By: Proverbs31Girl

7 Ways to Reupholster RV Dinette Cushions

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If your RV has a dining booth, you may at some point need or want to reupholster the bench seats. Maybe the old covers have become stained or worn, or maybe the original fabric is outdated and needs to be reupholstered. Reupholstering may sound intense, but these DIY RV dinette cushion covers are achievable for any level of DIYer.

On a budget? Don’t worry, I’ve got you “covered”! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

In this article, I’ll share options for easily replacing or covering the cushion covers that can find any budget or skill level.

Where to Buy New Foam for RV Cushions

If you remove the old covers and find that the foam cushions need to be replaced, maybe because it is falling apart or has an old musty smell, you can purchase new foam.

Here are some places to buy foam, either custom sized or a larger piece that you cut to the size you need:

Types of Fabric to Use for DIY RV Dinette Cushion Covers

As you’re choosing fabric to use for recovering your dining booth cushions, here are some options to consider:

Canvas drop cloths – Canvas painter’s drop cloths are a popular choice with a lot of RV owners because they are very cheap for the amount of fabric you get. You can even dye them to be whatever color you want if you’re not a fan of the beige color.

Canvas drop cloth covered cushions by Rosaleen via rogerandrosaleen.blogspot.com

However, they are a very loose weave, and not designed to hold up to a lot of wear and tear, so if you will be living in your RV full-time, you might want to consider a more durable type of fabric.

Decorator’s Upholstery Fabric – You can find heavy-duty upholstery fabric at a fabric shop such as Jo-Ann or a craft shop such as Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. It is designed to withstand a lot of wear. However, it may also show dirt easily, so unless you’re making cushion covers that can be removed and laundered, you might want to choose a more stain-resistant fabric.

by Danielle Oakey via danielleoakeyinteriors.com

Blackout Curtains – I like purchasing blackout curtains for use in small upholstery projects because you get a lot of fabric for the price. Two full-length panels usually cost around $15. Plus, they are made from heavy-duty, synthetic fabric with a rubber backing, making them easier to wipe clean and a little more resistant to spills.

Outdoor Fabric – If you have kids or pets, you might want to consider using waterproof outdoor fabric as it is designed to be stain-resistant. You can also spray it with Scotch Guard as extra reinforcement.

by Anne

Anti-Slip / Non-Skid Fabric – A professional RV renovator once shared with me this clever tip: Use “grippy” non-skid fabric (the kind with tiny rubber dots like what’s used for the soles of footed pajama feet) for the bottoms of seat cushions to help them stay in place and prevent them from sliding off the benches.

ECYC Non-Slip Dotted Fabric Anti-Skid Rubber Dots Coating Mat Floor Carpet Seat Cushion Gripping Cloth Material Socks Shoes DIY Cloth
4 Reviews
ECYC Non-Slip Dotted Fabric Anti-Skid Rubber Dots Coating Mat Floor Carpet Seat Cushion Gripping Cloth Material Socks Shoes DIY Cloth
  • This is a non-slip fabric, composed of polyester cloth + silicone dots. The non-slip cloth is suitable for household items and provides non-slip use for daily life.

Option #1: Sew New RV Cushion Covers

If you’re handy with a sewing machine, making new covers for the cushions in your camper might be a fun project for you. Here are a few tutorials you can compare:

I would recommend choosing a pattern that includes adding a zipper, Velcro, or some other way to remove the covers so they can be washed if needed.

Sewing new RV cushion covers
This cushion cover pattern includes a zipper so the covers can be removed and washed as needed. See the complete tutorial here.

Pros:

  • Easy to remove and wash if you add a zipper or Velcro
  • Look very professional if you are good at sewing ๐Ÿ™‚
  • You can use any type of fabric you want

Cons

  • More work to make
  • You have to know how to sew (or know someone else who does)
RV cushions reupholstered with painter's dropcloth fabric
Dining booth reupholstered with painter’s drop cloths by RV owner Allie / @prvbsthirtyonegirl – See how she made them in her Instagram stories here.

Option #2: Make New Covers Using Glue Instead of Sewing

If you don’t know how to sew (or don’t want to sew) but still want the look of custom-sewn covers, there is a workaround.

You could try following one of the sewing tutorials above but instead of sewing, use fabric glue or hot glue to close the seams. I wouldn’t try to install a zipper this way, but you could probably add a Velcro closure using hot glue.

No sew RV cushion covers
Dining booth makeover in a camper renovated by Sarah Lemp of AllThingsWithPurpose.com. Read here how she recovered these dining booth cushions using painter’s drop cloths and a hot glue gun.

Professional RV renovator Sarah Lemp shares on her blog how she recovered camper cushions using a hot glue gun, and hers turned out really cute.

Pros:

  • Fast, cheap, and easy
  • Can look really cute

Cons:

  • Glue is usually permanent, so you’ll want to be careful not to make mistakes while gluing
  • Glued covers might not be easy to remove and wash

Option #3: Pin New Fabric to Old Cushions

Instead of making removable covers or gluing fabric directly to the cushions, some RV owners have used safety pins to attach fabric to the old cushion covers.

You can see an example of no-sew cushions with fabric attached using safety pins here.

One concern I have with using just safety pins is that repeatedly sitting on the cushions may pull on the fabric and cause the safety pins to bend or come unfastened, but I haven’t heard whether the people who used them experienced this or not.

I love this clever idea RVer Erin Olsen came up with, which was to use mattress clips to hold the fabric in place and then tuck in the ends and pin them in place. That way there’s a little more give in the fabric due to the elastic, and there aren’t quite so many safety pins to undo if you need to take off the covers and wash them.

