Volvo 240 – Modifying the Glove Box Cover

Hello everyone 🙂

I thought I’d share with you my attempt at “re-upholstering” the lid/cover on my car’s glove box. The stock interior design is fairly simple and is supposed to be durable. With the car getting older and things beginning to fall to pieces, I thought the glove box could do with some livening up.


As you can see, the stock black and beige cover isn’t really that interesting.


Firstly, I traced around the edge of the old cover onto a piece of cardboard to obtain the correct profile. Upon cutting out the shape, I tested it to make sure it fitted well with the plastic backing. I then copied the shape onto MDF and cut it out with a jigsaw. It was important to make sure there was a small gap at the edge between the wood and the plastic to allow the cloth to slide in. I also added some dowel across the MDF braces to create a neater fit. I probably should have added some at the centre trim area as well… Light, closed-cell foam was added to make up the contours and to stop the fabric sinking inwards.

The plastic backed fabric, from a “Workmate” ring insert folder was cut slightly larger than needed. It was first glued along the MDF edge only, to get the basic form. I then trimmed it to make sure the fabric would slide fully into the gap. Extra slits were made at corners and sharper curves to allow the fabric to be “flat”.


Next, I created a backing to go around the knob, made of thick card. Originally this was going to be spiced up with some red cord, but I decided this wouldn’t look as neat. The next item is the vinyl wrapped trim piece – it looks ok, I just hope it doesn’t bubble or peel since the trim is glued on with polyurethane glue…


The centre-piece (which is actually two pieces) is the same black card used before, except it is spray painted gloss red with extra clear coat layers on top. I pre-bent the card to minimise bending during install. At this stage the design still looked like it was missing something, and the interface between the fabric and the plastic didn’t look that great.


I bought some thin red elastic cord from a fabric shop to liven up the edges. I was going to add some under the trim piece, however it just didn’t look right.


With all the new highlights, the knob was now sticking out like a sore thumb, so I hole-sawed a piece of scrap hole-saw material from another project to put over it. The wood is celery top pine – it is quite light and strong, yet is fairly easy to work. I was able to squeeze the wooden cylinder with a wall thickness of 2mm while hole-sawing, and it didn’t crack or split. It was finished with Australian Export clear coat. The wood turns much darker with the clear coat – a water based coat may be suitable if you want to retain the wood’s natural lighter colour.


Here you can see I practiced some “burnt wood” design with a soldering iron. The clear coat reduced the contrast of the burnt wood, as the wood used to be much paler.


For now, this is the finished design. I still need to clear up a few blemishes, and perhaps decorate the inside a little. It will be interesting to see how this looks with the rest of the beige interior – it may look kind of silly, however I plan on colouring other interior items of the car as well 🙂

I hope you found this interesting and/or helpful – if you have any pics of your modified interior, I would like to have a look!

Take care guys,

Rennie ♪


Update: I added some highlights to the inside of the door.

Volvo 240 Glove Box Mod 14

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