1. Remove the buttons from both sides.
2. Pull the foam out of the "pillowcase".
3. Proceed to take apart the "pillowcase". Be sure to save each piece and any notions. My cushions had two pieces (one carpet and one vinyl) and a zipper. If your cushions are vinyl, be careful not to rip holes in it when using the seam ripper. Also, don't let the zipper pull come off the end of the zipper. It is super hard to get back on!! In order to prevent the zipper pull from coming off, I hand-stitch around the metal part at each end.
5. At this point, you are basically going to put the cushion back together like it was, using your new pattern pieces. This is a little hard to explain because each cushion will probably be different. Mine were a basic square shape, with one vinyl side and a zipper between the vinyl and suede on the long edge.
To put in the zipper, I sewed the vinyl and suede together on the proper side. Then I opened up the seam and sewed the zipper straight down the center of the seam (on the inside, but facing the zipper toward the fabric, not myself). When the zipper was sewed onto the seam, I flipped it over and ripped out that very first seam. This guaranteed that my zipper was sewn in straight.
7. Make any needed adjustments, then put the cushion back in and zip it up. I tried not to take the foam in and out to often, or make too many adjustments, because I didn't want to damage the vinyl or the foam, which was being reused.
8. Now it's time to add the buttons! This was my favorite part.
So, there are actually several steps to #8. Recovering buttons was the first step. Then you'll want to get your upholstery needles and heavy-duty thread out.
If you want more information on upholstery or attaching buttons, there are plenty of Youtube videos out there which are very helpful.
The end result of my effort, while not perfect, was very satisfying. Once the cushions are in the RV, all of those imperfect seams and lopsided corners will be hidden, and nobody will know the difference.
Apart from reusing the zippers, vinyl, and foam in two of the cushions, we were able to salvage one of the squashed cushions by cutting it down and using it for reupholstering the RV bed (the bed was 3" foam as opposed to the 5" back seat cushions). That being said, I might still have to buy more fabric to finish the bed.
In order to frugalize the project even farther, we could have used free fabric to recover the cushions. However, I was being picky about the color and type.
I would not have reused the squashed foam, even to save money. If you are going through all the trouble to reupholster, you might have well have a NICE cushion instead of a nice-looking but nasty, uncomfortable cushion. One way to frugalize the foam would be to find a larger piece for free (you could use any old couch cushion), and cut it down to size.
Total cost for this project is/will be from $140.00-$170.00. That sounds expensive, but it will VASTLY improve the appearance of the interior, and new foam in the seat cushions will make the RV more livable and fun to travel in. It will feel less like 1986 and more like 2017.
Til next time,