Countdown to Disney: SeatBelt Pillows for the Trek

Posted in Blog | 229 comments


 If you found this on Pinterest please feel free to visit my Etsy store to purchase the PDF pattern, DIY Kits or Pre-Made Seat Belt Pillows!

 

When we head to Disney our total stay will include the three days of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, Thurs – Saturday, and three-ish additional days, Sunday – Tuesday morning experiencing the magic on our own.  Having chosen to extend our stay, we have to shorten our travel time.  Add this to the “It costs HOW MUCH to fly five people to Florida?!” factor and you have a family of five with three kids six and under driving to Walt Disney World Resorts …from Kansas….in less than two days.

The first and largest piece of our trip will be driven overnight (by she who drew the short straw) and in an attempt to keep my kids as comfortable and therefor asleep as long as possible …. I decide to deck out their car seats with these seatbelt pillows.

 

 

I’ve seen such things around the inter webz….stores specializing in kid gadgets sell all kinds of versions of these…usually around $30.  Hmmm…. 3 kids x $30 …. we are starting to defeat the purpose of not flying.  I figured I could make them myself.  I toiled.  I stressed.  I analyzed.  Then I came up with the simplest pillows that the SuperKids have fallen in LOVE with…

 

 

I chose to make inserts and covers because, well…. my kids are droolers….. and SuperBaby still pees UP sometimes when he sleeps.  I wanted to be able to take the covers off and wash them.

I’m not a huge fashion designer, and this is the first thing I’ve sewn in over 15 years… so it is a no frills kind of project.  But you know what?  The SuperKids are THRILLED with their  pillows!

 

 

Due to the overwhelming and amazing popularity of these pillows (and how great they have been for my kids) I have opened an Etsy store, SuperJennCreations, where I sell a very detailed PDF pattern for these seat belt pillows as well as a teen/adult sized version.   I also sell DIY Kits complete with pre-cut and washed fabric, Velcro and PolyFil so you can make up your pillows at home.  If sewing is not your gig…. I will make them for you!  You can purchase fully assembled pillows as well.

If you have had a summer of fun full of great pictures…you might enjoy the giveaway I’m hosting for a free 8×8 Photo Book from Shutterfly on their new iPad app: Photo Story. Check it out!

 

229 Comments

  1. Where do you get shredded foam?

  2. I got mine at Hobby Lobby. They had it in the back by all of the other foam/pillow inserts. At my HL…and at another one I know of in Omaha, they only carry like 2 bags of it at a time (I only needed one)…but you might have to ask and they may need to order it.

    Good Luck!

  3. i’ve just make this kinda pillow as well. hope you dont mind me linking up your great tutorial.
    thank you :)

  4. What an amazing idea… I’m thinking swim noodles might be the perfect thing to use for this.

  5. I have made round neck roll type pillows by rolling quilt batting. That might be easier than the shredded foam

  6. Could you tell me how much fleece material you need?

  7. Is it ok to copy your pic and show it on Facebook. Im wanting to make some of these for my shop

  8. You have shown remarkable calm and a positive nature in kindly answering everyone’s comments. Thanks for sharing not only a great idea, but a cheerful spirit!

  9. Thank you so much for you kind words Victoria!

  10. Valerie I totally thought about that… using batting. My concern was that it would be TOO firm… I wanted them to be a little cuddly…if you try it let me know how that works!

  11. If I remember correctly I purchased 1/2 yd for each one. You will need more if you are going to make them any larger.

  12. found you on pinterest, what a great tutorial!! I’ve seen them and they are expensive.

  13. Thanks so much, Mindee. You’re right…they are expensive! After putting these together I can’t believe I considered buying them!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news – but as a Fire Dept member, I had to say SOMEthing :) While this is a great idea, it can be a terrible one in a car accident. The added padding between the child and the belt can be deadly in an accident. The belt should be snug against their chest/shoulder, otherwise they could potentially slip out of that side of the belt = not good! Sorry again, but couldn’t let it go :)

  15. Jenn, this is a genius idea. Firstly, I want to make some of these for my girls but if I decide to make these to sell, what do I need to do as it’s your design etc I will be using?

    Elaine

  16. Thanks so much for your post! I’m a little confused about what the tabs velcro to – do you put 2 tabs across from each other and velcro THOSE together, or do you put one tab on that velcros to the other side of the pillow? At the end, do you have 4 tabs across the seatbelt, or just 2 hooked to each other? Sorry for my confusion – just couldn’t tell by the pictures.

  17. Went to Hobby Lobby but no luck on the foam. Can’t find it online either. Do you have the brand name? I may just have to make do with Poly-fil but am still looking. Great tutorial! You are much nicer with your responses than me. Some comments made me angry just reading them:)

  18. I don’t have the brand name, sorry. It was one of those loose papers inside the bag and it is long gone by now. Did you ask someone at Hobby Lobby? They were out when I went and had to reorder, they told me they only carry two bags at a time and often don’t reorder right away unless someone asks. My aunt used it to make body pillows for her granddaughters and was told the same thing at her Hobby Lobby which is in another state…. I found it on Amazon but it was a HUGE bag…you’d be swimming in in for-ev-ah.

