How To: Car Seat Belt Shoulder Pad

by Kelsey Norwood

in Crafts,Sewing

car seat shoulder harness strap pad

You can buy shoulder harness pads for kids car seats, but Elliot hasn’t had any and I wanted to make him some to match his carseat. I used scraps and it was a quick and easy sewing project.

car seat shoulder pad sewing tutorial

Cut 4 pieces of fabric (I used flannel) 6.5″ x 6.5″.

Cut 2 pieces of thin batting, flannel, or fleece, 6.5″ x 6.5″.

Cut 2 applique shapes, backed with Heat’N’Bond.

Match up two fabric pieces (wrong sides together) and sandwich the batting piece in the middle. Pin around all four edges. Press the applique shape in the center and sew down. Sew the 3 pieces of fabric together at 1/4″.

car seat pad sewing tutorial

Pin bias tape around the entire square. (I make my own with the Clover bias tape maker.)

Sewing bias tape around corners is not as tricky as you might think. If you look closely at the above picture, you can see how it’s done.

  1. Pin along the first straight edge and when you come to the corner, fold the bias tape at a 90 degree angle so the top edge of the bias tape matches up exactly with the two perpendicular sides of the fabric. This will leave a triangle of excess bias tape that you can pinch together between your fingers.
  2. Continue pinning bias tape around the remainder of the straight edges and corners until you’re back where you started. Fold down 1/4″ the edge of the outer piece of bias tape and overlap to make sure a raw edge isn’t showing. (See next photo)
  3. Using a 1/4″ seam, sew right up until you get to where your stitching line intersects the 45 degree angle of the corner where the excess fabric is. In the above picture, look at the bottom right corner – you want to sew until the stitching line meets the pin in the corner with the yellow head.)
  4. Stop, backstitch, and cut the threads.
  5. Start a new line of stitching on the other side of the corner, right where the 45 degree corner angle meets the stitching line.

If you pin carefully in the beginning and make sure the top edge of the bias tape is pinned tightly around the corner with no excess fabric, your corners will come out perfectly!

car seat shoulder pad sewing tutorial

Close up of how to overlap and finish the binding.

car seat shoulder pad sewing tutorial

When you’ve sewn the bias tape all around, this is what the corners should look like. Trim the seam allowance, flip the bias tape over to the back side, pin, and stitch in place. When you come to the corner, fold the side you’re pinning in first and then fold the adjacent side over the top to make a 45 degree corner.


With the top of the strap cover facing up, sew a strip of velcro along the entire length of the right side.


Flip the whole thing over so the back is facing up and sew the other half of the velcro again along the length of the right side.

car seat shoulder harness strap pad

The whole project took about 2 hours and Elliot is so happy to have two cozy little pillows to lay on!


1 Yvjdel July 22, 2010 at 8:57 am

Thanks for this project and many others you post. Can’t wait to get started!!

2 jeri July 23, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I just made a nursing cover from your tutorial and I can honestly say it’s the best tutorial that I found. Thanks! Also the cover for my sis turned out super cute!

3 Kelsey July 23, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Oh Jeri, I’m so glad it all made sense! Sometimes I know stuff that comes out of my head only makes sense to me…does this mean you’re doing the whole pregnant nesting thing already? I love that about being pregnant – I just feel so motivated to make baby stuff!

4 Kelsey July 25, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Yvjdel – Let me know how it turns out!

5 Marianne October 19, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Thank you for the tutorial! I saw some minky ones at a store for $10 and figured I could make my own for MUCH cheaper, so plan to make some for my daughter.

6 Chelsea May 18, 2011 at 10:51 am

I’m not very experienced with sewing and your second picture confuses me.. How did you fold the fabric to pin it that way?

7 Kelsey May 18, 2011 at 11:23 am

Basically, the top edge of the binding fabric just continues around the corner. If you look closely, you can see that I fold the fabric at a 90 degree angle at the corner, which creates a triangle of extra fabric. Hope that helps!

8 Chelsea May 18, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Oooh! I see! Thanks!
I’m excited to try this out!

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