Build Your Own Sofa Bed: DIY Couch Plans

January 12, 2012, In: creative DIY ideas
0

Last week when I posted about of our DIY couch that turns into a sofa bed many of you requested detailed plans so these are for you.

The couch when constructed measures 33″ tall, 72″ wide, and 32″ deep.

How-to-Make-a-DIY-Couch-LittleGreenBow.com

The top seat can be removed to make a queen sized bed when you have company over. When folded out, the bed measures 54″ wide x 72″ long.

DIY-Couch-to-Sofa-Bed-Plans-from-LittleGreenBow

Supplies: from last week’s post

* 6 – 2×4 boards
* 2 – 2×6 boards
* 2 – 2×2 boards
* 24″ of 4×4 post
* 2 sheets of plywood
* 2 yards of batting
* 2 yards of burlap
* 2 paint drop cloths (9′x12′)
* sand paper
* stain
* screws
* staple gun
* miter saw
* circular saw
* thick foam mattress
* 2 foam mattress toppers

Cut List:

A) 1 – 2×4 @ 72″
B) 1 – 2×6 @ 72″
C) 4 – 2×6 @ 25 1/2″ (Tapered as shown in step 1)
D) 3 – 2×4 @ 22″
E) 1 – 1/4″ Plywood @ 72″ x 13″ (Back Support)
F) 4 – 4×4 Posts @ 4 1/2″ (Legs)
G) 2 – 2×4 @ 28″ (Leg Joiners)
H) 2 – 2×4 @ 65″ (Side Aprons)
I) 4 – 1×4 @ 2″ (End Apron Spacer)
J) 2 – 2×4 @ 24″ (End Aprons)
K) 5 – 2×2 @ 28 3/4″ (Couch Seat Supports)
L) 2 – 1/4″ Plywood @ 72″ x 26 1/2″ (Top and Bottom of Seat)

All of the wood pieces were attached with wood glue in addition to screws. And all of the screws were countersunk for a level surface and nicer outside look.

This back piece takes a little explaining. I do not have a Kreg jig and so all of the screws are put in through an outside board, meaning that you can see the screw head. But, since all of the pieces except for the bottom frame were going to be covered with batting and fabric, I did not care.

How-to-DIY-Couch-Plans-from-LittleGreenBow

Start by tapering the 2 x 6 boards (C) at 15 1/2″. The top should be as wide as a 2 x 4 (so 3 1/2″ – aren’t lumber measurements fun!). Then screw these boards into the bottom 2 x 6 board (B). There should be 22″ between the boards. Screw on the top 2 x 4 board (A). Lastly, screw in the bracing 2 x 4 boards (D). If you have a Kreg jig, you will not have to off set the boards, however, if you are like me these will have to be staggered so you can actually screw them in. Like this:

DIY-Sofa-Step-by-Step-Plans

Once all of those pieces are screwed together, screw the plywood onto the top. Note, there will be a small gap where the tapered 2 x 6 boards meet the top 2 x 4. This is ok. The back piece is ready to get covered in burlap, batting, and fabric.

Creating-a-DIY-Couch

Using a staple gun, I stapled burlap to the openings on the back of the couch. Pull taught and cover the entire backside and the bottom of the front side below the plywood. (I was so happy to use up this brown burlap that I bought for a different project and ended up hating the color. No one was going to see it here so the color did not matter. Yay!)

Detailed-DIY-Couch-Plans-From-LittleGreenBow.com

Then I repeated the process of stapling batting to the back frame of the couch.

DIY-Couch-Step-by-Step-Plans

To make the slip cover, I placed the fabric on the couch with the right side facing in. Then I pinned the seams together to make my pattern. I gently removed the fabric while still pinned (be sure not to pin the batting) and sewed straight lines where the fabric was pinned together. The trickiest part is sewing the angle, but knowing the pitch decreased by 2 inches helps. Your goal is to make this tight and since the drop cloth is cotton, there will be a little bit of stretch to it to take into account. When the sewing is finished, turn the slipcover right-side-out, pull it on over the back frame and pull taught. Use your handy staple gun to secure the fabric on the underside of the back (bottom of the piece).

