard of people not getting their seats replaced due to alterations/3rd party products being used. The covers may be ugly but they are what is made to go with the seat and tested during safety testing (flamability, compression of padding/fabrics etc) so better to be safe than sorry I think. 2c :)

  15. 15
    Erin says:

    this is amazing! gives me options when i have a child, but also could be way above my current skill level. love your step-by-step instructions!

  16. 16
    Laree says:

    I am so impressed! When we bought our carseat, I splurged the extra $5 to get the cute girly version. I'm now positive that because I did so, our next child will be a boy! I'm so using this tutorial and recovering it if that's the case.

    I love how detailed this is – and the pictures too! Thanks!

  17. 17
    Heather says:

    thats amaxing! I'm going to have to try it when we have another baby.

  18. 18
    ~rachel~ says:

    The above poster is right that not only would using something like this will void the seat's warranty, but this has also not been tested with the seat. It could cause the seat to not function properly and could cause injuries to the baby. The fabric (or anything that is behind the baby that shouldn't be there) could bunch up and push the baby forward in an accident causing neck injuries- which would not be good on a newborn!
    I would recommend speaking with the manufacturer to see if they would recommend this and alco getting the seat checked by a CPST.

  19. 19
    Nicia says:

    Amazing. Amazing!

  20. 20
    Rhonda says:


  21. 21
    Maria D. @ DownrightDomesticity says:

    Just when I think you couldn't possibly outdo yourself for creativity, you do it again! What a great idea!

  22. 22
    Malori and Jon Saline says:

    This looks so amazing!!! It's so original too – I always notice in church that there are always at least 3 people with the exact same car seat. This one looks so original and fancy!

  23. 23
    Jessica at Me Sew Crazy says:

    I need to ask, how difficult was this project? I have been thinking of making one for our new addition this summer, but keep putting it off based on what seems like an incredible amount of time and effort involved.

  24. 24
    Anonymous says:

    wow!! you are amazing!!!! if i send you our carseat cover and canopy will you make us a new one?! i am so not skilled enough to do this myself. haha!!

    – jen
    jehling2 at gmail(d0t)com

  25. 25
    Ashley says:

    I appreciate the comments and concerns about the warranty and such. This is a fun project to do, but one must also be smart before altering a car seat cover……and I completely agree.

    My car seat cover is exactly the same as the original, with the original batting and fabric thickness used……not adding any extra bulk or shape to the cover…..or any extra thickness below or around the baby. Therefore, it will perform the same as the original car seat, in the event of an accident. But as for the warranty, I do understand that it is now void. So I am willing to take that chance to have to re-purchase a new car seat without being provided a new one, in the event of an accident.

    So the choice is yours. I've just provided a tutorial on how to create an exact replica of your original without altering the design or shape or thickness. And without having to spend the money on a new car seat, should you want a new cover. But use your best judgment.


  26. 26
    Barb says:

    Absolutely beautiful…you make something "hard" look really easy. The suggestion about taking pictures as you take things apart is a great idea. Thanks again for the beautiful work.

  27. 27
    Melissa says:

    Awesome job! This is so darn cute! Makes me want to trash my car seat, so I have a reason to re-cover it :-)

  28. 28
    Katie says:

    How sweet!

  29. 29
    Danielle @ Savvy Chic Home says:

    wow one of your best projects yet!

  30. 30
    Amanda says:

    I have loved your blog from afar for a long time now. I finally decided to comment! First, this is amazing. I am learning to sew and come to your blog every single day to get inspiration and hopes for skills like yours someday! :) Second, this cover is for YOUR baby. You can decide to recover the car seat if you would like to (thanks for sharing it with us). I am so impressed!

  31. 31
    The Smith Family says:

    WOW! This is amazing! You totally make me feel like I could do this. I just made your stroller/messenger bag the other day and was RIDICULOUSLY proud of myself :) I just learned to sew a year ago and am so in love with it. Thanks for all of the great inspiration and tutorials. You are awesome!

  32. 32
    Eunice says:

    amazing! I don't think I apt enough to do that but you sure make it looks so easy. Great work!

  33. 33
    Shannon says:

    Holy cow, you are even more amazing than I previously thought! Fabulous job! I really love it and wish I could get myself to do one for my sweet baby girl!

