So you want to be the host of the party, but your furniture budget lends more to cheap foam cushions from Ikea than comfy springs? This instructable will show you how to take your foam couch and retrofit it on a budget. You will need:
Cheap, but good looking foam couch
Barrel Springs- You can purchase these from an upholstery supply place or recycle an old mattress
Extra Cotton Fabric- 10-15 yards. You can buy old curtains from Goodwill for this or check on Craigslist. Any fabric will do as long as it is heavy, cotton, and lots of it
This is a great weekend project right before a surprise out of town visit.
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Step 1: Set-up Supplies
Lay-out your tools. If you are buying your barrel springs new, just throw them in a tub, if you are recycling you may need to strip the springs out of the previous item to put in your new awesome couch. Please remember, the prior item needs to be clean. You can not use used springs from mattresses on commercial applications.
Step 2: Measure, Cut, and Sew Your Fabric Pockets
Most modern furniture is made using lighter woods so if you simply tie barrel springs to it as recommended, the entire thing will overload in a few months and break. You have to make fabric pockets to hold the springs in place. To make the pockets cut strips of fabric 15 inches wide with a ruler.
Measure your spring, it should either be 3 or 3 1/2 inches in diameter. If it is 3 inches mark lines every 6 inches on the strip. If it is 3 1/2 inches mark every 7 inches on the strip of fabric.
Fold the fabric in half and sew over the straight lines. Drop in your springs and sew shut. You should be left with a giant fabric slinky.
Step 3: Take Apart the Cushion and Cut the Foam
Pull out the staples and peel back the layers of cushion. There is normally a top layer, a layer of light padding, and the foam. You need to cut the foam apart and hollow it out for the springs to sit in.
Step 4: Hand-tie the Springs in a 4-Way Knot
Thread your needle with twine and start tying each of the springs together with a series of knots. You should do each side with a tie on it, when you are done, flip and do the other side. Unlike traditional furniture where the wood itself provides the leverage to compress the springs, in a pocket formation the fabric and twine does this job. It takes between 4-6 hours to do each side on a large couch so leave yourself some time to do it right. After you finish sewing the knots, cut them apart.
Step 5: Staple the Muslin On
Put the top piece of foam on top of the springs, and replace any batting, etc. Compress the springs and staple white muslin around the seat cushion to shape it back in place. While there will be some force on the wood, it will not be nearly as much as normal.
Step 6: Add Fabric to the Bottom of the Orginal Fabric Cushion
When switching from foam to springs, in general springs are 1-2 inches thicker than foam. You may need to cut a thin strip to sew all the way around the edge to give yourself the extra space to staple back as the new cushions are softer than your old ones.
Step 7: Staple the Orginal Fabric Back On
Stable the original fabric back on and you suddenly have soft cushions perfect for sleeping on. You are now the king of your couch surfing group! Go you.
Happy Father's Day!