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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Fabric Cover for Shopping Cart Handle

Flu season is back and this year it is no joke!  Today we have a free pattern that can help avoid germs at one of the most germ-ridden places we all go -- the grocery store!  Everybody needs to eat (sick or not), and often the grocery store is also where people go for prescriptions when they're sick. Yikes!  I love that most stores supply us with sanitizing wipes to clean off the cart handles before we shop, but sometimes that's just not enough. Plus for some people like me who are allergic to sanitizer and wipes (yes, that's a thing), disinfecting a handle right before I hold it is just not an option.  But there is a better alternative than staying home to starve!  Behold... our CKC Fabric Cover for Shopping Cart Handles:   

If you haven't used one of these before, it's a real game-changer! 

I love the versatility of making a cart handle cover. If you don't want to stand out, you can make it in a solid color and slip it on the cart handle discreetly.  Or, if you want everyone to see how brilliant you are, make the cover in super cute fabrics that you can enjoy looking at while you shop!  In fact you can even make it reversible, so you can pick a side depending on your mood. (You will want to wash it in between, of course, if you're a germ freak like me.) 

Are you ready to get started?! 

First, choose which size of handle cover you want to make.  (They are listed down below a bit.) Shopping carts come in different sizes of course, plus you can decide whether you want it to cover the entire metal handle or just the plastic part (blue in photo above).  

You also need to choose which kind of closure you want.  You could use velcro circles or snaps placed every few inches along the cover's edge.  Or, you can use a long strip of velcro. Any of these work with today's tutorial. (I personally chose the long velcro strip because it's easiest to sew and seems most sturdy to me.) 

You're ready to cut your fabric!

For a cart handle cover that is approx. 14.5" wide 
(long enough to cover the plastic part of a Walmart handle): 
Cut 2 rectangles that are 5.75" x 15" each
Cut 1 strip of velcro that is 14" long.
(or 6-8 snaps or velcro circles)

For a cart handle cover that is approx 19.5" wide
(long enough to cover most of the metal part of a Walmart handle):
Cut 2 rectangles that are 5.75" x 20" each
Cut 1 strip of velcro that is 19" long.
(or 10-12 snaps or velcro circles)

For a cart handle cover that is different than those listed above
(whatever width your favorite store uses):
Cut 2 rectangles that are .75" wider than what you want and 5.75" tall
Cut 1 strip of velcro that is 1" shorter than the width of your fabric.
(or snaps or velcro circles places every 2-3 inches)

After you have your fabric and velcro cut, your pile should look something like the photo above. Now you're ready to sew!

Match the two rectangles with right sides together. Sew around the edges using a 3/8" seam allowance, leaving a 3" opening at the bottom, as shown in red above. 

Clip the corners close to the stitching to reduce bulk. 

Turn the fabric right side out through the opening you left at the bottom. Use a creasing tool or blunt object to make the corners nice. 

Use an iron to make the edges nice and flat all around. 

Topstitch all four edges of the fabric by sewing 1/8" from the edges. This will also close up the opening you left earlier. 

You are now ready to add the velcro or snaps. If you are using snaps or velcro circles, simply install them spaced evenly about every 2-3 inches. The velcro circles should be installed with the edge just below the topstitching line. The snaps should be installed 1/2" down from the edge of the fabric. After installing along the top edge on one side and the bottom edge on the other side, the fabric cover edges should overlap each other by approximately 1" when closed. (See remaining photos to get an idea of how it should look.)

Or, if you are doing the long velcro strip, please continue below!

With the fabric laid out flat, take one of the velcro strip halves and place it along the top edge of the fabric, just below the topstitching.  Pin or clip in place. 

Sew around all four edges of the velcro. 

Be sure to sew carefully because your stitches will show up on the opposite side! 

Then, on the opposite side of the fabric, place the other velcro strip on the other end of the fabric. (One should be at the top and one should be at the bottom, on opposite sides.)  Pin or clip the velcro in place, as shown above. 

Sew around all four sides of the velcro strip, again being careful to sew neatly. 

When you have the velcro or snaps installed, it will fold around into a loop and close securely, as shown above. The overlap should be approximately 1".   

And you're done!  That wasn't so bad, was it?!  Now you're all set to keep those hands clean and safe while you shop. 

I also love that this folds up pretty small to throw into your purse or diaper bag. And if you're truly a germ freak like me, you can even put it into a ziploc bag to contain the germs until you're ready to wash.  And yes, please DO wash it between uses!  The velcro and snaps should hold up just fine with lots of uses. 

We can't wait to see the ones you make!  Please come share your finished photo in our patterns group on FB when you're done!

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

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