I mentioned that Em and I completed a couple of big projects while we were living with my parents. This was probably the biggest project that we completed, and something that we’d been talking about doing for a while; I guess we had no excuse not to do it since we had time to kill at my parents’.
I’ve briefly mentioned Cohen on here before (see Vegas Godfather reference from previous post). He’s the man. Going into my junior year of college, he updated his home decor which means that he had some extra furniture on-hand. I was the beneficiary of a nice solid, wood-framed couch with grey cushions. This thing is incredibly sturdy and durable. I think that the wooden frame will probably last forever. It at least lasted two years of college and four of grad school for me, so I think that’s a testament to its strength. Having been through all of that, however, left the cushions a little on the well-worn side…
So we decided that we could reupholster them. (That’s what we’d been discussing for a while, and being at home gave us the perfect opportunity to do just that.)
One of the most time-consuming and tedious parts of this entire process was searching for the fabric to use for our project. We wanted something that was a decent color, was durable and would last, and reasonably priced. You’d be amazed how difficult it was and how much time we spent trying to satisfy those criteria. We went to at least 5 different places and probably spent at least 10 hours looking through various fabrics. Wouldn’t you know it, the one that we decided on using we actually found at the first place we looked within the first ten minutes of looking. Typical.
Anyway, we found it. It was a nice color, it was thick and durable, and it was cheap ($3/yd – after looking at different places and learning how expensive most fabric is, we got an idea of just how lucky we were to find that price!).
Our next step was to devise a plan for how to actually cover the cushions in the most effective manner while using the least amount of fabric possible. This was a great exercise in creativity and problem solving that involved Em, my mom, and I wrapping old sheets around cushions in various patterns to try and find the best way to do it. What fun!
In the end, we decided to go with the idea of making a “pocket with a flap” to slip the cushion into and then fold the flap over the end. In order to protect the feelings of those who submitted ideas, I won’t tell you whose idea won. But I will tell you that mine didn’t lose. So here’s how it went down:
Since we saved so much money on the fabric that we ended up using, we decided to make four throw pillows that would match our newly reupholstered couch as well as match our newly picked up brown leather couch. This involved a couple more hours of looking through fabrics. Yippee.
But in the end, we found a patterned print that we liked and a plain print that we liked. We had originally planned on making two patterned pillows and two printed, but then Em had a stroke of genius and suggested that we go halfsies and have the print on one side with the plain on the other side of each cushion. This was brilliant and really made the pillows look professional.
The only curveball we encountered with the pillows was just how much stuffing these things required. We didn’t make them especially large, but we knew that if we wanted them to last, we really had to stuff them full. So we did. And it was a lot of stuffing.
Here are a few shots of the finished couch in the new house:
And just like that, we turned a worn couch into a new-ish looking couch and added a little class with some throw pillows. Not too bad.
And as always, we tried to get it done on a budget:
4yds of couch fabric ($3/yd): $12
Snaps for the cushion flaps: ~$4
1 yd of patterned, pillow fabric: ~$4
1 yd of plain, pillow fabric: ~$4
Stuffing for pillows: ~$12
TOTAL: “new” couch and 4 pillows: ~$36
What a couple of DIY-ers we are. Getting stuff done on a budget! And looking pretty darn good as well (if I do say so myself)! So I think that the couch will last at least a couple more years…thanks Cohen!