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. Thanks so much for sharing your fantastic idea of the seatbelt pillow!! I’ve made three so far and the kids couldn’t be happier! I’m sure their little necks will greatly appreciate the pillows while they’re sleeping in the car!

  2. Jenn,
    Love your idea and your instructions. Im not a experienced sewer and they explained enough for me to get my granddaughters started. We have a 6 hour trip planned once they arrive from Texas and I also hate seeing her head bouncing back and forth.
    You certainly are a patient woman. My thoughts are that if these people who respond with such negativity and superior knowledge of everything don’t like what you have presented, they shouldn’t make them and continue on to something else and come up with a brillant idea of their own! Of course safety is always our utmost concern for our children. Ease up people!!

  3. You are a saint for answering all the posts that are questioning your parenting methods, Jenn! FWIW, I recently went to a fire station and had my son’s seat checked for proper installment. I mentioned that I hated how his head fell forward when he fell asleep and I wished I could add something to change the way he sat in it. The fireman I was speaking to said he was glad I knew not to add anything, but that his daughter had the same problem. He used to get a mini pillow, wrap it in one of those thin burp cloth blankets, and then tuck the ends behind the seatbelt so it wouldn’t fall off, but wasn’t interfering with the way the seat functioned. He said something thin that doesn’t compress (like a puffy jacket or a huge sweater) is not going to effect the way the seat works. So I think your pillows are not only genius, but safe. I plan on making one for my son today, and when I post it on my blog, I will be linking to you to share your awesomeness. Thanks!

  4. These are awesome!!! I am about to make these for my kiddoes. Where do the tabs fit for a 5-point harness seat?
    Thanks

  5. I don’t use the tabs for the 5 point harness, I just tuck it in at his head and on his side between the seat and his toosh :)

    Good Luck!

  6. Thanks so much for that information, Aimee! I’m pretty secure in my beliefs that these are safe. I’m choosing to believe that most of the other posters are just sharing information in case we didn’t know (although I wish they would read the comments first!!). :)

    Good Luck with your pillows…be sure to let me know when you post them so I can take a look!

  7. Thanks, Cathy!

    It takes all kinds of people, right? :)

    Good luck with your pillows, I’m glad you understood the directions. This is the first time I’ve really written anything down as a tutorial.

  8. Excellent! I’m glad the directions worked for you. My kids are still loving the pillows…seems to be a hit!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Thanks, Hayley.

    Most people just want to look out for little kids…I can appreciate that when it is kind. I do wish that people would read through comments when they want to share like that to see if the issue has already been addressed (several times).

    Thanks for stopping by!

  10. That’s great Mandie! They should work really well without a liner inside….I just wanted to be able to wash them a little easier….my kids drool ;)

    Thanks for taking the time to Pin and Share :)

  11. I’m sorry the directions were a little confusing, Jess. This is the first time I’ve actually written any kind of instructions out for a project like this… and one I started from scratch no less. I had a couple of people read over it before hand…but we all read and interpret differently I guess. I’m so glad you got it working for you though!

    I’m glad your kids love the pillows!

  12. Thank you for your kind words, Amanda. I’m glad they were easy enough for you to figure out, I hope your kids are snuggled up with their pillows while you drive!

  13. Hello! I made one of your seatbelt pillows and linked back to your blog :)
    http://sewing-chick.blogspot.com/2012/07/sock-monkey-kids-travel-pillow.html

    Thanks for sharing!
    Jodie

  14. Thanks, Super Jenn – I’ve just made some for my kids and have posted a link to your tutorial on my blog http://madebyyourstruly.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/car-seat-support-cushion-make-your-own-neck-support/

  15. Hi there! I love the idea of these and plan on making one, but I have a burning question! What was the seam allowance that you used throughout?? I usually use 1/2″ but I just want to be sure the measurements end up the same! Thank you :)

  16. I love this idea! I never thought it was a possible safety issue until I started seeing comments about it. There is another blog for a seat belt pillow that uses a ribbon instead of the material and velcro. I personally will be using that one little change because it is easier, and less bulky between the child and belt. I called my state police station and also talked to a few friends in the fire department who all agree that the small amount of fabric between the child and belt will really not affect the safety.

  17. So, I am one of these people who reads comments before commenting…just in case.

    I am a nut and a little OCD at times, so I research the HECK out of things before I do anything (took 2 years to find a car). I take LONG trips with the family from time to time (ie TN to CA, or TN to OK) and pillows can be a bit cumbersome. If you think about all the items on the market for ‘comfort’ that covers the seat belt, this is actually better. The fabric between the seat belt and the child is minimal (if they actually read the post) and it attached at points of void. Not really all that different than a child sitting there with a jacket on, if you are going to be critical. Also, how many times do children have blankets and big pillows to accompany them. My child is out of the car-seat age (11) but I still think this is a great idea. I am looking at using bean bag instead of the foam…mainly because of the shredding issue but still researching the idea.

