How to Create Your Own Seat Cover

by Gryphon Adams

Making your own seat covers allows you to customize your car and protect your upholstery. For a new car, prevent the dings, stains and rips that reduce your car’s value. For a not-so-new car give it a fresh look and cover the damage. By creating your own seat covers you save money and get to choose your own color and materials. Car seat covers provide an opportunity for self-expression. With some planning, you can create a comfortable and attractive seat cover to suit your car.


Measure the length and width of the car seat. Use a measuring tape to measure. Extend the tape from the bottom of the seat on the side by the car door across the seating area to the bottom of the seat on the opposite side. Take the seat's measurement from the bottom of the seat in front to the bottom of the seat at the back: extend the tape over the back of seat--under the headrest, if the headrest is removable. Add a foot in each direction to the measurements to have room to tuck the fabric and pull some of it under. Double the length measurement. This gives the amount of fabric to cover two matching car seats. There are 36 inches in a yard, so divide the measurement by 36 to come up with the number of yards of fabric you need. (See References 1)


Select the material. Choose a thick, durable, insulating material in a non-raveling fabric such as faux sheepskin for no-sew long-lasting comfortable seat covers for year-round use. (See References 2) Good fabric sources include fabric stores, dollar stores and variety stores.Buy some sheet suspenders.


Spread the seat cover material out on a clean work surface such as a table or a counter. Use a yardstick or tape measure to mark a straight line. Cut the material. Use the first piece of material as a pattern to cut the second one.


Remove the seat's headrest. Drape the material over the seat and adjust so it hangs evenly with the same amount of extra fabric front to back and side to side. Use the scissors to poke holes in the fabric for the headrest to fit through. Most fabric stretches a bit, so make small holes.


Attach the suspenders to the rear corners and pull the suspenders under the seat. Guide the suspenders across the top of the bar or wire to keep them from catching in the mechanism when you adjust the seat. Attach the other end of the sheet suspenders to the front corners of the fabric. Tuck the material between the seat back and the seating area to get a smooth fit.


Follow the steps above to make a rear seat or bench seat cover. You may have to remove a bench seat to install the seat cover.

Items you will need

About the Author

Gryphon Adams began publishing in 1985. He contributed to the "San Francisco Chronicle" and "Dark Voices." Adams writes about a variety of topics, including teaching, floral design, landscaping and home furnishings. Adams is a certified health educator and a massage practitioner. He received his Master of Fine Arts at San Francisco State University.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera inside of car image by Christopher Nolan from