DIY Results of recovering dinette cushions in a vintage travel trailer

 

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This look was once an update. Someone took the birch paneling, painted it hot dog barf beige. They took the upholstery and covered it in off-white canvas, then kicked it up a notch with navy pillow case style slipcovers, capping it off with worn out bed sheets seamed into clip on curtains. I can only imagine what it looked like ‘before’ to inspire this look as a way of improvement.

Next owner (me), came in and updated it again. Cleaned up the man-hunting trailer theme of the place, added some tidy fresh paint in cheerful colors, made new curtains and removed the funk smell. The smell removal was the toughest part.

After Boot Camp style cleaning and fresh make-up she is ready for company.

After Boot Camp style cleaning, painting and redecorating there is a big improvement.

On my first round of updating I used items I had on hand to keep costs to the family budget at a minimum. Borrowing a dab of paint from a friend who was building a home, a tablecloth from my linen closet and some upholstery I found when cleaning out my mothers home when she passed, really helped with a new look very inexpensively. A year passed and choosing to share my trailer Thelma Lou with others, required me to give her yet one more face lift. A look that both men and women would feel comfortable in whether for dinner or an overnight stay. Shown below is the kind of fabric I was hoping to find for the new update. Look at the bench shown here in the back of Roxy, my 1963 Aristocrat Lo Liner.

1967 Lo-Liner Stove

The fabric seen here is actually in another trailer of mine. The cushions had the same original upholstery though, so you can see what the fabric was that inspired my new covers.

My latest update had a vision to bring back some ‘old’ feeling. I purchased some indoor outdoor fabric for durability on this round. I wanted the look to be similar to the original upholstery from 1965 shown in the photo above. After locating something with that same basic visual feeling, I followed up my purchase of new fabric by searching and watching YouTube style videos online. I needed to learn how to sew this idea into reality. I can add this to the list of skills I am practicing/learning with these travel trailers. After some stalls in my confidence, I overcame fear and designed a version of an envelope pillow (my newly emerged designer skill). Using this basic skill idea, I made new dinette cushion covers with no zippers or velcro. It took some serious wrestling moves to get the foam inside on the first cushion, but after a few attempts I learned some tricks that made it doable. All the hours spent on a bench at wrestling meets paid off here. The little trailer, near 50 years old is schooling me in all kinds of ways and all kinds of growth. This cottage feel that is inherently Thelma Lou, makes me feel happy when I open her unassuming and plain little door, a nice cozy surprise from a somewhat lack luster exterior. Here is her latest update. New cushion covers for the dinette/bed conversion.

My camera has decided not to talk to my computer, so I had to use an ipad for the photo using natural light. Forgive my grainy photograph, but even so, I think you can agree there is a good thing going on here. At least you should be able to agree it is a positive upgrade compared to her prior owners vision. I’m pleased with the way this update gives an old cottage feeling with a nod to the original fabric on her dinette. I liked using the new improved Sunbrella fabric over the old cotton duck cloth because it is so stain and moisture resistant, but comfortable to touch. The cushions are reversible so I can change up the look easily. In the photo below I have one of the cushion backs turned over to show the stripe as seen on the right bench.

TL with sunny dinette and red pillowsThelma Lou is ready for company, or in this case, an Adventure rental or perhaps a mobile Guest Cottage at your house.

 

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