DIY Trailer Seat Cushions

I wanted to remake our trailers seat/bed cushions. I loosely followed some DIY step by step instruction blogs on how to make trailer cushions. Here’s what I did.

Supplies: 3 thin peg board 4×8 pieces from The Home Depot ($15/piece); seat cushion foam and upholstery fabric of your choosing (details on previous blog post), measuring tape, scissors, staple gun, 1/4″ heavy duty staples.

I measured and measured again the inside of the trailer area and the original seat cushions. I only wanted to cut once since foam and fabric are so expensive.

My husband took a skill saw and cut my measured out sizes I had marked off on the peg board. The edges don’t have to be perfectly straight it’s only for the base and structure of the cushion.

 

Measuring original cushions. Making the pin board to cut with a skill saw.
Measuring original cushions. Making the peg board to cut with a skill saw.

Once the boards were cut, I laid the board out on the foam and used a black marker to mark my cut lines.

photo-4

Use your preferred cutting device. For my first cushion I used scissors which worked OK but I think I’m going to use a serrated knife or electric turkey carver for the rest (which is the common think used per the blogs I read). The edge of the foam is going to get a little choppy but that’s OK. The fabric covers it right up.

making cusions

 

Next I laid the fabric down on the floor, then the foam, then the support board. Pulled the fabric taut with my husbands help and stapled away. I folded the fabric edges like a present.

And Voilà! DIY seat cushions for your trailer!

Fabrics, Colors and Foam

While Chris was doing the heavy lifting taking out the furnace, AC and water heater, I wanted to keep my projects moving so I went to Joanne’s Fabric just to browse and get an idea of what fabrics and color pallet I may want to use. I knew I wanted to go with a 70’s retro theme but wanted it to be updated and modern (think 2014 Charlie’s Angels). I started with pinning tons of styles on my Vintage Trailer Pinterest board to get the ideas flowing. The I Love Lucy, cutesy trailers aren’t my style or my husband style but I did want it to be thematic. So I’m glad we ended up with the awesome 70’s style trailer.

As I said above, I went to Joanne’s Fabrics just to BROWSE for fabric colors but ended up buying everything due to the amazing Veterans Day Sale they had going on. I’m not a sewer so I never realized how expensive fabric is, let alone upholstery fabric as well as the dense seat cushion foam. I absolutely love the colors that “spoke to me” while I was browsing. Again, I wanted to keep it updated and modern and think I found my perfect fabrics and colors.

All the fabrics I chose are upholstery grade. The green, chevron and grey fabrics are from the Home Essentials line at Joannes’ for 6.99/yrd on sale (originally 9.99/yrd) and the partridge bird fabric was on the big roles and the most expensive of the fabrics at $17.99/yard on sale (originally $45/yrd). All in all I bought 20 yards of fabric and spent $170 which was a steal due to the sale! This gives you an idea of the cost to update the fabric in a trailer that is our size.

fabric final pics

The green fabric will be used for the curtains. I like that the green is solid on both sides so when the curtains are closed they will still look good from the outside.

The black and white chevron pattern is definitely a trendy style right now. I like the mute pattern and know it will be timeless for years to come. This will be used for the dinette cushions.

The grey fabric is for the bottom couch cushion and the updated 70’s, retro partridge bird pattern is for the top couch cushion.

IMG_6148The dense foam for the seat cushions was very expensive. I was thinking thick, egg crate foam pricing but no. The guy at Joanne’s told me this is made from an oil so it keeps its shape and density to use for years to come. That’s what makes it 10x more expensive. I needed 4 pieces of this foam. They only have 4 pieces of the 4 inch thick foam. I was going to go for the 5 inch but they only had 1 left and since they were on sale, it was while supplies last. I’m actually glad for the 4 inch, it was less expensive and will work just fine! On sale, I got these for $81 a piece. They were originally $162/piece. They come in 2.5yrd long and about 25 inches wide. I spent a total of $324 for the foam on  sale.

The total cost for all the fabrics and foam was $493. I saved $453 due to the Veterans Day Sale. Note to anyone doing this, wait for the weekend holiday sales what ever you do!!!!

The Beginning

Alright, now that she’s all tucked away in her spot for the winter, we’ve started to tear things out we don’t need, want or that doesn’t work. We got out our drills, gloves, candles, Lavender Pinesol, heaters, hammers, pry bars and headlamps to attack 40 years of dirt, grime and smell and demolish the clunky inefficient 1970’s technology. Bye, bye curtains, cushions, furnace, water heater, hinges, A/C unit and the newer college dorm refrigerator. While Chris tore out most of the big things, I took down the curtains, and started wiping (and wiping, and wiping again) the inside of the trailer out. To keep parts strait, Chris took pictures of all the original set up and parts to refer back to when he adds new stuff in. I salvaged the curtain rods labeling them to make it easy to put them back up when the time comes. The most challenging part will be the electrical but Chris is excited to learn how it all works. We’ve found a little dry rot here and there but it hasn’t really been that bad.

 

She’s All Original

We love the layout of our little 15ft trailer. It’s a very functional design with a ton of storage and a full bathroom. When standing in the door way, to the right is a couch that pulls out into a full size bed that we’ll sleep on with a small bunk bed over head; what we’ll use for linen storage. Looking straight ahead is the kitchen with a little sink, stove/oven range with a matching hood in the original avocado green. The countertops through out the trailer are also the avocado green and in perfect condition. We love the retro green and will be keeping it completely original. In the back right corner behind the door is a retro yellow toilet accompanied by a matching shower. The color is so bad it’s good! We’ll be switching up the wallpaper and floor in here but keeping the fun (or funny) yellow toilet and shower. In the very back of the trailer is another sink which we can only presume is for hand-washing since it’s by the bathroom. There’s a large closet and shelves in the back as well. Lastly, looking directly to the left when standing in the doorway is a little dinette that folds down into a bed.

We’ll be painting the inside white and adding fun wallpaper as well to give it a light and bright look. The original cushions and curtains have to be removed due to their mildew smell and age. We’ll be saving a swatch of the original fabrics, wallpaper and floor to frame and hang up in the trailer to remind us of her in her glory days.

 

 

Back that Trailer Up

Not only was this the first time Chris has backed anything up our steep driveway; it was the first time he’s really ever backed any sort of trailer up anything. He rocked it! I directed traffic that early Saturday morning and he pulled her in. She didn’t scrape and fit right in her spot where we’ll be working on her through out the winter months.

We Bought a Trailer

Hello World,

Welcome to our blog about renovating a 1971 retro Aristocrat Starliner trailer. My husband and I have talked for a few years about buying a vintage trailer and renovating it. We finally wanted to make this dream a reality so we took the plunge and bought one! It took many tries to finally snag one up (since renovating vintage trailers in Portland is a trendy thing to do). We found ours in The Dalles Oregon for $1,800. We can’t find much information on this particular model, so we’re figuring it out as we go. Chris is very handy and I’m a self proclaimed DIYer and love to decorate. This should be interesting.