  34. 34
    Andrea H. says:

    That is totally cute. If I ever get around to learning how to sew (and get good at it and have another baby), I would definitely do this with our infant seat.

    Also, just to put in my two cents about the safety of this, I personally think that it is fine. You are using a lot of the original materials from the cover and modeling it exactly like the original in design and thickness among other things. The original cover is tested to ensure its safety, but I am positive that they don't test every cover that they sell. Rather they just test a model and if it meets whatever standards, then they replicate that model. What is being shown here is pretty much the same thing.

    Additionally, I think that the disclaimer and its placement are perfectly adequate (I find it kind of absurd that you should have to include one in the first place — people can't think for themselves? But Ashley, who is not a carseat expert, told me I could do this, and no I didn't bother checking the user manual for the carseat so that I could know the manufacturer's policy on this…). If someone is going to do the carseat cover, I imagine that they would carefully read the instructions (all of them and before beginning the project as well as during) and then they would easily notice the disclaimer.

  35. 35
    Nancy says:

    Nice work! Thanks for taking the time with pics of each step.

  36. 36
    Sayonada says:

    Thank you so much for posting your pics and your process! I've been considering doing the same thing to our infant carrier, but was a little gunshy — the suggestions of taking tons of pics is so simple, but so genius!

  37. 37
    Emily says:

    Lovely, as usual! Great fabric choices. Thanks for sharing how you made it. I also like your quilt/coverlet. :)

  38. 38
    Bonnie says:

    Beautiful! I love our car seat cover but hate the seat itself so I've been thinking of getting a new one for the next baby…maybe I'll take up an offer for a used (but pretty new) one and just make my own cover. Thanks for the tutorial, I am definitely bookmarking this!

  39. 39
    Jennifer says:

    I love the color combo you used! Fantastic. Maybe this is a stupid question, but was this a ton of work (with all the seam ripping?) As in, how long can I put this off before my due date???

  40. 40
    MotherBeck says:

    you are seriously

  41. 41
    MrsJAllred says:

    Wow you are so brave! I'd be so afraid of taking it all apart and then not being able to get it all back together!

  42. 42
    Curtis and Dani Welton says:

    I love it! Thanks for taking the time to do the tutorial!!

  43. 43
    Anonymous says:

    While the cover is beautiful and well-sewn, your claim that this style of recovering project will perform the same as the original is really just a guess, isn't it? It is the same as any other after-market product in that we have no clue how it will perform. It may be safe or it may not be. We have no way to know until it is put into a real life crash test. Warranties and insurance are the least of my concerns when car seats are involved. This is your child's life. Are you really worried about the seat warranty? The real question is, Do you want your child to be the crash test dummy just so your seat can look pretty?

  44. 44
    BECKY says:

    great job! so unique

  45. 45
    Chelsey says:

    Wow. That's incredible. I can't imagine how long that must have taken you. And as far as the worriers go, we're all (for the most part) grown adults capable of making rational decisions. One person's decision may be different from another's. But implying that someone is a bad mother and is willing to risk her child's life for a cute car seat cover is just inappropriate.

  46. 46
    Anonymous says:

    That's beautiful! I can't believe how talented you are! Thanks for sharing- I'm definitely going to use your tutorial when I get down to doing a carseat!

  47. 47
    Heather says:

    Oh my gosh! Incredible! I hope that one day I get strong enough sewing skills to pull this off :) Thanks for the tutorial!!!!!

  48. 48
    Shelly says:

    You did a GREAT job! Thanks for the tips as I'm starting this project for my daughter this weekend.

  49. 49
    Jessica says:

    That looks wonderful :) Great job momma!

  50. 50
    Scarlet Cloak says:

    Great now I want to have another baby just so I can recover the car seat! So cute!!!

  51. 51
    Ms. A says:

    I don't have kids yet, but when I do, I'll be pulling this tutorial out for some help with recovering it!! This is WONDERFUL!! Your steps make the process so much LESS scary & difficult. Thank you for taking the time to document this and share it with us!! I know it must have taken awhile to post, but THANK YOU!!

