Monday, June 18, 2012

Artsee Time: DIY Steering Wheel Cover

Okay first thing's first.

I apologize for this tutorial. It's quite rigged together. I honestly had this elaborate plan for it and I kept fudging up every time I attempted execution of making the tutorial. I get into something and just forget all about pictures (if someone wants to donate to the artsee diva video camera fund I wouldn't complain.. then you'd have youtube videos to follow!)

I also want to point out what you will see.. these were pretty much taken with different covers. You'll get the gist of it, and it's quite basic really.

This is MY INTERPRETATION. Last I checked creativity and DIY carried no rules-- that's the beauty of it. Feel free to do things your way if you'd like. This works for me, and I like this style. You can add to it and change what you want.

What we are doing:

We're making a very basic steering wheel cover with exposed elastic. I started this type as an elastic practice project and ended up falling in love with it. I absolutely love making these things... and I'm sorry if you know me, because these will probably be your Christmas, Birthday, Easter and Flag Day gifts :)

Here's the final product that we're going after:

Cute huh? This one is for sale in my etsy store if you're not ready to tackle the sewing machine. You can get one right there ;)

SO the first step to this is to choose your fabric (and if you want to, your lining fabric). I honestly buy the huge bolts of felt-ish material (LOL.. I am sooo teh skillzed at knowing my terms and fabrics). It's dirt cheap, and the pink you'll see me using here cost me 1.00 for TONS of it on sale. I sometimes opt out of lining the covers, it just depends on the original fabric and if I'm going to take to the inside with a puff paint or not :)

So.. you've got your fabric all picked out. Hopefully you're using something thrifty like an old curtain, shirt, sweater or thrifted material. These were for an order so they are not.. but this is a great way to upcycle :)

You're going to want to take the measurement of your wheel all the way around. I make my orders usually around the 37-45 inch sweet spot. You want them to be around 5.5 inches wide. Too wide and they will hide your dash and important information... but not wide enough and they just look silly. Take your wheel into consideration throughout the process. I base my length on how much give the material has. You want it to fit snug, but you don't want it to pop off off in your face (hey.. don't judge me!) while you're driving. If it's not very flexible then you want to get it the full length of your wheel. You're going to be adding elastic, but if it doesn't fit to begin with then it's really not going to fit once you add that fun stuff to it.

Now-- this is me doing things bass ackwards, but I cut everything the same size first and THEN go in and trim my hem out of the lining. You can choose to do this from the get go if you want... but my brain works weird.

I usually take about an inch off of the lining material so that I can center it and have a nice little edge on each side for hems and elastic.

Once this is done, you iron down your hem! The weirdo in me loves the felt sort of material for lining because it melts a tad under the heat and helps to hold things in place for me so I don't have to go pin happy!

Now-- I do all of this in one swoop. It would probably be neater if you double hemmed it to get all the fraying under control and THEN put on the elastic.. but this is how I did these, so you'll have to deal with a not so neat one. It's for family use though and I don't have a problem with my edges once I take some Fray Check to them (don't have pictures of that part, sorry!)


Every machine is different. Your tension and settings need to be perfect to achieve the right gathering. Gather some scraps with smaller pieces of elastic to get the right feel before you do this on your final product.

To sew the elastic you want to have a constant pull on it as you let it go through your machine. You don't want to rip your needle, but you also want to give your material some gather as it goes by pulling on your elastic the whole time you are "feeding" it. Let your machine and material guide you as well... don't force it through. If you need further education on sewing elastic, Threadbanger has some killer tutorials on youtube. One simple search and you're on your way.

I don't have pictures of this step.. but all you do is put your right sides together at the end and sew it back and forth a few times to make sure it's secure.. trim down your edges, flip back so you're prettiness is on the outside and do a jig of happiness because you completed your easy peasy lemon breezy steering wheel cover!

...there you have it!

Oh wait---

POST PROJECT MADNESS!!! AHHHH. I'm definitely not a "clean" crafter. My stuff goes flying everywhere and by the time I'm done I'm covered in thread and scraps. I love it and wouldn't have it any other way.

SO I hope this helps. I honestly didn't find very many things online to this regard, so I had to fake it till I made it. One day soon I'll redo this in greater detail.. and then once you guys fund my camera project (tee hee!) I'll do the same in video form.

Leave any questions or comments for me below.. and I'll see you guys soon with another DIY!

(Plus size OOTD coming tomorrow!)

1 comment:

  1. Your steering wheel cover has a few different functions. It helps to protect your hands from the hot steering wheel on a sunny day. It helps you grip the wheel more firmly for added safety, and it allows you to express your individuality through the steering wheel cover design.