Friday, June 14, 2013

Road Trip Organization

I love to organize. No really.....I fantasize about it. I want everything in The Container Store. I am always dreaming up ways to keep things neat and tidy and in cute little bins and boxes. I can't say that my life is 100% organized.....far from it. But one thing at a time. We have a family road trip coming up here in a few weeks. We are driving down through California and are going to spend some time in Arizona with family. I am getting really excited. I can't believe how fast its coming up. I started to scour the internet yesterday because I realized, we have maybe 30 hours of drive time to get down there.....and that's just one way. With one that is almost 3 and the other who is 14 months, I figured I better get organized for this trip and figure out some tricks to keep them occupied and happy. So on Pinterest I found this.....pretty awesome idea. The only thing I didn't like about it was that she bought a shoe organizer, but then had to cut it in half so that it would fit. That seemed like a lot to spend on something that you are just going to cut up. So I decided to make one myself. The cool thing about making one is that I could customize it to our needs. I could make any size pockets that I wanted. I will probably have to make one for Peanut eventually, but since her carseat faces backwards, it wouldn't really work for her right now. So for now it is all for Princess. And she can test it out this weekend because we are headed to Hood River (a much shorter trip) for a little family weekend getaway. So excited how this turned out. Here's how I did it.

I had a bunch of this marine/sailor-ish fabric from somewhere. I have no idea where I got it. I think it got handed down to me with my sewing machine. Anyway, it was perfect for this project because it was super thick and sturdy. So if you plan on making one of these I would get one piece of sturdier fabric and one piece of softer fabric (so that it doesn't rough up the leather in your car). First you need to measure the back of the seat in the car where you want the organizer to hang. Mine was about 16X25 inches, so I cut two pieces of fabric (the marine fabric and some blue flannel for the back) each 16.5X25.5 inches.
Then pin them both together pretty sides in, ugly sides out and sew around the two sides and bottom. Flip it right side out and attach 2 pieces of ribbon (about 3.5 inches in from the edge) on the top of the organizer and then sew closed.
Just make sure the 2 pieces of ribbon are long enough (and strong enough) to tie in a simple knot around the head rest of the car. I had this great navy and white ribbon that I found randomly in a huge bin of hand me downs and it just so happened to match perfectly with the marine fabric I used. Keep your ribbons! They could one day be perfect for a project like this!
Then I got to work on the pockets. Otherwise known as, the painful part. I knew I wanted a large pocket for coloring books and books and a tall thin one for Princess's dolls, so I did those first on the bottom row. I used a coloring book and the dolls also, as my measuring tools. Basically all you do for the pockets, is cut a piece of fabric that will fit around whatever you are putting in it (cut extra if it is going to be something bulky, like dolls or snacks) and cut extra for turning the sides in. Then iron down 1/4 inch of the top of the pocket and sew down. Then turn in and iron down the sides and bottom of the pocket. Then pin the pocket down onto the organizer where you want it and sew along the 3 sides. It should now be attached to the organizer. Before moving on, make sure that whatever you are putting in there, fits.
See how much extra I cut for it? You don't want the pocket to be taut against the organizer otherwise stuff won't fit.

Here you can see the sides are ironed in, but not sewn yet. Pin the pocket down like this.

Then sew it down.
One pocket down. Only 6 more to go.... 
Here is the 2nd pocket. See how I pinned down the sides? There is a lot of pinning and re-pinning.

Here I am pinning it down and using my "measuring tool" (Tinkerbell) to make sure she fits.

You can see that I made little pleats/darts on the bottom to accommodate the large pocket.

See how much room there is? Tink and Rosetta will be nice and cozy in there.

Continue until your organizer is covered with pockets. And you can do the pockets in any size you want. Just think about what you will want to put in the pocket and use that as your measuring tool. Leave lots of extra room for bulkier items and you can make darts on the bottom so that it looks nice and neat.

All finished! How cute is this thing? I am so excited for Princess to test it out.

I had to test its hanging abilities on the dishwasher.

Here it is in the car. Ready for our trip!

All her goodies, within reach.
Now I just have to find exciting new things to put in there for her. Or hide some old things until we leave. I'm still in shock at how cool this thing turned out. Perfect for our long road trip.....and hello! I didn't spend a penny on it. I had everything I needed for it. It was way better than buying an over the door organizer, only to cut it up!
Time to hit the road....
Have a great weekend everyone! And Happy Father's Day to all you wonderful daddies!

1 comment:

  1. Love it!! you really should think about selling this type of stuff, you know take orders for custom stuff, I bet you'd make a wad!