Moving onto the bottom frame. Attach two of the legs (F) to the leg joiner (G) leaving 1 1/2″ from the outside edge – this is where the side aprons will line up. Repeat this with the other legs and leg joiner.

How-to-make-your-own-sofa-bed-plans

Then attach these pieces to the side aprons (H). The two screws on the outside apron will be your first visible screws so make sure they are even.

Detailed-DIY-Sofa-Plans

Then attach the end apron spacers (I) to the inside of the legs. We only used one screw in the middle as you will be screwing the outside end apron to this piece and we wanted enough room to space the screws evenly.

Crafting-a-DIY-Couch-with-Detailed-Plans

Now is a good time to check for square. Measure from one corner to the complete opposite corner. Then repeat that with the other two corners. Picture that you’ve just made an X with your measuring tape. If the measurements match, your piece is square.

Detailed-DIY-Couch-Plans

Attach the end aprons (J) to the spacers. You will see these two screws as well so use caution. Your bottom frame is complete. If you are planning to stain it, now is the time.

Crafting-a-DIY-Couch-with-Detailed-Plans

Let’s move onto the seat.

Attach the couch seat supports (K) to the plywood. Be sure to start 1 1/2″ in from the front side. This will assure your seat sits evenly on the frame. There should be 10 3/4″ between each support.

DIY-Couch-Plans-from-LittleGreenBow

Before you attach this piece to the frame, you need to put the cushions on. Place the foam on top and measure your slipcover, by placing the fabric on the couch with the right side facing in. Pin the seams together to make your pattern and gently removed the fabric while still pinned. Sew along the pin line using straight lines. I also reinforced this fabric by sewing a zigzag stitch over the fabric edges as the drop cloth was unraveling a bit. Your goal is to make this tight and since the drop cloth is cotton, there will be a little bit of stretch to it to take into account.

DIY-Couch-Detailed-Plans-from-LittleGreenBow.com

I also sewed a zigzag stitch around where the supports extended past the plywood. When the sewing is finished, turn the slipcover right-side-out, pull it on over the bottom seat and pull taught. Use your staple gun to secure the fabric on the underside.

Here’s a view of the underside of the frame with the seat on top. The bottom will be attached to the frame through the supports. Use one screw for each support on the front and back of the frame. These screws will be visible.

DIY-Sofa-Plans-from-LittleGreenBow

Then compete the top seat very much like the bottom seat (but this time you don’t have to mess with those pesky supports!). Secure the slipcover with your staple gun and move on to the pillows.

How-to-Make-a-Couch

For the pillows, my best advice would be to sew the 4 side edges together first and then attach the front and back panels. This will ensure even sides, more square pillows, and neater corners. Leave one small gap to fill the pillows with stuffing and then sew up the gap by hand.

Ta da! Your couch is complete and your guests will be very happy and comfortable the next time they are over for a visit.

Some of you have also asked how much this cost. All-in (tools not included) it was just under $200. And really that’s only because we were able to buy the foam off Craigslist and at garage sales. Have you seen how much that stuff costs at the fabric store?!? It’s highway robbery! Anyway, we spent about $50 on the foam and hospital mattress. The rest was spent on wood, screws, and staining supplies.

DIY Couch from LittleGreenBow.com

Let me know if you try this project yourself. I’d love to see how it turned out and feature you on my blog. And be sure to pin it so you can come back and reference it later.

    • Brittany
    • July 22, 2015
    Reply

    Hello!

    I’m planning on making your futon right away. I believe the dimensions of the top mattress are 9 3/4 x 27 x 72. Is that correct? But mainly I wasn’t sure of the bottom mattress size. Do you remember what it was? The thickness?

