Deconstructed Sofa DIY
Follow me through the DIY process of how I deconstructed a basic thrift store sofa, I found for $25.
I have always said “if I can not find what I am looking for I will build it instead.” Well this time I actually deconstructed it. This sofa was inspired by one of favorite bloggers, Liz Marie and her beautiful deconstructed sofa collection, which I have been internet stalking for some time now. While I adore her many deconstructed sofa’s, I wanted something unique to my home, custom, and pet friendly. Plus heaven knows, we are always up for a DIY challenge. Also, as pet owners we are always challenged with finding upholstered furniture that can stand up to our pets and their claws, so we figured deconstructed seems to be what they create anyways, so why not just embrace it and go with this beautiful pet friendly furniture trend.
So, here are all the details on how this project all went down. These are the before pictures of my Goodwill find that I was able to scoop up for $24.02, I know such a random amount, but I even photographed the tag because I wanted to to document the entire process.
Okay, so here is where a little bit of the magic comes into play, and let me say I knew this before we bought the sofa, while I was inspecting it at our local Goodwill. This is where all those furniture classes from my Interior Design degree came in handy. This is a Lexington sofa, that means this was originally approximately a $3,000-4,000 custom order sofa probably from High Point, NC around 1998-2002. If you don’t believe me google it, it was sold under a high end furniture company’ similar to Tommy Bahama. Yes, now you can find their furniture on Wayfair and other online retailers for much less, but clearly this fabric dates this piece back at least 15- 20 years; which is pre Wayfair and almost pre internet, as we know it today. So, I knew this would be a high quality frame and construction for our project, plus it was in great shape with no stains and the cushions where still like new, not even broken down.
Deconstruction Day, Not Demo Day:
When it comes to deconstructing furniture, my biggest tip would be to go slow and cautiously; because you never really know what lies beneath and what you need to keep. So as much as you want to just cut into the sofa with a razor blade to see the insides, I highly recommend a more surgical approach to this project, it will serve you well. Also, I recommend working at a comfortable height so elevating the piece up onto a sturdy surface is also a back saving tip.
As you can see, we slowly cut into the back of the sofa to reveal the frame and spring construction. If I had just willy nilly cut the fabric I may have cut some the 8 way hand tied ropes or fabric pulls that hold the construction and integrity of the sofa springs together.
Of course, all the filler and batten on the back side of the sofa was slated to go away for that deconstructed look. The skirt was removed as well and the legs, which were stained, were easily sanded to remove the color, to keep the natural raw wood tones. The only question was how the rolled back was going to work?
I realized that the fabric was stretched over the back through the base of the frame, seen here and covered by this muslin, gauze like fabric. I decided that was the the way we would recover it. The existing fabric was clean, with no smells or stains. So, we would use the old fabric as a base to hold all the front foam in place.
So I cut just above this grommeted fabric pull and removed the entire piece exposing more of the frame work on the back and sides. I used a staple gun to tack the existing fabric in place, to hold it until we were able to place the new fabric on the back of the sofa.
The front of the arms were a complete removal, since I wanted to expose as much wood as possible. This is the area where my cats like to claw, so to have fabric here is just asking for trouble. So all of this fabric was removed. I made sculpted razor cuts to the very edge of the rolled arm and removed the entire front portion. The front edge of the sofa fabric was removed as well, along with the front skirt.
Okay, so I chose to use drop cloths available from any home improvement store, as my fabric. This is a very durable fabric and very cost effective as well. The entire sofa, including the cushions, took a total of 2 drop cloths; which were around $12 a piece, so $24 in fabric total. The cushions were completely outside of my wheel house, so I had my local upholstery guy Mike, at Riviera Upholstery recover my cushions for $55 a cushion. So, for 3 cushions I paid $165, which is a total deal for this sofa so far.
Okay so on the next step, like I mentioned above the front fabric feed through the bottom to the back side of this sofa to attach and secure from moving. So we found the center of the drop cloth laid it across the sofa back and attached the finished edge to the frame back with staples.
Then using this very specific tool, y’all it is a paint stir stick, we pushed the fabric though to the back side of the sofa. Once we smoothed out the wrinkles and pulled the fabric tight we stapled the fabric to frame in the back, and cut off the extra remaining drop cloth.
I believe you can see a more detailed shot on the side pictures of each step in this process.
