If you’re anything like me, you forgot to put a sunshade for the car on your baby registry. Being a first time mom can be pretty overwhelming, and there’s so much you don’t expect.
But then I noticed that the sun was shining in my baby’s eyes, which is uncomfortable, and possibly bad for her, what with UV rays and all that. So, I went looking for a DIY pattern for a sunshade, and thought about what would make it easy to use, cute, and effective, and decided to make my own.
Here’s a tutorial so you can make one too. It cost me $0.57 because all I had to buy was the dowel. I happened to have everything else lying around already. But you could easily do it for less than $10. And it’s really really easy. Even with taking pictures of every step, it probably took me about an hour and a half. (If I hadn’t been taking pictures, it probably would take about 40 minutes or less)
You will need:
- about ½ yard of lightweight fabric (I used lining fabric leftover from some other project, but there’s all kinds of cute baby prints you could use. I like solids)
- About 2 yards of matching cloth ribbon
- Matching thread
- 2 light Wooden dowels (about 12-14 inches long) (I got a 3/8 inch one from Walmart, and cut it, but you can find short ones that don’t need to be cut. There are a lot more than you need in this package, but they are already cut, and 1/4 inch should be strong enough. You don’t want to use more than 3/8 inches thick, because you don’t want it to be heavy in case it falls on your baby.)
- A saw, if you need to cut the dowels. (I used this mini hack saw)
- A pair of scissors
- A sewing machine (You could hand sew it, but it would take forever)
- An iron (You could do without, but the iron makes it easier and nicer)
To start with, you need to figure out how long you want it to be. I drive a small car, so 36 inches was perfect to reach from the handle over the door to the seat below. I decided to make it 14 inches wide so it would block the sun from the baby, but not take too much room or be too bulky. If you drive a larger vehicle, you might want it a little longer, but it would probably still work.
Once you decide how long you want it to be, add 3 inches to the length, and two inches to the width to make room for your hem. (You will want your fabric to be at least 2 inches wider than your dowels are long.
Cut your rectangle.
Iron about half an inch down on each end, then fold that over and iron about ¾ inch down. This will be your sheath for the dowels.
Next, before you sew the sheath together, you want to cut your ribbons and sew them on to the top. Cut 2 pieces about 16 inches long, and one about 18 inches long. The shorter ones will be to tie your shade to the handle over the door, and the long one will let you tie the shade up when it’s cloudy, or your baby isn’t riding with you. You’ll want to cut them at an angle like you see in the picture, otherwise they can unravel.
Sew the middle of each length of ribbon to the fabric along the line you ironed. The long one should be in the middle, the short ones should be about 3 inches away on either side.
Once those are on, go ahead and sew the sheath shut. Put the dowel inside. Do the same to the bottom.
Hem both sides. You might find that you have to move your needle over to the left side to sew the part near the dowel.
Tie it on.