Introduction: Simple Car Seat Couch
This post is to show you how to make a simple car seat couch out of an abandoned car seat, abandoned IKEA armchair base, and some abandoned wood from bed base.
it actually took me a few years to get to this idea, due to some lack of wood skills, and materials. basically i was being lazy to build it. but due to pandemic, i built this out of boredom.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
i only have simple tools, because these are what i could reach to from friends.
tools that i used:
- hand drill powertool (to drill hole for screw, wood is too hard)
- hand drill (battery operated, to basically screw in the screws)
- hand saw
- sand paper
- 4 bolts and nuts (i use aluminium, but preferably using stainless steel bolts and nuts)
- 15 x 4cm stainless steel screw
- 17 x 3cm stainless steel screw
- Philip screwdriver (optional)
Materials i used:
- car seat (2008 Proton Saga BLM passenger seat)
- Ikea Pello Armchair (as base) Click here to see the arm chair
- Wooden bed base of a queen size bed (as frame)
*if you do have industrial tools that will make your life a lot easier.
Step 2: Design and Planning
you gotta take time to design and plan your chair because if you are not experienced in wood work like me, cutting the wrong size or using the wrong material or design will screw up your project.
i came out with a lot of designs before the final design.
at first i wanted to make a simple L shaped base and install the car seat on the top of it just like MUJI's single seat sofa. i extremely love its design.
also, i was thinking of making a simulation rick.
but, due to lack of woodworking skills. i gotta call off the MUJI style sofa. besides, i do not have time to play SIM as well. so, building one will be a waste of my time.
i spent a lot of time planning and designing the couch, at the time of planning, i coincidently picked up the IKEA pello seat. more on this later.
i tried to put on the car seat and solder it on the armchair's metal frame, but i noticed the car seat weights about 18kg, it is too heavy and stress for the frame if i'd sit on it.
i also noticed someone on Reddit did it by flipping over the armchair. but this method requires too much relocation of the wood and again. due to lack of woodwork skill. i gotta come out with alternative solution.
Step 3: Build the Couch
after designing how the couch would look like.
i decided to build the couch with the car seat facing the opposite direction of the original armchair design. the reason being this design requires the most minimal wood working.
after that, you should:
- measure the width and length of the frame you are going to built base on the armchair width/length
- measure 3 times before you cut the woods
- screw the woods together to form a frame, 4CM screws to hold the frames together, while 3cm for the top 2 flat wood for me to attach the seat to.
- sand the wood to make it smooth and getting rid of splinters
- put the car seat on measure the holes on the car seat and drill holes big enough so the bolts could go through
- screw frame to the arm chair with 4cm screws. i used 4 screws at the side, and 3 from the front
- put the chair on that frame, bolt it on with the bolt and nuts
- stick glide pads to the bottom of the chair so that you could push the chair around. (a must)
*note due to lack of wood working skill, the seat frame i built was actually not flat and it is not lying align to the armchair, most probably because i was using hand saw. lol.
Step 4: Enjoy the Couch
this is the completed couch.
the chair so far it is comfortable to sit on for a short time like looking at the sunset through the window, making phone calls to friends, read a book, browsing facebook...
the reclining function and forward /back adjustment works fine. height of the arm rest is actually quite comfortable for myself. before the built i thought it will be slightly too high because the seat height is about an inch lower than original armchair seat's
i'm actually pretty glad that this entire couch was made with reused items. the car seat (most probably owner changed new sports seat), the ikea arm chair frame with torn cushion, and the bed base, they are all picked up from the dump site.
basically the only things i purchased were the screws, nuts and bolts, sandpaper, and gliding pads.
Step 5: NOTES to Watch Out
Different car seat, different base designs
you may need to ensure the car seat's screw holes are suitable for this project, i'm lucky that 4 of the whole of this car seat is facing downwards, i noticed some car seats actually has its leg bolted on to the wall of the car. so you gotta watch out on how you going to design your couch's frame.
unfortunately, there are some con about this built as well.
Not as comfy as i thought
since the pandemic, i've been working from home. and i've used this couch daily for about 2 weeks. it is not suitable for using it for long hours sitting. i'm not sure if it is too low (height is about 28cm/11 inch from ground to butt) or the angle of the seat is not right. because the car seat's base might not be designed on a flat surface, which means maybe 1 of its leg is half an inch higher than the other 3. but for this built the seat is installed on a 'flat' surface. i do get sore knees after long hours of seating. (actually when i drove for long hours i do have sore knees as well, so i am not sure if this is one of the cons)
this is not a living room couch, it is designed to be in a car. hence, this car seat couch built weights 23KG in total. it is very heavy to maneuver it around, that is why you must add glide pads at the bottom. you might want to add a roller. but i think it is a bit dangerous and also ruin the look of the couch.
Not balanced couch
when i laid my back on this car seat couch with a little reclining, i noticed the left front corner of the couch will lift a little bit sometimes. this might cause hazard to kids' toes or fingers. while studying this built, i see some people installed office chair's base with rollers to car seats. after this built i do think it is a bad idea. because the car seats are very heavy, and it is not design to be stable on a office chair roller. so you may tip over when you reclined on on a office chair roller with car seat.
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