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Lfoxmont 09-15-2012 01:14 PM

Anyone reapolstered their cushions?
My 1982 Burro has the "came with" brown plaid cushions......with one side beige leather. Has anyone changed their cushions out or can you buy new cushions that look more stylish?

Annie Marino 09-15-2012 04:36 PM

I went to Hobby Lobby and picked out some fabric I liked. My sister is going to make new cushion covers for me. My scamp is a 1979 and the foam inside is still good. The fabric I picked is called wilder kiwi if you want to google to see pics. The fabric was such a good can print off 40% of coupon good for 1 item & it saved me bunches. I will post pics when they are complete

Cat futrell 09-16-2012 01:07 PM


Cushions are not difficult to cover, if you have some experience sewing and don't get freaked out from fear then you can do it. Make sure that you have eliminated distractions!

I hope this can be understood, my writing skills aren't so hot these days. If you decide to try to do this yourself I wish you good luck. It can be quite a savings to recover your own cushions.

Practice on a cushion from something else first to build your confidence.

First you must take the old cushions apart. The best way is to dissemble the old cushions is to, locate the seam edge that when opened is the most natural to remove the foam. This is where you will begin. If there is a zipper, this would be the place. (you can eliminate it on the new cushion.) Open only as much seam as necessary to get the stuffing or foam our of the cover. Mark the ends of the opening.(safety pins work well for this) When you sew your cushion back together you will leave this open so that you can get your foam or stuffing back into the cover.

Catch a seam thread from the outside then cut the threads that hold the fabric pieces together until you have completely disassembled the fabric. (a seam ripper is best tool to use). This will be very scary! As soon as you have opened up the fabric enough to get the foam (or stuffing) out, take out the foam, turn the cushion cover inside out, and before you continue to take the rest of the seams out, use a fabric marker to make marks on the seam edges of the old fabric pieces, both sides!, or use scissors to snip little arrows to mark both sides into the seam allowance of the fabric. They can be spaced as far or close as you are comfortable with. before and after curves are important places to mark. More markers will give you a more accurate guide, each mark or snip must be different from the rest. 1 snip 1 arrow, 2 snips 1 arrow, 2 arrows 1 snip and so on, what ever works best for you. You will eventually transfer these marks to the new pieces. This is so you know how to put it back together. Keep them organized in a way that makes sense to you so you have an idea of what piece goes to what piece. mark the wrong side of the new piece with a note or pencil (that wont show through to the other side) cushion top, cushion side, etc.

Once you have all of the old cushion pieces apart, look at the threads within the weave of the fabric to determine the direction of the "grain". Leather pieces have no weave so use the grain of the opposite piece to determine which way the grain should go. Press the pieces with an iron to flatten them. You can then lay the pieces out on a counter or floor to determine how much material you will need.

Most fabrics come in either 45" or 54" width (with some exceptions). If you lay your pieces out within the width of your desired fabric, -keeping the grain lines of each piece pointing or going the same direction- you can get a rough estimate of how much fabric you will need. Always buy some extra just in case. All of the pieces should be laid either right side up or right side down and must be the same as the original piece. They must all be put down the same - face up or face down. on 1 thickness of fabric.

Don't crowd the pieces as you should probably add to the seam allowance of each piece. (seam allowances from factory sewn cushions are usually smaller than is comfortable for the home sewer and corners are often trimmed even closer to the the seam). Be mindful of the distance between the original seam and the edge of the of the old piece and adjust your seam allowance accordingly so that it is even and something you are comfortable with. 5/8 of an inch is standard and most home machines have this marked on the needle plate to use as a guide when sewing, so that seams are even.

Remember to transfer the marks that you made on each piece to exactly the same place on the new material piece. Keep your markings at the edge of the new pieces so the marks don't show when you have sewn them back together. Once you have all of your pieces pinned to the material - grain lines going in the same direction - seam allowances adjusted from the original seam - and all of your marks transferred to the new pieces you can either trace around the pieces with a pencil or fabric marker, remove the old fabric and cut the new pieces out or cut with the old pieces pinned to the new fabric. Don't forget the adjusted seam allowance when marking or cutting. Don't let the old pieces slip on the new fabric. Your new pieces must be the same size and shape (plus any seam allowance adjustments you have made) as the old piece and face the same direction, right sides must be the same, either both up or both down and grain lines going the same direction.