  52. 52
    April Showers says:

    WOW!!!!! You are amazing!!! I don't have any children yet, but when I do, I will definitely try to tackle this tutorial. I bow to your amazing greatness. Seriously, you are so insipirational. When I grow up, I want to be just like you! ;)

  53. 53
    Amanda says:


    You are so talented! Honestly, I usually see tutorials and think "I can do that." But right now, I know I cannot. And I would be totally overwhelmed to try! You rock girl!!!

  54. 54
    kathy says:

    You are an amazingly talented person.

    But I think it is a tad irresponsible of you to make something like this and acknowledge that it is not recommended. The whole point that the car seat manufacturers make is that the seat might not be as safe with a homemade cover. Why risk your baby? Much safer to put a cute blanket over the top of the properly secured baby.

  55. 55
    Big Mama says:

    I cannot believe how detailed you are! I'm blown away at how great it looks. (And, BTW "anonymous" posters who act like you're being helpful, you're not. You're making yourselves look like jerks.)
    I, for one, can't wait to try this, now that my girly seat needs to hold my DS :)

  56. 56
    Amy E. says:

    LOVE that yellow fabric!

  57. 57
    Kelsee says:

    I've made these for friends as gifts. They are a lot of work but they turn out so great. I bought my tutorial and this is exactly they same as theirs. Yours looks amazing!

  58. 58
    Amanda says:

    Thanks for an awesome post! I featured it on my blog today!


  59. 59
    Angie says:

    This is so adorable! I'm going to have to try this out if/when we have another baby. I think using a laminated fabric (Amy Butler has a line) would be awesome too! Bonus points for wipeable! Thanks for all the great tips!

    P.S. Wow, there are some REALLY paranoid people out there…

  60. 60
    Betsy says:

    I am 100% saving this. I don't need a car-seat yet, but have 'wish-looked' at them… and my biggest issue is the not liking the fabric! Problem solved :). And I have confidence that I can totally handle this project :). Plus, if you can do it for an infant seat… why can't you do it for a toddler seat? Ya know, the ones that are infinitely more likely to get juice-box and pop-tart stained :-P

  61. 61
    Erica says:


  62. 62
    mari_contrary says:

    You have been my hero many, many times, but this one takes the cake! I'm due in 5 weeks, just pulled out my old car seat and the outer cover is RUINED from tree sap that dripped from the Christmas tree stand (that hubs was supposed to have cleaned before putting away…:) ) I'm buying fabric TODAY and getting started! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

    And…I think you're such a fabulous mother, I just gotta say. Little miss will be so cute and so safe in that seat, I hope none of the cranky comments change your mind. :)

  63. 63
    Anonymous says:

    I love the color combo, and the yellow flowers on the canopy make it so cute. By the way, I don't think that this is irresponsible or unsafe despite what the naysayers say. It isn't necessarily safe to put a blanket over a baby in a car seat (though we all do it), especially when they are rear-facing in the car and you can't see them, since it could come up somehow and cover the baby's mouth and nose leading to suffocation. And who knows what that blanket will do if you are in a car accident?

  64. 64
    DangitAnge says:

    That is an awfully cute cover, but I have to agree with the others that say it's unsafe.

    I used to think that making a big deal about flame retardant materials in carseats was just some silly government regulation, until the day, one of my daughters used a magnifying glass on her sister's carseat.

    It happened when I'd stepped out of the car for a minute. If her seat cover had NOT been flame retardant, she would've been in flames fast. It could have been a horrible outcome! But instead, only a very small hole was burned in the cover of her Britax seat.

    It totally bugs me that her seat has a small burn hole in it and I am an experienced seamstress so I could've easily made a new cover. But I haven't. a) because I don't want to hassle finding flame retardant fabrics and b) because her life's FAR more important than a cute carseat, so I'll live with the one with a small burn hole.

    It's a good reminder that safety is FAR more important than something being in style or pretty.

  65. 65
    akraftycatch says:

    OMG …. that is adorable!! you are such a clever girl! I would of loved one of these when my daughter was a baby. I see a market!!

  66. 66
    Amanda says:

    This is genius! I absolutely love it! Thank you for the post!

  67. 67
    Trish says:

    Well I just have to throw my two cents in after reading all the comments.

    First, you did such an incredible job on the cover. It looks so pretty and professional! I'm just learning how to sew, so seeing all that and the steps makes my head spin! I'm impressed.

