Organize Your Backseat Tutorial

Books, Barbies, G.I. Joes, sippy cups…..all over my backseat.

3 kids in the back = a lot of random stuff.

This tutorial will teach you how to make this:

Naked Barbie and crooked dvd player optional!


  • Main fabric for back piece (need enough for length and width of seat…maybe x 2 if you want to make two!)
  • Coordinating fabric for pocket pieces (I used about 1/2 yard….I would get about 3/4 to be on the safe side)
  • 1/2″ elastic (enough to go around the base of your front passenger seat)
  • Medium weight single-sided fusible interfacing
  • Coordinating thread
  • A lot of junk in your back seat!


1. Measure the front seat of whatever side you wish to put this organizer. I ended up making two (one for the back of each front seat) using the same measurements. Notice for the length: You want to measure it so it hangs over the seat!!! This is because you will be making buttonholes later and inserting the headrest through the buttonholes!!! Make sure you make it long enough to do this!


AFTER you get your measurements, add 1 inch to each dimension for your seam allowance. Example: my seat measured 28×18 inches, so I cut a 29×19 inch main back piece (orange in picture).

2. Make sure to add the 1 inch to each dimension and cut your main back piece according to your measurements.

3. Serge ends (or double fold) and stitch back piece so you have your finished dimensions to work with.

4. Using paper, cut out pockets to the size you want them and lay them out to see how they fit. This is easier than cutting up your fabric only to realize you wanted the pocket to be bigger or smaller….wasting fabric! I wanted some pockets big enough to hold books, one for a sippy cup or water bottle, one to hold diapers and wipes, etc. Think about what you will be putting in the different pockets and then cut your paper for those uses!

5. One you decide your paper pockets look good, use them as a pattern to cut out your pockets out of your pocket fabric. NOTE: make sure to add 1 inch to each of your dimensions!!!! This will be needed for your seam allowance later!

6. Cut fusible interfacing to match the pocket sizes you cut out (or just get close…doesn’t have to be perfect). Then, iron interfacing onto the WRONG side of each pocket piece. The pic below shows two pockets. Make sure to iron interfacing to the WRONG side….obvs!

7. Serge all sides of your pockets if you have a serger and fold under the top side. If not, you will want to double fold all sides under and iron. Then, stitch the top side of all your pockets….you are NOT stitching to the back piece yet!!!! I did a zig-zag stitch to add a little fun to the pocket, but you can do a straight stitch…whatever you want.

8. Lay out all your pocket pieces on the main back fabric, making sure they are the size you want them to be. You may want to make some adjustments to your pockets…..NOW would be the time! Make sure to lay pockets starting at the BOTTOM of your main piece of fabric….remember that you’re using the top to make buttonholes later!!! (My top pocket ended up being one long pocket that I divided into three sections later by stitching in dividing lines).

9. Once you are sure you have the sizes and placements you want, pin the pockets to the back piece.

10. Top stitch your pockets (two sides and bottom only!!! don’t sew your pocket closed!!!) onto you back piece. I recommend using a zig-zag stitch to make it more sturdy. Also, make sure to back-stitch at the top of the pocket! You wouldn’t want your stitches coming undone when your kids are shoving stuff into the pockets.

11. Once all of your pockets are sewn on, go to your car and figure out where your buttonholes will go. Mark on your fabric where the headrest inserts go in. This is also a good time to bring your elastic out to your car. Start at the bottom of your organizer where you would attach your elastic, go around the front of the seat and to the other side of the organizer. Whatever length that ends up being, subtract about 3 inches….you want it to STRETCH over the seat and not hang loose later. (You can see where the elastic will go better if you look at the main picture at the top of this post).


12. Sew button holes big enough for you to insert your headrest into. Don’t know how to sew a buttonhole? Here is a good tutorial.

13. At the bottom of your organizer, stitch the elastic you measured in step 11 onto the backside using a zig zag stitch. Make sure it’s not twisted when you stitch it to the other side!

14. You’re done with the sewing part! When you put this on the front seat, put the elastic on first and move it down to the bottom of the seat. Then, put the headrest spokes through the buttonholes and into their holes in the seat.

