How to Make Wheelchair Armrest Covers

What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Heavy duty scissors or cutter
Chalk marker
1 Yard vinyl
2 Pieces of foam pipe insulation
Handpress snap machine
8 4-Part gripper snaps

Putting covers on an wheelchair armrest can provide extra comfort to the user. Making these covers is quite easy and this article will show you how to do it.

Step 1 – Measuring the Arm Rest

With your measuring tape, measure the length and width of the arm rest of the wheelchair. Use the same measurement to measure your Polyethylene foam pipe insulation. With the scissors or cutter, cut the foam pipe insulation.

You can find foam pipe insulation in any hardware or plumbing stores. As the name suggests, foam pipe insulation is tubular shaped foam.

Step 2 – Measuring and Cutting the Vinyl

Using the measurements you took of the width and length of the arm rest as base, measure the vinyl as well but this time adding 1 inch to the length and 2 inches to the width.

Make sure that you mark these measurements appropriately using a chalk marker or any marker that can be wiped off easily so as not to ruin the vinyl. You need to make 2 pieces with the same measurements, one for each arm rest. After measuring the pieces, cut it out using a heavy duty scissor.

Step 3 – Placing the Insulation on the Armrest

Open up the tubular-shaped foam insulation pipe. There is generally a slit along one side of the pipe making it easier for you to spread out the foam. You can use your cutter to open the slit further. Make sure that you spread the PE foam pipe insulation lengthwise.

After separating the foam pipe insulation, place it on top of the wheelchair arm rest to check if the foam fits. Repeat the process to the other piece of Polyethylene foam pipe insulation also placing it on top of the other arm rest.

Step 4 – Measuring the Snap Guidelines

After cutting the vinyl, measure the guidelines you will need for the snaps. Make 4 marks about 1 ½ inches apart along the edge of the long side of the vinyl. Use the chalk marker making sure you mark on the inset of the vinyl.

Flip the vinyl. Do the same process also starting on the edge. You should end up with 8 marks for each piece of vinyl or 4 marks per side per piece of vinyl.

Step 5 – Attaching the Snaps

With the handpress snap machine, attach the 4 part gripper snaps along the 4 marks by the edge of one piece of vinyl. Attach the snap top first. The snap top should be placed on one side. Flip the piece to show you the other edge. The snap bottom should be placed on this side. Handpress the bottom clasps on this side. Repeat this process for both the vinyl pieces.

Step 6 – Placing the Vinyl Pieces

You can now put the vinyl pieces on top of the foam pipe insulation on the wheelchair arm rest. Make sure that the snaps are facing downward. Also make sure that the foam and vinyl are properly aligned.

Snap all the gripper snaps securely making sure that the bottom and top snaps are closed properly. Do the same to the other vinyl piece on the other arm rest.