DIY: A 1960's Couch Reupholstery Project

This post has been a long time coming. And I mean a long time. After recently moving to Toronto, I realized.... I really needed something to sit on. Milk crates and the floor were just not going to cut it. But I wasn't about to take on any hand-me-down or ugly thrift store couch. Then I'd probably have it for years and it would sit in my living room and I would silently loathe it every time I saw it. 

I knew I wanted something modern, chic, something that would last me a long time and that would also be really versatile. So I started a project. I decided I wanted to reupholster a couch. Wooooow easier said than done, let me tell you. I'd be totally lying if I said I did it on my own too - I definitely got copious amounts of help from my mom and my neighbour. Check out these pictures of the transformation... 

Unfortunately this is the best picture I have of the couch from the front in its entire "before" mode. The fabric had this yellow, satiny paisley flower sort of pattern... very not cool. But the style? Hella fabulous. I needed this couch.

Unfortunately this is the best picture I have of the couch from the front in its entire "before" mode. The fabric had this yellow, satiny paisley flower sort of pattern... very not cool. But the style? Hella fabulous. I needed this couch.

From the side. You can see the color more clearly here. Still sitting in the thrift shop, just waiting to be bought by me.

After I bought it... the removing of staples began. So. many. staples. Enough staples to end me. I got through it.... barely. But it's important to pull them all out so that when you go to staple your new fabric in, your staples are less likely to bounce back and cause problems.

Obligatory instagram shot. We had to take the couch apart. Its held together literally by maybe 4 bolts. You can see the wood frame is still excellent. Benefits of buying an older couch.

When we took the cushions off, we saw this little tag on the fabric...

When we took the cushions off, we saw this little tag on the fabric...

...oh. Well that's kind of neat! So I know the couch is at least a couple years older than 1968.

Like I said, enlist the help of someone who SERIOUSLY knows how to sew, if you don't. (I don't.) My neighbour was kindly enough to help us out... As you can see, I chose a grey neutral fabric. I knew exactly what I had in mind before I even bought the couch.

Pokin' the holes for the buttons. Long strings get pulled through the back and pulled taut through a bit of batting so that the buttons don't get loose over time.

Recovering the cushions. Lots of batting. Cushions were probably the toughest part. The ends required a bunch of hand sewing.

Stapling on the dust cover. Easiest part of the whole process, and maybe most satisfying as its also the last part!

Putting it back together again. Kind of scary. Praying it'll be alright!

DONE. I forgot to take pictures of the cushions as they were being sewn. They're not perfect.... I sewed the piping... I know, I'm talentless. I think maybe I would get them done by a professional if I were to ever reupholster something again. It's really difficult to get the corners perfect. Props to people who can sew worth a dime.

How it looks actually in the apartment now. I think the entire process took maybe 12-15 hours, but all those hours happened over a couple busy months, so it feels really... REALLY good to have this couch now. I can see myself getting it redone again in the very far future, mainly because I love this style of couch so much and I think the frame will last a long time.

So glad to finally be done, but there's alway another project I have on my to-do list. Next: DIY wooden stump table? Maybe some pillow cushion covers for the new couch (argh, sewing!) Also my Etsy shop is still in the works so I'm working on that steadily. Excited about it! Thanks for reading! 

AZ