The arms had a little more finessing involved, since you have to pleat the fabric to create the rolled edges. We also had to pleat the areas in the back corners as well. You kind of have to think of it like wrapping a Christmas present, it needs to look nice and neat and the staples are your tape to hold all the fabric in place.
The front edge was just a small strip of drop cloth stapled down along the front edge and then wrapped at the corners.
You may also have noticed that I left just a little piece of the the original fabric behind, which was absolutely intentional. I wanted to have a little souvenir of the this sofas pervious life. Just a little momento, tucked away, that means something to us, and the project that we worked on together. Since it is not visible, you would not ever know it was there unless you were going to flip my cushions over….which means you are hiding something like a spill, well we scotch guarded it too, so no worries.
Just Use A Little Tack:
These furniture tacks are a true life saver and they cover a multitude of flaws, staples, and other things. The part I loved about these, are they come in a roll like ribbon and you only have to put a tack in every 5th space which saves a bunch of time. Plus it keeps the tack line straighter and the spacing even, so if you might be prone to a little OCD like me…. I highly recommend these.
So like I said, these made the job go super quick, but our one and only tip would be to wrap your hammer with duct tape. This will prevent the tacks from getting scuffed when you hammer them in to the sofa. You can try a rubber mallet, but we found this was the best method.
Baby Got Back:
After looking at the sofa back I came to the conclusion that I wanted a wooden back,; not burlap, which is seen on most deconstructed sofas. The reason for my decision was burlap is made out of hemp, and my cats LOVE hemp, since it is in the catnip family. Let me just say, that burlap tree skirts at Christmas are no longer happening around here.
So with that knowledge, we knew burlap would just get shredded on our sofa, so pallet wood became our go to choice. We started to play with different ideas of how we wanted it to look, and decided to cut small pieces to cover the fabric decking on the the back and sides.
This was an easy process as you insert your pallet board, draw a guide like and make your cut.
Then you nail the pieces into place using a nail gun with thin brads.
The next part was the vertical back pieces which was a little bit more involved, since the boards were not long enough to stretch the full length of the sofa. Ron ended up hiding the seems behind the support boards already in place. So really you just need to make sure of your lengths and cuts. “So measure twice, cut once”.
We used left over pieces of 1×2 for spacers to get the boards level and evenly spaced. Think like spacers for tiling, so those grout lines are nice and even, right. Well, we wanted the black opening to be nice and even as well.
I love the final result and I think it will also protect this delicate fabric on those springs from my little beasties. It also has a very rustic look, like an old farm fence or front porch swing, which is charmming unto itself. So for $213.02, I now have a brand new deconstructed sofa, lol. I feel so weird even saying that, it seems so counter intuitive.
Our Deconstructed Sofa:
So we got it all scotch guarded, waited for a pretty day where it was not raining and we moved her, from her temporary home in the basement for the last couple of months where we have been working, to her permeant home as the focal piece of our living room.
I have to say that this sofa is so comfy and actually sits better than our previous leather sofa that we have only had for 3 years, which proves quality construction truly will hold longer. I personally have never invested that kind of money in a sofa because anyone that has pets or children know’s they get ruined so quickly, and that it is never worth the price you pay. However, with the proper construction to keep my pets from destroying this piece, I may be able to keep this one for a long time. So Highpoint furniture makers, I am ready to help design pet friendly furniture anytime, you know where to find me!
I staged the sofa with some of may favorite pillows which I have gotten a lot of question about, so here is the scoop in them. The ATL pillows were a limited addition pillow created for the re-launch of the Atlanta based Frontgate store at Phipps, so they are currently not available. However Ballards their sister company does have a great Altanta line of pillows right now, so check those out. The Farmhouse grain sack pillow is handmade from my friend Lara at Decor JS Designs and I just love her stuff. We met at the Pinterest conference last year, and I will be a guest speaker at her Old World Market , on April 5th. Finally the buffalo check pillows are from DecoNovo set of 2 for $13.99 via Amazon Prime.
I also just had to post this picture, since I worked so hard to stage the room and put a pretty blanket on the back of the sofa, draped all pretty. I go to my office to grab my camera off the charger and come back to find Dexter has nestled into my blanket and knocked it off into the floor, yep this is the true life of a blogger. I guess I could yell and scream at him and run him off, but why? Just to get that perfect magazine shot and ruin his day, yeah it’s not worth it. This was a project all about making pet friendly furniture perfect for our little family, so I figure just embrace what it is, and go with it, right?
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