Toddler Poncho

DIY No Sew Fleece Poncho for Toddlers

Wondering how to keep your littles warm but also safe in their car seats? Many of the coats and bunting suits available in the stores, while cute, are not the best option in a car seat because of extra bulk.

But now what?

Ditch the bulky snowsuit, and stick to layers. Kate talked about budget-friendly winter wear earlier this month, and one easy addition is a wearable blanket like this do it yourself fleece poncho for toddlers.

We tried this step-by-step guide and added a few of our own lessons along the way. It looks easy, and it is easy, but there are a few tricks to help you out.

When Do I Use a Fleece Poncho?

Use it all year for extra warmth for little kids. Fleece Ponchos are the perfect top layer to keep the heat in and little warm. This is great through the fall, and even on cold summer nights around a campfire.

Car Seat Poncho for Toddlers and Babies that is Easy. Simple no sew car seat poncho over a toddler in a car seat for winter gear

Fleece doesn’t have the loft of synthetic fluffy jackets, but a poncho isn’t for underneath, it’s to go overtop like a wearable blanket. Toss the back over the back of the car seat, and do up the straps underneath the front. This keeps your little warm and dressed while in the car without anything compromising safety between him and the seat.

Learn more about keeping kids safe in the car from The Car Seat Lady. 

Before You Begin a No Sew Fleece Poncho

Skill Level: Basic.

No Sewing Machine Required.

Cost: 2-3 metres of Fleece (estimated cost $10-30 depending on where and how you find it)

Time Required: 2-3 hours with toddler distractions.

Supplies: scissors, toddler, fleece, measuring tape, marker.

Get Started

Do you want a hood? 

The hood is a little tricky on the no sew version. I found it was too small and I was not happy with how it turned out. Therefore, I just scrapped it and it decided he could wear a hat.

This tutorial will walk you through how to make a DIY Fleece Poncho for a toddler without sewing and without a hood.

    1. Find out what size your toddler needs by measuring from the nape of the neck to where you want it to fall on their body and add 4-6 inches for tying the fringe.
      For reference, I’m making the maximum size allowed by my fleece scrap – 46″ square. My toddler is 40″ tall and wears a size 4/5 at age 3.
      Toddler Poncho
    2. Layout, trace, & cut your fleece times two. For ease, I cut out a square in the size I needed for my child and then folded it in half, and half again (quarters). I then drew a quarter of a circle using my tape measure to measure out the 23″ sphere. Using my extra sharp scissors, I cut through all four layers of material.
      DIY No Sew Fleece Poncho for Toddlers - Draw a circle on a quartered fleece at the length your toddler need
      Repeat with the second layer.
      DIY No Sew Fleece Poncho for Toddlers - Cut out two fleece circlesBefore unfolding, mark the centre of the fleece with your pen. This is good to know. 
    3. Unfold and flatten both layers out on top of each other. Clean up any edges and find the centre for the neckline. If you want to add a hood, refer back to the original instructions. 
      DIY No Sew Fleece Poncho for Toddlers - Two fleece circles on top of each other for fleece poncho
    4. Figure out how big of a neckline you need.I used one of my toddlers shirts to create his circle for his neckline. You can also measure your toddler’s head and create a template for that. I found it was a little big and stretched, and would do smaller next time.
    5. Trace out the sphere you need in the centre, and then cut in your ties. I opted to cut in every 2.5 cm. It helped to mark the distance around the edge of the circle to know where and how to cut.
      DIY No Sew Fleece Poncho for Toddlers - Cutting the neckline for a fleece poncho for a toddler
    6. Start to tie together the neckline. You’ll want to do a double knot tie to secure in place. Be sure you to tie each strand seperately.
      DIY No Sew Fleece Poncho for Toddlers - Start knotting the neckline

7. Turn the Fleece inside out to pull the fringe into the poncho. This sounds like a mind trick, but you’ll figure it out by grabbing the solid and pulling it through the neckline.
DIY No Sew Fleece Poncho for Toddlers - Inside out and prepping the outside of the fleece

DIY No Sew Fleece Poncho for Toddlers - Pull the neck through the circle to put the knots on the inside of the poncho

8.  Smooth it all out and start prepping the outside by cutting in ties. You’ll probably find the material has some weird tension and bubbles in it from being tied at the neck. That’s fine.

When cutting in your ties keep them skinnier than fat, and let them be a good length. I wanted to preserve length for my toddler, so mine are only about 1-2 inches, but a 3-5 inch long tie would be easier and give more fringe.
DIY No Sew Fleece Poncho for Toddlers - Cutting the fringe on a tied poncho for kids for winter car seat poncho

This is the hardest part because it’s labor intensive. It probably took me 40 minutes and two toddler potty breaks to get it finished and my hands were quite tired. #warning.

DIY No Sew Fleece Poncho for Toddlers - Finishing it up

9. You’re done.
do it yourself poncho for kids in the cold winter.

Seriously, that is it and you’ve got yourself a DIY No Sew Fleece Poncho for toddlers.

Now use it, and don’t forget to hashtag #NorthernBCMoms to showcase yours this winter. We can’t wait to see warm kids in the car, on the way to preschool, and bumming around town.


The best thing about the poncho is it’s easier to toss on and off than zippers and buttons of coats. We dress our toddler in a long sleeve shirt and hoodie. Then toss on the poncho and it makes getting to and from the car and the grocery store that much warmer and that less awkward.



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