    • Reply

      Hi Brittany. The bottom mattress size is 27" deep x 72" wide x 5" high. This takes into account the 4.5" for the legs and 1/4" for the plywood. Don't forget to subtract out the plywood thickness from your top mattress too. Stop back by to let me know how it turned out. Cheers!

    • Darci Adams
    • November 6, 2013
    Reply

    I found this couch design while searching for bed/couch/storage ideas for my school bus conversion…do you have the original storage couch plans that you tweeked to make this wonderful couch?

    • Hannah
    • May 17, 2013
    Reply

    How did you get the foam level with eachother? Also, is the top piece attached to the bottom or are the mattresses separate?

    • Reply

      The foam is level because the bottom side only used the mattress topper on top of the wooden frame, while the top half is made of the mattress topper with the hospital foam bed. The wooden frame was designed to be the same height as the hospital foam bed so that when the sides were set next to each other the bed would be even.

      No, the top piece is not attached to the bottom. It sits on top and can be easily removed to make the bed when needed.

    • Shaidah Maposa
    • March 21, 2013
    Reply

    Hello Deana

    I am failing to understand the measurements.I am based in Botswana,Africa where we use centimetres and metres.Cut List:

    A) 1 – 2×4 @ 72″

    B) 1 – 2×6 @ 72″

    C) 4 – 2×6 @ 25 1/2″ (Tapered as shown in step 1)

    D) 3 – 2×4 @ 22″

    E) 1 – 1/4″ Plywood @ 72″ x 13″ (Back Support)

    F) 4 – 4×4 Posts @ 4 1/2″ (Legs)

    G) 2 – 2×4 @ 28″ (Leg Joiners)

    H) 2 – 2×4 @ 65″ (Side Aprons)

    I) 4 – 1×4 @ 2″ (End Apron Spacer)

    J) 2 – 2×4 @ 24″ (End Aprons)

    K) 5 – 2×2 @ 28 3/4″ (Couch Seat Supports)

    L) 2 – 1/4″ Plywood @ 72″ x 26 1/2″ (Top and Bottom of Seat)

    • Reply

      Hi Shaidah,
      I will try to explain better, but I am not sure how the measurements actually translate. Lumber in the States is listed in standard sizes like 2 inch x 4 inch boards in varying lengths. However the sizes are actually 1.5 inches x 3.5 inches. I have no idea why they are crazy like that. I converted the measurements to cm, but you will need to ask at the lumber yard, what the standard measurement translation would be. All of the length sizes for the boards and the pieces of plywood are accurate as these are cut lengths that you do yourself. I hope that helps!

      A) 1 – 2×4 @ 72″ [1 board that measures 5.08 cm thick x 10.16 cm wide x 182.88 cm long]
      B) 1 – 2×6 @ 72″ [1 board that measures 5.08 cm thick x 15.24 cm wide x 182.88 cm long]
      C) 4 – 2×6 @ 25 1/2″ [Tapered as shown in step 1) (4 boards that each measure 5.08 cm thick x 15.24 cm wide x 64.77 cm long]
      D) 3 – 2×4 @ 22″ [3 boards that each measure 5.08 cm thick x 10.16 cm wide x 55.88 cm long]
      E) 1 – 1/4″ Plywood @ 72″ x 13″ (Back Support) [1 piece of plywood cut to measures 0.635 cm thick x 33.02 cm wide x 182.88 cm long]
      F) 4 – 4×4 Posts @ 4 1/2″ (Legs) [4 posts that each measure 10.16 cm thick x 10.16 cm wide x 11.43 cm long]
      G) 2 – 2×4 @ 28″ (Leg Joiners) [2 boards that each measure 5.08 cm thick x 10.16 cm wide x 71.12 cm long]
      H) 2 – 2×4 @ 65″ (Side Aprons) [2 boards that each measure 5.08 cm thick x 10.16 cm wide x 165.1 cm long]
      I) 4 – 1×4 @ 2″ (End Apron Spacer) [4 boards that each measure 2.54 cm thick x 10.16 cm wide x 5.08 cm long]
      J) 2 – 2×4 @ 24″ (End Aprons) [2 boards that each measure 5.08 cm thick x 10.16 cm wide x 60.96 cm long]
      K) 5 – 2×2 @ 28 3/4″ (Couch Seat Supports) [5 boards that each measure 5.08 cm thick x 10.16 cm wide x 182.88 cm long]
      L) 2 – 1/4″ Plywood @ 72″ x 26 1/2″ (Top and Bottom of Seat) [2 pieces of plywood cut to measure 0.635 cm thick x 67.31 cm wide x 182.88 cm long]

