The $25 Sofa (and sew it begins)

Happy Monday, everyone!

I am happy to report that much progress was made on the $25 sofa this weekend.  I admit, I was hoping to post pictures of a completed project but, as it turns out, this reupholstering business is HARD work.  Especially, for someone who did not have a clue how to even begin.

My Saturday goal was to get as much of the base done as possible so I could work on cushions Sunday.

I was able to stain the frame Friday night.  Unfortunately, it was still a little tacky Saturday morning when I got started but I was determined to move forward.

I began by covering the springs with burlap to give it a nice surface to work with; kind of like a painter’s canvas.  I used a pneumatic staple gun to staple to burlap to the wood frame. (If you plan to do any type of reupholstering PLEASE invest in one of these.  I cannot even image trying to do this job with a manual staple gun.)

Next, I place batting and foam on the arms.  This was the last item I pulled off of the original sofa so this is where I decided to begin.  This was also the most difficult as it took a lot of finesse (I would call it finagling) to get the coverage, smoothness, AND to hide the staples.

Once the arms were done, it was on to the seat.  The first thing to do is cushion the front edge-rail.  This is where the bend of your knees rest when you sit down.  The cushions will cover this area so it is also used to help keep the cushions in place (a lip, of sorts).

I was able to find a really cute french print fabric for the finish fabric.  This fabric is sewn to the main fabric and will not be seen unless the cushions are removed.  I stapled the main fabric to the front rail, pulling the finish fabric (sewn to the main fabric) tight over the burlap and stapling it to the back rail.
This entire process (burlap, arms, and seat) took about 8 hours; I did stop long enough to eat a bite but it was pretty much non-stop for most of the day.

Since Saturday was my husband’s birthday, I decided to break at 4:00 so we could do a little celebrating.

Sunday Seating

Well, this is the day I have been dreading.  I have never made seat cushions before.  I have a wonderful, brand new sewing machine my husband bought me for our first Christmas, three years ago, but have never really used it.  I LOVE to sew but, in all honesty, I have to admit the new machine scared the bejesus out of me.  I have always used an old, second-hand, Plain Jane sewing machine.  This new, fancy machine has all of the bells and whistles and is completely computerized.  EEEEK!
I sat down, drug out the instruction manual and started the process of switching out the pressure foot to begin sewing the welting.  Again, something new for me.  I guesstimated how much welting I would need and began the task of cutting 2-in strips of fabric.  I did not want to buy a lot of cotton cord for the welt so I decided to use a trick I found online; I used jute string, instead.  Now, I know what you are thinking, “JUTE?”.  Yes, Jute!  This $25 sofa has already reached my budget and I am making this for my daughter, NOT for a customer paying for a brand new customized piece of furniture.  I don’t mean to be rude but I have been so hard on myself that I just have to keep reminding myself of that very fact.  I would drive myself crazy trying to get it perfect if I didn’t.
At any rate, I ended up with WAY to much welt (about twice as much as I needed).  Hopefully I can put it to use on a few throw pillows.
I was able to take one of the original cushions apart (GROSS) to use for a pattern for the new cushions.  It took me the entire day to finish the cushions.  I still have a LOT of tweaking to do.  I ended up with way to much fabric in my cushion covers so now I have to over-stuff them to get them tight enough.  I just don’t have the heart to tear them all apart and make them smaller.  Besides, I think they need a little more “oomph” anyway.
The photos below do NOT show the cushions.  Frankly, I am a little ashamed of them at this point; however, I will try to post a few pictures tomorrow if I get them stuffed the way I want and IF I can get the back finished.
I hope you enjoy seeing the progress thus far.  I am completely thrilled with the way it is coming along.
The frame!  This is where deconstruction ended and construction began.
Front center leg after Jacobean stain was applied
My amazing Pneumatic staple-gun!  LOVE!


After burlap applied and one arm covered in batting.
Both arms covered and bottom batting applied (with edge-roll).
After front rail covered and finish fabric secured.


A better look at one arm and the finish/front rail fabric.


The inside of the original cushion cover.
The nasty, wet, mildew cushion cover.  The entire sofa was like this.
Let the sewing begin… sewing the 999 feet of welting.


6 thoughts on “The $25 Sofa (and sew it begins)

  1. I love your ambition and patience with this project. I recently saw a pink one similar to this one and thought I would love to have this and recover it with the same pink but alas I was a big chicken and now that I see how brave you are I am off to look and see if it is still available which is doubtful as it was free. If not available I still have yours to view and awwww about. Awesome job coming along there too!!! I will be watching you and your progress thanks for sharing with everyone!!!


  2. Cindy, thank you so much for the post. I am so new to blogging but wanted to make myself accountable for my many projects.

    I love this one but believe me when I tell you that I am the biggest chicken of all and if it wasn't for my husband and a co-worker poking fun of my “piece of junk”, I would have given up a week ago. haha

    I hope you will stay posted and keep ME posted if you decide to do a project like this. It is a lot easier than you think and if it is free you really have nothing to lose. I just panic when it comes to something that has sentimental value. AND I am my own worst critic.

    Thanks again for commenting (be sure to read the rest of my blog and my pages (tabs at the top).

    YOU CAN DO IT! Good luck!


  3. Once again you amaze me, this weekend I redid the stool that goes with my slider chair, next project the slider chair. I also put cushion on a milk crate and I am using the same material on it that I used on the slider stool, but using monofilament fishing line to saw it, because one of the house dogs moves it every time he jumps on and off. I made it mainly to put my feet on when I am crocheting. I am not brave enough to post pictures but I enjoy doing it. I am so very proud of you.


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