Have you ever carried an old, beat up couch to the curb with a “FREE” sign taped to the front of it hoping someone would take it off your hands for you? This operation of course leaves the dilemma of getting a new couch. Couches and sofas are expensive ranging from $250 to $1,000 for his piece of furniture. Yet the construction of a couch is rather simple. There is a back, a seat, and arms, so basically 4 main pieces. These pieces of furniture are easier to build than you may think.
Couch Construction 101
The average size of a couch is 5 to 6 feet long and the depth is around 3 feet at the base. Because you are going to be building the couch, however, you can make it as big or small as you want. Keep in mind though that you will have to move it in your home at some point. For this example, we will assume you are making a 6 foot couch.
Making The Couch Sides/Arms
Start by cutting four 2x4s 3′. Cut four more 2x4s 2′. Screw the 3′ and 2′ sections together to make two separate 3’x2′ square sections. Cover the inside of the arm pieces with 1/2 inch plywood. Measure up 12″ from the 2′ side of one of the arm sections and mark across the piece. Draw an arrow on it pointing toward the up side. Repeat for the other arm.
Making The Couch Back
Cut a piece of 3/4 inch plywood 30 inches by 5 1/2′. This will be the back of the couch. Cut a 2×4 the same length and screw it to the 3/4 inch plywood with the top of the 2×4 at 12″ from the bottom of the plywood. Attach another 2×4 along the bottom of the plywood the same length as the plywood.
Attaching The Couch Back To The Sides
Measure back 1 1/2″ on your 12″ marks on the sides you made on the front and back of the sides. This measurement should be 33″. Cut two 2x4s 33″ and attach them to the side pieces below the 12″ line. Attach the back of the couch to the side pieces by screwing the back into the side 2x4s you just mounted. Cut a 5 1/2′ 2×4 for the front and screw it to the frame. Cut and attach 33″ pieces to the sides on the bottom of the couch as well to the back and install a 5 1/2′ 2×4 across the front on the bottom as well. You now have the general couch frame couch frame.
Finishing The Couch Frame
Now that the general frame is complete, it is time to put a slight tilt on the Back of the couch for a comfortable sitting position. Cut a 5 degree angle on the edge of a 2×4 5 1/2′ long. Screw it to the top of the Back of the couch one the flat side of the 2×4. Cut a piece of 1/2 inch plywood out for the seat of the couch, adding 2×4 mounting blocks in a few area to support the sheeting. Cut a 5 degree on the top and bottom of 3 vertically mounted 2x4s that will form the slanted couch back. Screw everything together and add a 1/2″ sheet of plywood.
This frame is a bit overkill as far as furniture goes, but only will cost you about $70 in material and it will be significantly stronger than anything you would buy from a store.
Padding and Covering The Couch With Fabric
Pad the entire couch body with 1 inch of upholstery batting. Use spray on adhesive to hold the upholstery batting in place. Go over the back of the couch with 2 inch foam padding. Perform the same operation on the tops and insides of the arms.
Staple the fabric to the bottom of the back of the couch and pull it over in the middle of the couch, pulling it tight. Staple the fabric to the back of the seat of the couch. Stretch the fabric across the entire back of the couch stapling to the seat, until the entire back is covered. Perform the same operation for the sides of the couch and the front. Fold the excess material at the corners underneath the fabric and stitch them with a mono-filament thread. Make sure the fabric is tightly tucked in order to avoid fabric wrinkles. For the fabric seems in the front of the couch, simply make a fold and tuck the side arm fabric underneath the front fold. Pull it tight and staple it underneath the couch.
Give your measurements to a seamstress and have them make you two 6″ thick seat cushions and two 8″ thick back cushions for your couch in the fabric you chose to use.
Drill holes in the bottom of the frame and add decorative legs to the couch.
This project will cost approximately $250 to complete, but when you are done, you will have a fantastic couch that when people ask, “Where did you get this awesome couch?” You can reply, “I made it.”