    Thanks for your kind words. Everyone has an opinion, I’m glad that they feel free to share their concerns for my family…. I wish they would read the other comments first…..but….. :) And for each one that is actually rude and not just sharing advice….there are another 5-10 that are sweet likes yours!

  19. Two tabs across from each other and velcro those together. Nothing velcros to the pillow, the tabs are sewn in. Each tab within a pair velcros to its pair…so the tabs wrap around the seat belt (after it has been put on and tightened appropriately) and velcro to each other…. like little arms holding the pillow to the belt.

    Is that clear as mud??? LOL. I’m so sorry! I feel like the more I try to explain it, the worse I get at explaining it!

  20. McE,

    I greatly appreciate it when people leave their opinions, their advice, in such a kind manner as you did. Thank you!!

    I put great care and deliberation in to deciding how to put these pillows together and what was perhaps not clear enough in the post I have tried to explain in a few comments:

    * The seat belts are first and foremost to be put on safely and correctly. After they are in place and tight we put the pillows in place for our kids. The small amount of fabric that connects around the seat belt is connected at the top of the belt in that small space between the child and the seat where there is a little gap and and the bottom of the belt the same way. I wanted as little interference with the belt as possible, one of the reasons I did not purchase other pillows I had seen on the market….they interfered with the tightness of the belt.

    * I certainly expect that everyone will read their manuals from both their car manufacturers and their car seat manufacturers and make a decision that is best, safest for their families. Having had experience with car seat installation I believe that the way I created the pillows my kids use are safe for them.

    * Anyone with concerns about this could certainly make the pillows without tabs and tuck the pillows in around their children…that is what we do with SuperBaby…he just hugs it like a blanket over the top of his 5 point harness.

    Thank you again for your comment, and for stopping by. I really do appreciate kind advice!!

  21. You seriously need to go on Shark Tank with these if they haven’t been patented yet. Awesome Idea.

  22. Love this idea! Especially since it doesn’t come between the child and seatbelt. I think I will try doing this with a pool noodle. Not sure if it will be as comfy, but it’s worth a try!

  23. I’m glad you tried to make them in a way that won’t interfere with the seatbelt, although I’d still don’t like “aftermarket” products!

    But one thing I wanted to point out is that your youngest looks like he has outgrown his seat. The shoulder straps must be at or above his shoulders – they are below in your pics and I don’t see another slot. There are other 5pt harness seats that have taller slots, to keep him harnessed and safe!

    Also, please make sure his chest clip is at armpit level, its much too low in your pics.

  24. I have a question about the tabs as well. I am in the process of making two for my boys and I am not so sure the Velcro tabs will meet. When the 6×6 inch squares are folded on half they are 3 inches each which means when across from each other sewn in they will barely if not at all touch. Does it just magicall work or our the measurements off? I have followed the tutorial just as you did it. Any help would be great. Thank you!

  25. This is a great idea. BUT I wouldn’t use it on a 5-point harness car seat (like you said) because you’re not supposed to use anything in/on a car seat unless it came with the seat. It can actually void your warranty in the event of an accident. I’m not sure what the recommendations are for seatbelts in a car as my daughter is still in a 5-pt harness so I haven’t researched that yet. I do like that you said your baby who’s still in a harness just holds the pillow and it doesn’t get attached to the straps. Definitely something I’m going to have to find time to make before our 13 hr trip to FL in Sept! Thank you!

  26. Oops, of course now I’m seeing other comments (after i posted mine) that I didn’t see before regarding the issue of aftermarket products. Sorry to be redundant! I still plan on making one for my daughter to hold onto in her carseat! :-)

  27. while this may fit on your little’s snug seatbelt just fine, when you crash the seatbelt is meant to tighten suddenly and hold your little in place firmly. ANYTHING coming between the seatbelt being able to do it’s job, even a bulky jacket, can result in your little being ejected from their car seat! While it is a novel idea, PLEASE if you decide to use one of these, do so by laying in your child’s lap and NOT wrapping it around the seatbelt intended to save their life!!!!

  28. Melissa,

    Thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns, I appreciate that people are willing to share their knowledge.

    I’ve addressed this issue in other comments and in the instructions for creating the pillows, but the pillow, nor its tabs, come between the child and the seat belt. I’m very knowledgeable about car seat safety and made the decision that this was the right thing for my children. I would encourage anyone else to make an educated decision as well.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  29. Leigh,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I really appreciate it when people are able to share information they have, especially when it is in regards to my children’s safety :)

    I did address this in a previous comment, but in short: When I did the shoot for this post, that is exactly what it was: a photo shoot. My mom and I threw the kids in the van and rushed to get the pictures done while we still had light. You are correct, his harness clip is too low and it does appear as if his car seat does not fit him correctly. Had I known there would be so many attentive readers, I would have paid more attention to those details!

