cozy car caddy tutorial

Thanks to everyone who voted for this project in the So You Think You're Crafty competition!  It was an exciting week.

Without further ado ...

Cozy Car Caddy Tutorial

Materials used:
two pieces of denim (17 x 10 inches and 17 x 6 inches)
one piece of Duck Cloth or other heavy fabric (17 x 10 inches)
gray and yellow felt (gray felt cut to 17 x 3 inches, yellow felt cut into seven 1 x 1/4 inch pieces
White Piping (two 17 inch pieces)
6" belting
1" Velcro
scrap fabric for applique
freezer paper, sponge brush, and acrylic paint
sewing machine and supplies

1.  Cut your fabric.  I used an old pair of jeans for the denim and duck cloth for the front.  Between the two heavy fabrics, it makes for a sturdy car caddy.
2.  Take your 17 x 6 inch piece of denim, fold it in half, and press.  This will be used for the car pockets.  Line up the raw edges of the denim with the bottom on the duck cloth and pin in place.  Sew along the bottom edge to secure.
3.  Sew vertical lines through all the fabric (3 layers, since the denim is folded in half), spacing the lines 2.75 inches apart.  Be sure to back stitch at the top and bottom.  If your child is especially rough on pockets, you may consider going over each line a second time.
4.  Sew your road piece centered in the top half of the duck cloth.  Pin the road dashes in place and sew around each dash using a coordinating thread.  Set the duck cloth aside.

5.  Add a car applique to the denim backing.  Center the car in the bottom half of the denim (see photo below).  When the caddy is folded together, the top half of the denim will be inside.
I used scrap cotton fabric for the car body and felt for the wheels.  You can use a fusible web like Wonder Under to hold your applique in place.  I was all out, so I just pinned and sewed. 
6.  Add decorative piping to the top and bottom of the denim backing.  Actually, add the piping all the way around as well ... I only had enough on hand for the top and bottom.  ;)
Line up the raw edge of the piping with the raw edge of the denim.  Pin in place and sew in place
along the existing stitch line on the piping.

7.  Pin the 6 inch piece of belting to the denim fabric, again lining it up centered on the edge of the bottom half of the denim piece (see photo above).  Leave about 1/4 to 1/2 inch overhang, so it will be enclosed between the denim and duck cloth layers when they are sewn together.  Stitch the belting in place using about a 1/4 inch seam (go over it a few times for extra strength)

I forgot to take a few pictures at this point ... bear with me.

8.  I added my velcro pieces last, but now would actually be a better time to do it.  Sew one side of the velcro to the end of your belting strap, and the other piece in the center of your car applique.

9.  Lay the denim piece and the duck cloth piece on top of each other, right sides facing together, and pin.  Sew around the edges using a 1/4 inch seam (try to follow the seam of the piping along the top and bottom).  Leave about a 3 inch gap for turning the caddy right side out.

10.  Turn the caddy right side out and pin the opening closed.  Sew around the entire outside edge again, closing the opening.  Go slowly around the bottom corners - all that denim gets thick.

11.  Fold the caddy in half horizontally and make a crease.  Sew a seam, following the crease, down the middle of the caddy (between the pockets and the road - see the final product photo for seam placement).  This will make the caddy easier to fold up.
12.  Using the templates found at the end of this post, cut the numbers out of freezer paper.  If you've never done freezer paper stenciling, you can find easy instructions at Angry Chicken (and everywhere else online - do a google search and I promise you'll find tons of help).

I sponged 3 light layers of white acrylic paint for my numbers (let each layer dry before applying another).

Fill your pockets with matchbox cars, and you are ready to roll.

Here's how it folds:  Fold the caddy in half so the road meets the pockets.  Then fold in thirds.  Wrap the strap around the front and velcro closed.


p.s.  This project is similar to Sharla's Car Cozie at My Little Gems, who I have just recently gotten acquainted with.  If you plan to make this project, you should check out her tutorial as well, since they are different and you might like her construction better. 

Also, check out this awesome car caddy/crayon roll combo project at Create Studio.  Love it!

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hosting india said...

I will try to do cozy car caddy at my home

Carrie said...

What a great idea! Wonderful directions, as well. I featured this on my blog at

Sandy said...

Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial. I have made a bunch of them for gifts and am right now making a slightly modified train version for my little choo-choo fan. Thanks again!

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willowday said...

I see that I'm finding this years after you've posted it but, it's such an adorable idea, I had to thank you for posting! Adorable

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thanks for sharig your project.. i like it. come to my blog too.

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Nice job, great info for best..

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jess @ fushmush said...

Thanks so much for your tutorial. I made one for my friend's little boy. I expanded the mat a little bit and put some different destinations on it for the cars to visit. Thanks again for being so generous with your talents.

Alicia said...

Hi! We also featured your car caddy in a round up of similar do-it-yourself toy car ideas on our blog and linked back here! I forgot to mention this one when I left the comment over on the playmat. Oops! Love your version of the car caddy and can't wait to make a similar one for our daughter!

Thank you again. I have bookmarked so many of your wonderful ideas to make for my little ones!

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Candace said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I made two today with a little variation and they went together well.

Margaret Holladay said...

I just finished one today!I am super excited about how it turned out. I had to use some different fabric but overall I am very pleased with it. Thank you so much for posting this! I think I am going to stick new hot wheels into it and put it in my little boy's stocking come Christmas. <<<<check out the one I made. I posted a video of it. :) Thanks again!

karlamcurry said...

I've had this on my project list for a while now and finally made one for my son for Christmas. It came out great! I used felt for the numbers and a snap for the closure, but other than that it's pretty similar. I'm making another one for a cousin who saw mine and liked it. Thanks for the inspiration! There are a couple pics in this post of mine:

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

I love this! And I love how portable it is! I'm pinning it to my Gifts for Preschoolers (DIY Style!) board!

Sofie said...

Hi Jill. Thank you for this amazing idea and tutorial! I just made one of these yesterday, and it is not gonna be the last one! I wrote about it on my blog, you can see it here if you are interested:
And ofcourse I linked to your blog. Hope that is ok…?
Thanks for sharing your creativity, you are a true source of inspiration!
Love Sofie

Becca said...

hey thanks for this tutorial! made it for my son for christmas, he will love it!

Anonymous said...

Merci beaucoup pour ton tuto, voilà une bonne idée de cadeau que je vais faire à un petit garçon passionné de voiture.
Je te souhaite un bon réveillon et une très bonne année 2014.

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Jen said...

I'm using your car and number cut outs for our homeschool felt board. Could you share 7-9 and a 0? Or maybe tell me where to find basic outline like this? Thanks!!

Laurence W said...

Thanks very much for this tutorial ! This is exactly what I was looking for !

Mammie Reed said...

Thank you so much, my little great grandson carries his cars in a box. This will work out wonderful.

Jessica said...

This is so cute! I'm putting together a roundup of DIY Christmas gifts and was wondering if you'd be okay with me using a picture with the link to include your post! Thanks!

Nikki said...

I adapted your idea and turned it into a quiet book page! I needed a way to store the cars for the road page and stumbled across your car caddy and knew it would be perfect! It works just as I expected! I linked back to you!
Thanks for sharing your idea!!

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