In Part I of my take on cheap seats in my Volkswagen Camper Bus, I showed the remains of the driver’s seat, the bare frame of the seat, and listed the products and items I am using to redo my front cab seats in my 71 Westfalia Camp-Mobile Bus.
Here in Part II, I’ll be showing the process of how I sewed a burlap cover to overlay the springs of the frame; which was not done in the original seat upholstery process. Originally, the coconut hull cushion was just lain right over the springs; which to me seemed haphazard. –Especially since the springs had, of late, been piercing through all the ragged layers and ripping my clothes. I felt it was a very necessary step.
Then I cut-to-fit (cutting quite big, at first…so as-not to undercut; since I have limited supply), the carpet padding and glued two layers (wrong/rough sides together), to give my driver’s seat plenty of firm cushion. Then…I went even further and stitched the cushion to the under-springs with Hemp Twine (see pics below).
I hope this tutorial will inspire some of you VW Bus enthusiasts to re-upholster your own seats, and let your creativity be your improvisational guide. Thanks for reading my Blog. Stay on the look-out for Part III, where I hope to finish this project with success! : )
Peace .V.. & Love!
The Process (in pictures) of the 1st Phase of Re-upholstering (Driver’s Seat): PART II
*Click on Pics to Enlarge*
Using Old Coconut Hull Cushion, Cut Burlap to Fit Frame
The Layout of Burlap on Frame
Cut Both Burlap Covers for Seat Springs
Pin In Place on Seat Back and Bottom
Using Regular, but Sturdy, Needle…Sewing Burlap to Frame With Heavy Duty Thread
Burlap For Driver’s Side Seat Back, All Stitched!
Pin Burlap Over Driver’s Side Seat Bottom and Repeat as Before
All Done With First Layer of Driver’s Seat Redo
Optional Step: Smear a Line of Glue Over Burlap Stitching to Reinforce
Up Close of Glue Over Stitching of Burlap
Cut Padding a Bit Large (You can Trim Later, if Needed…but You can’t make larger if cut too small), using old Coco Hull padding.
Cut 2 Each of Seat Back and Bottom, From the Make-shift ‘padding’
Spray Glue to Rough Sides of Padding to Double Thickness, Then Weight with Bricks or anything Heavy ’til Dry (I allowed 24 hours to dry)
Once Padding is Dry, Spray Glue to Burlap (topside) and to underside of Padding, then weigh down to adhere.
Seat Pad During Seat Gluing Process
With an Upholstery needle, this time using Hemp Twine, stitch through thickness of padding an tie two ends of twine to seat spring on underside
Natural Hemp Twine
Repeat in Stitching Pattern of choice ’til both top and bottom pads are secure to frame.
First Stitch – Back View
Second Stitch at Back
3rd Stitch at Back
Bottom/Last Stitch of Seat Back
Finished Pad Stitching of Seat Back Piece
Stitching Pad to Seat Bottom Springs
Finished Secure-Stitching Seat Pad to Spring
To be Continued in Part III
Using What’s Left of Old Seat to Create New Template for Upholstering. Still Waiting on Fabric to Arrive from Baha, Mexico! Aye, Aye…!
‘Need new seats in your VW Westfalia Camp-mobile or Bus, but you can’t afford to have them professionally done? Well…you’re not alone! I too found myself in this situation where the front seats in my old 71 Volkswagen Camper Bus were not only shredding and falling apart, but the seat springs were ripping our clothes when we sat down to drive. I knew I couldn’t put off upholstering any longer.
With minimal to no funds for prettying up my old bus, I had to get creative. Enter this Do-It-Yourself method I conjured up out of desperation and hard-headedness. Re-purposing some leftover (brand new and unused) carpet padding from re-carpeting our daughter’s tiny room, I found it was a perfect fit (firm cushion and water-resistant on top side) for the job.
So, here’s Part I of the creation of my van’s CHEAP DIY seats. : ) I welcome you to follow my blog for Part II of this project. I am awaiting my fabric so I can finish the job. Wish me luck! I’m learning as I go, and welcome any comments or suggestions any of you may have. Thank you for stopping by! : )
.V.. (Peace) & Love!
ITEMS USED for RE-UPHOLSTERING Seats —
A yard-and-a-half of Jute Burlap fabric
Tan Upholstery or Heavy-duty thread
Regular, but Large/Sturdy, Sewing Needle
New ‘Moisture Resistant’ carpet padding (enough for two layers on seat and back)
Hemp Twine in various thicknesses
Choice of Upholstery Fabric ( at least 4 yards) *Does not have to be upholstery fabric, but can be any medium or heavier weight fabric.*
Fusible Webbing like Wonder Under (heavy weight, but still flexible)
Elmer’s or similar school glue **Optional
THE PROCESS (in pictures) — PART I: The Tearing Down
The Driver’s Seat (the one I’m working on) Was Worse Than This!
Passenger Seat – Better Than Driver’s Seat Was
Coconut Hull Cushion From Driver’s Seat (what’s left of it)
For as long as I can recall, I’ve had Wanderlust; which is why my home is on wheels. But minus a tow vehicle to haul our beloved caravan from place to place, my family and I have been in quite a situation for quite some time. And I have to admit, I’d rather be anything than a ‘sitting duck’!
Alas, we are no longer stranded…since finally we found the perfect tow vehicle to haul our tiny home to where ever we wish to wander. –That’s just-about everywhere, truth be told! And it wasn’t an easy decision until just recently, when the light bulb finally went off over our heads, and hubby and I agreed on what would be the best fit for our nomadic family.
We knew we’d need a V-8 under the hood…to tow our 4300 pound home down the road with ease, and we both agreed on getting a 4 x 4 so we could be off road when ever we wished. Having room for our little’n and K-9 kid, plus some room for cargo and such, was a no-brainer. So it was settled on what-all we needed to haul our tiny island bungalow. Finding something within our budget would be another task…in-and-of itself. So…I started combing the internet…Craigslist, and Ebay.
Never in a million years did I think we’d end up with everything we wanted and our ‘dream truck’! –But…we did. With Auction Sniper, I sniped our classic 85 Chevy Silverado, K5 Blazer for waaay less than we ever thought we’d pay. It was delivered by the super nice seller that next weekend…for a small fee, and we are now prepping to get her ready for the road. Even if she does need some love, she fires right up, and we all love driving her. And just our luck, she comes pretty darned close to matching the colors on Mermaid Mansion.
We still haven’t set a definite date for departure on our next big adventure, but at least we’re no longer sitting ducks on an island prone to hurricanes. –Not to mention the fact that it stinks to have a home on wheels when you can’t move her on down the road when you get the antsy pants. Even still, we’re eager to see new things and experience life — once again — living full-time on the road in our vintage home on wheels.
Life is good! And living in a tiny home on wheels is even sweeter!! See you down the road…soon…real soon!
*Live the Life You Love! Rise above those who try and keep you down.*