Comfortable road trip car pillow

DIY Seatbelt Pillow

Hi! Stephanie from Swoodson Says, and I have a really easy DIY seatbelt pillow tutorial that's perfect for car road trips. It's made from fleece, which is perfect to personalize for kids and completely machine washable – you can use up the small scraps from this project and make a fun car activity for kids too! The little pocket can hold a phone or an ipod, so it doesn't get stuck in the seat cushion.

As always, please use your own discretion in terms of safety – I've seen these used with car seats and boosters but be sure to check your manual to make sure you don't void any warranties!


  • (2) 4.5″ Velcro strips
  • 1/4 yard of 57″ wide fleece (perfect for raiding the remnant bin!)
  • Poly-fill or other stuffing
  • Coordinating thread, machine, scissors, hand sewing needle

Cut fleece rectangles:

  • (2) 26″ X 6″
  • (1) 9.5″ X 6″
  • (4) 6.5″ X 3.5″


step 1

1. Take the 9.5″ X 6″ piece and turn down a short end 1″ to the wrong side, hem. This forms the pocket.

step 2

2a. Take each 6.5″ X 3.5″ piece and fold in half,  sew with 1/4″ seam allowance along one short side down the open long side, leaving the second short end open.

2b. Trim the seam allowance down, turn right side out, and sew the Velcro piece on. Repeat for all four tabs.

step 3

3. Lay one of the long pieces right side up and baste the pocket's 3 raw edges on to the bottom, leaving the top open.

step 4

4. Layer the Velcro tabs on top of one another to make two gripped pairs and baste them about 4 inches away from the short ends, on the right side of the second long piece. Leave about an inch hanging off each side (hold on to this while basting so it stays straight).

step 5

5. Place each long piece right sides together and sew with 1/4″ seam allowance (I used my serger for sturdiness but this isn't required). Leave a 2 inch opening to turn right side out, stuff firmly, stitch to close (I used a ladder stitch).

Seatbelt Pillow Tutorial

Voila! No more neck pain or headaches when you take a nap in the car.

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I'm Stephanie and I blog at about sewing and crafts for myself & my toddler son. I love upcycling, using up scraps,  and having the freedom to make what I can't find or afford in stores. I spend way too much time online - you can connect with me on twitter/pinterest/facebook/instagram !


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23 Responses to Comfortable road trip car pillow

  1. Molly Musante says:

    I bought a quarter yard of 6 different fleeces to make 6 of these and I can’t figure out how to cut all the pieces that are needed from a quarter of a yard. Can someone please help me.

  2. NanaJ says:

    I have made 5 of these for adults and kids. Working on my 6th one today. Super easy and loved by all.

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  4. Deborah James says:

    Looks great I,m going to give it a go.

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  6. Diana Carter says:

    I love this idea! Making them for my grandbabies that are front facing, as well as my daughter-in-law for their 5 1/2 hour road trip home to visit. I have seen too may pictures of my grandbaby slumped over in her car seat. This was an easy project. The only thing I did different is I left the two ends open, stuffed in the cotton batting, then hand stitched the ends shut. Love that it even has the phone pocket! Thanks for the great, and new to me idea! One happy Grandma

  7. Ann Byrd says:

    This may be a stupid question, but I am somewhat confused about where you put the seat belt in relation to the velcro pieces! Do you run the belt through the velcro to hold it in place? ??? Please clear this up for me! Thanks so much!!
    Ann Byrd

    • Diana Carter says:

      You velcro the pillow around the seatbelt Ann Byrd. There are actually 4 straps with velcro on them. Two for each end.

  8. Wendy K. Harrison says:

    I’m the one who usually does all the driving in our home but on the odd times my husband gets behind the wheel, I’m out like a light in minutes lol. Because I can’t stand anything hugging my neck, the standard travel pillows aren’t for me – but this really is! I made one just prior to the beginning of camping season this spring and I absolutely LOVE it!! The moment we returned from our first RV trip, I immediately made myself another one out some of that very aptly named “snuggle fleece” (my hubby then inherited the first one lol). I especially love the little pocket – I wear my earbuds & use my iPod to drown out the hubby’s horrendous taste in music (lol) but it usually ends up on the floor of the truck while I’m sleeping…not any more!
    Thanks so much for this one 😀

  9. Fiona says:

    Thanks for this tutorial. It was quick and easy to put together and my daughter absolutely loves it. I will be making more!

  10. Barbara Curtin says:

    I see it’s demonstrated on a backseat seat belt. Have you tried it on the seat belt in the front seat (passenger side, of course)?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Barbara, I can’t see why you couldn’t/wouldn’t use on the front passenger seat. Probably best to avoid the driver’s side..

  11. Gaelle says:

    Great idea! I’m french and we use centimeters…can you confirm that you talk about inches? Before I start calculating the instructions in the wrong unit… 🙂
    Thank you!

  12. Hannah says:

    Omg what a great idea!

  13. Ann Byrd says:

    What a great idea…way to go!!!

  14. Barbara Pedraza says:

    Great idea for even short trips . Kids tend to get sleepy even on trips to the store.

  15. Wonderful idea for long trips…….

  16. My kids are always moaning about stiff necks on long car journeys- this is perfect:)

  17. Lori M. says:

    Great little tutorial…This will come in quite handy this summer……

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