        • Jer
        • August 27, 2013
        Reply

        The sizes of the boards like a
        2X4 actually only being 1 1/2 X 3 1/2 is because they started out as 2 inches by 4 inches. Due to the drying of the wood they shrink. Nice plans for this sofa.

    • tammy
    • October 21, 2012
    Reply

    looks beautiful! just one question: how did you cut the foam?

    • Reply

      I used an exacto knife. But, if I had to do it again, I think a serrated bread knife would have worked better.

        • art
        • March 10, 2014
        Reply

        you can also use a electric meat cutter. just don’t use it like a saw. the motor/blades do the cutting (from past expericence.)

          • Ally
          • January 21, 2015
          Reply

          Pretty sure Art is talking about an electric knife. (These are the ones you might use to cut a turkey) just wanted to clarify that you wouldn’t use a meat slicer from the deli. Electric knives do work great on foam!

    • Shari Stogdill
    • October 3, 2012
    Reply

    I am considering using your idea in constructing a multiple sectional for a U shaped room at our church as a highschool youth TV/Media room with some adjustments to your design. No beds but underneath seat and behind back, making this area into a storage area as we lack storage room for this department. I also will install low level rollers on the bottom of each sectional for easy moving to clean under them. The cushions will lift up or be able to take off for easy access to the hidden leds to the storage areas rather stapled down. Well it’s a new twist to your simple design. It will not be as confortable as your design, however, in this area, we really do not want teens to get too confortable. They will not be designed to sleep on. Get my drift. Thank you for your creatitive design.

    • S
    • September 17, 2012
    Reply

    Where did you get the foam? Having a hard time finding some for this..

    • Reply

      I actually found a hospital bed for home use on Craigslist. That\’s what I cut up for use on the removeable top part of the couch. The mattress toppers were purchased at a garage sale. Good luck in your search! I just had to be a little patient and gathered materials for a few weeks.

    • Chelsea
    • July 17, 2012
    Reply

    Awesome couch! My boyfriend and I are going to try this. Do you think we could use a different fabric or is it better to use drop cloth since it's a little more sturdier?

    • Reply

      You\’ll definitely want to use a sturdy fabric. So, if you want to choose a different fabric, I\’d stick with home decor ones since they are thicker. I like the drop cloths because they were pretty cheap to boot. Good luck! I\’d love to hear how it turns out.

    • Freda
    • April 25, 2012
    Reply

    I would love to make this!! One question…Is the back attached to the bottom frame? If so, at what point do you attach it, since it is totally covered? Great job!!

    • Reply

      The back is attached underneath with left over cuts of 2 x 4s. You could also use L brackets. One screw went in to the frame and one screw went into the back. There are 4 spaced evenly underneath. We had to get creative because the back is fully covered with the exception of the frame.

  1. Reply

    I am totally doing this for the upstairs loft.. Following you also on Linky, please follow me too! I’ll beg if I have to :)

  2. Reply

    This is amazing. My hub and I are also looking to build a new couch, these are fantastic plans. Thank you for sharing. I am going to run these buy him, because we may have a winner!

    • Reply

      Awesome! Let me know if you make it and how it turns out. Cheers!

  3. Pingback: Little Green Bow Shows You How to Make Your Own Couch | Little Green Bow

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