Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Light bulb!"

Even though I still have boxes left unpacked and there is not a single picture hung on my bare walls, I am getting all sorts of crafty up in this new house.

OR not.

But, by request of my child - saying "hot" when I put him in his car seat after the car has been parked anywhere other than our garage - I started looking for a car seat cooler.

I have this thing, which I put on his seat mostly to keep it from fading in the sun when it's not in use rather than to keep it cool. I really liked this one, but availability is sometimes an issue. This one was a runner up, but both those options come at 60 bucks a pop, plus shipping. Not so "cool", in my opinion.

Google once again came to my rescue. When I entered the search string "make your own car seat cooler," I found this tutorial at eighteen25. It wasn't precisely step-by-step, since it was missing the step where you actually sew the pockets on to the front (I did it after sewing the velcro and after sewing the pockets, figuring that was the best approach to avoid the bunching in pockets I have had in other projects).

I went looking in my sewing stash and found everything I needed for the project (I love it when that happens!), so, using what I had on hand, I set out to make one. In so doing, I uttered more curse words than I care to admit - more from my being out of the sewing habit than the fault of the girls at eighteen25, to be sure. But after much trial and error (and error and error and more curse words and lots and lots of wasted thread), what later became known as the Murphy's Law Sewing Saturday yielded a finished product!

I put ice packs from my freezer, with dimensions of about 6.5" high, 3.5" wide, and 1.5" thick, into my new invention and it was a tight squeeze into the two lower/larger pockets. I knew they'd never fit in the smaller top pockets. So, I set out to find a thinner pack. Walmart was a bust. Online wasn't much more helpful, unless I wanted to order for a camping store in the UK (tempting, very tempting).

I have one of three Ameda packs that originally came with my breast pump and that is less than an inch thick. (The other two were the first casualty of our trip last December, setting off a comedy of errors known as Keeping Baby's Milk Cold While Traveling.) I knew these packs would work in my cooler, that I needed to replace those two lost packs, and that these packs work wonders in that Similac bottle holder I got for free at the hospital, thus increasing their usability. BUT eBay was listing them at $4 to $6 each, which is ridiculous.

Ameda Online ended up being the cure to what ailed me, charging only $3 per pack with reasonable shipping fees, and totaling only slightly more than that UK camping store, but you know, it’s American, so why not.

And so, my six new packs arrived in the mail today and I put them in my cooler. Voila! They fit, it works, and everyone is happy! I can’t wait to use it!

For just under $26, we got a very viable solution. Here's the final product:

[Title quote is from "Despicable Me" - which movie, by the way, scares the crap out of my kid]

1 comment:

Jen said...

very cute solution!! I hate those sewing days! but I kinda love your retelling of it!! glad it all worked out in the end!

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