Time to sew -
Locate the markers that you made on the pieces and pin them (right sides together) lining up the edges. don't pin the whole cushion together, just the two pieces of the seam that you are working on, then ad a third and so on. It may be necessary to clip the outside of curves to get the pieces to fit, don't clip more than the depth of your seam allowance or you will have holes at the seams when you are finished. You must match the markers that you made , making sure that they come together for the entire seam. Now sew them together. Don't sew the seam that you opened first to take out the foam/stuffing. Leave it open, this is so you can get the foam, stuffing back in to the new cushion. If the old cushion had a zipper you can omit it and treat the place where the zipper was as a seam. It will likely be the place to leave open so that you can reinsert the foam.

Once you have all of your pieces sewn together you will have an inside out cushion with an opening (where you began opening the original cushion). If you have curved seams(you probably will), take you scissors and making certain not to cut through the seam, snip the seam allowance from the outside edge toward the seam, this will allow the fabric to bend to the proper shape when turned.

Using the opening that you left to put in the foam, turn the new cushion right side out. If it looks a little bit like the one your are replacing, that is good! Use your fingers on the inside to push the seams to the proper shape.

If the foam that you removed had batting wrapped around it check the condition, if it is intact without holes or open places then you can leave it. If there is no batting (polyester batting by the yard from fabric store) - wrap the foam in batting - single layer, covering all of the foam, you may need to use some spray adhesive to secure it into place. You only need to keep it in place, not glue it down.

Stuff the foam into the new cushion, It may be tight but that is ok (within reason). Once you have the foam properly positioned into the new cover pull the opening together. Whip stitch it closed as invisibly as possible. Make sure that your seam is tight and the foam can't be seen through the opening.

If you are replacing the foam, make sure to replace it with the same thickness on new foam. Foam can be cut with an electric knife.

The batting not only helps the foam slide more easily into the cover but also gives a nicer end result.


Lfoxmont 09-16-2012 01:49 PM

Thank you very much for the two ideas. I do sew so I may try this! Again, thanks so much!

Carl V 09-16-2012 04:02 PM

Just a quick trick (this may have been posted previously, i don't know):
If the foam is difficult to slide into the cushion, put it in a garbage plastic bag. Then use your vacuum cleaner to suck the air inside the bag, this will make the foam shrink and get smaller. The plastic of the bag will also help it slide in. Once into position, just rip the plastic bag out (or leave it in place, the foam will not absorb any liquid someone may spill).


Lfoxmont 09-16-2012 10:39 PM

Thanks for the bag trick! Amazing what works....

bondgirl1020 09-17-2012 07:46 PM

Just wondering, how much fabric should I get to reupholster by Boler's cushions?


Todd Reed 09-17-2012 09:27 PM

I did a quick reupholster on my scamp cushions by just cutting boards about an inch shorter all the way around. I lay the foam on top of the board, then stretch the fabric around the foam and board and attached it to the back of the board with staples.
With patience, it looks very neat.

Lfoxmont 09-17-2012 10:30 PM

Now that is quick and easy! Thanks!

Thomas G. 09-18-2012 06:16 AM


Originally Posted by Todd Reed (Post 334268)
I did a quick reupholster on my scamp cushions by just cutting boards about an inch shorter all the way around. I lay the foam on top of the board, then stretch the fabric around the foam and board and attached it to the back of the board with staples.
With patience, it looks very neat.

I did the same. I used 1/4" plywood on the bottom, then covered it with rubber mesh shelf liner to shield the staples from the surface underneath and prevent skidding. Not as pretty as real sewn cushions, but inexpensive and easy to do.

fusedlight 09-18-2012 08:21 AM

I've passed this on to My Beloved as she's about to embark on an upholstery project for our Scamp. Bye-Bye leopard skin fabric (courtesy of a PO).

Lfoxmont 09-18-2012 09:25 PM

Question re stretching fabric and stapling to plywood.........what did you do with the sections that curve around the seat? This would be the top cushions.......

Thomas G. 09-20-2012 01:30 PM


Originally Posted by Lfoxmont (Post 334457)
Question re stretching fabric and stapling to plywood.........what did you do with the sections that curve around the seat? This would be the top cushions.......

On curved sections you need to fold and pleat as necessary. You cut out the excess so there is not a big lump where it is doubled. Not as pretty as sewn cushion for sure, but cheap and easy.

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