Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer Sofa

few weeks month ago, I posted about a project I was working on. Glad to say that now it's finished and ready to make all my dreams come true!

I built an outdoor couch, JUST for napping on. Last summer, I wanted a couch outside so bad (someone suggested I get a hammock, but a hammock just wasn't gonna cut it), and after searching everywhere for an affordable option, came up with nothing. I debated just getting an old one from MCC, but considering our climate, didn't think that would be the smartest decision. Plus, moving an old couch is never fun. Or light.

So, plan B was to build one. I found this plan for an outdoor sofa, and modified it slightly so it was easier to build and used a little less material.

My plan looked like this:

Sketch Up skills coming in handy!

In case you too want to build yourself an outdoor couch exactly like mine, here's my shopping list. I just went to Home Depot and got stud grade lumber, as straight as I could find! My lumber came in around $35.
(4) 1x3x8'
(4) 2x2x8'
(2) 2x6x8'

And here's my cutlist (roughly....I may have diverged from this as I built, and the list is in the garage and I don't feel like going to get it right now!)
(2) 2x6 @ 72" (front & back aprons)
(2) 2x6 @ 24" (side aprons)
(4) 2x2 @ 22" (legs)
(2) 2x2 @ 28" (arm rests)
(1) 2x2 @ 72" (back rest)
(2) 2x2 @ 72" (front & back slat supports)
(12) 1x3 @ 24" (seat slats)

I had the 2x6s cut at Home Depot, but made all the other cuts on my mitre saw. I sanded down everything first, then primed it (except for seat slats), then cut it, made my pocket hole screws with my Kreg jig, and then assembled by gluing and screwing all my joints.

I made the seat slats like a mattress support kinda thing on a bed with the help of some polyester belting from Fabricland and a staple gun. Rather than painting these, I sealed them with a few (4!) coats of Varathane (which I already had) to make them weather resistant. We're planning on storing this thing in the garage attic in the winter months, but otherwise it will live on our screened in porch. I don't think much rain will get on it, but better to protect everything than have it rotting in a year or two. The slats come out completely, but are held in place with some dowels that go through the slats and sit in holes drilled into the slat supports at front & back.

The primer & paint I already had on hand. Remember this table? I had pretty much a quart of paint left from that project still, which was perfect since it was already outdoor paint AND would match that table!

For the seat cushions, I again hit up Fabricland (after pricing foam out at a foam store where they wanted like $300 for 72" of foam!) and luckily they had some lengths of 4" foam that was 50% off. I also had leftover outdoor fabric from this project and used that and a couple duvet zippers to make my cushion covers.

When I started this project I knew I'd also need some back cushions. My original plan was to just pick some up at Homesense, which I did, and then returned because $100 for 6 cushions. No. Plus the colours were picked over and not great. In my wandering around the store, I had a brainwave when I spotted some outdoor table cloths and remembered I had a stack of old pillows in a closet at home. (I have a thing about sleeping pillows - I hate when they go all flat and pancake like. Hence the stack of 5 pillows in a closet. A while ago I finally got a good [and expensive] one and haven't had to replace it since!) So, a $20 tablecloth and a few minutes behind a sewing machine, and viola! Back cushions.

I also (finally) sealed & stained our decks (once the rain stopped and summer returned), and we got the house washed too. Now just to get the screen porch up and my little piece of paradise is ready for the summer!


  1. Anonymous6:58 PM

    I think that will be a good place for me to catch a snooze when I come to see you. Good job. I love all the colors.
    Love you

  2. Hillary7:45 PM

    You are amazing. I am especially impressed with how the chevrons all match up. Wish I could come and visit on it!

    1. Mom helped me with that when they were here! I was just going to wing it (as per usual) but mom saw that it would work to have them line up. She did the pinning for me1

  3. Doug Here, i am amazed. Nice work. Where was Dan during this process?

    1. Good question! :)
      (In all fairness, he DID help with some assembly, but I am still gonna take all the credit on this one!)

  4. Anonymous8:43 AM

    Seriously?? You are amazing. Love it.


  5. Anonymous4:27 AM

    Hi Erica, I was just taking another look at your good looking summer sofa. Great work on this and I do like how that fabric matches up so nicely ;)
    I can't wait to get over to your house, mostly to love Wallaby but also to sit on that couch!
    Love you, mom