My D.I.Y. Milk Crate Child's Bike Seat

So today I decided to get creative in order to solve my baby toting issues.  I have a month left until Jack's seat will be here and the days are sunny and beautiful despite the chill, so I want to get out and ride.  This took me about 3 hours but I was taking care of my son while I did it, I did not have good tools or a "plan", so if one wanted to make one of these and had gathered the necessary stuff in preparation it would take a lot less time.

First I got a milk crate and cut out one side as shown here.

This was really hard work with an old bread knife, but I utilized what I had available.  A small hand saw or Dremel tool would zip through it in no time at all.

Next a little sand paper to smooth the edges.

I took the straps from Jack's current car seat, but could have gotten a used seat for practically free off Craigslist.

 I also re-used an old changing table pad for cushioning, this was a flat one not the contoured type you see today.  Two dining chair cushions would work too.

Next I cut a slot big enough for the receiver clip for the harness.

I used zip ties for extra safety, and to hold it in place.
This is the view from inside the crate.

This is the view from beneath the crate.
I set anchor points under his body to eliminate him moving forward in the seat or to the side.

Next added the foam, cutting slots for the straps to pass through.

The straps for the shoulders simply wrap around the back through the foam. I took pictures of the straps before I took them off so i could easily retrace the way they folded or threaded through clips etc.

This shows you the top of the strap, note it tethers down below the shoulder to stop any upwards motion.

The bottom of the straps come out the sides, once again behind the sides to stop forward motion, they then are attached behind the back to the crate. I set Jack in the crate at this point so I could get it set nice and snug.

Here's the front view up close, pretty snug but cozy.

And finally my handsome boy modeling his new seat on the kitchen counter.  I used U-bolts to attach it to my bike's deck and industrial strength zip ties.  I will be inspecting the clips, straps, zip ties and bolts before every use.  Jack is a pretty big kid at 33lb and 20 months old, and it's pretty snug, especially where his legs stick out (narrow). 

I haven't tested this yet but will update with my comments tomorrow after we go for a ride.

Updated  1/27/12
We went for our first ride today and had a great time! I trimmed the backrest and used the left over foam to wedge around his sides which worked well. One mistake I made initially was not putting him in his outdoor gear before fitting the straps, they we're really tight so I shall loosen them a tad. The basket itself won't move a fraction of an inch without moving the bike too!


  1. Great Job!!! I don't think I've seen a milk crate used like that yet.

  2. Congrats on a good piece of home engineering.

    Gerry :)

  3. Yeppers, I believe she's got it. Destined to be car free.

    1. Tony- haha cheers! You know it didn't hit me till I read your comment that I just did make that step into car-freedom! Lindsay

  4. The look on Jack's face on the maiden voyage pretty much say's it all : "Nice Job Mommy, go faster!! "...seriously, very cool and congrats on the new Mundo!!

    1. Pick- I am pretty slow for sure haha...lil beast can peddle himself if he doesn't like it:) Thank you! It's a life changer!

  5. Hey, I'm really enjoying your blog. I found it through the link on the Revolutions per Minute Facebook page.... And I love the seat. I might make one for the bench of our bakfiets to give our 10 month old a little more support/place to rest his head when he sleeps. Cool idea!

    1. Hello Kimberly-

      Glad you are enjoying it, thank you for reading!
      If you make one I'd love to see a picture of it, seems like that should work well for a bakfiets- also provide a little reassurance that the little one can't climb out as easily in a split second haha. Maybe not at 10 months, but in a few more you might be looking for ways to strap em down! lol


  6. This is really freaking cool. A) I would never think of it and, B) you give my husband crazy ideas :)

  7. You are an inspiration to Moms, DIYers and Handy People everywhere. Dan

  8. Replies
    1. Aww he is a little sweetie, about twice that size now ;) Thank you


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