    After all is said and done, the main point is that the parent is in charge of the safety of their own child. If someone does not think this is safe for their child…Don’t make it! I ran it by the local child safety officer (ie also my neighbor) and she sent it to my local fire department to make sure. It is not permanently affixed to the seat belt and in case of an accident, does not impede the recovery of the child nor will it harm the child by restricting the ability of the seat belt.

    You posted this to help others with the cost of buying one THAT IS ALREADY ON THE MARKET. That is a fact that others need to remember. I hope this post not keep you from trying to help those who are interested in your ideas and appreciate them. You are also handling the criticism very well. Some are being polite about it and some are being ‘know it all’s’ (hopefully I am not in either of those :o)

    Good Job!

  18. I love this & plan to make one for me to use when on passenger side. Strongly dislike how the seatbelt cuts into my neck; & this will be a comfy way to doze while riding. Thank you much for sharing.

  19. I was just thinking that if you are looking for some very inexpensive filler for them you could take apart some of the old stuffed animal that your children never play with and use that, you would know it is safe for children.

  20. found you on pinterest!! what a great idea…we are going to texas from ohio next week & iwill be maing this for our 5 kids & possibly my hubby & i as well =)

  21. I made two of these today and love them! I was making them for two year olds
    that are in five point harnesses. Because of that I made mine shorter. The top
    “flap” I added vecro too also. My sons carseat has a spot where I could wrap the flap around- so Velcro worked perfect for that. I never questioned the safety but since there were comments about it I decided to look into it- according to my local fire department and the state police
    Department there is no safety issue whatsoever. I am so excited to strap these to the car seats tomorrow so my little loves don’t have to have their heads dangling down anymore!

  22. Do you sell these? Or would you be willing to make one and I could purchase it from you?

  23. I found your idea on pinterest and I just wanted to let you know that it was awesome!!! We do a lot of driving and our son is great in the car already, but he was so excited to get his pillow and he slept a lot better!! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Hey, such a great idea! Those seatbelt covers are never enough to sleep on, even for me! Lol

    Just a quick question though, maybe I’m just completely missing it but do you cut out TWO bits of fleece? Then put the tabs either side? It is completely puzzling me :/ sorry

  25. I just saw this pillow and its amazing! I am gonna have to make one for my kids and nephews. Just the other day my son was sitting in his booster seat and his head was almost hanging on his lap….that scares me. Think of what would happen to him if we were to crash and his head was like that…to me having a pillow there instead is much safer and more comfortable. I’m gonna have to borrow my sister’s sewing machine and get started!

  26. Hey Jenn…No worries about the confussion…I think it may have been my blurry mind, pre-vacation, mommy brain going on too. Once I got it down I busted through and even helped teach a friend do it too. Thanks so much for the tutorial…very creative and we have been using them all summer!
    Check out my pictures here http://perfectlyimperfecthome.blogspot.com/2012/07/pinterest-seat-belt-pillow-tutorial.html

  27. All I can say is…YOU ARE A GENIUS!!!! Anyone with rude comments is just jealous! Thank you soooooo much!!!

  28. How do you attach it to the 5 point harness? My little ones are still in car seats and I’m trying to figure out an effective way to attach it.

  29. I am having a hard time understanding the * place your tabs between the two layers with the raw edges matching up. When you are spacing the tabs remember that you need space at both the top and the bottom of the pillow for it to fit freely in the car seat. Place your tabs closer to the center of the pillow.*

    I am not an avid seamstress, and we are going to disney in two weeks, and are also traveling at night. I came across this and really really want to make them. Thanks for the help!

  30. Ashley,

    You should have 2 pieces of fleece for each pillow cover. Each cover will need 4 tabs, 2 for each the top and the bottom (Imagine that your pillow is “hugging” the seat belt…you need a tab on each side to meet and hold the pillow on the belt)….and one on each side of the pillow top and bottom.

    When I say to center the tabs a little closer to the middle of the pillow…. that is so that you have room to attach them to the belt and some pillow still available to cushion their heads at the top of the seat. If you look closely at the pictures of my big kids you can see what I mean.

    There are a few other comments with similar questions, I’ve tried to answer them all, there might be a better description in one of them…one that makes more sense. Let me know if you are still having problems!

  31. Hi Emily,

    I did not attach it to the five point harness. The seat is snug enough that I just tucked it in the top and the bottom and he snuggled it from there.

