Deconstructed Couch Tutorial

5 Materials
2 Months

I had been wanting to attempt a deconstructed couch for awhile, so when I saw this beauty for free on FB marketplace I knew I NEEDED it. This was the perfect opportunity to attempt reupholstery, I'd have nothing to lose!

Here she is in all her nasty glory. 90" of so much potential.

I started by taking a pair of pliers and pulling back all the old fabric. I removed everything down to the burlap. I love the vintage vibes of the original burlap so I left it in place. There was nothing neat or pretty about this step, I just pulled back enough fabric until I could get my hands on it, then I started ripping it apart.

Once I had all the fabric removed from the back, I went through with the pliers and removed all the old staples and nails that were sticking out of the wood.

Then I started on the front side of the couch. I did the same exact thing as what I did with the backside, I removed everything down to the burlap.

(Fun fact: I was terrified this thing would have bed bugs but I never saw one  )

Once I had all the old fabric removed, I went back through and removed all the old tacks, nails, and staples. This was extremely tedious, but I wanted to make sure I removed it all so my kids wouldn't get cut while sitting on the chair.

After all the tacks were removed, I laid out my drop cloth and got it into the position I'd want it in. I just tucked the fabric up underneath the backside of the couch. There are videos on YouTube to show you the right way to do this step, but I just tucked the fabric underneath because I wanted to leave the original burlap in place.

Then I cut the fabric making sure I left about 1/2" to 1" of overhang so I could tuck the fabric up underneath when I used the upholstery tacks.

Leaving the overhang ensured I could get a nice clean finish when I inserted the upholstery tacks. As you can see in the picture, this is what it would look like tucked (left hand side) vs. untucked (righthand side).

I held my new cushion to the top of the back of the couch and used a sharpie to trace the framework design of the couch onto the cushion, then I cut it to size. Once the cushions were cut to size, I tucked all the fabric up under the backside of the couch, then went around with a staple gun securing the drop cloth to the frame of the couch.

I used a hammer and upholstery tacks to secure the fabric along the frame. I started by using a ruler and making a small dot ever 1/2" so my tacks would be perfectly spread apart, but after a few tacks I just started eyeballing it. This is supposed to be a deconstructed couch, I didn't want it to look perfect.

I mentioned before about how I didn't secure the fabric to the inside of the couch, and this actually ended up being extremely helpful towards the end. The back cushion was making it difficult to insert the upholstery tacks around the top part of the couch. There was too much tension and I couldn't get the tacks to go in right. I pulled up the bottom of the fabric and completely removed the cushion. Once it was removed, I was able to easily hammer in all the tacks along the framework, reinsert the cushion, then tuck the fabric back under!

Where I circled, those are parts that are just tucked in behind the framework of the couch. Normally you'll pull the fabric through the back of the couch and secure it to the framework, but like I said, I wanted to leave the original burlap on the couch. I tried removing the burlap so I could secure the fabric, but there was no way to do it unless I completely removed the burlap.

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Sherry
    on Aug 17, 2020

    Why did you not trim the ragged part of drop cloth that shows on the back?

    • Eva Weaver
      Eva Weaver
      on Aug 17, 2020

      It looks like its the original fabric bits. Gives it a shabby chic look. She can always snip them off later.

  • Jeanne
    on Aug 17, 2020

    Did you make the pillows also?

  • Mag
    on Aug 17, 2020

    Where did you get the foam for the couch? Did you use the old or replace it with new? And what kind of drop cloth thickness did you order for this project and was it from Amazon or where did you purchase it?

    • Mercedes Madrie
      Mercedes Madrie
      on Aug 17, 2020

      I replaced it all because I was scared of bugs lol. I got the foam from Michael’s. I used 2” for the back and sides, and 1” for the seat. I got the drop cloth from Walmart, I’m not sure what the thickness of it was though.

Join the conversation

2 of 23 comments
  • Kros
    on Sep 8, 2020

    I like it! I love the style!

  • Terry
    on Sep 12, 2020

    I think the whole point of the "deconstructed couch" is that unfinished, deteriorated look.

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