How to Cover RV Benches

Existing RV Table Bench Makeover

For our RV I really wanted to replace the bench sitting area with table and chairs, but there is mechanical equipment under one of the benches and it wasn’t worth asking Hubs to rejig the mechanical portions of the trailer.  Instead, I chose to work with the existing benches as they are in good shape and just recover the RV bench cushions.

I found it very handy to work with two identical sets of sets of bench seats.  It meant I could take apart one cover and use the fabric for a pattern, and keep the second cushion intact as a reference.

Bench seat with a interchangeable panel for colour. RV cushion cover. RV renovation, RV interior, RV remodel before and after, travel trailer remodel ideas

For this project, I did each step on both RV cushions, before going to the next step.  It worked faster for me.

Saving the Zippers

Start by saving the zippers.  Using a stitch ripper pick out all the stitches.  Zippers especially ones this long are expensive, its worth the effort of picking out the sewing stitches and reusing them.

Let’s start with the back cushions,

Take Apart the Existing Cushion as a Pattern

Usually, I take apart the individual pieces and take reference shots on how to put them back together,  if you only have one bench I recommend taking lots of photos, but with two cushions I was able to skip this step.

Make sure you don’t rip the material, but unlike the zipper it wasn’t necessary to remove every single stitch.  Start taking apart the seams with a stitch ripper and try tugging it to see if the seams will rip.   You can rip the seams apart as long as you don’t tear the fabric.

Some of the original fabric pieces are shaped, but most of them are a simple rectangle.  For the rectangular pieces, measure the existing rectangular pieces of fabric and then cut the new fabric to the same size.

For the specially shaped pieces, place the old fabric onto the new fabric, pin in place and cut.

Attaching the Zipper

Find the two pieces that go on each side of the zipper.  Fold over one edge 1/4 inch and press to create a crease.

Place the pressed edge along the zipper and using a zipper foot sew along the edge of the zipper, leaving a little bit of space for the zipper teeth while catching the edge of the fabric.

Do this on both the top and bottom of the zipper.

Attach the two ends pieces of fabric to the ends of the zipper pieces and sew in place.  My side pieces were narrower than the zippered portion.   To make sure they aligned I folded the side panels in half to find center and then aligned it with the middle of the zipper.

Sewing the zipper and end onto a RV cushion cover. RV renovation, RV interior, RV remodel before and after, travel trailer remodel ideas

 

Attaching the Front Panel

You now have the bottom and sides finished.  Next, attach the bottom of the large front piece to the other side of the zippered fabrics.  The ends of the top panel fit over the edge of the side pieces.

The front portion of a RV cover being sewn to the zippered end. RV renovation, RV interior, RV remodel before and after, travel trailer remodel ideas

Attaching the RV Bench Cover Ends

Now you need to sew the other two seams of the side fabric to the front.  Fold the fabric upwards, and line the edges together.   Next, you will pin and sew the edge and top of the side portion to the front panel.

Pin along the side of the front panel to the side of the end panel.  Then continue pinning the good side of the side panel of the good side of the front piece.  Wow, this sounds so complicated, but the picture should help show how easy it really is.  Once pinned, sew along the two edges.  Sew along the long seam, stop at 3/8″ for seam allowance then continue along the second seam.

Sewing sides on a DIY bench seat in an RV. PicMonkey Overlay

 

Do this on both ends.  Once finished place your bench seat cover onto the original seat foam, just to make sure it fits.   Adjust your seams if you need to.

Fitting the fabric for sizing on a DIY RV bench makeover. RV renovation, RV interior, RV remodel before and after, travel trailer remodel ideas

 

Attaching the Back Panel

The back panel on our bench seat came in two sections,  I cut them out to match the existing fabric pieces and then sewed them together forming one large piece.

Now I need to attach the back to the rest of the cover, as well as the little attachment pieces.

(Using scrap fabric sew two small attachment pieces,  just fold over the edges and sew.  Our seats had these little pieces holding the two cushions together and I liked the idea so I copied it.  Its optional)

Adding the back panel to a DIY RV bench seat cover.

 

Sorry for the weird angle in the above picture, I wanted to show you as much as I could.  I am pinning the back panel to the bottom edge of the sewn cushion.  I am making sure that the piece is centered at both ends have a little bit of overhang.    You can’t see the new attachment panels, but I have pinned two pieces of fabric in the seam, using the existing attachment panels as place markers.

Make sure that everything is pinned securely, then remove the new seat cover and sew the bottom seam.

Turn your cover inside out and place back on the cushion foam.   Pin all the remaining seams, making sure to pull your fabric tight.   Sew all the final seams.

Bottom Bench Cushions

Repeat the exact same process for your two bottom cushions.  With one exception.  I did not sew the attachment pieces into the seams, preferring to sew them by hand onto the back seat of the cushion.  Otherwise, the steps are identical.

A DIY RV Bench Refresh. RV cushion cover. RV renovation, RV interior, RV remodel before and after, travel trailer remodel ideas

Optional Bench Scarf

To add some colour I cut out two lengths of coordinating fabric 22 by 36″ long.  I then sewed a rolled hem on all four sides and ironed them well.

I placed the start of the scarf under the bottom cushion.  Then pulled it up over the back cushion and tucked it in securely.    I found this a better idea than sewing a coordinating colour into the bench seat.  This way I can change seasonally when I want to.

Bench seat with a interchangeable panel for colour. RV cushion cover. RV renovation, RV interior, RV remodel before and after, travel trailer remodel ideas

For this year all I have left to do for the trailer now is the bathroom and some organizing.  I am also thinking of some decor items that won’t add much weight.  Please comment and let me know if you have any ideas for me.  Especially if you own a holiday trailer.

Thanks and enjoy your long weekend.

 

How to Add a New Cover to Your RV Seats

11 thoughts on “How to Cover RV Benches

  1. You’re making a huge dent in updating your RV with your personal touches. It’s looking really good in there, Leanna! You’ve saved hundreds of dollars doing these updates yourself because RV upholstery/valances/curtains are not cheap 🙂

    1. Thank you Marie. Anything specialized costs twice as much doesn’t it. The funny thing is I am not a camper, but having the trailer looking more like a home will make it much better.

  2. What no staples 😀 It looks so good but the best is the little bench scarf (what a lovely word) that you added to the benches. I suspect there will be a lot of out of the box thinking when you add the decor bits. What fun. Lightweight canvas prints could work and maybe you can do a few of your own using the material scraps you have leftover from all the sewing you’ve been doing. We’re busy making over a classic Mini panel van and I’ll be stealing so many of your ideas. At this stage we’re still working on the body of the van so there’s more grease and spanners involved than the pretty stuff. Can’t wait for it to be ready to decorate.

    1. Oh wow Michelle, I can just imagine the fantastic scenery you will see from your van. The idea of the African night sky is such a classic dream for most people. I look forward to seeing what you create.

  3. I love the bench scarf! Booth dinette cushions definitely need help in my opinion. They always look so blah. You really prettied it up Leanna! Hope you enjoy your trailer!

  4. I really like that you are using solid color fabrics for the makeover so you can match decor easily. I’m more of a solid girl too. Love the pillow and especially the scarf accent. Looks nice!

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