How to Build a Sofa


Surely before reading this article, many of you may be scratching your head wondering why on earth would we need to put ourselves through the trouble of building a sofa when we could have one made quite easily and buy it from the pros. Well, this is true but before you decide to go down that road, think how much you will save, and the amount of fun that you will have while on the project. There are many out there who love the satisfaction that comes with being self sufficient. The feeling of having created or built something that worked out well is amazingly satisfying.

If this is not enough, then think about how inflated your ego will be once you have completed the project, and your friends can’t shut up about the great job you have done! Are you on board now? So, let’s get started.


how to build a sofa

Here you will see the four main areas we will cover in how to build a sofa. This is an overview of the steps to take in construction of a couch. It is here as a guide for you, to help you understand the different stages involved in learning how to build a sofa. Bear in mind that you can change any of these steps as you see fit. You imagination and personal preference should play a part in your design.

Maybe a good idea at the start is to take a little time and draw a few ideas you may have to help you get your creative juices flowing. What size do you want it to be? It may be a good option to work out the dimensions and jot them down for future reference. How wide should it be, and how deep should the seating be as well. You will also want to know the seating height from the floor. What shape appeals to you? Do you like the idea of square shaped armrests or perhaps wide rounded or rolled ones that could be extra comfortable? WHat about the seat back, would you like it to be horizontal across or curverd. There are many possibilites and I think it is helpful to play around a little with a pad and pencil and sketch a few things to help you decide. You may have even been inspired by a previous design you have seen before.

What you will need?

Before we can start, you will need some tools and materials for the project. It is better to start with these so that you know what you have to buy from the onset. This will save you multiple trips to the store to buy the materials midway in your project.

For the materials, you will need Kiln dried maple or a hardwood, muslin, needle, Dacron (this is optional), thread, zipper, plastic, steel (also optional), decorative tacks, material and metal tack strips.

Before you can put the pen down, you might want to write down some of the tools that you will need just in the event that you don’t have them and might have to purchase them or borrow them from a good neighbor. You will need nails and hammer, padding, jute webbing, foam, tempered steel springs, burlap, zigzag springs, staples as well as a staple gun and also string or twine. Now you can cross check what you have and rush out to get those before the real fun begins.

The frame

The first thing that you have to make is the frame of the sofa. This has to be sturdy since it should be able to hold the padding as well as the people that will be sitting on it after it has been completed. For this, you can either use the Kiln dried maple, plastic, laminated wood or even the steel. While at this, make sure you do not forget to add the arm posts, crest rails, legs, webbing bridges and the back and front. If you have a design for this, it will be even better since you have a better idea of how the end product will look like.


1: The main Frame shape     2: The seat, Side and back Rails


Seat and back

Once you are done with the frame, you now have to make sure that the seat and back have the support they need to make the sofa very comfortable and not a potential hazard. For this, you can weave the Jute webbing which is a special type of burlap along these two areas and after you are done, make sure you tack it well and secure tempered steel springs to the webbing. If you are working with a tight budget, you can use the zigzag springs but you have to tie these with a string so that they don’t keep rotating.


Don’t put the burlap in the corner just yet, there is more that is needed with it. Use it to cover the springs. This will help to protect the padding and also make sufficient edge rolling on the sofa especially on the front of the frame unless you want your guest to associate your new sofa with pain and utter discomfort.


Install the padding. The best and cheapest way to do this, would be to cut the padding in the shape that you would like to place them. However, if you want to have cushions on the sitting area, there is no need to add the padding on the seat back area.

Cover the padding

Take the Dacron of muslin, whichever you prefer over the other and put it over the padding. This should compress the padding as you pull on the upholstery then tack it in place.


You are one step from having your own creation, and there is not much that is left other than the finishing touches. If you need to stitch the material do the seams first. To ensure that there are no spaces that can cause wrinkles, you can add extra padding then use the metal tack strips to hold the upholstery in place once you stretch it. Feel free to add some decorative tacks on the exterior for safety purposes.

On the last step, you can have the cushions of the sofa made by framing a section of foam with two pads. Ensure that you have a zipper on the material to make it easy to access the foam and then cover with a material and just like that you have a new sofa!


While this guide is more of an over, it confirms that it really isn’t that hard to build your own sofa, in whatever design and material you wish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *