I love the 80's more than the average person. I like the music, the movies, the clothes and even the hair. But, this red couch in my living room was reminding me of my favorite decade a little too much. The sad part is that it was actually purchased in this century.
Aside from the overly plush cushions that were permanently attached to the frame, the red color was looking quite black in some areas. I guess 'normal' wear and tear for our family is more like surviving a food fight for other families.
We did cover it with a slip cover for awhile. And that annoyed me just as much. It never stayed in place and it did nothing to help the overly-plush factor. The photo to the right is just embarrassing.
This adventure started with a trip to a local discount upholstery fabric store. When I told the sales-guy what I was planning to do and that I have no experience reupholstering couches, he gave me a very odd look. He asked me a couple of times if I wanted to purchase any tools from him. I assured him I would just figure it out as I went along.
I could not wait to tear into that red behemoth. Armed with a box cutter, I started by ripping off those gigantic cushions. That's when I discovered that there was a whole lot of cardboard inside the couch holding it's shape. Who knew? Maybe someone who actually has experience?
I used pliers to get the staples out. I worked one section at a time, taking pictures along the way in case I forgot how to put it back together. Whenever I could I put the new fabric on before deconstructing another part.
I flattened this front part out by adding extra stuffing to the middle before attaching fabric. I used a staple gun and stretched out the fabric by hand to attach it to the couch.
I used parts of the original fabric as patterns when I needed to. The piece in this picture is the front of the arm. I had originally planned to sew sleeves for the arms. But then I figured it would be easier to staple those pieces too. And using staples allowed me to get a snugger fit. So I stapled the front piece first. Then I carefully stapled the rest of the arm fabric with the front side facing.
I knew I didn't want those big poufy arms, but I also needed more than just cardboard on the arms. So, I cut up an old fleece blanket to add just a little more padding to the arms. For the most part I left quite a bit of extra fabric on the edges before stapling. I did not do any edge finishing.
And I just kept stretching and stapling and tucking fabric. My goal was to have no visible staples.
I was a little scared to put the back piece on, because I knew it would have to be very tight, very straight, and covering all the back staples.
This is the bolt that my fabric came on. I cut a long strip of cardboard from the edge.
I sandwiched this cardboard strip into a long strip of foam that I saved from the couch's deconstruction. I stapled this along the top of the couch along with the fabric. This gave me a nice clean edge along the top.
I reused this scary looking contraption to create a straight edge along the sides of the back. I just stretched out the fabric until it was just the right size to fit under the teeth, and then nailed it down as I went along. I only stepped on it once!
Then I stapled the bottom down and reattached the feet. Oh, I painted the feet too. I just bought a paint sample from the hardware store and that was more than enough.
Finally, I stitched up some cushions with my machine and I was all set. I opted for square cushions in the back for a more modern look.
It is very comfy and we saved a TON of money by doing it this way. It took me two days to complete. Not bad :)