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Build Your Own Sofa Plans – One of those projects I never imagined would be on my to-do list is a DIY upholstered sofa.
My husband, Danny, wanted a comfortable place to sit in his man cave – which was really just the small back bedroom at the end of the narrow hall in our old house. And that made it almost impossible to get a traditional sofa into the room. Trust me…we tried.
Build Your Own Sofa Plans
So I had the idea of making a smaller sectional for him in two pieces to make it easier to get into the room and still provide him with plenty of seating space. I built this for a slightly more modern feel with straight lines, modern legs, and lots of exposed wood framing.
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Since this was going in a man cave, the wood gave it more of a masculine feel, but saved a ton of money on extra foam and fabric. You could always add more foam and fabric around the frame, but if you wanted a more traditional and softer look.
I’ve partnered with Build Something to bring you the free building plans for this DIY upholstered sofa. This post also contains affiliate links. See policies page.
I’m sharing free plans for how I BUILT the sofa frame here on Build Something. And I am sharing how I covered it here in this post.
By the way, for this couch construction, I used 8 of these legs (part # 6001) from Osborne Wood Products. The style of the legs fit perfectly with the look I was going for and they were super easy to screw into the couch frame (see the plans on Build Something).
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Before I covered this sofa, I stained it in Minwax Golden Oak, but you could also paint it if you want. All you have to do is dye/paint the exposed parts. We will cover those plywood panels on the inside of the sofa and the plywood seat so don’t worry about staining or painting that.
Once you’ve built your couch frame (free construction plans are available here), the first step is to cut down the seat cushions. To do this, I cut my foam 4″ down to fit the frame. You can use scissors, or even a pocket knife with a straight edge.
The foam comes in a roll, so I measured just how much I needed for each cushion and cut. Note that there are two smaller cushions on the left and one large cushion for the cross-section piece on the right.
I used standard bed pillows for the back, so no need to cut anything for the back 🙂
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This step only helps to smooth the sharp edges of the foam. You can check out this tutorial for how to cover foam cushions with batting. Basically, you use spray adhesive to attach the batting to the foam cushions and cut off the excess.
Most couch cushions have zippers in the covers. I’m not that good…or that good at a sewing machine. So I made my cushion covers simple covers – you know, the kind with a slit in the back or bottom to put the foam or pillow in? Then I sewed the corners to make a “padded box” cover. I promise, it’s easy.
Instead of reinventing the wheel and writing the tutorial, I’m going to point you to the tutorials I used for this.
FIRST, sew plain cushion covers following this tutorial. This will show you how to sew a pillow cover for a decorative pillow. To determine the size of your cushion cover, it is easiest to fold the fabric around the seat cushion and cut it so you are sure it will cover it. Actually no measurement required 🙂
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Once you’ve sewn your envelope cover, follow the second part of this tutorial to show you how to make a box cover. Basically, you just sew the two front corners together to give it a “box” shape. Who knew it was so easy?!
Once you have sewn your cushion cover, simply slide your batting covered foam cushion into the cover and set it in place.
Continue sewing cushions in the same way to finish the other two seat cushions up the seat part of the upholstery. I threw a few pillows here to think about how it was looking … sorry, I was worried.
If you followed the construction plans here, you will have pocket holes on the sides of the sofa frame. You can easily cover these (and add some extra cushioning) by covering the plywood panel with one layer of blocking and fabric.
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To do this, I cut a piece of batting slightly larger than the plywood panel on one side. Then, I trimmed a piece of fabric to the same size. I placed the fabric over the batting and folded over one corner edge to hide the cut edges. Next, I used decorative nail heads to secure it in one corner of the panel.
I worked my way around the edges turning over and nailing in place making sure to use a ruler or measuring tape to get the edges of the fabric equidistant from the edge of the frame. You don’t want to make it worse. See the image above.
I repeated the interior panels and the back panels as well. Ignore the fabric on the seat in this picture…that’s the next step 🙂
Have you been wondering what to do about those ugly plywood edges on the seat? This is where we cover them.
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I cut several strips of fabric a few inches wide and folded over an edge. Using decorative nail heads, I secured these strips to the sofa frame making sure it completely covered the plywood edges. When I got to the outside corners where the two couch parts will meet, I used staples instead of nail heads. That way, there won’t be large gaps between the two pieces since the nail heads protrude.
Sew covers for the standard size pillows that will be the back cushions. Follow the same instructions from step 1 to make envelope covers. These don’t need to be boxed, just a normal envelope style.
Set all the cushions in place and move the couch sections together. If you want, you could screw the frame pieces together on the bottom side. I left mine as is to make it easy to move if we want.
I made a few pillow covers with some fabric that Danny picked up to make some throw pillows. But I also bought him this modern pillow cover because I thought it matched him well.
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So I know this may be a little intimidating if you have never upholstered anything. I promise it was sooooo much easier to build a sofa than I thought it would be, so DON’T be intimidated. YOU CAN DO THIS!
Upholstery is not too difficult. What I like about sewing and upholstering is that if you make a mistake the fabric is good enough 😉 Also, with all those pillows, you can cover or discourage any mistakes 😉
It was difficult when making the plans to determine the best size for this sofa. It’s not a huge couch, but it’s the perfect size for this little man cave and will easily seat four people, or two people laying down.
If you’re ready to build your own DIY sofa, don’t forget to grab those building plans on Build Something! is no longer supporting older versions of your web browser to ensure user data remains secure. Please update to the latest version.
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Turned out perfect! I modified it a bit to fit more socks but it was easy to follow and a great price.
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Very cool I’m going to try to add arms but this will be great for my backyard Cinema and fire pits
Great plans, I haven’t been able to make the unit yet, but I bought my cushions and was excited to make it as soon as possible. I highly recommend this seller!!!!!
Armless Outdoor Sofa – Sectional Piece | DIY Plan | PDF File Only Advertisement advertisement by AzulWood Advertisement from AzulWood store AzulWood From AzulWood store Sale Price CA$14.02 CA$ 14.02 CA$ 28.05 Original Price CA$28.05 (50% off)
Outdoor Sofa | DIY Plan | PDF File Only Advertisement advertisement by AzulWood Advertisement from AzulWood store AzulWood From AzulWood store Sale Price CA$14.02 CA$ 14.02 CA$ 28.05 Original Price CA$28.05 (50% off)
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