    Second, as for the safety of the car seat I see no reason why your modifications would put your baby at risk. In no way do I think you're being irresponsible (as one other person suggested) by using your cover on the car seat.

    I guess it just rubbed me the wrong way that people would say things like that to you. The suggestion you would be putting style ahead of your baby's safety is, well, vulgar.

    Until a car seat safety expert comes around to tell you it's unsafe, I think we can all happily ignore the other people.

    • 67.1
      jessica says:

      Hey, listen SERIOUSLY!! READ THE MANUAL!!! It specifically says ANYTHING AFTERMARKET VOIDS THE WARRANTY!!! PLUS, most insurance companies will not replace the seat OR pay for any injuries to a child IF YOU ARE USING A SEAT THAT HAS AFTERMARKET PIECES!!! Your ‘pretty’ seat is obviously WAY MORE IMPORTANT to you than your pretty child, because you have completely disregarded this guide line!!! Smh because it’s RIDICULOUS!!! that you would be so worried about a pretty seat and NOT using it CORRECTLY!!!

  68. 68
    Kari Ayers says:

    Ashley – you are so talented. I want to recover my carseat now! You make it look easy, but I have a feeling I'd get mine all torn apart and then wouldn't be able to figure out how to put it all back together! :) Thanks for sharing this tutorial. Looking forward to hearing about the arrival of your sweet baby girl.

  69. 69
    ~rachel~ says:

    Hello, me again…

    I know many people think that some of us who have commented about the seat not being safe may think we are overreacting and I just wanted to put out a little more information. I am a CPST (child passenger safety technician in case you're not familiar) which means I've had training- and continue to have training- to help parents install car seats. Until I had an interest in this field and took the class I had no idea that so many kids weren't properly restrained in their car seats- at least 80% of car seats aren't used properly. Which means there is a good chance that the majority of the people posting here could be in this group (not accusing, just based on the statistics, hopefully everyone is doing it right). Maybe these things just aren't as important until you have seen everything from a different view, but car seat safety is imporant. Children die from the misuse of car seats, even if it's only one child a year that is still someone's child and maybe that parent's negligence that could have caused it. Just please don't say you "think" it will be fine (like so many commenters have said) what are you basing this on? Just your opinion?

  70. 70
    Melanie says:

    Absolutely Fantastic! I think I might just do this to my old carseat for the new baby coming! Thanks for the tutorial!

  71. 71
    Mandi @ Finding Home says:

    I've had my eyes on a carseat cover that is giraffe print with pink accents. It's $70 so I just can't justify that price. Though your tutorial was fabulous and incredibly detailed, I doubt I'll recover my carseat anytime soon. Your seat is BEAUTIFUL!! I bet you'll get tons of compliments on it!

  72. 72
    Spencer and Sara says:

    Wow, really people? Being helpful doesn't have to mean being rude. I think if you have something helpful to say at least be nice about it. Like another commenter said, we are all adults capable of making our own decisions and what one feels is a good decision for herself doesn't mean than anyone else has to agree with her. If you don't like it, don't do it. Plain and simple. And for the record, she did talk about using flame resistant materials or spraying your fabrics to make them flame resistant.
    I, for one, think if you're going to have some beef with someone misusing a car seat then your time would be better spent focusing on the parents who do not know how to properly install a car seat or the parents who choose not to tighten the straps after buckling the straps because it's "too hard after the baby is buckled in." Real life story.
    Ashley, I think your car seat is beautiful. I only wish I was as talented a seamstress as you are. :)

  73. 73
    Andrea H says:

    Rachel — what you are talking about has to do with the installation of the carseat not the carseat cover. Those are two different things. If you have useful information about the cover that would show this is unsafe, then please offer it. I think that most people offering their opinions that they "think" this is okay is because the cover was created in a meticulous way specific to this carseat using the original cover as the pattern. It wasn't just slapped together as some cover to be used for all carseats. This is coming from someone who is very careful about carseats. I thoroughly read the user manuals and make sure I install and use them correctly per the manual.

  74. 74
    Artsy Betsy says:

    Gorgeous and ingenious! Your tutorials are amazing, thanks :)

  75. 75
    Craftaholic says:

    I'm sorry there have been so many negative comments on such a fantastic project that I am absolutely going to tackle myself. It's is so beautiful and you did a wonderful job making it all your own. And to the Negative Nancy's are you really out to be helpful, making sure she isn't liable if someone makes this themselves or just to toot your own horn because you don't like it? The disclaimer is perfect just like all of your projects.

