DIY: Decorate Your Car for the Holidays

  • Dec 12,2017
Car seats covered by festive ugly sweaters Car seats covered by festive ugly sweaters

It seems just as you’ve got the house fully decked for the season, you have to leave it all behind to visit family and friends. Why not take some of that holiday joy to go with these DIY projects? They’re easy. They’re inexpensive. And they’ll have you smiling all the way over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s.

Ugly Sweater Seat Covers

Just grab a few holiday sweaters to make your car merry and bright.


  • Knit sweaters (XL or larger)
  • Holiday hats (Make sure they have some stretch)


Gather materials.

Materials for Ugly Sweater Car Seat Covers

Step 1: Pull sweater over the seat.

Pulling large ugly sweater over car seat

Step 2: Tuck sweater into seat cushion.

Tucking sweater into cushion of car seat

Step 3: Pull arms to the back of the seat and tie in a knot.

Tying arms of ugly sweater behind car seat

Step 4: Cover headrest with hat.

Covering headrest with matching holiday hat

Step 5: Now sit back and enjoy the ride!

Christmas Tree Air Freshener

Give a traditional car air freshener a holiday makeover.


  • Pine-scented tree-shaped air freshener
  • Mini-ornaments
  • Wide ribbon or small fabric scrap
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Glue or glue gun


Gather materials.

Materials for Christmas Tree Air Freshener

Step 1: Loop the string through the top hole and tie a knot. Secure the knot with a small amount of glue.

Looping string through the top hole, securing with glue and knot

Step 2: Create a tree skirt with the ribbon or fabric cut to size. Fold and secure with glue.

Create a tree skirt with ribbon on bottom of air freshener

Step 3: Thread ornaments through the string, securing with small knots. Then, drape the string and ornaments across the tree, like you would garland.

Thread ornaments through string and drape across freshener

Step 4: Wrap the remaining string around the base of the tree and secure with a knot or glue. Trim any excess with scissors.

Trimming excess string on air freshener

Step 5: Your tree is ready to hang!

Christmas tree car air freshener

Holiday Floor Mats

Protect your car’s interior with a festive touch.


  • Mat or rubber sheet (If you can’t find one to fit your car, you can cut one to fit using a utility knife)
  • Outdoor fabric
  • Spray adhesive
  • Fabric paint
  • Water-based polyurethane
  • Paint brush
  • Stencil
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Iron (optional)
  • Utility Knife (if cutting mat runner)


Gather materials.

Holiday car floor mat materials

Step 1: Place the mat on the fabric and cut so you have about 5 extra inches on all sides.

Using car mat to measure fabric cut

Step 2: Lay fabric on a flat, hard surface you can paint on. We temporarily taped ours to a foam board to keep it secured. (NOTE: you may want to iron your fabric first.)

Preparing to paint fabric

Step 3: Paint your fabric with a stencil, stamps or free-hand. Allow to dry.

Painting fabric with holiday stencil

Step 4: Spray the adhesive to the top side of the mat and the backside of the fabric and position fabric, smoothing out any wrinkles with your hands.

Spraying adhesive on fabric

Step 5: Once everything’s in place, turn the mat over and fold the excess fabric to the back, securing it with adhesive or hot glue. You can also use duct tape to hold fabric edges down. (Don’t worry, no one will see it!)

Folding fabric over car mat

Step 6: Brush a thin coat of polyurethane and allow to dry. This gives your mat extra protection against the elements, so feel free to use multiple coats.

Brushing fabric and mat with polyurethane

Step 7: Place finished mats in your car. Ta-da!

DIY festive holiday car floor mats

Festive Headrest Covers

Add some seasonal flair to your holiday road trips.


  • Fabric (look for fabric that has a bit of stretch)
  • Ribbon
  • Fabric glue
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil


Gather materials.

Materials for present headrests

Step 1: Measure headrests including width, height and depth. Cut fabric based on measurements. For example: our headrest was 8.5 in X 8 in X 5 in – so we cut our fabric 14 in wide (8.5in wide + 5in deep = 13.5 and we rounded up), 25 in tall (8in tall for front side + 8 inches tall for backside + 5 in deep = 21. We then added 4 inches to have a little extra space – you can always cut or tuck in any excess.

Measuring fabric for present headrests

Step 2: Lay the fabric face side up (i.e., the side you want to show) and run a thin line of glue around half of the fabric, as shown.

Preparing fabric with glue

Step 3: Fold the fabric in half and pat the edges with the glue to secure and let dry.

Folding fabric and securing with glue

Step 4: When thoroughly dry, cut the unglued side open to create a ‘pillowcase’ and turn inside out.

Turn fabric inside out to make a sort of pillowcase

Step 5: Cut a long piece of ribbon (ours was 35 in) to use as your trim.

Cutting long piece of ribbon

Step 6: Pull your new cover down over your headrest and tuck in any excess fabric.

Pulling fabric over headrest

Step 7: Wind the ribbon under the headrest and tie a bow at the top to complete your headrest ‘gift’. We added a few lights for an extra festive touch.

Tie ribbon around headrest

Step 8: Let the holidays begin!

DIY present headrest

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