Wednesday, August 6, 2008

road trip gear

Last week my mother, sister, and I drove with the four kids to our family reunion. The thought of nine hours with a 10, 9, 7 and 3 year old in one vehicle was all the inspiration I needed to get creative. I made each child their own travel kit and we all were happier for it. I constructed everything the day before we the midst of packing. There were moments when I thought I was insane, but these were all super fast whip ups with impressive results... each child felt like it was their birthday and the drive was peaceful...most of the time. Here's what I made:

1. Printed (freezer-paper style) a symbol, significant to each child, on inexpensive organic bags from our co-op, which were filled with snacks, crayons, pens, books etc.

2. Covered cheap drawing pads with heavy-weight craft paper and a little Mod-Podge (to make them fancy).

3. Quick and easy sleep-masks...the surprise hit of the whole weekend, let alone the car ride!
Not only did the sleep masks make napping easier, they made listening to story tapes or ipods that much more relaxing. During the busy weekend, I'd often find a grown-up taking a breather in some comfy spot...with a mask!

So how did I crank out four masks in no time? The key was pinking shears and fleece.

Materials for one mask:
-9x5 in. rectangle of fleece
-9x5 in. " " of more fleece or flannel( I used scraps from the pillow case dresses and
they felt like silk).
-10 in. strip of elastic
-pinking shears

-I used a pattern created with newspaper. I did a little adjusting to get just the right size...but this is extremely flexible...any basic shape resembling the mask will do.
-Cut out two identical fabric shapes with pinking shears and pin together .
-Sandwich the elastic between both pieces of fabric on either end. Sew it up. I double stitched over the elastic to give it strength.

That's it! If you've got any travel plans with children coming up, I highly recommend them.

*note: In the van photo above we are not driving. Safety belts should always be worn safely across chest in a moving vehicle. Pin It


  1. I have just made you an honorary auntie of my family, so I'll let you know when our next road trip is scheduled! ;) Thanks for the inspiration!!

    BTW, don't you think there is sometimes a very thin line between inspiration and madness. I don't think you've crossed it . . . yet! ;)

  2. Wow, you have such good ideas! Must remember the sleep-masks for the next trip to somewhere!! Thanx for the inspiration!!

  3. Wow. What a great aunt you are!! These are great ideas!!

  4. You are fantastic! Can you make me a goody bag for my next road trip? :)

    Alexis from "Http://"

  5. That looks like a great road trip.

  6. Great kits. My girls love sleep masks. Love that photo of your kids. :D

  7. This is perfect, and super easy! I think I might do this for christmas presants for my kids. They do a lot of car travelling to visit relatives, and this would be great for them. Thank you for such a great tutorial. I found you from Crafty Crow (although I've been here before). Why aren't you on my feed reader?! Ok, so you are NOW. lol

  8. love love love the travel bags and mask...i think the covered notebooks were my fav though. Will definitely be stashing this idea away for future use!

  9. Best travel idea ever! I love my travel mask, never thought of making one for the kiddos...Thank you! +++

  10. PLEASE dont let the kids ride with the shoulder belts under their armpits like that - it is not safe and they could loose their arm in a crash! The pillows are not a good idea either, they will compress in a crash and the kids could go flying! They would probably be more comfy for sleeping (not to mention safer!) in high back booster seats, the wings make great 'pillows'
    Keep those kids safe!

    L - CPST

  11. Thanks for your enthusiasm!
    In response to Levi's mom: If you read through the entire post there is a note at the bottom reassuring readers that we are taking a driving break and that the vehicles is not moving. We are very safe and conscientious drivers.