If you spend a lot of time on the road, then you know that your time behind the steering wheel is not always a comfortable experience. No matter what kind of vehicle you are in, the inner design and seating arrangement is based on the average person. Unfortunately, no two people are exactly alike! Height, weight, shape, and health can differ from person to person, so a seat belt that fits well on one person may cut into the neck of another.
To fix any issues and customize your vehicle to your own personal preferences, here are some excellent DIY foam car projects and accessories to make your next road trip enjoyable no matter what!
DIY Seatbelt Foam Sleeve
Seatbelt foam sleeves can work for all ages. These will allow anyone to feel more comfortable while wearing their belts. If you find your seatbelt cutting into your neck or shoulder, you can easily make a foam sleeve to keep it from aggravating your skin.
- Fabric scissors
- Tailor’s measuring tape
- Super Soft Foam or Clothbacked Foam – Remay
- Favorite, soft fabric
- Serger or sewing machine
- ¾ yard 7″ (3/4″ wide) sew-on Velcro
- Coordinating thread that works with your fabric
- Start by layering your fabric like a sandwich—place the fabric with the visible sides facing out and your foam in the middle. To help save some time, you can cut all three layers at the same time. Once cut, pin everything together without moving your pieces. This will help you keep an even and nice-looking edge once the seatbelt sleeve is finished.
- Cut out a rectangle of 7″ x 10″. (You can always choose to create this sleeve longer or shorter, but you need it to be at least 7″ wise so that it will fit around the seatbelt strap and have room for the Velcro.)
- If you have a serger, that will give the most professional looking edge for this project.
- You will want to use both serger needles (4 threads) and set the tensions to 4 (may be the normal tension setting on your machine). Set the stitch length to the longest possible, and be sure to remove every pin. Sergers cut the fabric as they sew and wrap the edge, so make sure your pins don’t ruin your serger blade!
- Sergers do not have backstitching, so stitch over your starting stitch by 1 inch and leave a long thread tail. This will make it easy to use a large-eyed needle to pull the tail through stitching and trim.
- Double-check to make sure your stitches have gone through all 3 layers.
- For sewing machines, set your machine to a very wide zigzag stitch and sew around the edges. The right edge of the zigzag should be just barely off your fabric and the left edge will be about ¼ of an inch onto the fabric. Make sure your stitching goes through all three layers.
- Decide which side of the sleeve is ‘outside,’ and which is ‘inside.’ Make sure to sew the velcro strips along the outer edges of the side which will be INSIDE the seat cover (the sides folded over the seatbelt itself).
- Enjoy! Wrap the sleeve around the belt where it tends to cut through, and enjoy a softer, more comfortable seatbelt!
DIY Trunk Storage
Did you know you can make an excellent, lightweight storage trunk using foam? With a foam box in the trunk, you can use it to keep your groceries or other items from rattling around in the back of your vehicle!
- Solid Charcoal Firm foam or Polystyrene foam
- Tape measure
- Craft knife or sharp utility knife
- Measurements of your trunk space
- Hot glue gun
- Measure your trunk space (length and width). Now, consider the height, width, and depth of the desired box you would like in your trunk. You could make one very large box that spans the width of the trunk, or several smaller, evenly sized boxes.
- Tip: Make sure to not use scissors when cutting. Always use a craft knife or utility knife. For straighter lines and guidance, use a ruler’s edge for straight cuts.
- Using your ruler as your guide, mark out the proportions of the boxes you would like. There should be 5 pieces drawn into your foam board. Begin cutting the edges, using your ruler as a guide until all 5 pieces have been cut.
- One piece of foam will be the bottom. Place the bottom foam board on an even surface and begin to use your hot glue gun to run glue around the back edge. Place a second foam board directly onto the line of glue to create a wall and hold it for a few seconds to allow the glue to hold and set. Next, repeat the same steps for the next 3 pieces and then set aside to dry for a good hour and a half.
- The last step is to reinforce your new trunk box organizer with a thin layer of glue along the bottom of edges where the sides meet the bottom and anywhere else you think needs it. Let it dry for another hour and a half.
- Decorate or use right away, enjoying your new storage option.
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