    P.S. Who in the world lets their kid get in the car with a magnifying glass and leaves them in there even for a second. Sorry but that's more concerning to me!

  76. 76
    The Morrisseys says:

    I love it and was so excited to see you put up a tutorial! I've been hoping for one since baby #2 is on the way. I hope the next week or so goes smoothly for you and congratulations on the new little one :)

  77. 77
    Brandon and Karlie Kidd says:

    To Craftaholic! You couldn't have said it any better. Amen!

  78. 78
    Flying Giggles and Lollipops says:

    Wow! That is one amazing cover. I love every bit of it from the design, colors and print!

  79. 79
    The Callenders says:

    Hi i LOVED the carseat that you just did. I was wondering do you make custom ones for other people? I have one that my daughter used for not too long and i wanted to make it for a boy. And i am just wondering how much you would charge if you did?

  80. 80
    Happy about this tutorial says:

    All the natsayers like Selina, I feel your concern. But Ashley, this is totally amazing, and I think you did agreat job! All you guys out there, how is this going to kill your child? It is just as safe as factory made carseat covers, and furthermore, my little sisters carseat is built like a battlepod. The carseats these days are practically impossible to be killed in. So realax, y'all. RELAX.
    Ashley did this because she wanted to add some glam to her little one's life. If you don't like it, go find some other blog to follow.

    Some words from a young girl, liking this tutorial.

    P.S. I'm 12.
    P.P.S. Out of the mouths of babes (or young ones)

  81. 81
    Katrina says:

    AMAZING!!! I love your posts. I love your blog. Now it's my most favorite!

  82. 82
    Donna says:

    wow, people can be so mean. Anyway, you did a great job and its just beautiful.There is a lady here where I live that makes and sells covers and whole seat covers like you made. I love that you can be different from the masses!

  83. 83
    Rebekah {honeyandcheese} says:

    The main safety concern being stated is that the fabric may bunch or compress differently than the original fabric, causing harm to Ashley's little one in the case of an accident.

    But how many moms – how many of you concerned ones – place your babies into their carseats with a blanket over top of them or tucked around them? Or put them in their carseats while they're wearing snowsuits or thick, bunchable winter coats

    Based on your logic, that sounds far more dangerous.

  84. 84
    ~rachel~ says:

    I was not trying to be mean. My point is that you DO NOT know how this will react in a crash. I originally suggested contacting the manufacturer to see what they would recommend and that is what I would recommend doing. They design and tested the seat with a certain fabric, just because it has been made the same way does not mean it is the same.

  85. 85
    lovinsanta says:

    First, I absolutely adore this tutorial as it turned out great! There are so many other things as parents that I feel you should be worried about then this. Heck, what would you say to those who buy carseats at garage sales without knowing anything about them, or numerous other things.

    Just as someone else said, these companies probably test a couple hundred on a carseat then send that to be mass produced (no less in China) without testing. Have you ever received something from mass production where the seams aren't perfectly sewn, etc. I would say the care I saw in her photos makes me more comfortable with what she produced then in the original. Ashley, I am sure when you posted this you figured the negative Nancy's would show up, but know you did an amazing job! Those saying this has been tested…well nor have all the others just the originals before sending to production. I see so many worse things parents do (you know how we get the warnings…don't put bag over childs head, don't place top on tote with child inside…yeah those).

    Many best wishes for your new arrival, and look forward to many great tutorials from you!

    Heather in IN

  86. 86
    EnjoyTheDay says:

