Schoolhouse Saturday, Van Edition: Carseat Bookcase

Our kids love to read. It isn’t strange to find them with a book in their laps on the floor of their rooms “reading” to each other. My sisters and I were the same way. Books are just an essential part of our family and we celebrate reading. Naturally books find their way to the van constantly. I love that my children take them along for rides, but often good books get messed up on van floors and in seats, stepped on and stuffed between, lost until a cleaning.

With all of my organizing and cleaning of the van this week. I decided to add a remedy to the book situation to my to-do list. I found this pin years ago before blogs and sewing existed in my head, and the link may have worked way back when, but I couldn’t access it now. I decided that I could come up with my own tutorial and make the carseat bookcase. Keep in mind, I am a beginner, so this is quite the feat and I may not use all of the right terminology. The links are below:

Pin: Carseat Bookcase

Website: 11 Alive (This link is not a good link so I will give you the directions below)

Materials needed:

Fabric: 1- 12″x 30″ piece

.  4- 12″x 8″ pieces

(I had a yard of duck fabric and had plenty)

All things Sewing Machine Related

Glue gun



First lay out your fabric and cut your pieces. For the 12×30″ piece, mark in 3/4 inch and fold to line for the longest sides (length) and mark in 1 inch and fold to line for short sides (width). Press the seams and sew.


Measure 6 1/2″ from the top and mark, then measure in 6″ from the sides from the mark; this will be the starting point to make the cut out for the seat. From the starting point measure 3″ on each side and mark, then up 3″ from each of those points to create a 3×6″ rectangle. (You’re just making a rectangle exactly in the middle).


Now cut your smaller pocket pieces. Measure in 3/4″ on the shorter sides, fold, press, and sew, Then measure in 1/2″ on longer sides, fold, press, and sew. You now have all the pieces and can assemble the bookcase.


Lay your 12×30″ piece flat on a table. From the top, measure down 10″ and mark. This will be the top of your first pocket. Put one of the pockets on the fabric lining the top up with the mark. Line up the seams, pinning it in place, and sew them together. Sew along the bottom right above the seam. You have your first pocket.


Measure down the length of the fabric 15″ this time and mark. This is the top of your second pocket. Pin a pocket in place again lining up the seams and sew together. Sew along the bottom above the seam to create your pocket. For the third pocket, measure down 20″ and mark. Repeat the process to make the pocket as done with the other two.


Now for the last pocket, measure down 25″ and mark. You’re going to have fabric from the pocket that is going to hang down. You have several options. I folded the remaining fabric behind and secured with hot glue creating a small pocket. You could also sew along the bottom seam and snip off the remaining fabric, I don’t prefer this because it leaves rough edges.

**Obviously, the best solution would be to change the size of the base fabric to 12×34″ to allot for the extra fabric. However, this was my process and I wanted to stay true to it. This was a complete experiment where I saw a picture of a pin without a tutorial and tried my mommy darnedest to recreate it. Next time I will adjust the measurements. I am, after all, not a seamstress but just a pinteresting mommy. I know you thought I was Martha Stewart there for a minute and are now thinking, “What?!? You mean I’m not reading a BH&G Magazine post right now?!?” Sorry to disappoint folks, I know I used highly complex and death-defying sewing techniques, but alas it is just I, the lowly dining room crafter.

After you complete the bookcase, it’s time for the last step, the cut out. Take a box cutter or sharp knife, Samurai swords are cool as well if you moonlight as a ninja…mamas do it all don’t we? And cut one side of the rectangle. Then using scissors, or the cutters if you prefer, cut out the rectangle.

Now you have your bookcase! Hang it from one of your carseats and add books and kids and enjoy. My kids think I’m pretty much the bees knees right now! If you have any questions or comments, my inbox is open. As for the pin, I don’t approve, but of course, I do approve the project! Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy!



4 thoughts on “Schoolhouse Saturday, Van Edition: Carseat Bookcase

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