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.
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.
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
* staple gun
* mitre saw
* circular saw
* thick foam mattress
* 2 foam mattress toppers
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.
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:
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.
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!)
Then I repeated the process of stapling batting to the back frame of the couch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.