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 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.
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, it’s 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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
The bench seats are part of RV makeover, I did several other projects in the RV as well. An inexpensive headboard.
I took parts of the existing curtain and refreshed it with coordinating fabric.