Camper Cushion Covers DIY

How to Sew DIY RV Dinette Cushion Covers

As soon as I fixed the valances on the RV, the RV dinette cushions stuck out.  They were this old green olive brown sort of color and quite worn  They did not match the new blue and yellow window treatments.  I planned on replacing the dinette area with a 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 keep the existing benches and redo the RV dinette cushions.  

The old cushions were in good shape, so we didn’t need new cushions just covers. The first step I would do is measure your existing cushions while intact. Don’t tear anything apart until you find out what’s available and the cost.  

Buying Fabric

There is so much variation in fabric colors, bench seating placement, height, and so forth.  I can only recommend taking very thorough measurements of your bench seating and adding a yard or two to have enough.  You can always use any leftovers for a simple cushion or to have on hand if something rips.

When you’re at the fabric store you could check out the outdoor fabric. I recommend staying away from fabric with patterns, not having to match patterns made the entire process much easier.  If you have a heavy-duty sewing machine you may choose canvas fabric,  I chose the cheapest option that would work, a washable soft grey corduroy.  

Luckily most RV  dinettes come with two identical sets of bench seats.  Using that to our advantage I suggest we take a set of the old cushion covers apart, use the fabric as the pattern for the new covers, and keep the second RV bench cushions intact as a reference.

Note: My son let us have this trailer for much less than it’s worth. He loves his Mom and wanted me to be able to travel south and escape the long winters. I am thrilled and did not want to take before pictures.

Here is how our bench seating turned out in the RV trailer.

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

Take Apart the Existing Cushion 

If you only have one bench I recommend taking lots of photos of dismantling the old cushions so you have great reference shots on how to put them back together. Because I had two sets of old RV cushions, I did one seat cover at a time and used the other old seat covers for reference.  

Saving the Zippers

Start by saving the zippers.  Using a seam ripper pick out all the stitches holding the zipper in.  Zippers especially heavy-duty metal ones this long are expensive, it’s worth the effort to pick out the sewing stitches and reuse the zippers.

Take Apart the Existing Cushion as a Pattern

When taking the old covers apart, make sure you don’t rip the material, but unlike the zipper, it isn’t necessary to remove every single stitch.  Take apart the seams with a stitch ripper and try tugging it to see if the seams will rip.   It’s a real-time saver if you can rip the seams apart.  Just be careful not to tear the fabric.  

Some of the original fabric pieces had a specific shape, but the majority were a simple rectangle.  For the shaped piece I placed the old fabric good side up on top of the new fabric good size up.  Pinned them together and cut the shape out.  For the rectangle pieces, I thought the best way was to measure the rectangular pieces and then cut the new fabric to the same size.   

Attaching the Zipper

Find the two pieces of fabric that fit against the side of the zipper.  Fold over one edge 1/4 inch and press to create a crease.

Place the pressed edge along the zipper. Using a sewing machine with a zipper foot attached, 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 sides of the zipper.  Remove the zipper foot.

Attach the two ends pieces of fabric to the ends of the zipper pieces and sew them in place.  My side pieces were narrower than the zippered portion.   To make sure they aligned I folded the short side of the side panels in half to find the center. Then align the center 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 Camper Cushions 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 actually 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 you have a nice snug fit.   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.  It’s optional)

Two camper cushion covers bbeing sewn with attachment panels instead of little strips on replacement camper covers.

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 cushion cover and sew the bottom seam.

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

RV Bench Makeover

Bottom Bench Cushions

Repeat the same process for your 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

DIY RV Dinette Cushion Covers Optional Bench Scarf

Adding the bench scarfs was my way of tying in the new seat covers with the valances.

To add some color I cut out two lengths of coordinating fabric 22 by 36″ long, making sure I could tuck them in under the bottom of the cushion.  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 think this is a great way to coordinate the color of the bench seat.  It’s much easier to do than attempting to add fabric panels.  

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

I loved how the new cushion covers turned out, they are modern, washable, and brighten up the RV interior.  

For this year all I have left to do for the RV renovation is the bathroom and some organizing.  I am also thinking of some decor items that won’t add much weight.   Eventually, we will have some other DIY projects for the outside of the RV trailer.  As a new RV owner, we don’t know what else may come in handy but for now, we are thrilled with how it looks.  

Bench seating inside a holiday trailer. The seats are recovered in a soft grey fabric with colourful yellow inserts and cushions.

Other RV Interior DIY Updates

A new DIY RV headboard as part of an RV interior, RV renovation,.

Inexpensive Camper Headboard Makeover

This inexpensive camper headboard got a quick update as part of my refresh. The camper looks ten years newer now. I added some new color coordinated linens that are so bright and cheerful for the holiday camper.

A handmade RV curtain as part of a holiday trailer makeover.

Updating an Existing RV Curtain for Cheap

Have you seen those functional RV curtains that act as semi-permanent doors? My trailer has one and it works so well, but it was getting tired so I gave it a quick refresh.

Easy to do RV valance update.

DIY RV Window Valances

The original valances in our trailer were this dark green heavy fabric and so dark. By replacing them with these easy-to-make DIY window valances I not only modernized the holiday trailer, it is much brighter and festive.


  1. I love that bench scarf idea, it looks so modern and the fact you can switch it out is brilliant. A whole new look whenever you want.

  2. 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!

  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. 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. LeannaForsythe says:

      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.

  5. 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. LeannaForsythe says:

      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.

  6. Great tutorial. Even if you don’t have an RV a lot of seat cushions are made in a similar fashion.

    1. Thank you Debra. I like this method for doing any type of upholstery work for sure.

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