Wednesday, June 30, 2010

48-hour Couch Covering Marathon

I've had this couch for quite a few years now; I acquired it from an old flatmate who was leaving town. It has all the merits of a good couch: comfy, squishy, fits in the space it is meant for, low enough that my feet can touch the ground when I am sitting on it (I'm rather, rather short). However, amongst all its good qualities, it also so happens to be scratchy fabric and UGLY! I skirted around this issue for a few years by covering it with a couch cover. However, this only took away the scratchy nature of the fabric, and did nothing for its appearance (the couch cover was almost as ugly as the couch itself).

So, after months and months of complaining about how ugly it actually was, my partner Paddy and I decided we were going to do something about it. Now, I am a student and we have a mortgage, so buying a new couch was not an option. And anyway, it has good bones, it just needed a facelift. We were lucky enough to acquire some fabric from a generous friend of ours (a beautiful, grey pinstripe wool- I hate to think of how much it would of cost to buy!), and a staple-gun from my parents. We were set. Enter a rainy Queen's Birthday weekend, and the beginning of our 48-hour couch covering marathon.

We started by labelling the various parts of the couch, so once disassembled, we could tell where it all went back to.

Before - the picture does not do justice to its yuckness!

Then, demolition. By demolition I mean the pain-staking removal of thousands of tiny staples from every possible crevasse of the couch.

Naked couch

It was not a good start. Spirits were low, and I was hungry. After dinner and a pep talk, work continued.

To create the pattern, we basically cut out a new piece of every old piece that came off the couch. This worked better than I expected.

The cutting process

I cut and pinned, and Paddy sewed (yes, he's a very modern man). Soon, it was shaping up, we had a back, and a front and sides.... it was 1am and we were excited.
Despite my enthusiastic labelling, the couch puzzle had its challenges. However, with a bit of sleep-deprived problem solving, we battled through and soon, the light at the end of the tunnel appeared. Or was that the sun rising...?
Fast forward through a lot of enthusiastic staple-gunning and nip-tucking, and there we have it. A brand new couch for less than $100.
We actually ran out of the grey wool pinstripe, so decided to go for a bit of flair and use a pattern. One side of the bottom cushions are pinstripe and one side patterned. It's a couch for all occasions.

Finished product, wearing its business look (right) and party-wear (left)

We are pretty gosh darn proud of ourselves! Not only did we manage to successfully recover the couch all by ourselves, we saved this couch from a trip to the dump, and saved ourselves money. What more could you want from a rainy Queen's Birthday weekend?

Next step... cushion covers.


  1. Wow. This is such an ambitious project with amazing results! Thanks for popping by my site and saying hello. Looking forward to visiting your space too. xo m.

  2. You guys did an AMAZING job!! I bow to your superior skills.