    Good luck!

  32. Thanks so much Debbie! What a nice compliment :) Thanks for stopping by!

  33. They look great, Jess!

  34. Mary that is one of the things that bothers me IMMENSELY when I’m driving….these pillows have eliminated that issue for us. I hope you get them made and they work for you!

  35. Hi Louise,

    I cut two pieces of fleece and then pin them together as you were going to sew them up….then you place one set of tabs on either side, top and bottom. The tabs are going to wrap around the seatbelt when it is all finished and each will have a piece of velcro so they stick together…they are “hugging” the seat belt.

    You place them before you sew up the side seams…and because you are sewing with the right sides together…. the tabs need to lay to the inside (there is a picture)… when you are all finished and turn the fleece right side out, the tabs will be there, too.

    I hope that helps!

  36. I’m so glad to hear that Amanda! My kids still love them, too….even for shorter trips. My oldest, who I thought would be the least excited….loves his the most!

  37. Stacey, I wish I had time to do this…I’ve had several requests!! Unfortunately, I simply do not. I was very sick through May and most of June and I’m so far behind on my own house and work there is no time.

    Thanks for thinking of me though!

  38. I’m glad you got them to work out for you Lauren :)

    Thank you also for sharing the information you received from your state and local officials. I’m glad that so many people are checking them out and deciding for themselves that they are a safe addition for our littles and their car rides!

  39. Brittany, I’m late to respond but I hope you got these made and that they were as comfy for you as they were for us!

  40. Ella,

    I’m pretty sure I used a 1/2″ all the way through…. I didn’t do anything fancy with the seams and there should be enough allowance for everything to fit correctly.

  41. Thanks for sharing that idea! I chose not to use ribbon because I wanted my big kids to be able to attach them themselves while we were driving so that we didn’t have to pull over so I could do it… it just made life a little simpler since they can’t tie yet :)

  42. Thanks for you comments, Kelly :)

    I used to work with child seat safety and although its been a few years, I felt pretty safe with this lay out, too. I’m definitely on the end of the spectrum that would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to the kids’ safety….especially in the car.

    I was going to go with bean bag beading… I can’t remember why I didn’t…except that my aunt told me about this shredded foam (you can buy it that way at Hobby Lobby…. you don’t have to do it yourself :) ) … if you do this I would love to hear how it works out!

    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave your comments!

  43. Lindsay, I’m not sure I could rest peacefully on the disemboweled remains of once loved stuffed pets!!!
    I’m joking… its late at night and I get slap happy :)

    I think that is a great idea. The shredded foam was very inexpensive ($4 a bag I think? I still had leftovers after I filled three pillows) …and might be an even trade off for taking the time to rip seams on stuffed animals…

    On the other hand…that could be very therapeutic :)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  44. Can’t wait to make some of these. My kiddos have stopped sleeping in the van and I hope these will help.

  45. OMG !!! I made 2 of the these and on one of the
    Ends I saw a stuff animal head and in the mittle section
    I saw the arms and the end I put the legs
    (yes I muttileded a stuff animal) but they are the best
    Thing I have ever saw “and did you know that they look
    Almost the same as the ones on the commercials”
    (that’s why I saw the stuff animal to it) THANK YOU for shearing

  46. THANK YOU!!! I have seen these everywhere and been thinking of how to make them. I wish I would have had them for our 1300 mile roadtrip we took a few weeks ago. We have 3 kids too and we roadtrip everywhere – not worth it to pay and fly with that many people!! I am totally making these for the kids for our next roadtrip in September…it will be more like 3000 miles so the pillows will come in very, very handy!!!! Thanks again!!!

  47. I’m wondering if a pool noodle would work instead of foam, might be firmer…

  48. Hey Super Jenn,
    I think this is a great idea! We have a trip coming up in 3 weeks, hope to get at least one of these made! Where can I buy the cut up foam?

  49. I bought the shredded foam at Hobby Lobby. I’ve found/heard from a few people that you may have to ask them about it because they only keep a couple of bags on hand at a time.

    Good luck with your pillows…thanks for stopping by!!

  50. I came across this on pinterest- the pillow looks awesome! Great job!

    I also wanted to let you know that your child in the last picture isn’t buckled up correctly. Just in case you didn’t know (a lot of people forget!), when a child is forward facing, the straps should be at or above shoulder level. The chest clip should be on the chest at arm pit level, and the straps should only be loose enough to fit a finger or two under the strap. Otherwise, the seat may not protect your child fully, or at all, in the event of an accident. Hope you don’t take any offense- just trying to pass along some friendly advice. Have a great day!

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