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Do you need to protect your car seats from wet or dirty summer bodies? This step-by-step tutorial shows how to make an easy waterproof seat cover that will protect your car’s upholstery.
Summer has arrived which means frequent trips to the pool, park, and camping. That amounts to wet or dirty bathing suits and clothing in the car. I want to protect my vehicle upholstery from water and dirt, so I created a waterproof seat cover. These were so easy to make that I thought I’d share the tutorial here for you.
DIY Waterproof Seat Cover Sewing Tutorial
I wanted to create two seat covers, so I purchased two brand new beach towels. I love tie-dye, so I could NOT resist these bright towels. Since I am frugal, I picked up a twin size fleece blanket for under $5 and an inexpensive rectangle vinyl tablecloth for $3. Both were large enough to cut into two seat covers.
Wash* and dry your towel and fleece. *I strongly recommend that you not wash a towel that has any white in the design with a new cranberry red shibori tie-dye shirt, unless you don’t mind pink!
Cut the top and bottom edge off of the towel. My side seams were not very thick, so I did not cut them off.
Cut the fleece and vinyl to match the size of your towel. I doubled over each layer to save myself from cutting each twice.
With the vinyl facing down, sandwich and pin together your cover with the fleece in the middle and the pattern of the towel facing up.Serge the outside edges of your fabric sandwich, making sure to catch all layers.
At this point, I stopped to fit the cover to my bucket seats. The top part was flapping, so I cut off a diagonal of extra fabric to match the shape of the seat.
Cut two pieces of ribbon (I recommend grosgrain) and stitch them in place along the top of the cover. Make sure they are long enough and far enough apart to be tied around the back of the headrest. The cover has the shape of an apron with really short ties.Tie the seat cover in place around the headrest. Squish a little of the cover into the fold of the seat to help hold it in place.
The cover can be cleaned in the washing machine, but I recommend that you hang it to dry.Right after I installed these covers were headed to the pool. I was so glad I had them in place because a storm came up suddenly and the pool closed early. We got drenched as we ran to our car. The seats did not get wet from our soaked clothes.
In addition to caring for my car’s interior this summer, I am protecting the engine with a new FRAM Extra Guard Air Filter. An air filter keeps dirt and debris from getting into your engine. A dirty air filter will restrict airflow, which can lead to decreased acceleration and horsepower, in turn reducing your vehicle’s performance. FRAM recommends changing* your air filter annually or every 12,000 miles. *Please follow recommended change intervals as noted in your vehicle owner’s manual. Changing your air filter is easy! Locate the black air box that houses the filter near your car’s engine. Open that box (ours had a clasp, but you might need some simple tools to get yours open), remove your old filter, and insert your new filter in the same position as the old one. Close the box and you are done.
You can pick up FRAM Extra Guard Air Filters in the automotive section at Walmart. Walmart makes it easy to find the proper filter for your vehicle. You can use this online catalog or use the printed catalog in store.How are you protecting your vehicle this summer? Find more Summer Inspiration here.
Friday 26th of June 2020
This will be a perfect solution to my hot leather seats. I looked on line to order a set, Yet the reviews are bad and the cost too high. I live in South East Arizona. Very hot in summer even with window shades.
Tuesday 30th of June 2020
I hope you get some relief, Laurie!
Lisa Joy Thompson
Tuesday 21st of May 2019
I drive a Mustang convertible and hike regularly. Between the 100+ degree weather and hiking, I am usually a hot sweaty mess...which is not a good mix with leather seats. I just bought some seat covers but don't love them. I'm totally going to whip these up. I've just been using a beach towel!
Monday 27th of May 2019
I hope these work well for you, Lisa!
Monday 4th of March 2019
Thank you so much! After struggling to find effective yet "cool" seat covers for our old VW bus, I'm so glad I found your tutorial! The layer of fleece and also the vinyl table cloth to make waterproof were not in my original plans; this totally make sense. I'll let you know the end result, hope mine turnout as nice as yours did. Fingers crossed.....
Sunday 10th of March 2019
I can't wait to see how yours turn out! Please share a photo on Pinterest!
Friday 16th of December 2016
Very useful tutorial, thank you!
Friday 16th of December 2016
Alexis AKA MOM
Monday 12th of September 2016
As usual my friend you're so crafty and amazing!
Tuesday 13th of September 2016
Thanks! I love these seat covers...especially in my new car that I am obsessed with keeping nice!