Introduction: Less Is More - Sofa Upgrade

This project started when I decided to take an old sofa apart. It was not getting used and taking up space. Initially, my plan was to take the sofa apart and sort out the fabric, foam and timber framework for recycling and reuse if possible. While I was doing that, it occurred to me that it might be turned into a more useful kind of seating unit. All the leftover foam of the sofa cushions was used to make pillows.




Flat-head screwdriver

Staple gun and Staples


Impact driver


Hand saw





The first thing I did was to take the fabric upholstery off the sofa. I flipped the sofa on its side, which allowed me to take the lining off underneath and reveal the timber framework.

I used a flat-head screwdriver to loosen the stapes enough to pull them out with pliers. This process was taking a while to do, so instead, I started to pull the fabric off the frame-work. This was much faster to do and made it easier to get at the staples in the timber.


Then I took the screws out, that were holding the parts together. The main part of the sofa, the red part, was a seat and back with arms, the green parts, attached to it. I took the four circular timber feet off and remove all the foam so it could be used again for the new seat. This allowed me to understand how the foam work was done to cover the sofa framing. Once I took the foam off, the timber frame had some additional rubber strips to soften the edges of the armrests, which I also took off to reuse in the new seat.

I then took the main red part and cut the seat away from the back with a hand saw. Once the seat was separated it was clear it was not strong enough and needed more framework. I added 4 pieces of timber which I reused from the back and the armrests by screwing them into the existing seat. The two longitudinal pieces were from the back and the two short pieces were from the arms. These four pieces are coloured orange.

To prepare the seat framework for covering with foam, I cut the rubber strip into four equal lengths using pliers and stapled them to the corners of the framework.


Once I had the frame-work complete, I then started to staple the foam by stretching it on the sides between the rubber strips on the corners. I then stapled the front side foam along the top and bottom edges stretching it into place. I added a narrow strip of foam along the front top edge of the seat to cover the front framework. I used the larger piece of thick foam from the back of the old sofa for the top of the seat and stapled it lightly into place, and then added another thin layer of foam for more cushioning to finish it.

Step 4: FABRIC

The fabric you are going to use to cover the foam on the frame has to be cut to the measurements of your seat. Make a diagram on paper of the net for your seat, so you know how to cut the fabric that will be stitched together to form the cover for the seat. After the cover is stitched together, pull the cover down over the seat and then flip the seat on its top and stretch it and staple it along the bottom edges. Cut off any access fabric. Then staple a sheet of fabric with folded seams along each edge on the bottom to hide the framework underneath and then screw the four circular feet blocks back onto the framework.

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