Most camper cushions degrade after a few years because of sunlight exposure. Too much use can also cause fading, stains, and clawed fabric. I have a no-sew tutorial on how to reupholster camper cushions. This easy upholstery project is perfect for remodeling old campers to make them look brand new!
Step One: Prepare the Materials
This no-sew method for reupholstering camper cushions is easy! Prepare the following materials, and you can complete the project in less than a day.
- White hardboard.
- Staples and a staple gun.
- Measuring tape.
- Cushions (optional).
- Spray adhesive (optional).
- Saw (optional).
Get a hard backing for the back of your cushions to keep their form. You can leave them open if you don’t use or expose this side on the camper. A white hardboard sheet that is ⅛ inch is perfect because it’s the right amount of stiff for staples to pass through.
The backing is also a crucial part of the cushion. Even if users and guests won’t see this part, it offers stability to the cushions. It also allows the foam to stand up nicely.
Purchasing new cushions is optional. Continue using your existing foam inserts if they are still in good shape. However, if they’re already flat, try high-density foam cushions sheets. Loft batting is also excellent for softer cushions.
Step Two: Measure the Fabric
The overall amount of fabric depends on the original dimensions of the cushion. Make sure to purchase additional amounts for adjustments. You also want the material to wrap over the cushions’ sides to the board at the back.
Use a yardage calculator to identify the exact cut of fabric you need. Or you can measure the board dimension and add about 10-12 inches depending on your desired overlap.
Convert the fabric size from inches to yards by dividing it by 36. For example, the perimeter of the board is 144 inches. Add 10 for the overlap to make it 154, and divide it by 36. You’ll need about 4 yards of fabric.
Step Three: Choose the Fabric
Camper cushions need to be long-lasting and easy to clean. Even though you’re reupholstering indoor cushions, the fabric should be sturdy when handling spills and sunlight.
Genuine ultra-leather is an ideal fabric for your camper cushions because they last up to 14 years. Unlike some synthetic materials, ultra-leather does not detach from the backing after numerous uses.
Midweight denim and microsuede are also excellent fabrics for motorhomes because of their durability and low maintenance. You can also consider removable covers for more convenient cleaning.
Any upholstery fabric is acceptable. You can even use velvet! But make sure to consider the pros and cons before deciding.
Color is another consideration when buying fabric for your camper cushions. If you prefer white, grey, yellow, and other light colors, ensure you won’t leave watermarks and stains from paint or sauce.
Tip: Always order at least 10% more fabric than you need when going for an unpatterned one. You also want to order more if you’re using patterns that match.
Step Four: Remove the Cushions from the Bench
Take the cushions out of your seats. Then, measure their length and width to serve as the basis for the board’s dimensions. Remember to measure all cushions because the top and bottom items may not have equal sizes.
After measuring, remove the upholstery fabric or seat covers with a pair of scissors. You can tear the material apart because there’s no need to trace it for the template.
Step Five: Cut the Board
Using a saw, cut the hardboard one inch shorter than the foam to make it easier to wrap with fabric. It will also make the board invisible from the foam. And you won’t feel it on the cushion’s soft side.
But you don’t need to snip it short if your cloth is already big enough. Just make sure it fits the frame of your camper seats.
Step Six: Staple the Fabric
A heavy-duty staple gun is essential when you’re learning how to reupholster camper cushions. A regular stapler won’t perform well on the white hardboard.
Start by laying the cloth on a flat surface, such as a big table or the ground. The opposite side must be showing so that the right side is facing down.
Then, put your foam cushion in the center of the fabric. Sandwich it between the cloth and the hardboard on top. An optional step is to coat the cushion with spray adhesive to stick to the hardboard.
Staple the fabric on the longer sides of the hardboard first. The staples should be one inch from the wooden backing’s edge. Then, proceed to the shorter side, leaving the four corners unstapled.
Try aligning the staples with the cushion’s edge to look neat. Keep pulling tight so that the fabric fits perfectly on the cushion.
Step Seven: Secure the Corners
Don’t just fold the excess fabric on the corner. Keep it angular and single-creased by flattening one side of the fabric parallel to the cushion. Then, fold the extra material and staple it twice to three times.
Fold the fabric on the other edge of the corner, this time tucking the excess fabric inside. You may use scissors if the extra fabric is too big.
The fold on both sides should be parallel to the edge of the cushion for a straight crease. Staple two to three times again. Repeat on the other corners.
Step Eight: Place the Cushions on the Bench
Slide your cushions into the frame, and you’re done! You can try using seat covers to protect the upholstery fabric or leave them as is.
How to Reupholster Camper Cushions: Make Them Look New!
Learning how to reupholster camper cushions is not a daunting task after all! In less than a day, you can elevate your vehicle’s style without the need for a sewing machine.
Have you tried giving your camper cushions a makeover using this method? Share your personal tips and insights in the comments below!