    I have been wondering if he was too big for his seat as well and before we left for our trip took the kids and their seats to a local safety checkpoint. With the kids installed for driving, not just taking pictures, he fits properly in his seat.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  30. Good luck with your pillows, Taylor. Be sure to let me know how that works with the noodles.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  31. Lacey,

    Give it a try before you sew everything into place on the covers…. I was concerned they wouldn’t fit, either but they did. If you want to, add another 1/2 inch or so on :)

    Good luck!

  32. Jackie, I’m sure she will find it just as comfy as my littles did. Good Luck!!

  33. THANK YOU SO MUCH for this! I will definitely pin this–everytime we get into the car, my little one falls asleep, and when her head drops, I will often pull over just to try and use her blankie to keep her head high. I’m not a sewer-I don’t even do buttons, but I’m willing to give this a try. Thanks again!

  34. The chest buckle on a car seat should “click at the pit,” even with the child’s armpit.

  35. this is so awsome. Hate looking back at them with their heads bobbing when they have fallen asleep in their car seats. I am making two of them tonight. a gratefull grandmother. thank you…..

  36. AWESOME!!!! my 9 year old thought these were pretty cool and asked me to make one for him. Thanks SuperJenn!!!

  37. Great idea. I am amazed by how many people don’t fully read your post or the comments after. Bless you for being so patient and kind. I need to learn that skill, as well as making this pillow for our trip to Disneyland in 2 weeks!

  38. Yeah! It is a pretty simple pattern….I haven’t sewn anything in YEARS! The beauty is the sewing doesn’t have to be beautiful ;)

    Good Luck!

  39. You are correct! I’ve given a full reply to this in earlier comments but in short: These pictures were just that, a photo shoot. We were not driving and put the kids in quickly.

    Thanks for sharing with us!

  40. Thanks!

    Good luck with them :)

  41. That is awesome Charla!! (They ARE pretty cozy!!)

  42. I had a question about the placement of the tabs but it was answered when someone else asked about it. Your answer “like little arms holding the pillow to the belt” was exactly the explanation I needed. Thanks.

  43. I WISH I had found this post sooner. We took a 10 day trip to florida in the beginning of May. 7 days in Tampa and 3 in the Kissimmee/Orlando area. My 5 y/o daughter did the 16 hr drive very well from PA. But she was complaining about her around the neck pillow the whole time. The passenger seat wasn’t very comfy either. Thank you so much. I know what i will be making before our Disney trip next year and for xmas for my nephews.

  44. Thanks for the idea. My girls and I travel back and forth to and from relatives just about every weekend. Since the girls are mostly asleep during these rides, I thought this would be a pretty cool project.
    So far, I have cut up an old queen size pillow cover and for the stuffing I used Polyfil (stuffed animals), not to mention they are somewhat cheap at Wal-Mart ($3.97 + tax). I haven’t made the covers just yet as I ran out of polyfil for the other 2 pieces. Will let you know how it turns out.

    Thanks again for the idea!!!

  45. Jenn,
    Thanks so much for this tutorial! I just finished making 2 for my kids. We have a 12 hour trip coming up in a couple of days and I know they are going to love snuggling up to them!

  46. Oh, btw you are right the foam was the worst part! I think my kitchen was swimming in foam! :)

  47. I don’t usually comment on blogs I read but I felt the need to say thank you for your hard work on this project. I also want to say sorry for all the borderline harassment you have had to deal with over this one little project. I think it is a fantastic idea. It is very clear, based on the pattern, that there is nothing that will pose a threat to the safety or function of my children’s car seats. I am making them this week for our 8 hours drive to Houston next week. Plus our chiropractor will love that they will not have bobble heads while asleep in the car this vacation. Thank you again for sharing this idea.

  48. Hey jenn, I can’t tell you how excited I was to come across your post through Pinterest. My kids had a horrible time sleeping in the car. I made my seatbelt pillows this week…I have to say I wish the instructions were a bit more detailed…I am a details person. But after two pillows i think I have worked it out. What a fabulous idea! And we were driving today with them and my kids loved them! I am posting them on my site (today) with a link to your link and a complete tutorial for my friends inthe next few days. Again thanks for the great idea!

  49. Good afternoon!! Thank you for this amazing inspiration!! I made three of these today (one left to make!!) for our road trip to Florida. The kids love their whacking sticks. ;) I didnt make a liner and I just used stuffing, and they came out perfect. Apparently the foam is non-existent in my region. LOL!! Thank you again for an awesome pattern. I pinned it and shared!

  50. This is such a great idea! And oh my goodness for making your little comments about how her child is placed in his car seat! Her business, not yours!

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