How to Make a Road Trip Satchel for Kids

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Road trips can sometimes seem to last forever, for both the kids and the grown ups. What can you do to foster ease on the highway? Make this car satchel that holds all of the kids' favorite things, within reach. Bonus: it easily unclips and can be carried into restaurants, campgrounds and parks.

Things You'll Need

  • 23 x 18 inches quilted fabric (1/2 yard will make two satchels)
  • 6 x 9 inches piece of fabric
  • 14 x 17 inches piece fabric
  • 1 yard 1 inch pebbing (approximate; you will measure)
  • 1 inch parachute buckle
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil or chopstick
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
  • Straight pins
  • Rotary cutter (optional)
  • Ruler (optional)
Within Reach: Kids Own Car Satchel
Within Reach: Kids Own Car Satchel (Image: Nici Holt Cline)

DIY Kid Car Satchel

Step 1

Measure Car Seat. Use a measuring tape to measure the side or end of the car seat (the depth of the seat side that faces the side window) and the front width (where you put your back when seated). Use this formula to calculate how much webbing you will purchase: (side measurement x 2) + front measurement + 4". For this project we used exactly one yard.

Measure Car Seat
Measure Car Seat (Image: Nici Holt Cline)

Step 2

Gather Materials. Big fabric stores carry already-quilted fabric (two fabric layers with batting sandwiched in the middle).

Start Project With Materials Cut and Ready
Start Project With Materials Cut and Ready (Image: Nici Holt Cline)

Step 3

Attach Webbing. Cut a 7-inch piece off of the webbing. You will now have two pieces of webbing. Place your quilted fabric right side up with the 18-inch side on the top and place your webbing pieces on each side, two inches from the top with a one-inch tab hanging off of each side and the webbing trailing into the center of the fabric. Pin webbing in place.

Pin Webbing onto Quilted Fabric
Pin Webbing onto Quilted Fabric (Image: Nici Holt Cline)

Step 4

Stich. Fold fabric in half, short sides together. Keep webbing tucked inside. Stitch up one short side, across long side and down short side leaving an opening to turn.

Fold Right Sides Together and Stitch
Fold Right Sides Together and Stitch (Image: Nici Holt Cline)

Step 5

Turn. Reach in and remove straight pins and turn right side out. Use a pencil or chopstick to push corners out. Fold opening in and pin in place.

Turn
Turn (Image: Nici Holt Cline)

Step 6

Make Pockets. Fold other two pieces of fabric in half, long ends together. Press with iron. Stitch up one short side, across long side and down short side leaving an opening to turn. Turn and press. Fold opening in and press.

Make Pockets
Make Pockets (Image: Nici Holt Cline)

Step 7

Top Stitch. Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, top stitch around the quilted material rectangle. Be careful to grab the open end you pinned together. Remove pins.

Be Sure to Back Stitch on Each End
Be Sure to Back Stitch on Each End (Image: Nici Holt Cline)

Step 8

Pin Pockets in Place and Stitch. Place pockets on satchel backing and pin in place on the sides and bottom. You will leave top open to create pocket. Stitch and remove pins.

Pin Three Sides of Each Pocket in Place
Pin Three Sides of Each Pocket in Place (Image: Nici Holt Cline)

Step 9

Thread female end of parachute buckle through the short piece of webbing. Fold webbing in half and stitch through the two webbing pieces. Stitch around perimeter and stitch an X in the center to ensure a strong hold.

Attach Female Buckle End
Attach Female Buckle End (Image: Nici Holt Cline)

Step 10

Thread male end of parachute buckle through the long piece of webbing. Fold webbing end under and stitch to keep from fraying. Stitch pocket dividers. Be sure to measure any "must haves" to make sure they fit! Put a pencil pocket in the center so it can be folded in half for secure travel.

Finish
Finish (Image: Nici Holt Cline)

Step 11

Install. Place satchel in the car by slipping the webbing over the top and tightening into place.

Install Satchel.
Install Satchel. (Image: Nici Holt Cline)

Step 12

Fill with Treasure and Get Outta Town. Lip balm, pencils, journal, book, water bottle, granola bar, seashells, hair elastics, sunglasses, headphones, toys... the sky is the limit!

All Within Reach
All Within Reach (Image: Nici Holt Cline)

Step 13

Take it With You. The satchel slips off and can be folded in half and cinched down for easy portage.

Portable Satchel
Portable Satchel (Image: Nici Holt Cline)
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