15. Fill it up and enjoy your organized back seat! After you teach the kids not to throw stuff on the floor, that is.

Linked to Today’s Creative Blog; These Creative Juices; A Silly Little Sparrow; All Thingz Related; The Pumpkin Patch; Lucky Star Lane; Creative Itch; Delicious Ambiguity; Hope Studios; New Nostalgia; Sugar Bee; Creations By Kara; Sew Much Ado; My Backyard Eden; Someday Crafts; Me and My Bucket; The Shabby Chic Cottage; Somewhat Simple; Fireflies and Jellybeans; Ponytails and Fishscales; It’s Sew Stinkin Cute; House of the Hepworths; Black Kats Design; Life As Lori; Fingerprints on the Fridge; Fun to Craft; The Shabby Nest; Finding Fabulous; Frou Frou Decor; A Little Lovely; I Heart Naptime; Kuzak’s Closet; Under The Table and Dreaming; Skip To My Lou; Keeping It Simple; The Girl Creative; Sumo’s Sweet Stuff; Chic On A Shoestring; Between Naps On The Porch
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35 Responses to Organize Your Backseat Tutorial

  1. Debbie Barlow says:

    You are so smart!!!

  2. Megan says:

    Seriously. You are amazing and have gone so far beyond anything I am capable of doing… but I love this thing! Great idea, as always. And, I love the naked barbie.

  3. Love it- I’m going to make one tonight at sewing!

  4. Great job! I will be needing one of these in a few years!

  5. Brandi says:

    Friend…you need to sell these!

  6. Cecily says:

    Awesome tutorial, but the naked Barbie had me laughing out loud. Love it!

  7. Sara L. says:

    I have to replace a backseat organizer that I purchased that has fallen apart. Your instructions have given me the confidence to try to make my own this time. Thanks so much!

  8. Kindra says:

    Okay, I really need to learn how to sew! LOL This is awesome!

  9. My grandma made some of these for us when we were little! I used to LOVE going on road trips because I couldn’t wait to fill up the pockets. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane and the tutorial.

  10. Caroline says:

    I totally need to do one of those for the backseat of my “mothership”. Thanks for this great tutorial


  11. Lemonade Gal says:

    Such an awesome idea! I don’t know when I will get around to it, buy my car seriously needs this! Thanks for the tute!

  12. Blake says:

    LOVE this idea! My minivan looks like a tornado struck. This is a must must must find time for project!

    BTW – I found your blog on The Trendy Treehouse today. 🙂

  13. Terrell says:

    I sooo need one of these!! Thank you so much for linking your wonderful creation up at Frou Frou Decor today!! Have a beautiful weekend,
    ~Terrell @ FFD~

  14. Thanks for your awesome tutorial. It seems a lot easier than I initially thought it would be. It’s on my to do list now for sure.

  15. Allison says:

    How pretty. Love the fabric choice.

    I wanted to let you know about Atticmag’s new linky party – Giveaway Friday! It’s a convenient place for bloggers to link their giveaways each week. We’ve kicked it off with a fantastic giveaway of our own. Five lucky winners will win material to do a backsplash in their homes. Hope to see you there!


  16. Alan says:

    Are you going to make miniature tops for Barbie next?

  17. Jessica says:

    Now that is genius. It would also be great to put a child’s name on the pockets, so they know where to put and find their stuff.

  18. Jess says:

    I am so making 2 of these today!!! My car is so nasty with all the stuff that the kids leave in there. I have no idea what the floor looks like. Thanks for showing how easy it is.

  19. Samantha says:

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one that has a car that looks like that =) I’m going to have to look into making something like this.

  20. Kara says:

    This is such a great idea! It is def going onto my craft to-do list! Thanks for the inspiration…gotta love that organization!

    Kara @ Mine for the Making

  21. Crystal says:

    This is such a great idea! Our van is a disaster and we could really use this. Also I’m pretty sure we would have a few naked barbies in ours as well…that picture just makes me laugh.

  22. THis is the perfect thing for kids!!! My two are starting to get a little messy in the backseat. This would be a great place to keep toys to play with in the car. Thanks for sharing!!

  23. I thought about making one of these a while ago and never did it! I should make one before we take our trip to Disneyland. You did an amazing job! I will feature this tomorrow night at Grab my “featured” button. (I love the name of your blog. Original and catchy!)

  24. amy says:

    Floor? My car has a floor? Who knew?

  25. Tracy says:

    Oh wow! Thank you so much for this tutorial. This is now no my craft to-do-list.
    Cause I already have the junk on my back seat =)

  26. Pingback: Look What I Made! day 9-1-10 |

  27. i love this and will def. have to make one! i featured it on my blog, thanks so much for sharing!

  28. Amanda Kuzak says:

    I love this project! Thanks for sharing, we are going to feature you on Sunday as our favorite. Thanks for linking to Sister Sister Sunday, see you soon!

  29. jen says:

    Very cute~ I am on the lookout for one that will go across the back of my middle bench seat.

  30. MaMel says:

    Great tutorial. You have thought of everything.

  31. Pingback: Keep your backseat neat with this featured tutorial! | Go To Sew

  32. HHG Author says:

    BTW, I wanted you to know that I used this post in my blog! Thanks for the idea!

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