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Airplane Tray Table Cover for Travel!

In my part of the world, the popular sport of choice for this season is sewing.  Sewing?  Yes, well, it's a winter sport for me with its challenges, obstacles, and skills to be improved upon!  Not to mention that it hasn't been above 10 degrees Fahrenheit for near a month and with wind chills at -25 to -40 tonight, one just has to stay inside in the comfy cozy walls of home!

Out comes the sewing machine and projects left behind from seasons past.  This time, I decided to tackle a new project that will be put to good use in the future: an Airplane Tray Table Cover for future traveling!  Thinking of sunny Ethiopia just brightens the mood from the winter blues too!

After searching the web, and viewing images of other "airplane tray table covers" (search it, you'll find them), I decided to create my own.  This is pic is of my first attempt.  Overall, it turned out fine and I am happy with the end result.  To give you an idea, this would slip over the airplane tray like a pillow case on a pillow.  The ties in the back are to attach to affix to the tray table.  The pockets in the front are made to hold my iPhone, pen, book, ear-buds, and whatever else I'd cram in a pocket.  The clear plastic sleeve on the top can be used as a wipe-able surface for snack and drink AND I can slip pages in there. I printed off games like tic-tac-toe, hang-man, battleship, and Sudoku puzzles.  Using a dry erase maker, I can play these games over and over again thanks to the plastic sleeve protection! I experimented with loops and yarn just in case I'd want to attach ear phones or whatnot to the tray cover.

Now that the trial run is complete, I made another tray cover for our 11 year old daughter to use during the flight.  Thirteen or more hours in the sky, and she will be happy to have her books, games, and electronics within reach.  I'll be happy that a germy tray is covered!  

Coming home from Ethiopia, we'll have a very special little boy who will need a tray cover too!  I made this one with a toddler in mind.  I plan to have small toys stashed in my personal bag to bring out a few at a time for him to play with.  I am in love with links connected to toys so that the toys will stay off the floor, off the neighbor, and at just the right spot for baby to play with.  Links?  Here is what I mean: 
Add toys to these links and tah-dah! No flying toys into the back of the head of the sleeping man in front of us!  Here is the finished toddler airplane tray table cover: 

Got your creativity flowing?  Ready to make one for your next flight??  Here is a quick overview of the instructions. I'm not a 'professional' seamstress and don't know the sewing 'lingo,' so forgive the lay terms!  But, anyone who can sew a pillow case together can figure this one out!

1.  Cut 2 pieces of 18.5" x 12" and 3 pieces of 18.5" x 7" (these are used for the pockets)
     Iron under and hem one long side of the 18.5"x 12" pieces (see the pic).
     Sew one 18.5"x12" piece to one 18.5"x7" piece (not the hemmed side).  Repeat using the other            18.5"x12" and 18.5"x 7" piece. You now have two 18.5"x approx. 19" pieces.

2. You still have 1 piece of 18.5 x 7".  This is the outside of the pocket.
     Hem one long side of the 18.5"x7" piece.
     Take a study at the pic to see how I layered this onto the 18.5"x19" piece.

3.  Think about the spacing of your pockets.  I wanted my iPhone to fit, my daughter wanted her Kindle to fit.  With the pocket pinned in place, sew the pocket into sections. In picture 3, this would be a vertical stitch on either side of the Kindle and either side of the pen.

4.  If you want to include a ribbon loop or Velcro strips, pin them in place (as shown in pic).  Next, you will have the (2) 18.5"x19 pieces good side to good side with hemmed edges at the top.  Like a pillowcase, with the hemmed edges being the opening, sew the other three sides together.  Turn the 'pillowcase' right-side out and tah-dah!  A airplane tray cover!!

Last, attach either Velcro, ribbon, or yarn to the top hemmed edges that will be used to secure in place on the airplane tray.  

I look forward to giving my follow up blog post to how the tray table covers worked on the flights!  If anything, for our 13-19 hour flights to Ethiopia and home, I'll at least be happy to have something to make our seat space feel more sanitary, pretty, and functional for our crew! 

Old winter can take a loss on this one, as this sewing project surely will score the points to team "over-prepared-and -has -too -many -days -trapped -in -the -house"!!  


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