DIY Carseat Poncho with a Hood


These car seat ponchos are easy to make and can keep your children warm in the car seats and out, without sacrificing safety. Learn to sew one!

Easy DIY Car Seat Poncho

These car seat ponchos are easy to make and can keep your children warm in the car seats and out, without sacrificing safety. Learn to sew a car seat coat below!

Winter coats don't work well for car seats. In an accident, they can compress and the child can be ejected from the car seat. Super scary! Not only that, but they're a pain to work around when strapping your child into their seat and if your child gets hot once the car's heat is on, they can't easily remove their coat without taking off the car seat harness. It's not ideal.

The solution to this problem is to use a car seat poncho. It keeps kids warm while running back and forth into the car, and the child can be strapped into their car seat underneath the poncho... which means they can easily get it on and off if they get hot. It is a lot easier.

The 23" length worked fairly well for my sons from age 1 through age 6, but keep in mind that my sons are pretty tall. It still fits my 6 year old fairly well, although at 1 years old he couldn't walk in it great because it was so long. This wasn't an issue because we carried him in cold weather so we weren't freezing our tushies off waiting for him to walk.

DIY Car Seat Poncho that fit(ish) from 1-6 years old.
DIY Car Seat Poncho on my 95% for his height 1 year old son.

The goal isn't to not own a winter coat- you still will want a parka for playing in the snow so they have use of their arms. The purpose of this coat is to get in and out of cars for errands without struggling to get a parka on and off before buckling them into a car seat.

Supplies Supplies listed below may include affiliate links to the products.

  • Fleece. You'll want an inner fabric and an exterior fabric (if you live in a warmer climate, you could probably use just one layer). I could have used 1.5 yards easily for this, but I'd bought 2 yards to be safe. 
  • Bias tape: I needed more than the 3 yards that came in the package so expect to use about 4-5 yards. Or you can make your own.
  • Sewing equipment: sewing machine, pins, scissors, and measuring tape.
Make sure to pin this for later:

Sewing a Car Seat Poncho with Hood

For this tutorial, you need to use two layers of fleece. If you're in an area with warmer winters, you could probably do only one layer. It will change how you sew your poncho slightly, but it won't be a problem.

Start by folding your fleece fabric in half twice. 

Measure your child from their neck down to the area you want your poncho to end. If it's their knees, measure to that point. If it's to their hips, measure to that. This is a matter of personal preference. I used 23".

From the corner of your fabric where all four corners are folded, measure out your 23" (or whatever) and mark all along the curve. Cut along these markings (connect the dots).

You'll do the same for your interior fabric.

Once you've cut that, you want to cut your opening for the hood. I used a CD/DVD as my template. From the same corner as before, you'll want to use a QUARTER of your CD as the area to cut. It's easier to see what I mean in the video.

Now you'll want to cut out the fabric for your hood in both fabrics. You need two cuts of the pattern per fabric (interior and exterior).

Sew your interior hood pieces together and sew your exterior hood pieces together, sewing along the curve for the back and top of the hood. You'll leave the front of the hood and the bottom of the hood open.

This is where I'm going to deviant from my video tutorial a little to make your life easier.
Pin your exterior hood fabric to your poncho, right sides together. Sew.  Repeat with your interior fabrics.  This sort of creates two one layer ponchos. 

Then face your two ponchos right sides together. Sew the hoods and neck area together. Leave a small area to turn and top stitch.  Turn and top stitch your hood/neck area. 

Sew your bias tape to finish the bottom edges of the poncho or you can just snip strips at the bottom of the fabric and tie them together for a fringe look. 

Partially finished car seat poncho.Adding the hood for the car seat poncho.

    Learn to sew a car seat poncho.

Video Tutorial: Car Seat Poncho

Note: Measurement I used for the length of my poncho was 23"... my video has instructions on how to adjust if needed, but this measurement has worked well for my kids. I'll add a pattern for the hood as well to my subscriber's only Google Drive folder- it's the hood-pattern file- but you can also just copy the hood on a current coat too!

This project was inspired by: Reversible Car Seat Poncho Tutorial.

Want the Free Pattern?

You really don't need the pattern, but I had someone draw up a pattern if you're more comfortable with a full pattern to follow. You still need to fold your fabric twice for the main poncho and trace the pattern from the double fold corner. The person who drew this up added some extra seam allowance so it's going to be a bit bigger than my original ponchos. I'm planning to make another poncho using this pattern, but haven't gotten to it quite yet (I have a 2 month old baby so sewing is slow)... so keep that in mind when you're using this. I really need to figure out how to use a program for pattern making so I can do this myself- I usually just hand draw them and scan them in.

Here's how the pages are setup:

Save a tree and only print the pages with the hood (5, 6, 10, 11). Click "download the free file from" below.

Love it? Pin it!

DIY Car Seat Poncho- With a FREE Sewing Pattern!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post! I really appreciate the time you've taken. Please share, like, and pin my post if you enjoyed it. Follow me on social media and subscribe to my email list to keep up to date on all of my latest projects!

Thanks for Reading! -DIYDanielle

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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DIY Danielle: DIY Carseat Poncho with a Hood
DIY Carseat Poncho with a Hood
These car seat ponchos are easy to make and can keep your children warm in the car seats and out, without sacrificing safety. Learn to sew one!
DIY Danielle
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