Camper Project: Cushions (finally)

Hello! Welcome to the blog. Today is the day! Finally, the cushions are done and ready to be shared. For memory sake here’s what they looked like before.


I don’t know if you are able to appreciate just how awful these are. I mean…really. Take another look. Although the blue goes with the stove very well, it is still making my eye want to poke themselves out. And the stove isn’t staying blue anyway (spolier alert!). There’s nothing redeeming about these cushions. Except for the fact that they are in relatively ok shape. They just need to be recovered.

And therein lies the rub. I searched online, my local Walmart fabric department, JoAnn’s, and Hobby Lobby for nice thick upholstery fabric and was amazed at how expensive this was going to be for a shoestring budget such as my own. at the lowest 20 bucks a yard. A YARD, folks. That took me aback, lemme tell ya. At this rate I would need just about 2.5 yards PER cushion. at 5 cushions alone for just the dinette, that works out to…carry the one…times by 5…one arm, half a leg, and three quarters of my first born. So, uh, no. I needed to come up with another idea. Quick. Because those cushions were’t gonna work. Just look at them again!

I was thinking that maybe I could find some cheap fabric at the thrift stores locally. To get to the area that my local ARC has the fabric, I had to pass the draperies. I passed that by two steps and stopped short. Almost being run into from behind by my child pushing the shopping cart. DRAPERIES. Scarlet O’Hara did it, I certainly could, too. Only the camper would wear them.

So, I  got a bunch of heavy duty curtains. Two in two different browns with coppery metallic sheens and threads in them. One in a deep red. And, one in a stripe pattern consisting of burnt orange, red, white, and beige. The most expensive regular priced one was 6.99 and the least was 2.99. This one was discounted 50% off of the tag because that color tag was the special this week:

The first photo, the closeup, is an accurate representation of the curtain color. It’s huge and has a nice texture. Plus, it was two bucks. A fantastic price for that much yardage and for as heavy weight as it is.

So, I took these all home and got ready to sew them onto the cushions. I washed them all and dried them all. Then I took the first cushion and using the red fabric (started in the dinette)  I wrapped the fabric around the cushion allowing myself a good six inches of overlap. I cut this down to size and used needle and thread to tack this to the cushion. That was a pain, broke two sharps in the process. So for the actual stitching, I went to Walmart and purchased some upholstery needles: 

Ok, armed with these babies, I went back to work. Since it was tacked to the cushion this should be easy enough to sew. I went along the long seam first (centered in the middle of the underside of the cushion). It’s still tough to sew, but, I am pretty determined at this point. I got the long way done and decided the best course of action for the short sides was to fold the fabric in like one would when carefully gift wrapping a present. I sewed down all the folds using this cursed  curved needle. It took me 2 hours. Two hours. Forget that. Who wraps stuff anymore?! For Heaven’s sake, I don’t; I use gift bags! And thus, I made sacks for the remaining cushions, instead.

Here’s Mog, not at all judging me for not thinking of the pillow case idea sooner:


Yes, she is. She is indeed judging.

While sewing the first case for my remaining cushions, my sewing machine broke. I about lost my ever loving mind. Good thing I had a gift card for Walmart. I ran there and got myself a new machine. The old one was beyond repair anymore. It was time to let it go. I’ll share more about the new one later.

For the long back side of the dinette seating I removed the screws that held it to the wall. All this is is fabric and padding wrapped around plywood. Easy enough to cover. These had a white plastic decorative ring that the screw threaded through. I spray painted that with copper paint and set those aside to dry. I laid the back onto the fabric and wrapped this tightly to the back. I stapled it with my staple gun beginning in the middle of the long sides and pulling taut along the length. I repeated this process on the opposite edge and the ends as well. Once done, I simply screwed this back into place.

I created what amounted to pillow cases for each of the remaining cushions. I measured haphazardly and just eyeballed it mostly. Testing it here and there on the cushion again and again until the fit was just right. I was a mess of straight pins and thread.

Once the case was on the cushion, I tucked in the dog-ear looking corners to create a nice mitered edge and hand sewed that in place. MUCH EASIER. Until I moved onto the big cushion for the back of the camper. For this I had a thrice folded memory foam mattress topper. sliding this into the pillow case was WAY harder than it looked. Not only is it crazy heavy, but the foam material seems to reach out and grab the edges of the case like a cat refusing to go into the crate to go to the vets. Much grunting and gnashing of teeth by J and me and to no avail. We could only get it into the case about three quarters of the way. SONOFABEECH!! This sat on my kitchen floor being shunned by us the entire rest of the night. We were done wrestling with it. Almost chucked it into the street. I was beginning to question my desire to have the camper at all. It was crazy frustrating to fight with the mattress topper trying to squeeze it into the pillow case. I tell you , the next morning it slid the rest of the way in like butter. I have no idea why, but, I am glad it did. I ran and got J to show him my accomplishment. I tacked the very end shut and called it a day after throwing that in place into the back of the camper.

This leaves the last cushion, which is going to be a bit weird. I had to go buy a new cushion because the last one didn’t fit the length of the space I had. It was much too short. In fact 75% too short. I had to think about this for awhile. I went to the Army Surplus, Hobby Lobby and Joann’s and couldn’t come up with a solution…till I went back to Walmart (surprise…ugh) and passed the crib mattresses. For $20.00 I picked up one thick and sturdy enough to fit the bill. I can cut down the blue cushion enough to fill the gap. Once inside a case, no one will ever know. And, I don’t care if they do. I am so over these cushions, I can’t even tell you. Here’s a quick pictorial of that. Pretty simple:

First I marked out what I needed to cut away from the piece I already had. I got all Jason Voorhees on it:


Until I had the piece I needed:


See, it fits along the end of the crib mattress and is ready to cram into a pillow case made to fit:


And here’s the finished results of all the cushion recovering:


20170604_180458 (1)


And that’s it for those. Couldn’t be happier that they are done and they aren’t that terrible blue that they started out as.

Until later,


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