Go to the local library and get some upholstery books that show a sofa stripped down to the wood. Study the shapes you like and figure out how to make a simplified version. Two by fours, some slabs of plywood sheeting, at least 1/2 inch thick, use good long wood screws so you can undo your work if you want to modify or move it. Legs can be bought premade, stained and attached. Then foam for padding and foam cushions for cushions or one long piece, staple fabric as appropriate. Figure out all the things ahead of time and have a helper if necessary.
I made two futons with my daughter when I couldn't afford new mattresses so I am a great believer in do it yourself. My ex made bunk beds out of 4x4's which he carved a little and foam mattresses. If you want something that looks ordinary, I'd just look for a good used one, but you could do a nice job on something a little unique.
OR.....look on craigslist for a free or inexpensive one, rip it down to the wooden frame so you don't have to deal with that and build it back up.
I guess I would do some careful comparison priceing of the materials needed to build a sofa and then compare those costs with the price of a ready built sofa. I do a lot of sewing and have found a lot of the time that an item can be bought at a lower price than making it.
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
I am looking for plans on how to build a sofa set for our living room. If anyone could help me out it would be greatly appreciated.
Tammy from TX
RE: Build Your Own Sofa
A wonderful alternative to building your own sofa is the products offered at homereserve.com
Each piece of furniture comes in boxes, ready to be assembled. Each piece of furniture has storage under the seat(s). If you want to replace your fabric, they have a price for replacement fabrics. And, the really cool thing is if you have to move, you can disassemble the whole thing and pack it in boxes to move. I just ordered a sofa, chair, ottoman, and pillows for my new apartment. The prices can't be beat, especially for all the bells and whistles. (02/16/2005)
The jab in the back of the thighs, the front edge needs to be comfortable but firm. A good roll of padding over the front should do that. Or a low base and thick cushion.
Cushion material, are you going to use cheap foam blocks that last only 6 months before they are flat? What about mutting up an old Duvet and making big comfy pillow style seating?
How about making a frame that holds many bean bags?
Slouch factor - do you want to be able to lean against the arms of the sofa? then your going to have to pad them too.
Seat height, measure your legs - make it for you.
Seat base -1. springs? spend good money on them or you'll be sat on the floor soon. 2. fabric hammock style - again spend good money. 3. solid base - lots of padding (think about your bed base and mattress)
Could you drill holes to take those "self assemble" half turn clip joints in your design? They are really easy to do.
The angle of the seat to the base - it's more than 90 degrees.
Lumbar support - very very important, else you'll be using your bed pillows to get comfortable.
Length - will you want to lie down on it?
Coffee/tea cup holder? (I'm British - tea for me!)
Will it be movable? are wheels needed? or can you screw it to the wall?
Upholstery - are you going to use old cushions? Can you sew, and overlock?
I'm about done for now - but I'm certainly thinking about my design a bit more! thanks for helping me think about this. (12/31/2005)
I made a sofa in the 70's, great, comfortable, looked good and I could change the covers to wash them. Base was 3/4" plywood, 3 sets of cushions bottom and back, cushioned arms, all wrapped in batting, firm foam, then muslin covers. Over the muslin covers I put eggshell corduroy velvet covers that could be taken off and washed. Got the pattern and instructions from either Family Circle or Better Homes and Gardens - there was a picture of a penthouse on front with a sofa, love seat (or chair) great couch, so comfortable, wish I still had it. Cheap to build, solid. You might check that source, the magazine that is. (03/28/2008)
RE: Build Your Own Sofa
One of the Sara Richardson's shows on either HGTV or Fine Living is a show entitled "Summer Shack". She made a wonderful sofa/daybed from scrap plywood and what looks to be 2X4 lumber. Then she used HD Foam and covered it with cotton canvas fabric. I believe she made it only 30 inches deep which is great for small spaces and doesn't give it that bed made into a sofa look and feel. For the back she made pillows with tie dye fabric. I love it and plan to build one this summer. If you have cable TV and watch for the show this may be what you are looking for. I believe the show was in her "Room Service" series not "Design Inc". But, I could be wrong. (10/03/2008)
Answer This Question
Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to answer this question.