Recovering Camper Cushions UPDATE

19 Jun

I mentioned in a earlier post (When It Rains…It Pours) that I am recovering 12 cushions (and making 9 curtain panels) for a 2002 pop up camper that my husband and I bought together with our daughter and her husband.

Here’s what the old cushions look like.

NOTE: The cushion layout in the picture is wrong, but this is how they looked. Some are stained and they have a musty smell…yuk!

I spent a lot of time calculating how much fabric we would need to cover all 12 of the cushions.

The problem we had was that a bolt of fabric only holds 10 yards and we needed close to 12 yards.   So,  we decided to use one fabric for the seats and one for the back cushions.

We FINALLY found fabric we liked. My daughter and I spent over 3 hours at 3 fabric stores south of town and didn’t find anything we liked or if we liked it there wasn’t enough fabric…ugh!

My niece, Carrie, gave me some really nice chocolate brown curtain panels she wasn’t going to use. Turned out they will work perfectly to cover the back seat cushions. Now all we have to do is find fabric for the seats. I visited a Joann Fabrics store close to me and found some fabric I thought would go great with the curtain fabric. My daughter and I went to check it out and it did go really well. The price was reduced to $9.00 a yard, plus it was 50% off! Right next to it was a brown fabric that would be perfect for the backing and it was on sale too! The total price for both fabrics and some thread was only $51.03! You couldn’t buy 12 cushions for this price.

I wanted to use the existing zippers, so I started ripping them out and removing the foam and plywood. Because the cushions smelled I decided to throw away the old fabric and make my own pattern pieces. Another reason for making my own patterns was that I wanted the zippers to extend around the corners about 3 inches so it will be easier to insert the foam and plywood.

I ripped apart one of each “set” to make the pattern pieces. I put the foam outside in the sun (for several days) to get rid of the smell and sprayed them occasionally with a Lavender and Lemongrass air spray I made.

After making the patterns I decided to sew a seat cushion and a back cushion to make sure my calculations were correct.

Here’s how they turned out. I was really glad I extended the zipper because it was  so easy to insert the foam and plywood. The foam still had just a slight musty smell, so I added a fabric softener sheet under the batting and between the plywood and foam. As you can see, they fit perfectly and, if I say so myself, they look good.

Here’s a picture of how the seat cushion bottom and extended zipper looks like.

We decided to use a different fabric for the bottoms because of the plywood. I also taped the edge of the plywood with duck tape to keep it from possibly ripping through the fabric over time.

So, now that I know my pattern calculations are correct, I can start cutting and sewing the other 10 cushions.


I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

18 Responses to “Recovering Camper Cushions UPDATE”

  1. pillowsalamode June 19, 2012 at 9:34 AM #

    Wow! What a huge project! But it’s turning out beautifully . . . and I love the fabric you chose! :)

  2. Annie April 20, 2013 at 9:50 PM #

    Love your article! I’m in the same situation right now! my question is if you’d be interested in making cushions covers for my 2001 mesa Coleman camper? I have the same cushion set up as you! I’m just doing the dinette cushions. if you’re interested of course this would be a hire of money. please email me at above email thank you Annie

    • pegeads April 21, 2013 at 7:40 AM #

      Thanks. I would be happy to discuss your request but you forgot to include your email.

      • Amanda Hooten February 28, 2015 at 1:23 PM #

        I would be interested in what you would charge to make some cushions for me? Thanks!

  3. Dawn May 27, 2013 at 7:48 PM #

    I read on a post a trick to getting pads in covers. Put foam in plastic garbage bag, suck the air out with vacuum holding it tightly sealed. put pad in cushion cover , arranging it where you want it and let the air in. Poof. nice tight fit and you can pull plastic bag out or leave it in for barrier. . Nice cushions, I am also redoing an older motor home, just starting, but I have material already.

    • pegeads May 28, 2013 at 7:16 AM #

      Thanks for your comment. I’ve used plastic but never a garbage bag. Good luck on redoing your motor home. Would love to see some pics when you are done.

  4. Leigh September 8, 2013 at 8:12 PM #

    I just found your blog and I LOVE your fabrics. I have to learn how to sew first, then I’ll be recovering our cushions and making curtains. Thanks for sharing with us!

    • pegeads September 9, 2013 at 6:38 AM #

      Thank you so much. We were lucky to find it. I hope you do learn to sew because it’s so rewarding…goog luck

  5. Marybeth October 16, 2013 at 1:15 PM #

    I am currently working on making new covers for my pop up seats. I took one of the old covers off and ripped it apart for a pattern but I’m really confused as to the sewing order. I am a sewer but mostly curtains, pillows, clothes, etc. so I’ve never made cushion covers before.

    It looks like my cushion is made of 4 pieces. (1) The top patterned fabric, (2) the bottom plain fabric and (3 &$) the two side pieces that make the box. The top fabric is longer than the bottom fabric so it wraps around the seat. My cushions do have zippers and I plan(ed) to reuse the existing ones as they are in great shape.

    The zipper is sewn directly to the top and bottom piece; there’s no extra piece of fabric that the zipper has been sewn to. It looks like the top and bottom fabric pieces were ironed down about half an inch and then the zipper sewn to them.

    My dilemma is the sewing order. Do I sew the zipper on first and then sew the bottom to the top? If I do; then how do I get the side pieces sewn?

    Sorry, I haven’t attempted it yet; I’ve just been trying to figure out the best way to do it and so it probably seems more complex and confusing then it really is.

    • pegeads October 16, 2013 at 3:14 PM #

      Hi Marybeth.
      I would sew the zipper on first, then the top to the bottom( at the front). Then what you might want to do is slip that piece onto the foam (wrong side out) and then pin the side pieces in place along the seam line…open the zipper a little so once you have the sides pinned you can open it the rest of the way and remove the cover to sew the sides. I hope this helps.

  6. damnvan1 January 13, 2014 at 4:27 AM #

    Love your colour combination. I also love my campervan and can’t wait for the spring to start going out again. Her name is Damnvan1 and we stayed away in her for 101 nights last year!🚐

    • pegeads January 13, 2014 at 8:05 AM #

      Thanks, we really like the colors too. Wow, that’s a lot of camping. Hope we can do more this year.

  7. Terri February 1, 2014 at 5:36 AM #

    Hi. I would love to find someone to make cushion covers for our 1988 Coleman Pop Up but the local upholstery shops are too expensive.

    • pegeads February 1, 2014 at 11:57 AM #

      Hi Terri.
      It took me about a month to make our cushions and curtains because I made them different than the old ones and had to make patterns.
      Try checking with your local craft stores like Joann’s or Hobby Lobby or Facebook friends to see if they know of anyone who does sewing.
      Good luck

  8. Nancy November 12, 2014 at 2:47 PM #

    have a 2012 popup so the cushions still good, just brown and ugly. I’m a single camper, soI wanted to make I girlie looking. I fund a darlng plaid that’s lime green and rosie pink that Im using for the cushions, and the rosie pink for curtains, with white dingle balls! Will post pics when Im done!

    • pegeads November 12, 2014 at 2:51 PM #

      Nancy, thanks for the post! I’d love to see them when you’re done

  9. wanda February 19, 2015 at 5:17 PM #

    Your cushions look great……..I am getting ready to do this job and I am a bit spooked by it. I have an idea of how I am going to do it and once I get started it will probably be fine…..but your cushions look great.

    • pegeads February 19, 2015 at 5:21 PM #

      Thanks Wanda, you’re so kind. It is kinda daunting, but just have faith in yourself and you’ll get through it just fine…and have brand new cushions for the effort! I would love to see them when you get them done:)

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