    I think some may not be sure how fabric construction works. If Ashley constructed the car seat in the same exact way as the original, it will perform in the exact same way. She used a cotton fabric and while I was at Babys R Us the other day, I noticed that more than half of the designs out now are constructed with cotton material. Especially the GRACO brand, which is the car seat Ashley used, as shown in her pictures. So if hers bunches and acts funny, so will the other cotton fabric car seat covers you buy with the car seats. Cotton is cotton. But the integrity of the padding and compression of the padding underneath that top layer, is the EXACT same…..because she used the original padding. I can guarantee you that the exact car seat cover that Ashley purchased was not tested in a crash test. However, I'm sure that a version of that pattern was and then it was shipped off to whatever foreign country to be mass produced. And was cut out and constructed in a variety of fabrics. Just looking at the seats at Babys R Us the other day, there were many fabric versions of the same style of seat. (And in my opinion, she probably took more care on her cover than the person who thoughtlessly put her original one together in some other country. Have you seen some of the products that come into this country that have been approved for our safety?) So the fact that the top layer of fabric was swapped out but the cover has the exact same layers and dimensions as the original, it's just like the factory doing the same thing before they finished it off and sent it out. Her fabric is cotton. Other seats are cotton (they were probably treated though for fire resistance, which she gave a link to do the same thing if so desired). Same thing. The fabric will not bunch differently, will not react differently, nor will it cause harm in any way different than the original car seat. It is the exact same. The main protection the child is receiving, is from the plastic shell of the car seat. The cover is the padding to give the child comfort while in the seat. If the combination of the two were tested in a crash and passed enough of the crash standards, then the car seat can be sold. If all things considered, her seat cover is exactly the same as the original and will offer the same amount of protection as the one she purchased.

    But if you don't have much experience with fabric construction, you may not be the one to throw statistics out because certain statements that have been previously posted aren't making much sense.

    There is no law saying that Ashley cannot swap out the top layer of fabric on her seat. Her chosen brand may, however, decide not to replace her car seat in the event of an accident. And that is her choice.

    This is obviously an issue where everyone will have to agree to disagree. One parent may have strong opinions on this topic while another parent will have a strong opinion about another. And that's okay.

    But let's not call Ashley irresponsible or assume that she cares about fashion over safety. What a cruel claim. And because I understand a good amount about fabric and how different fabric types fit and work together (and how products are mass-created in foreign factories) I do understand that the integrity of her car seat is the same as the original. End of story.

    Great seat cover Ashley! I love your style and I love how you share so many ideas for free, even while some seem so ungrateful. I sure hope you'll continue to post your ideas, though some people tend to use this comment section as their soap box. Especially because this is a free blog where they are choosing to visit, not like a paid subscription that they are hoping to receive certain things for their money. I'm sure none of them would speak like that to you face to face but would instead show a little more respect, even if they disagreed.


  87. 87
    reyesohana says:

    Seriously gorgeous!!! I knew thought I cared much for yellow- but you made me love it in this beautiful combo – amazing work. Love your blog!

  88. 88
    Tiffany says:

    I think you did a great job, this is beautiful!
    I recently recovered a carseat for my sister in law and wished I had taken more pictures beforehand. The upper and lower fitted pieces were giving me a heck of a time until I finally figured them out, pics would have been nice.
    For those saying they don't have the skills to do this, seriously this isn't that hard. Trust me, I thought it would be until I actually sat down and looked at how it was put together. If you can use a seamripper and sew a straight line, you CAN do this! If you need practice you can always look on craigslist or freecycle for free or cheap carseat covers or even old outdated seats to just practice on with some scrap fabric.

  89. 89
    Anonymous says:

    I can't see how remaking a carseat cover as carefully as Ashley did is any more unsafe than putting a cover over an adult car seat. No one would blink an eye if you reupholstered your car's front seats but to do it to a carseat is somehow unsafe. The fabric isn't what is protecting the baby after all it is the plastic and sometimes metal frame around the baby. It is the belt buckle and straps, not the 1/4" of batting and fabric.

    You've got me eying my toddlers' car seats now. If only I knew I wouldn't have to go anywhere for a month! lol.

  90. 90
    laura jones says:

    Ashley! WOW! what an AMAZING job you did! I can't believe your crafty powers! & while being super preggo to boot! I'll be thinking of you as your baby birth-day comes closer & closer!! Exciting!! xo, laura jones

    (also, still just AMAZED at your fearless ability to take on these awesome projects, you're great!)

  91. 91
    Dorienne says:

    Once again, you outdid yourself. Ashley, you are an amazing seamstress and I am grateful for your generosity in sharing your projects with us.

