If you are wanting to customise and transform the appearance of your vehicle interior, then you should consider changing your headliner. We watched a video on youtube of someone else doing this and we were inspired to do it ourselves after seeing how easy it looked.
The whole process took us around 5 hours and we were so impressed with the final result. So many people we have met have also commented about the headliner and everyone seems to love it!
We were aiming for jungle vibes inside our van so we feel that the headliner covered in green leaves really adds to our theme.
In this blog post, we will explain how we covered the headliner and how much the whole process cost.
Below, we will explain step-by-step, how we changed our headliner.
1. Remove The Headliner
The first thing you need to do is remove the headliner from inside the vehicle. You will need to unscrew many parts which are holding the headliner in place. This includes the mirrors, handles and sun visors.
It is best to store each screw and item in separate plastic bags so nothing gets lost. If you misplace some screws then it will cause huge problems later when you need to reattach everything.
2. Remove Current Fabric
Headliners in some vehicles are already covered in fabric. If this is the case, you can remove it. Our headliner was not covered in any fabric so we stuck the new fabric on top of the current carpet style material and it worked perfectly.
3. Measure The Headliner
You need to measure the headliner to work out how much fabric you need to buy. It is a good idea to always purchase 1m more than you need incase you make any mistakes.
4. Purchase Fabric
We purchased 4m of fabric to cover our headliner and the fabric we purchased was on sale for ¥600 per meter! Fabric shops in Japan have such a huge selection of different designs so you can choose whatever colour or design that you like. Some people say that stretchy material like fleece works best for covering the headliner but we bought a normal type of fabric that was not stretchy at all and it worked fine.
The fabric we purchased was from a roll of fabric so this meant that we had two strips of fabric that we needed to attach to the headliner. Luckily it is not very noticeable since the leaf design hides where the two pieces of fabric join. If you can buy one big piece of fabric that covers the entire headliner, it would be better.
5. Purchase Spray Adhesive Glue
To attach the fabric to the headliner you will need to use spray adhesive glue. Do not use normal glue as this will stain the fabric and make it appear yellow. It is important to buy the strongest spray adhesive glue you can find from the homeware store.
Do not buy cheap spray adhesive since it will not last for a long time. We purchased 2 cans but in the end, it wasn’t enough so we recommend purchasing 3 cans of spray adhesive.
6. Use Spray Adhesive Glue
Before you start using the spray adhesive glue, make sure you have everything ready. Once the spray glue has been used, you only have a few minutes to apply the fabric before the glue starts to set.
It’s best to attach small areas at one time. For example, start by spraying an area of the headliner with a width of around 10cm. Spray this area 2-3 times with the spray adhesive, then start attaching the fabric. It is important that the fabric is smoothed by your hand and there are no lumps.
After that you can move onto the next 10cm. Cover the entire headliner and don’t worry about any holes for things like the mirror, these can be covered with the fabric and you can cut them later.
When you have attached the entire piece of fabric to the headliner, you can let it dry for around 20 minutes.
7. Cut Excess Fabric
Turn the headliner over so the new fabric is facing the floor. You can trim all the excess fabric around the headliner using fabric scissors. Leave around 2-3 cm of fabric so you glue it easily.
8. Glue Fabric To Back Side Of Headliner
Use the spray adhesive glue on the 2-3cm of excess fabric and stick it to the back side of the headliner. Do this the whole way around the headliner. For the corners, you can use scissors and cut a line to the headliner so you can fold the corners easily.
9. Cut Holes
For the areas which have holes for the mirror or the sun visors. You need to puncture the fabric using your fabric scissors. You can cut an X shape from the middle to each corner. Glue this fabric to the back of the headliner. Do this for every hole.
10. Reinstall The Headliner
When the glue has dried and your headliner is ready, you can install it back inside your vehicle. It is an awkward shape so if you can get someone else to help you hold the headliner while you screw everything back into place, it will make it easier.
What is our overall verdict?
We absolutely love our headliner and it is one of our favourite DIY changes which we made in our van. As mentioned earlier, the whole process took around 5 hours for one person to do.
We didn’t have any experience with this type of thing and it was our first time using spray adhesive glue. We completed this project 4 months ago and our headliner is still perfect. The fabric is still securely attached so using extra strong glue is the most important advice we can give.
We hope this step-by-step guide was helpful for anyone who is looking to customise their vehicle and cover their headliner.
How much did it cost?
Glue (2 cans): ¥1910
Total = ¥4310
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