Have you ever traveled with a baby and tried to fit all of the stuff you need for your baby but it just doesn’t fit in your luggage or car? I had this same problem and the high chair just didn’t make the cut, so I made my own cloth high chair. This DIY cloth highchair tutorial will make you as happy as a thug in a rug…well, probably happier than that.
Traveling With A Baby
I recently traveled to visit my sister three states over, it was wonderful. My extroverted baby had three other people to sit and watch and play with for three weeks. They even got baby ducks while we were there that added to the fun…and is making me seriously consider getting ducks to keep down the bugs in the backyard and make delicious eggs. I’ve thought about getting chickens…but to be truthful they kind of scare me.
Look how cute! Almost as cute as my baby sleeping…almost.
The only problem was that because I rode up with my sister there was limited space. I couldn’t bring the things that I normally use to strap him down.
No highchair for my baby who thinks that he and only he can bring food to his own mouth but has the accuracy of a drunk mathlete without his glasses. This ended up being a big deal for me.
So much so that I went out and bought fabric so I could make a portable mealtime jail device.
“Noooooo, release me or I will release the crackers….all over your hair…half chewed up!!!!”
My sister has pretty tall backed chairs…they are all giants…so I made the back pretty long. I wanted them to look adultish while still being kidish. So I did cotton adult fabric for the chair slip cover part and the ties and then a fun kids apparel wear for the crotch part.
I was a little worried that for how strong and mobile my baby was he would tear right out of it and onto the floor but it held him up pretty good and I wasn’t far away from him while he was in it.
One of the best unforeseen aspects of it was that I could tie it around him even when he was standing then once that was done I could help him sit (he hates siting when he could be standing or moving).
Cloth Highchair Tutorial:
- The Front chair cover -Blue – a little longer than the top of the chair to the seat, a few inches wider than the width of the back of the chair
- The Back chair cover – Blue – same size as #1
- Left Back tie – Orange – 2 inches wide, length of my fabric
- Right Back tie – Orange – same as #3
- Middle Front tie – Orange – 4 inches wide, length of my fabric
- Side Front tie – Orange – 4 inches wide, half of the length of my fabric
- Side Front tie – Orange – same as #6
- Crotch cover – White with print – 20 inches wide by 10 inches high
- Front crotch attachment and cover piece – Blue – 8 inches by three inches
White Crotch Part With Straps
- Make the crotch part ( #8 white with print). I just made it 10 by 10 by folding it in half and then sewing up one side (leaving the top and bottom open) then at the bottom pleated it inward to be about 8 inches wide and basted it to stay.
- Make the top strap (orange). My fabric wasn’t wide enough to do the full length of the front strap so I cut three pieces (#5, #6, #7) because I didn’t want a seam in the front. So I put the longest one in the middle. Then sewed on the other two on each side. I put a two pins, about 6 inches from the middle on both sides and sewed the strap shut all the way except for this middle gap of about 12 or 11 inches.
- I pressed it, tucking in the fabric in that 12 inch gap to keep my seam. Then I inserted in the top of my crotch piece, pinned it and sewed a square around that area. With a walking foot I free quilted around the circles in that area to make sure it was secure and so the crotch fabric that was in the tie wouldn’t fall down.
- Then I took my #9 piece pressed in the seams. Pin the crotch piece to #9 (with the inside facing up, so that it lays better). Then centered it on #1, a few inches up from the bottom and pin it (the crotch piece should be facing down when it is sewed on to #1). Sew the edges down. Then free hand quilted a design to make sure it was tacked down good.
- Make two back straps with cut pieces #3, then #4. I made my front strap wider than my back. The back straps are just to make it more snug on the chair. You don’t need to finish one end of this as it will be sewn into the inside seam of the chair cover.
- Pin the back straps to each side of #2 what height you want them then pin #1 onto #2. Sew around the edges of #1 and #2 leaving a couple inches open at the bottom of both sides.
- Finish the open hem on both sides.
- Hem the bottom of both #1 and #2.
- Wait for your baby to finish waking up so you can test it on him or her.
- Relish in the fact that you can now feed them without them getting their sticky grimy hands all over you and your hair.
This took me about three naps to complete because I was trying to figure out how I was going to do it and what my measurements might be. I think I might make another one and if so I think it will take me considerably less time to make it since I know what I will do.
Things I like:
- It worked in keeping him in the chair, eating by himself.
- I liked that the cover from the back looks nice, like it was a slip cover for a chair or something.
- Easy to clean.
- Didn’t take that much fabric.
- I felt super cool freehand quilting the crotch top and bottom.
- My sister’s table is kind of high too so he was able to lean over and use the chair seat as a table.
- It was easy enough and quick enough that I finished it before losing interest or losing the need to use it.
If I had to do it again, I might consider:
- Adding shoulder straps or something to make him a little more snug (read: so that I can feel comfortable going to the other room and letting him have at it for a moment without me).
- Making the whole front of the front strap a little stiffer, with interfacing or something.
- Incorporate the third fabric a little more as it kind of looks weird with such little fabric there…and it’s a cute print but you can’t really see it.
- Making a pattern and in more depth tutorial if anyone wants one.
Thanks for reading! Hope that if you are reading this you too will find a solution to your “I can’t reallly fit the high chair in but I tried” problem.
If you do make it please let me know how it goes and share pictures of how it turned out!
Nothing really beats a good solid built high chair with a tray and a five point harness…