  92. 92
    Maine Baby Treats says:


  93. 93
    Obsession With Online Tutorials says:

    I don't want to be the mean guy and I know others have made a comment about this post. I personally think it looks like a wonderful and extremely well made product. BUT… the state I live in and a few states near mine have laws that if a baby born at hospital is taken home it must be in a car seat and the original factory installed fabric covering. A hospital has the right to not allow a parent to take the child home till they fix the car seat to the factory condition. They also have the right to require them to go to a car seat checking location (Police station/fire station) and have forms filled out before they are allowed to take the child home. I have had people tell me that this has happened to them or their new grandbabies…

    I would highly suggest that a note be put on the post that if this is done that they should have the car seat covering be checked and approved by the appropriate local authorities just for the parents safety and if something should happen in the future it wouldn't be questioned.


    Shannon Margaret

  94. 94
    kathy says:

    Just to clarify my earlier post, what it means when you re-cover an infant car seat is not necessarily that it might not function correctly. This one is made beautifully and with the original padding so it is likely to function exactly the same as the original. If it was different padding or it was thicker or whatever, it might not function correctly that could potentially be dangerous.

    But, what happens when you re-cover your car seat, even with the same batting as is with this one, your warranty is voided and if you were to get into a car accident, not only could your insurance company refuse to replace this car seat, they could also refuse to pay for any injuries your child sustains because you altered your car seat. The manufacturer of the car seat, also, might not be liable for any injuries your child sustains, even if you feel the car seat malfunctioned.

    So, when you replace your car seat cover, even with the original batting, you basically put yourself in jeopardy of having to potentially pay out of pocket for any injuries your infant might sustain in that car seat, in the even of an accident.

    That is not worth the cost! A pretty car seat is not worth it!

  95. 95
    Donya says:

    You did an awesome job, and I am so impressed with how careful you were to keep with the exact pattern. I know there are several commenters who opinioned you were making the car seat less safe, but I would bet the cover you altered is much better sewn than the original (and so much cuter!) I hope you don't let the negative comments keep you from sharing your awesome patterns or sway you from sharing more patterns/tutorials. I know I'm not alone in saying you are truly appreciated and admired for your remarkable talents! I am excited to use your tutorial to make a new cover for my little one arriving next month.

  96. 96
    Kristina says:

    Ashley, it looks beautiful. And not that my opinion matters, but I agree with Andrea from Washington. I think it's obvious that you are a responsible and intelligent person, not to mention a loving and conscientious mom, who's not going to do something like this to a baby's car seat on a whim. I'm not saying there couldn't be danger–because I don't know. I'm no expert. But I hope you're not listening to the people who aren't thinking before they type, or who think you're responsible for everybody's warranty just because you put an idea out there. I'm sure the concerns are sincere; if you want to check into any of them, that's your business.

    Anyway. I guess I just added myself to the drama. But please, everyone, don't say mean things, and don't assume.

  97. 97
    Anonymous says:

    Awesome tutorial. Car seat companies need to get on board with using cute fabrics!

    As for the safety of using it, all I have to say is that as a parent, everyday you have to weigh pros and cons. This is not a forum to bash the poster for her tutorial. She included a disclaimer for other parents to read and for them to make a decision for themselves.

  98. 98
    meags&me says:

    Wow! This is amazing!! I love yellow and gray, it is beautiful

  99. 99
    Anonymous says:

    Great job, I love it. I have a few comments to make.
    first, the safety of the child in an accident has little to do with the seat cover, it mostly has to do with the harness, straps and where they are located on your baby's body and how the seat is buckled in the car. If someone puts extra padding that makes the baby sit funny which alters the way the straps buckle the baby in, this is likely a problem and a safety risk. I don't see any problems with your seat cover.

    Second, that lady is incorrectly associating product warranty with insurance. Just because altering the seat cover will likely free the manufacturer from liability, does not mean your insurance company will not pay if your baby is injured in an accident. People customize their cars all the time and void their manufacture's warranties but the insurance companies still have to pay. Insurance is a method of allocating risk and voiding the manufacturer's warranty on your baby seat does not necessarily relieve the insurance company from liability.

    I am sure the negative comments were just people who have concerns and as a parent I understand. However, I am more concerned about sound logic and facts instead of false accusations. For what it's worth, looks like most everyone has figured this out on their own and will or want to make this cover too! :) Love your blog!


  100. 100
    Jennifer says:

    Fantastic, creative, professional work here. Very inspiring and well done.