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Re-Covering Teeter Totter Seats With Marine Vinyl

re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl

The seats are a dried up mess.

Now, don't get me wrong. It's not the fault of the manufacturer that my seats are a mess. We bought this teeter totter secondhand from a woman who ran a daycare and she had it for a long time. Then, we bought it so our grandchildren would have something fun to play on in the yard.

So. The seats are showing the effects of having been out in the sun for years, and having been exposed to extremes in temperature. It gets very far below zero here in Minnesota and I'm sure that our extremes are a jolt to molded foams.

I have some new foam to insert into the vinyl to pad them a little better.

Prototype With Paper

I am going to visualize my end result using paper, tape, an object and a pair of scissors.

This way I can encounter any issues before I start to cut my fabric


The seats are in the same condition. Dry, cracking, the bolts are starting to poke out.

The seats are in the same condition. Dry, cracking, the bolts are starting to poke out.

Need an Allen wrench to remove the bolt

Need an Allen wrench to remove the bolt

the second bolt is inside a shock absorber

the second bolt is inside a shock absorber

A phone number to order new seats, but I am not going to order seats.

A phone number to order new seats, but I am not going to order seats.

re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl

A Simple Pattern

Since I have not removed the seats yet, I'd like to make my upholstery job a little less stressful and am going to make a paper version of the seat cover before I start. I have some paper, an ice cream cone pen, a regular pen, a scissors and some tape.

It's almost like wrapping a Christmas present. But, instead of taping the ends, I'm going to top stitch. If it would look okay to sew inside out and reverse, I would do it that way, but I will assume that vinyl does not flip well, so top stitch it is.

Note: I did find that vinyl can be sewed face to face, so I made a top with corners top stitched. Attached the top to the bottom. I sewed it completely shut and then, took a scissors and made a t shaped cut on the bottom. Reached my hand in and pulled it inside out. Then inserted the old seat. Inserted the new foam and reattached it to the teeter totter.

I need two pieces. One for the top, which allows for the distance from the top to the bottom, plus the area of the actual seat, and one for the bottom, which will allow for splitting so that the seat will insert into the replacement cover like a pillow into a pillow case.

I bought my piece of vinyl from JoAnn Fabrics and it was nice. I ordered online, I was sent an email when it was ready to pick up. I drove up, they brought it to my car window, and then, I went home. So cool.

The first line is the 'actual size

The first line is the 'actual size

the second line is the top plus the length from the top to the bottom. This side height will be added to the top piece.

the second line is the top plus the length from the top to the bottom. This side height will be added to the top piece.

I will use a pen for my model.

I will use a pen for my model.

The paper covers the pen.

The paper covers the pen.

I need to squish the paper down the sides of the pen, to accommodate for the height of the pen.

I need to squish the paper down the sides of the pen, to accommodate for the height of the pen.

See how the pen and the squishing make a 3D shape

See how the pen and the squishing make a 3D shape

I'm going to fold the paper back and tape it. On the actual seat cover, I will top stitch the fold over on both sides.

I'm going to fold the paper back and tape it. On the actual seat cover, I will top stitch the fold over on both sides.

Fold over to remove excess paper for a sharp, trim look

Fold over to remove excess paper for a sharp, trim look

Now, I have a top and a bottom. The bottom is smaller because it is the actual size of the bottom. A little bigger to allow for the stitching around the edge.

Now, I have a top and a bottom. The bottom is smaller because it is the actual size of the bottom. A little bigger to allow for the stitching around the edge.

See the actual difference in size.

See the actual difference in size.

Two pieces of tape, one for each side

Two pieces of tape, one for each side

tape the folded spot over the pen

tape the folded spot over the pen

now I have a tapered shape

now I have a tapered shape

The bottom piece fits this top piece of taped paper.

The bottom piece fits this top piece of taped paper.

re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl

In Theory This Should Work

It. Will. Work.


I picked up my material the other day. I purchased one yard of a blue marine vinyl. It was 54 inches wide, so one yard was sufficient.

Vinyl Fabric and Thread

re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl

Remove the Seats

Metric wrenches

Metric wrenches

Unscrew the two bolts holding each seat onto the frame.

Unscrew the two bolts holding each seat onto the frame.

Trace around seats, but add 1/2 inch to cut

Trace around seats, but add 1/2 inch to cut

Two seats, cut two of the bottoms

Two seats, cut two of the bottoms

Two seats, two tops. Need overlap for sides, add for that, plus 1/2 inch

Two seats, two tops. Need overlap for sides, add for that, plus 1/2 inch

re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
I used a sharpie to Trace around

I used a sharpie to Trace around

Trace around top and cut two

Trace around top and cut two

Use seat to determine back seams

Use seat to determine back seams

Tape folds  Make sure both seats match, somewhat.

Tape folds Make sure both seats match, somewhat.

Topstitch taped folded area

Topstitch taped folded area

Fold and Mark center

Fold and Mark center

Center mark

Center mark

re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
Match centers

Match centers

re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl
re-covering-teeter-totter-seats-with-marine-vinyl