Introduction: Seat Belt Buckling Box

Picture of Seat Belt Buckling Box

I have a pretty small car, because of that I'm really limited on my storage options. But I use my car often, both for work and for fun. Usually I find myself putting whatever is in my hands onto the passenger seat and usually by the time I get where I'm going this stuff finds its way onto the floor, between the seat cushions or stuck between the seat and the door. It also makes my car messy and I have to spend a minute or two moving things out of the way if anyone plans on sitting in the passenger seat.

I came up with a way to make a securely fastened box that will never slide or fall over but that can be easily removed with all its contents and put into the back seat or onto the floor if I need room for passengers. It works by buckling directly into the unused passenger seatbelt.There's no reason this can't buckle into the back seat too when needed. In addition, I decided to make the box adjustable so that it can be placed either horizontally or vertically on the seat for more options.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

You will need:

- A storage container

- A piece of plastic/PVC/ etc. the same thickness as the metal on your seat belt buckles. I used polypropylene.

- A drill

- A marker

- A Dremel tool or hot knife ( I tried both. Go with the Dremel if you have the option)

- A bolt with a matching nut. (Use butterfly nuts if you want more options)

- Calipers or a ruler

- Heat Gun (optional)

Step 2: Measure, Buy, Trace, and Cut

Picture of Measure, Buy, Trace, and Cut

Measure the thickness of the metal on your seat belt buckle. This is how you'll determine the thickness of the plastic you need. Get a plastic sheet of the same thickness. I found 1'x1' sheets of polypropylene at my local Grainger for $1 each. You'll really only need about half of that, maybe less.

Using a marker, trace the shape of your seat belt onto the plastic and cut it out using a Dremel or other rotary tool. I tried a hacksaw, a knife, and a hot knife. The hacksaw just didn't work and neither did the knife. The hot knife worked but it was slow and smelled terrible. I imagine the fumes are pretty bad for you too. Don't forget to mark and cut the hole on the inside or it wont buckle properly.

Once everything is cut out try to buckle it. Mine didn't fit the first time I tried. Turns out I needed to make the hole in the middle a little larger. After the second try it fit great!

Step 3: Line Everything Up

Picture of Line Everything Up

Once you have your plastic buckle working properly you will need to place your storage container on the seat in the spot where you want it to rest. Line everything up and mark where you want to make the cut. I decided to allow my storage container to fit in either direction.

Now it's time to cut your plastic buckle to the right angle. I had to do this twice to get it just right. The first time was a little off so I cut it a little shorter for minor adjustments. I also ended up needing to cut a notch because my storage container had little plastic ribs near the top edge that were in the way. I could have cut those but I decided to notch my plastic instead.

Step 4: Bend and Drill

Picture of Bend and Drill

When lining everything up I ran into a small problem. I have bucket seats so my storage container couldn't sit right up against the belt buckle. I needed to bend the plastic to make it reach the container.

An easy way to do this is to pinch your plastic in a vice, heat it with a heat gun and bend it to the approximate angle you want. It's pretty flexible so don't worry about getting it exact. If you don't have a vice you can pinch the plastic between 2 pieces of wood for the same effect.

Once you have the right angle going, dry fit everything and mark where you want to drill. Drill a hole that matches the size of bolt you will be using.

Again, I decided to drill 2 different holes in mine so I could change the orientation of the box if needed.

Step 5: Bolt It

Picture of Bolt It

Connect your plastic buckle with your box by attaching the nut. Using a butterfly nut will make it easier if you decide you want yours to be switchable like mine.

Here you can see the box set up in 2 different ways.

Buckle that thing in and enjoy!

Now that I've seen how useful this thing is, I plan on adding a small pen holding cup and a change holder to my box.

Thanks for reading, I hope you find this useful. If you make one please make sure to share the photos hear. Any suggestions to modifications or additions are welcome!

Comments

mikeasaurus (author)2014-10-30

This is super clever!

Thanks so much! I often find myself thinking that when I see YOUR instructables. It's great to hear it from you!

clupoli (author)2014-10-26

Why not just wrap the actual seatbelt around the container or attach a piece of that same material to the back to have the seatbelt run through (kinda like the belt channel on a kid's car seat)?

gravityisweak (author)clupoli2014-10-27

You could do that, but it would take a lot longer and wouldn't be nearly as easy. This is as quick as unbuckling a seat belt and you can install or uninstall it without getting out of the drivers seat and with one hand.

i dunno i have to agree with clupoli, its true her idea's would take longer and not be quite as easy but not "a lot longer" and it'd be nearly as easy. plus her ideas would hold it much more securely, if i fill that thing up with heavy stuff its still going to move around and possibly fall.

SalvatronCZ made it! (author)2014-11-05

Thank you!

Excellent! Did you end up making a buckle attachment for it?

Matt2 Silver (author)2014-11-03

After looking through the glove box gadgets contest to see who my competition is, I have to say that this is a really clever idea. In my opinion the best Instructables are the simple ones that solve a real problem and I think you did a great job of that with your project. Best of luck in the contest, I'll be rooting for you!

Woot! Congrats on being a finalist!

Hey thanks! I checked to see if yours was there and it was!!! So congrats to you too!

Thank you, I was honestly very surprised not to find anything like this already here when I searched for it. You've also got a strong contender in the glovebox contest. Oh and I LOVED your pallet digger! Good luck to you as well, I hope to see you in the winners section!

minestorm812 (author)2014-11-02

this is a great idea, but i was wondering what was the gadget in the box in the first picture next to the headphones?

That is an elevator keyswitch.

caretaker117 (author)2014-10-31

I'm going to make one that is a little bigger for the groceries to carry in the back seat. wonderful idea ty for sharing

Great! Share some pictures and let me know how it turns out!

StoryAddict (author)2014-10-25

Cool. I wonder - instead of purchasing polyprolene, would upcycling a milk carton work if layered? Luckily I have the tag from my SeatBelt novelty thing which is exactly like what you cut.

Actually I'd be very interested to know how well a single layer of plastic milk carton would work even if it was thinner than needed. As long as it is the right shape, it might work just fine. That thought hadn't occurred to me.

It might. I'm not sure how many layers you'd need but I think if you could find a good way to may them stick to each other it would be fine. Maybe heat them together so they are good and bonded.

michiganmaker (author)2014-10-29

This is a very clever idea. Would be great for people commuting with lots of gadgets or for delivery drivers!

MsSweetSatisfaction (author)2014-10-25

That's so clever, I bet it really helps keep the plastic containers from spilling everything!

dethanb (author)2014-10-25

Nice idea, I've used after market seat organisers, for work, for years (I spend hours in my car for work) and often thought of making my own. I'll use this as a base to proceed in a similar project.

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