RV dinette cushion covers held in place with mattress straps
A clever RV cushion reupholstery idea by Erin Olsen

Pros:

  • Cheap and easy
  • Fabric can be removed and laundered if needed
  • Easily to change back to the original factory look if you later sell your RV to someone who doesn’t like your style

Cons:

  • The fabric is a bit looser on the cushions
  • Doesn’t look as good on the bottom (which won’t show, but I know some people would be bothered by this!)
  • Could be a safety hazard if you have small kids

Option #4: Staple Fabric to a Plywood Base

One very popular technique for recovering dining booth cushions is to cut a piece of plywood the same size as the cushion (or a little smaller) and then wrap fabric around the whole thing and staple the fabric to the plywood.

Here are some tutorials for this method:

The biggest drawback to this method is that the fabric can’t be easily removed and washed if it gets dirty. If you have kids or pets you might want to consider another option, or use a type of fabric that is easy to clean and stain resistant (such as waterproof outdoor fabric designed for patio cushions).

No sew way to recover an RV dinette bench cushion by stapling fabric to plywood
This dining booth cushion reupholstery method involves stapling fabric to a plywood base. See the full tutorial here.

Pros:

  • Very easy
  • No sewing required
  • You can pull the fabric nice and tight, giving a neat, finished appearance

Cons:

  • You have to purchase the plywood (so possibly more expensive)
  • You have to be able to cut the plywood (requires the use of power tools)
  • Fabric is not easy to remove and wash if it gets dirty

Option #5: Use Crib Sheets Fastened with Mattress Clips

Some RV owners have found that bassinet sheets are the perfect size to fit their camper cushions. Sheets that are slightly too large can be made to fit using mattress clips to hold them in place. You can also find crib sheets in lots of colors and some really cute patterns.

RV dinette booth with new cushion covers
Crib sheets covering dinette booth cushions by Ashleigh and Aaron Bache

Pros:

  • Easy to remove and wash if needed
  • No DIY skills required

Cons:

  • May not fit your dining booth cushions if your dinette is an unusual size
  • The corners and ends might not look as neat unless the sheets happen to be a perfect fit (but bedsheet fasteners can fix this!)
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RayTour Bed Sheet Holder Straps Sheet Stays Keepers Bedsheet Holders Fasteners
49,629 Reviews
RayTour Bed Sheet Holder Straps Sheet Stays Keepers Bedsheet Holders Fasteners
  • Stable Triangle Design: a triple protection design to keep your Mattress Sheet Stays tidy all the time.

Option #6: Tuck Fabric Without Attaching it to the Cushions

A friend of mine who wanted to update the look of the dinette cushions in her RV didn’t even bother to reupholster the cushions.

Instead, she just draped a large painter’s drop cloth over her U-shaped dinette and tucked the excess fabric into the cracks. She says she likes how easy it is to pull the whole thing off and launder it.

Using a dropcloth to cover RV dinette cushions
Photos by Ashley Pitre

Pros:

  • Quick and cheap
  • No sewing, gluing, or stapling required
  • Easy to launder

Cons:

  • You might be constantly re-tucking the fabric to keep it looking nice, especially if you have kids or pets constantly climbing all over them. ๐Ÿ™‚

Option #7: Purchase New Covers for Your Dinette Cushions

Last but not least, another reupholstery option instead of making new cushion covers yourself is to simply buy new covers for your RV cushions.

Here’s a stretch-to-fit cushion cover that’s fairly affordable and comes in lots of colors if it happens to be the right size.

Sale
Hokway Couch Cushion Covers Stretch Cushion Covers Sofa Seat Cushion Slipcover Cushion Protector(Gray, Medium)
11,592 Reviews
Hokway Couch Cushion Covers Stretch Cushion Covers Sofa Seat Cushion Slipcover Cushion Protector(Gray, Medium)
  • SIZE GUIDE: 1 PC included. Fit a cushion with 40-50" in length, 20-27.5"in width, 2-9" in height. With great elasticity, fits for more than 90% cushion. Wider size application due to the elasticity and the stretchy band we have on the bottom.

There are also lots of Etsy sellers who make custom RV cushion covers in your choice of fabric.

Of course you’ll pay more than if you were to make them yourself, but you’ll also (hopefully) end up with exactly what you want without having to worry about them looking like a “Pinterest Fail” if DIY projects are not your forte!

Pros:

  • Easier to buy than DIY
  • Might result in a more professional-looking result

Cons:

  • More expensive
  • Fewer fabric options

7 DIY RV Dinette Cushion Covers

Which of these methods will you try for your RV? Leave a comment below to let me know!

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6 Comments

  1. I found a blog that showed you how to make bench covers so I used the measurement from my cushions and made new ones. The old ones were fine but wanted a lighter color. They fit just like a fitted sheet. I donโ€™t have the best sewing skills and it was easy for me.

  2. I found slip on covers for sofa cushions on Shein for $3.00 each depending on size.They will just slip over existing cushions in my RV and I can just spray it with waterproof. I even have a favorite booth I go to at the flea market and got me whole couch cover for $10.00 still in bag.

  3. RE: RV cushions,
    For professional yet inexpensive results, with only minimal sewing skills, take cushions apart and use the pieces as patterns. Zippers and foam can be reused. Adding a thin layer of foam and a product called “cushion wrap” (spray adhesive is your friend) can add comfort and gives a modernized appearance.
    Tip: prewash your fabric, even fabric not labeled washable. It may shrink or change surface texture – that’s fine. If you prewash, you will be able to unzip and remove the cushion covers to wash them whenever needed.

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