If you buy an older RV or Travel Trailer, often the dinette cushions are stained and dated. Getting that fabric clean is hard to do and it is just such an eyesore. You have to figure out How to reupholster camper dinette cushions without the stress sewing new cushions.
You decided that the dinette cushions don’t need to be replaced but they need a new cover. So how can you do this if you don’t want to sew a new cover for them? You also don’t want to spend a lot of money to get the dinette cushions reupholstered by a professional.
How to Reupholster Camper Dinette Cushions easy (no sewing)
How to make new Camper dinette cushions easy?
Let’s start with the material you need to get this project done:
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- enough fabric for all of your RV cushions
- 1/4″ plywood or cardboard each 1 to 2 inches smaller as the cushion
- spray adhesive
- staple gun alternative
- velcro strips
- What is the best fabric to get?
- What is the best way to calculate the fabric?
- Do you want to get the front and backside of the cushion covered?
- Why do I need Plywood or Cardboard?
What is the best fabric to get to cover the Camper cushions?
I would definitely get outdoor fabric if you have small children because it is easier to clean. Outdoor fabric is more expensive because it has dirt and water protection included in the fabric.
Another very cheap alternative is to get drop cloths, especially if you like the more rustic look in your Camper. The canvas is very simple and basic looking and fits perfectly with the farmhouse style. It is very reasonable to buy.
If you don’t like the color, you can dye it in any darker color you like and fits your interior.
This is how it looks:
Also available at Home Depot, Menards and other stores. It just looks slightly different wherever you shop.
Here is an option for outdoor fabric in a cool pattern.
How much fabric do you actually need if you cover only the top side of the cushion?
Measure the length and width of your cushion and add 20 inches on the long side and about 15 inches on the small side to cover the cushion height and about half of the backside.
My seat cushion is 40 inches wide and 15 inches deep. I added about 20 inches and it worked out fine updating only the top side.
If you want to cover the whole cushion front and back, calculate as follows:
Double the depth and add another 20 inches for the sides, depending on the thickness of your cushion. Add 20 inches on the width too.
Make sure to measure your dinette cushions. Decide on what direction you want the pattern to run if you use a patterned fabric.
This is just an example for a cushion 5 inches thick:
Why do I need Plywood or Cardboard to reupholster Camper dinette cushions?
Why do you need a board? To be able to staple the fabric. You need something hard in order to use the staple gun. The staples hold the fabric in place.
Get a piece of plywood or cardboard. Either one works just fine. The board should be a couple of inches smaller than the cushion itself.
In my case the board is 38 x 13 inches.
How to update the RV dinette cushions
Start by removing the cushions from the bench. You can take the old fabric off if you need or have to, or you can also leave the fabric on. Doesn’t really matter.
Apply the Plywood/Cardboard on the backside of your cushion. If you use plywood, just sand over it a little bit to get rid of any splinters there might be.
Lay your cushion facing the back side up.
Use spray adhesive and spray the cushion well. Center the board and put pressure on it for at least 60 seconds. (The board is about 1-2 inches smaller than the cushion itself).
Let the adhesive dry.
Now start wrapping the dinette cushion
Get the fabric and lay it flat face down. The fabric has to lay straight without any wrinkles. Now center the cushion on top of the fabric with the board facing you.
Do one step after the other to reupholster the dinette cushions
- Center your cushion top down on your fabric.
2. Make sure to leave enough room on each side to cover the cushion.
3. On the long edge of the cushion pull the fabric up to meet the board. Make sure that the fabric is straight with no wrinkles and is centered.
4. Then staple the fabric to the plywood or cardboard with your staple gun.
5. Now do the opposite long edge of the cushion the same way. Just make sure that the fabric is straight and tight. You don’t want to have fabric wrinkles or the fabric looking saggy.
Lastly, fold the edges just like you would wrap a present and staple the fabric to the plywood or cardboard. And done.
I stapled every inch or two to keep the fabric straight.
And this is it already. Done.
Just do this procedure with all of your cushions and put them back on your dinette.
It doesn’t take a lot of time to do the whole dinette if you have all of the material you need for this project in place.
Are you interested in doing more Camper updates?
You can do many different updates to make a dated RV look so much nicer.
And if you don’t like painting, here are more easy updates without touching a paint brush.
Related articles about Camper remodel:
Other options to cover the dinette cushions easily
You can of course also use velcro strips instead of staples. That makes your life so much easier if you have to wash the cover frequently.
Another option could be to make a cushion cover by gluing the seams with fabric glue. Leave one side open if you want to be able to take it off and wash it.
Do you need to replace the whole cushion?
If the cushion foam is really bad, smelly and stained, you might want to consider to just get rid of it and start fresh.
Here are some options where to get the foam for the cushions:
Check Joann fabric – they have up to 5″ upholstery foam
Check at Home Depot – they have upholstery foam in some stores
Local stores – if you have local upholstery stores, check there too.
Walmart – get a 4″ Memory Foam Mattress Topper and cut it the size you need.
Amazon – here are some links for your convenience.
Upholstery Foam 4″ firm
Upholstery foam 5″ firm
Do you like it the super easy way to cover your cushions?
You can also buy a slip cover if you don’t want to deal with buying fabric, cutting it the right size and stapling it all together.
So here are some options, for ready made covers, just make sure you measure the dinette cushions right:
Summary of ‘How to Update Camper Dinette Cushions the easy way’
It is not hard to add a new fabric to cover up the dated look of your dinette cushions. And it will look so much better and fresher if you decide on a pretty fabric.
If you choose to go with the canvas, just add some happy pillows to freshen the dinette up. You can do this project in one afternoon, easy.
See you on the road,
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