Monday, July 12, 2010

Airplane Tray Cover--Post Edit

While I've been gathering ideas to keep my older two boys busy on the plane I've been at a loss as to what to do for my 13-month-old. I saw these airplane tray covers for sale... but honestly I'd rather spend my $25 elsewhere. I'm not a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination (that's Amy's forte) so I usually don't tackle sewing projects. Besides, I hate lugging my sewing machine out! But this was so easy and inexpensive that I think anyone could do it!

Here are the things I used for my cover (some I had around the house, others I had to purchase):

3 coordinating fabrics
7-inch zipper
practice golf ball

First off, I had to know the dimensions of the trays. I used my awesome research skill (Google) and found that the trays were pretty much standard--16 1/2" x 9 1/2" (some said up to 10 1/2"). So I cut my fabric 1/2" longer than that for a seam allowance. You'll want to cut the length at least 20" because you will fold it in half (and that's one less seam you'll have to sew).

The first thing I did was sew the top edges (just 1/2"). Before sewing the sides up I added all my "activities."

The zipper was pretty easy--just sewed all around the edges. You could even do something fun and have something inside the zipper.... I just left it alone.

Next was the peek-a-boo door. I cut 2 equal sized rectangles of felt and then cut one of those in half. The other I adhered Heat-n-Bond to. I fused the back piece onto my large fabric and then sewed the doors on (so that they were sewn to both the large fabric and the back piece of the door.)

I then cut out a simple lion out of felt (with Wonder Under on the back) and fused those to my back piece.
And finally I hot glued some buttons as door knobs.

Because I have been busy making car mats for my older boys I didn't want my baby to get jealous (he loves whatever his brother's do) I cut and fused a little road to his cover. Again... I just used Heat-n-Bond (or Wonder Under). I choose to sew around it... just for looks.

Next, I took some fabric and fashioned a little pocket embellished with some ric-rac. I also made a small heart and stuffed it with a walmart sack so it would be crinkly when he played with it. I got carried away with the pocket and forgot to sew on the ribbon first... so I ended up doing that by hand.

My little one loves to throw balls. Since that really won't be an option on the plane (he throws hard and far and thinks it really funny to throw it at people not paying attention) I came up with another solution. Hopefully he's entertained by it! I found those practice golf balls with holes in them (a whole pack at Walmart was less than $2), tied a ribbon to it and attached it to the cover. Just to reinforce it I fused a star-shaped piece of felt over my stitching.

Ta-da! That's it! Really, it was pretty easy. (Hopefully it keeps my baby entertained!)

If you make one I'd love to see what you come up with!

I'm linking to these parties this week.

** Yesterday I got the chance to try my tray cover out... and it was too small in width!!!  So although everything I found said that the trays were 16 1/2 inches wide I'd make the final product at least 17 1/2.  It's better to be too big than too little.


  1. Wow, I just love this idea. We travel a lot and I never thought of a tray cover for keeping the boys busy. Genius! I'll be featuring this item on Wednesday!

  2. Oh, WOW!! That is amazing!!! I wish I had one of these when my daughter was little!

    I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  3. This is so brilliant. Thank you for sharing this - especially the dimensions!! I hope I have time to try make one before I fly home to MN in a few weeks. happy creations from germany, tj

  4. This is such a great idea. I hope it keeps him busy for hours.

  5. well, that is very clever!
    thank you for sharing!

  6. Perfect for baby!! Love it! Thanks for linking up to Mad Skills Monday!

  7. That is so great!!! You have some really great ideas!

  8. I have never seen one of those. What a cute idea!

  9. Um, that's fantastic, my dear! Love it!

  10. I love this idea! I definitely going to have a go at making one for my little girl for our next trip. Cheers!

  11. Clever idea! Thanks for linking @Creative Itch's "Sew Cute Tuesday"!

  12. This is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing! We are going on a 12 hour flight with our daughter soon, she will be about 13 months too! So I'll definitely have a go at making one of these before we leave! Thanks for the amazing idea!! :)

  13. Such a neat idea!!! Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday:)

  14. Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

  15. This post has been selected as one of my top posts of the week. Here is the link:

  16. What a great way to keep a 13 month old entertained! My daughter is the same age and loves anything tactial!

    Thanks for linking up with What are little boys made of?

  17. Great idea! It is so hard to keep the little ones happy while traveling! Thanks for linking to Sister Sister! Stop by again this Sunday!

  18. Such a great idea!!

    Andrea @

  19. Hi, I just finished making my own tray cover. Thanks for the awesome idea! Now I hope it keeps my little one happy for our 12 hour flight! :)

  20. Hi again, we just got home from our epic journey and I wanted to let you know that my little girl loved the tray cover! It definitely kept her entertained on the flight. Thanks again so much for the awesome idea! Not sure how we would have survived without it :)

    I put a photo up of her enjoying it if you are interested :)

  21. I bookmarked this months ago and now that we are flying with our 15 month old next week I just finished it! Thank you for the great tutorial! Here is the one I made:

  22. Hi. I found your post through Pinterest, and was inspired. Here's the one I made.

  23. Thank you for the inspiration! I mad one too, in a few days we will try it on a long flight. I hope it will give us a lot of oy.
    Here is the one I made:

  24. Thanks for the idea. I mentioned you on my blog in my tutorial.

    Thanks again,