For the past few years, I’ve been constructing miniature bench and buckets seats; upholstering them in various fabrics and custom patterns; and displaying them in my shop for customers to see and feel. I’ve found that they help customers to better visualize the designs I recommend for their vehicles.
These miniature seats also allow me to showcase different types of materials. There are a lot of unfair stereotypes about vinyl, so I upholstered one chair in Allante with Texsuede inserts. When I tell customers that both materials are simulations of leather and suede, their opinions immediately change.
Lately, I’ve also been making sample motorcycle seats. The pattern and material combinations for motorcycle seats are endless, so I try to use the most common ones to put on display. On my latest seat, I embroidered the Harley Davidson logo so that I could show customers firsthand what can be done with embroidery.
Using basic carpentry skills, the seats are really easy to construct. I create my bench and bucket seats out of 1″ by 4″ lumber and the motorcycle seats from 3/8” plywood. I find time to make them on weekends and slow days at my shop.
It’s actually been a lot of fun making these seats and I plan on making many more. I recommend that other auto upholstery shops do the same and hang them on their walls – as it makes selling jobs much easier.
For an in-depth how-to video on building mini motorcycle seats, check out our video: How to Build a Display Motorcycle Seat.