VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS

What do you do when your seats are pretty much wiped out? You could spend about $300 on a new upholstery set and install it yourself, or, if your budget is low like mine, you could go the cheap route and find something to get by until your budget increases.

Here’s what I did in several sort of easy steps.

Step one: Find some presentable seat covers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI found these FOOSE covers at WalMart for $20.

Step 2: Drag out the old wiped-out seats and give them a good cleaning.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANot too pretty.

Step 3: Take it all apart.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey come apart pretty easily. Just a few screws and some pins.

Step 4: Look at the ugly rusted stuff on the underside.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANo surprises here. It’s old.

Step 5: Clean it up and paint it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALooking better now.

Step 6: Cut the seat covers to separate the back from the seat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt only took a little cutting to get the pieces ready for installation.

Step 7: Lay out the seat back and figure out the glueing sequence.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI started with the lower center and worked my up using spray adhesive.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter I finished the center section I did the edges and then pulled the remaining stretchy material around to the backside and glued it.

Step 8: Put the seat back panel on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had to spray the back panel with vinyl dye. It helped a little.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo here is the back all glued.

Step 9: Do the seat bottom in a similar fashion.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere it is with the cover glued on. The seat is easier than the back.

Step 10: Assemble seat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd here it is assembled.

Step 11: Stick it in the car.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStep 12: Look at it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd that’s how to do a seat make-over the cheap way. It doesn’t look as good as a real upholstery kit would but it looks far better than the slip-on seat cover. Eventually I want to make my own custom seat upholstery but I don’t have the tools for that yet.

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