When summer comes, we pull up stakes and move down to the neighborhood swimming pool.  Not literally, but we do spend about 90% of our free time there.  And with pool time comes swimming gear. 

My daughter has one of those cheapy kickboards you can buy at the discount store, usually wrapped with a cover featuring some licensed character or another.  When we went to go buy hers, the only design availabe was a Superman image.  It serves its purpose, but I thought it would be neat to create a slipcover to give it a more girly print.

I thought it would be even neater to write up a tutorial as I did it.

For the fabric, I used vintage stretch polyester that was lurking in the recesses of my fabric closet.  The prints are bright and wild, but there’s absolutely no way I want to make garments out this stuff.  It turns out that this stuff is perfect for a kickboard slipcover.  The polyester won’t degrade in the chlorine, or so says my mother-in-law – and she was the queen of polyester swimsuits back in the day.  The stretch will create a snug fit, and the funky prints just scream summertime fun. 

So… shall we make a Kicky Kickboard Slipcover?

All you need is a piece of stretch polyester at lest 17″ wide x 35″ tall.  (This will fit most kickboards available at the discount store.  If you have a larger kickboard, you’ll need more fabric.)  The fabric should be able to easily stretch to 18″ wide and 37″ tall.

Depending on the thickness and print of your fabric, you may need a piece of light-colored stretch poly (the same size as above) to use as a lining. 

If you don’t have any stretch polyester on hand, you can find it fairly easily at estate sales and thrift stores.  You could also buy some new stretch polyester, or maybe even some swimsuit material.  If it stretches and will hold up to chlorine, it can be used.

And here’s how to put it together:

1. Trace around your kickboard to create a pattern.  This will be the front of your kickboard slipcover.

I tend to be anal retentive, so I cut out the pattern and then folded in half and trimmed it to be symmetrical.  Ahhh… nice and even makes me happy.

2.  Lay the pattern on your fabric and cut out the front piece.  If you’re making a lining, do the same out of the lining fabric. DON’T include a seam allowance.  The slipcover will actually end up a little bit smaller than your kickboard, but that’s where the stretch of the fabric comes in. 

3.  Now, take the pattern and draw a horizontal line approximate 4 inches from the bottom.  This is where you need to do as I say, not as I do.  When I made mine, I put the line smack dab right in the middle of the pattern, which made it extremely difficult to put the finished cover on the kickboard.  Trust me – put your line closer to the bottom.

  4.  Cut along the line you just drew. We’ll call this the “split line,” since this is where we split the pattern. 



5.  Lay your pattern pieces on your fabric and cut out, extending 3″ along the split line.  If you’re lining your cover, cut the pieces out of the lining as well.

(In the picture, I kept my pattern folded and then cut it out on the fold of the fabric as well.  Symmetry is a good thing.)

6.  Lay the back pieces right-side down.  If you’re including a lining, layer them on top of the wrong side of the back pieces.  Then, fold the edges over roughly 1.25″ at the split line and pin in place. 


7.  Stitch across the slit line with a zig-zag or stretch stitch with a 1″ seam allowance.  This will finish the edges at the split lines.



8.  We’re almost there – only one seam left!!  Layer your front and back pieces in this order:

–front lining (0ptional)
–front, right-side up
–top back piece, right-side down (this includes optional lining)
–bottom back piece, right-side down (this includes optional lining)




 9.  Sew around the outside edge with a 1/4″ – 3/8″ seam allowance in a zig-zag or stretch stitch.  (I used a serger.)








10.  Turn right-side out.  Slide in your kickboard and you’re done!  You now have the prettiest kickboard at the swimming pool.

[tags]sewing, tutorial, kicky, kickboard, cover, slipcover, stretch, polyester, vintage[/tags]

By Anne Weaver


2 Comments so far

  1. Denise Felton on June 14, 2010 8:12 am

    Whoa! This tute rocks in every way!

  2. Misty on June 16, 2010 7:05 pm

    Thanks for linking @Creative Itch’s “Sew Cute Tuesday”!

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