Introduction: Reupholstering a Steering Wheel
A step by step on how to restore an old steering wheel.
1 x Old steering wheel
1 x long strip of cardboard/card stock
1 x long strip of leather/suede/alcantara
Step 1: Inspection
Steering wheel seen better days?
You can reupholster the wheel on or off the car.
Taking it off makes things a bit easier, but is optional.
To remove your steering wheel:
Please proceed with caution...
Head to your local mechanic if you're having trouble.
*Disconnect the battery*
Unplug the necessary cables (airbag etc)
Remove the horn cover (Screws behind the steering wheel)
Remove the bolt on the center of the wheel.
Remove steering wheel.
Step 2: Removing the Original Cover
Snap detail pictures of the stitching before you remove the original cover.
Take note as to how the cover is put together.
In this case the original cover had a machine stitch 4mm from the seam edge.
The machine stitched edge is then hand sewn together.
To remove the original cover, use a blade or a seam ripper to dismantle the stitching.
Tip: Mark where the patterns fall on the steering wheel with a white pencil.
Step 3: Original Wheel Cover Off.
Your wheel cover should look like this.
Step 4: Create Patterns
Flatten the original wheel cover out.
Put it against your cardstock/cardboard.
Trace the pattern directly.
When you cut the pattern out.
Cut on the inside of the traced line
(so you don't enlarge the pattern)
Transfer the pattern onto your choice of leather/suede/alcantara
cut the leather to size.
Tip: If you don't feel comfortable cutting a fresh piece of leather,
try it on scrap fabric first!
Tip: You only need to trace 1/2 of the pattern. Flip it for the other side.
Step 5: Ready to Wrap
Use your sewing machine to pre-stitch 4mm from the seam edge.
Also connect the ends of the leather pattern with a closed seam.
Step 6: Slide the Cover On.
The new cover should fit pretty snug onto the steering wheel.
Step 7: Checking Fitment
Remember those lines you scribed in with your white pencil.
Check to see if your pattern fits in those lines.
(You shouldn't have to, but trim if necessary.)
Step 8: Start Stitching
Start stitching from the middle spoke so there won't be alignment issues as you stitch your way up to the top.
Step 9: Patience
This is tedious work but it pays off!
Almost 1/2 way.
Step 10: Finished Details
Some close ups.
Step 11: Install New Wheel