DIY Dog Car Seat Hammock

Monday, September 17, 2012

We take Smokey in the car with us frequently, and while both my car and my husband’s aren’t exactly what you would call neat & tidy, I still thought it would be helpful to have a doggie car seat. Smokey loves climbing all over the car, rolling around in the mud, and digging holes in the dirt, which the car seat should help with – plus he loves curling up in cozy fabrics, so I thought it might make the car a little more comfy. I made a super cheap, super easy hammock-style car seat for him. There are a number of ways I could have made this a bit nicer, but I went for functional/cheap/quick over durable/attractive (but of course, this method could be easily adapted).

First, gather your materials. All I bought was the fabric and elastic – pretty simple! Smokey was curious about the project right from the start. Basically, this is just a sheet of fabric with 4 elastic loops to fit around the front and back headrests.


  • 2 yards of fabric (I bought flannel because it was 50% off and it’s cozy, but I’d recommend using something more durable): $5.98
  • Elastic (1″ x 2.5 yds): $2.79

Total cost: $8.77

Additional supplies:
  • Sewing machine & thread
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins (My straight pins were missing so I had to go safety-style)

Next, measure your car. Since I bought my fabric before measuring the car (which is sort of backwards now that I think about it…), I found it easier to just take the fabric and spread it across the back seat to check the dimensions. It fit nicely, so I didn’t end up cutting it at all. I just measured the width of the headrests and the distance between headrests, so I knew where to put the straps.

Then I cut the elastic into 4 even pieces and pinned the elastic on the fabric based on my measurements. You should end up with 4 loops of elastic that will fit around your headrests.

As you can see, my fabric edges are rough – it would have been better to fold over the edges to make them more durable, avoid fraying, and make it look less rough. I didn’t do this for two reasons: 1) the fabric was already a little on the short side and I didn’t want to make it any shorter, and 2) I’m lazy.

Next, I sewed on the straps. First I just did a quick straight stitch and checked to make sure it fit in the car properly, then I sewed those suckers on good and tight using a zig zag stitch.

And then… you’re done! Pretty easy, right? This was a very quick and easy project for me (and my sewing skills are not-so-hot).

The hardest part of the whole project was trying to get some photos. I put it down on the floor, and then Aria immediately came over and burrowed under it.

Then Smokey came over to see what was going on, so Aria gave him her infamous glare and left.

But as soon as I folded up the car seat, Smokey decided to lay on it.

And sit on it. I guess that means he likes it at least!

At that point, I gave up on the indoor photos and tried it out in the car. I actually made it to fit my husband’s car, but tried it out in mine since he wasn’t home. The drawback of mine is that it doesn’t have headrests in the back seat, but I was able to loop the elastic around the corners and that seemed to work.
Smokey’s reaction? Furiously rubbing his back all over it and doing somersaults…

Then finally getting comfy.

I’ve only tried it out on a quick little drive, but so far, he looks like one seriously happy customer!

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