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Some had expressed interest in seeing pictures of my attempt to make my own Wheelskins-like lace-up steering wheel cover. I wasn't happy with my first attempt because there was so much bunching. So I unlaced it, cut some material out, and laced it back up. I'm now quite pleased with it; pleased enough to show it off:













I wish I had taken step-by-step photos of the creation process in case anyone wanted to give it a shot. I tried to find actual black leather but I couldn't find any in town. I went to a fabric shop where they sell all kinds of material by the yard. The spools are all 56" wide, which is plenty long for the steering wheel cover, so I needed very little.

I found this black vinyl tablecloth material in the remnants bin for $4 a yard. The scrap was 1/4 yard (9 inches, plenty wide) so I got the whole thing for $1.

The lace I got at Michael's, a chain craft store. In the make-your-own jewelry section they have a variety of string material. This was the "Jewelry Essentials" brand, "Natural" line. The product was called "waxed cotton cord" and was a yellow and white card with a brown lace and a black lace. The whole thing was $3 and one was more than enough.

To punch the lace holes I used a scratch awl ($7 from Lowes) and some scrap wood (free). After measuring the steering wheel for width and circumference, I measured and cut the material, then folded it the long way to punch the holes. This is where I wish I had a picture. I got the piece of scrap wood (a slat from a wooden palette) and a flexible seamstress tape measure and pinned the folded-over vinyl and the tape measure to the scrap wood. Then I used the scratch awl to punch holes every 1/2 inch, about a quarter of an inch from the edge of the vinyl. This created two holes (on in each side) ensuring tach each hole had one directly opposite from it.

After punching the holes, I used a sewing machine to make a seam, creating a loop:




(You can sort of see the holes in the edges in that pic)

The big mistake I made the first time was making the loop too large. I measured the outer circumference of the steering wheel to be about 47 3/4", so that's how big I made the loop. I don't know exactly how long the loop was that I eventually made, but I cut off at least 13" from the original 47.75" loop. The key with this felt-backed vinyl is to make the loop tight enough that you have to really struggle to get it around the wheel.

After I got it on the wheel, all that was left was to lace it up. I highly recommend this article on installing Wheelskins. I used the baseball stitch and two curved upholstery needles. Also, it's much easier to install if you remove the steering wheel from the car first. And don't be afraid to really pull those stitches tight!

I hope someone finds this post useful. It was a fun weekend project. If you have the tools, the materials only cost $4 plus tax. And if you wanted to make two, one black and one tan, you could use the brown lace that comes with the black and make two full covers for a total of $5. Can't beat that!
 

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You made this by hand with materials picked up in the leftovers bin?

I'm impressed. You got skilz!
 

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That looks great! I am going to do that!
 

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This is completely unrelated but Ford did a good job of making some ugly colored interiors in the gen3...

Your wheel skin looks great btw...
 
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