A while back, I wrote about wanting a new couch for our living room, and coming across a free one with all the right lines, but the wrong fabric. You can read that post here. Here's where I started:
As practice, I rebuilt a chair, which you can read about here. I know a couch is much more work than a chair, but I figured if I didn't have patience for a chair, there was no way this couch was going to be worth it!
Chair: check! Couch: uhh...ok?
After finishing the chair, I decided to give the couch a try! Here's how it went.
First things first: find a space where you can have couch parts laying around for a while. For most people, I would guess that this is not a weekend project. My couch went in the garage, but I was at least smart enough to put an old carpet remnant down first so I didn't have to work on the concrete floor!
The first step was to disassemble the couch. After taking a bunch of photos, I peeled off each layer of fabric, more fabric and foam, starting with the dust cover on the very bottom. I kept the fabric, just in case I needed a template. Here's the first view of the bottom.
Now, I was hoping that I would be able to just take off the old fabric and put new fabric on, but not on this couch. The brown webbing had stretched out a long time ago, and so the springs weren't really supported any more. Read: This couch was going down to the frame.
Here's some nightmare-worthy views of the disassembly process:
I pulled so many lost objects out of this couch; bobby pins, a mechanical pencil, a coaster, a lincoln log, and eleven cents. No gold bars.
After probably 40 hours of pulling thousands of staples and breaking my knuckles open, I finally got to this:
Can you see it yet? (just kidding)
Source: West Elm
If you are thinking, "how in the world did she know where to start"?, check out this book (Spruce by Amanda Brown). It had a similar couch that I was able to use as a guide, which is easy to follow, even if the work itself isn't really easy.
Re-building the couch was much more enjoyable than tearing it apart! First up was the webbing, which gets woven, stretched and stapled to the bottom of the frame.
Once that was finished, the springs were sewn to the webbing and tied together. This part is tricky! Picture me trying to hold a spring down with one foot, while trying to tie it down and staple it... graceful, for sure, haha! After that couch ballet, here's what I had:
After this came layers of foam and batting:
And then finally, the first piece of actual fabric!
Speaking of the fabric, did you know that West Elm sells their upholstery fabric by the yard? My inspiration couch came from West Elm, so it seemed like a good chance to make this one look similar. It's a nice woven linen fabric - their Linen Weave in Platinum (here's the exact one). I bought it on sale for about $20 a yard, which is a great price for upholstery fabric. This couch needed about 20 yards of fabric, which really was the bulk of the cost for reupholstering it.
Next I worked on the cushions, and while I meant to make them a little taller than the existing ones, I ended up making them too tall and hard to take them apart and remake them! If there's one thing I can't stand in DIY, it's having to re-do something!
Eventually, one weekend I turned my living room into my upholstery studio and decided to knock this thing out! So more layers of burlap, foam and batting eventually got me here:
Doesn't it look like it's wearing a sweater?!
And finally, the finished couch!
So, to recap, before:
So, was it worth it? Well, it's hard to say! It took me about 80 hours spread over 6 months to finish it, and it cost a little more than half of the $1200 price tag on the new couch. So, it cost a lot of time, but saved a decent amount of money. You can see that it was not professionally upholstered, especially the cushions, but I like that I was able to "save" a really solid piece of furniture, which was truly the mid-century style I was going for.
I can at least say that it is Lucy Dog-approved!
I actually finished the couch back in the spring, and so far it has held up pretty well. The fabric has gotten some of those little pills on them, but otherwise hasn't gotten damaged or stained, even with a dog in the house who believes the couch is hers. :)
If there's anything I left out, feel free to leave a question in the comments!