Make a Backseat Organizer out of Old Jeans

by - March 9, 2015

Road Tripping - a save your sanity series by Alanna Rusnak - SelfBinding Retrospect

Road Tripping {a save your sanity series} Part One

Order is the sanity of the mind, the health of the body, the peace of the city, the security of the state. Like beams in a house or bones to the body, so is order to all things.
Robert Southey

I refused to exist in chaos.  While there is something wildly romantic and thrilling to the thought of 'flying by the seat of one's pants' I just can't get on board that train.  

Organization matters.  It's just that simple.

As I prepare things for our approaching road trip I realize we are at a bit of a disadvantage to those road-trip veteran families with fancy minivans.  We are traveling some 3,594 kilometers in a five-seater station wagon with five people.  That means no elbow room, no breathing space, no turning sideways with your feet up on the seat and getting lost in The Maze Runner.  

And that means some serious organization is in order.

With long stretches ahead in a cramped backseat we have to be creative in coming up with activities to keep hands and minds busy.  And with activities - no matter how creative we can be {and no, you can't just tell your children to spend six straight hours using their imaginations} - there will be bits and pieces that need to be kept in an orderly fashion.

I floated about the internet looking for good ideas.  Smart Pinterest mom's were using Dollar Store shoe organizers hung on the back of seats to stash toys and games - of course, I was unable to find such a shoe organizer at our local store.

So I decided to make my own.

Make a backseat organizer out of old jeans

How to make a backseat organizer out of old jeans

If you have children, chances are - somewhere in your house - there's a pile of too small, too worn, too torn jeans just begging to be turned into something useful.

I began with the largest rejected pair.  {These were my favourite jeans a few years back and they're so worn out that they feel like felt in some places - and though I was loathe to cut them up they were way past their prime and I'm happy to see them given new life.}

I cut along the waist at the front and down the sides at the outer legs ending up with what looked like backwards chaps.  By leaving the waist seam intact you have a way to hang it on the back of the car seat - simply by doing up the button and looping it over the headrest! 

Make a backseat organizer out of old jeans
I cut off the excess length in the leg and then folded and pinned the crotch area so that it lay smooth.

Make a backseat organizer out of old jeans
Taking another pair of old jeans, I lay one leg across the bottom to measure the length I needed to make a big pocket.

I cut the leg off, leaving almost two inches for the seam.

{the legs of my original pair of jeans almost reach to the bottom seam of the second pair}

I cut along the seam of the pant leg and then created a 'pouch' - putting one side underneath my original jeans and the other over top.

After turning the seams under and being sure everything was lined up, I sewed along the sides and bottom.  At the top of the large pocket I only sewed the back to the original jeans in order to leave the opening at the front.

Make a backseat organizer out of old jeans
Notice my especially awful stitching on the left side??? I have a very old sewing machine and there was no way it could handle going through all this denim so yes, I sewed this whole project by hand!

"Why are you using a kiss to sew?" Liam asked as he watched me pull through a stitch with a thimble on my finger.  "Why is it even called a kiss?"  {There are worse things to be influenced by than the magic of Peter Pan!}

I cut pockets off another old pair of jeans and I grabbed a pencil case that wasn't being used and sewed those on the front of the big pocket - being careful not to stitch through to the back.  Happily, one of the pockets covered my terrible stitching!

Make a backseat organizer out of old jeans

The large pocket was very 'gapey' so I put a little stitch in the top middle to keep it a little more closed - it still leaves lots of room for novels, story books, and games on either side.

Stay tuned all week as I share more of my brilliant Road Trip Tips {including Making a Road Trip Binder, What to Pack, and my Smart Momma Snack Plan}

Do you have any road trip advice? I'd love to hear it!

Linking up here &

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  1. This is really cute- much more imaginative than the backseat organizer I have stashed away somewhere in my house that I kept just in case someone might need it someday!
    Happy travels!

    1. I have vague memories of some sort of organizer from our trips...I didn't think you would have held on to it though - could have saved my fingers from getting poked through denim {because that thimble didn't save me every time!} But yes, mine is cuter than yours ;)

  2. So clever! I am all for upcycling, I'm a huge fan of jeans AND I just love the way this organizer turned out. Thank you for sharing it at the Creative Inspiration Link Party! I hope you'll stop back by next week...

    1. Thanks! It worked really well for us.

  3. "Sew" ingenious. lol
    Next time maybe use a denim needle? That helps me.
    Here from Creative Inspiration Party.

    1. Good tip! I am "sew" uneducated when it comes to sewing anything ;)


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