You’ve heard of #vanlife, right? Well, you don’t need a van or an SUV to go camping in your car. I’ll show you guys exactly how I created a futon and turned my hatchback Ford Focus (named The Great Blueberry) into the ultimate camping car!
Really that just means I added a bed in the back and added a few homey details.
Gather your supplies
In order to make a custom futon for any sized vehicle, you’re going to need a few things.
Clean your car out
If you are anything like I was this summer, you basically live in your car, which means there is a ton of unnecessary crap all over the place. Cleaning your car out will make making the futon so much easier, I promise!
Measure your sheet
Measuring your sheet to fit your car is really simple. I laid the sheet in the open space with the seats down and folded in the excess fabric.
I kept it folded as I moved to the front porch where I would have more space and started cutting.
Cut your sheet
Cutting fabric is always the scary part for me. Once you cut it, that’s it. There is no going back and piecing it together.
I cut about an inch larger than where I folded it at. That way I had a little cushion room for sewing on each side.
Pin the pieces together
Your sheet should not be in two pieces. You should still have a crease line on one of the long sides. Pin the fabric around the other edges where it is cut to make sewing easier.
This step is pretty straight forward. You shouldn’t need too much direction. Sew in a straight line. It’s okay if it’s not even that straight.
But one thing to make sure you absolutely do is to leave an open space large enough to fill the pocket with stuffing. I might have sewn past projects shut when I actually needed to stuff them. Oops.
Pretend to be a ghost
Pictures are worth a thousand words, right? Well, this one explains it all.
Stuffing your new futon
I used the insides of about 30 pillows to stuff my new mattress. Thankfully, I work at a hotel and the hotel is in the process of swapping out all the old pillows with new ones. I took a few of the rejects home, gutted them, and threw out the leftover fabric.
Check with local hotels to see if they are replacing old pillows and have any leftovers. Often times they just want them gone and will give them to you for free or at a very discounted price. Just the other day I sold eight old ones for $20, that’s $2.50 apiece and oh so cheap!
Sew the opening shut
Again, pretty self-explanatory.
Don’t forget to pin it shut before you try to sew it. Since the futon is so stuffed, the pins do make it a lot easier to keep the opening closed and everything on track.
Make your futon bed
To finish making your futon as a proper bed, you’ll need pillows and a set of sheets. I used full-sized sheets for my car and they fit perfectly!
Don’t forget to get mosquito net to throw over the back hatch to keep all the bugs out!
Things to take with on any camping trip
Annual National Park Pass – for $80 you can enter any National Park or any National Park operated site for one year from the date of purchase.
Water – I always have at least a gallon of water with me
Water Bottle – Fill it with water from the gallon
Cooler – Keep food fresh and chilled
Share this with your adventure buddy and pin to your road trip board!
Have you ever camped in your car or made a futon for the back of your car?
Share in the comments below!