Intro: Padded Armrest for Truck
I recently went on a 1,300 mile trip in my new truck, and decided I needed a bit more padding in the door armrests. I tend to drive with my elbow resting on the door's armrest, and after a few hours began wishing I had a bit more padding there. I checked on the internet to see what might be available, but all the armrest pads I found either looked sort of junky, or required that I stick them on with adhesive tape.
There was one, however, that was perfect, only it wasn't offered for my particular truck (plus it cost $89 each!).
So, I decided I would make my own.
Step 1: Make a Template
The first thing I did was make a paper template based on the truck's armrest. I made one template, which could be flipped over for using on both the left and right armrests.
Step 2: Build the Base of the Armrest Pad
I used masonite for the base. The creative part of this base is how it mounts to the door. I didn't want to use any adhesive, so I made the armrest base where it would just snap into the existing door pull portion of the truck's armrest. I cut a 90 degree bracket from some scrap metal I had laying around, and attached it to the base, and attached a piece of scrap plywood to this bracket that would go inside the door pull.
At the bottom of the scrap plywood, I attached a thick piece of rubber. I carefully measured the size of this piece of rubber so that when the armrest pad was placed on the door, it would literally snap in place and stay there. In other words, the tension established by the rubber piece would hold the armrest pad in place.
Step 3: Use Padding
I bought a piece of 1 inch heavy padding from a fabric store, trimmed it to fit the base. and glued it on.
Step 4: Upholster the Armrest Pad
I went to a fabric store and found some fabric that matched my interior that had a bit of stretch to it, and decided this would be my upholstery fabric.
I don't have a sewing machine (nor do I know how to use one), so I did all the stitching by hand. This was the most difficult part of the project, although after I made one pad the other was a bit easier. I didn't take photos of the sewing process, but basically I sewed it wrong side out then flipped it right side out and fastened it in place on the bottom of the armrest pad's base.
I was pleased with the end result. The pad is comfortable, and it matches the truck pretty well. And best of all, it cost me less than $10 for two armrest pads!