Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Rescue of a Different Kind

Recently I discovered and one of the projects posted in the "Before and After" section really caught my eye. Ever since I've been on the lookout for a couch to remake into something like Tiffany's Couch. Being without a truck, I had a harder time coming up with something feasible, but walking home from work one day I spotted a semi-hideous love seat on the sidewalk, awaiting trash day. When DocDufresne got home, the two of us headed out on our rescue mission. I got to work right away, taking off the seat cushion covers before realizing I should get a "before" picture. DocDufresne and I spent many hours ripping off foam, filling, and fabric, pulling out stubborn staples and even more stubborn springs, sanding wood, and filling in scrapes and holes with wood putty. What's the deal with dust ruffles anyway?

Andy examines our new addition.

DocDufresne diligently works on removing the stubborn springs.

DocDufresne removes the last of the thousands (maybe I exaggerate) staples.

Andy assisting, yet again.

After spending hours researching upholstery foam and finding that out that it was really much more expensive than I was thinking, I had an epiphany! In anticipation of adopting Andy last August, DocDufresne and I bought a floor model crib mattress in Ikea's clearance section to use as a dog bed. If my memory serves correctly, it was about $20. Well, Andy never took to it. I am still amazed that I thought of using the mattress as the seat cushion. It is an absolute perfect fit!!

Epiphany number two: Why sew a seat cushion cover when I could just buy a fitted crib sheet? They're so much easier to take off and throw in the wash! I decided to buy one from CLGentry, who makes the sheets and sells them on Ebay.

I bought machine washable orange fabric at Ikea and sewed two 28"x28" envelope-enclosure cushion covers.

For the trim DocDufresne and I found an upholstery fabric that we really liked. I also bought batting on Ebay.

We painted all the wood with black paint that we had purchased several months ago for a tri-fold screen project. We also salvaged three planks of wood from a leftover flooring project to replace the springs previously installed in the back of the piece.

For the final touches, I covered 6 shank buttons with the red part of the upholstery fabric, using orthodontal rubber bands to hold the fabric in place. I trimmed the fabric and glued the buttons into the 6 holes on the wooden arms of the love seat.

I created a wall piece to match, using materials I already had around the house: faux poppies, acrylic paints, Mod Podge, and cut circles from the upholstery fabric. I adore the two 14"x14" pillow cases I purchased from Etsy seller, MelissaJVerch.

A close-up of the pillow cases purchased on Etsy.

Total costs:
Couch: free
Crib mattress: free (already had)
2 Ikea 28x28 cushions: $20
2 Ikea 14x14 pillows: $3
3 1/4 yards orange Ikea fabric: $21 (bought more than I needed!)
4 yards upholstery fabric (Ebay): $47.50, w/shipping
2 Etsy 14x14 pillow covers: $28, w/shipping
1 Crib mattress fitted sheet (Ebay): $18, w/shipping
4 yards batting (Ebay): $15.97, w/shipping
Wood putty: $2.40
Black paint: free (already had)
Wood scraps: free
Shank buttons (Ebay): $2.50 with shipping
Staple gun and staples: free (borrowed)
Sandpaper: free (already had)
Mod Podge: free (already had)




I have to say I'm not totally impressed with my upholstery skills, but I can get past that and enjoy the love seat for the brightness it brings to the room. Plus, I love how all the orange fabrics look together. Overall, I think my first excursion into remaking furniture was a success! Beware of spending too much time on DesignSponge, or you too will become preoccupied with redesigning pieces in your head everywhere you go!


  1. I LOVE it!! And the artwork- very cool.

  2. WOW! that is fantastic. It looks spectacular! y'all did such a wonderful job! i love it.

  3. Amanda, I am so impressed, and I love your pictures of Andy. I paint, and one of my favorite subjects are animals.

    I had a dog named Seamus who resembled Andy a bit, although Seamus had more lab, and less terrier. He definately had some pitbull in him.

    I've also stayed at the cottages at Farm Sanctuary.

    I may download some photos of Andy. He's ripe for a painting.

    I need to leard more about your renovation skills! Suzanne

  4. Thanks, Suzanne! Wow! I'd love to see your paintings and how sweet of you to think of doing one of Andy. He really is our baby, as I'm sure you can now tell! We actually had t-shirts designed and printed with Andy as the design by Whiskey Dog Print Shop! (Emily from WDPS commented before your comment.) Great to meet you tonight!

  5. Hi Amanda and Andy, I am still transitioning to gmail so didn't see this until this morning. I hope to volunteer some time with the Wissihickon group.

    Very impressed with your couch building skills. I built a couch once myself.

    Hope all is well. Dog is fabulous. Suzanne

  6. So awesome! I have an old Victorian chair in the attic that needs doing up, and this has totally inspired me!