Stroller/Car Seat Cooling Pad Tutorial
This tutorial is for a cooler pad that is meant to go behind your child’s back while they are in the stroller. It cools by evaporation and will last quite awhile. It is reusable and all you need to do is soak it in water to activate it again.
Update: It can also be used to lay over the buckles of the car seat while the car is parked. It will keep the buckles nice and cool for baby when you get back. You can leave it in your car for quite a few days and just throw it in the seat when you need it. Just soak it again when it needs to be rehydrated. Do not use this while the car is in motion! These are now available in my Etsy shop if you don't feel like making one yourself. They are made to order so I can accommodate color choices. Here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/163402073/strollercar-seat-cooling-pad
(2) 11” x 16” rectangles of fabric
(1) 11” x 16” rectangle of fleece. Any color. This is for stability and won’t show.
1 pkg Wide Single Fold Bias tape (optional)
“Soil Moist” granules for indoor plants or similar water absorbing crystals. I found mine in the garden section at the local department store.
Cut out your rectangles of fabric and fleece. Each needs to be 11” x 16”. Layer the rectangles in a pile with the fleece on the bottom. One rectangle right side up, then on the top put the last rectangle right side down.
Pin fabric in place on 3 sides, leaving one long side open. Sew around the 3 sides with a ½” seam allowance being sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your seams. Trim your edges to ¼” away from the line of stitching. Turn your rectangle inside out.
Step 3: (Optional shoulder strap holes)
If you want to make openings for the shoulder straps to go through the pad, lay the pad in your stroller and measure where the shoulder strap openings need to be. You’ll be measuring the distance from the top of the pad and from the side of the pad. I opted to have the pad stick up 2 ½” inches above the top of my shoulder straps. Mark your fabric (you can see my markings in red pencil) and use the buttonhole feature on your sewing machine to make the openings.
Binding: Now you’ll be making the channels to hold the crystals. You’ll basically be sewing lines horizontally across rectangle that are 1 ½” apart. See in the picture where I made my pin marks. I started just below my button holes but if you didn’t do button holes you can just start your measuring from the top of the rectangle. Sew straight lines from pin to pin all of the way across. Trim all of your extra threads off.
Without binding: If you don't want to add binding, you'll need to fold in the edges of the unsewn side and iron them down before you start sewing your lines across so you'll have a nice seam at the end.
Stand your rectangle on it’s side with the open side at the top. Making sure to stay on one side of the fleece, put 1 teaspoon of the soil moist granules in each pocket except for the pocket with the button holes (if you did those.) Shake the rectangle so that the granules go down to the bottom of the pocket.
Binding: Using the “Angry Chicken” binding without swearing method, sew the binding onto your rectangle starting with the open edge. Check around the whole edge of the pad to make sure that you don’t need to do any touchups with the binding. It’s super hard to sew up little gaps once it’s soaked and expanded.
Without binding: Shake the crystals to the bottom of the pockets away from the open seam. Sew across the seam.
Step 7: Soaking
Fill up your bathroom or kitchen sink and soak the pad for a few minutes until the gel expands and fills up the tubes. You can smoosh it around with your fingers to make sure that it is evenly distributed along each tube/pocket. Here is what it looks like after soaking.
Step 8: Admire your handiwork
Put it in your stroller and stand back to admire your handiwork. If your child is still sleeping (Yay!) put the pad in your refrigerator to get it nice and cool before your walk.
Congratulations you finished!
You are welcome to make these for family and friends but please don't sell these for profit.
P.S. I'm also testing it out as a cooling pad to lay in the baby car seat to keep the buckles and seat from getting scorching hot while you are out of the car. (Absolutely do not use this in the car seat while driving!) I'll let you know how that works soon!