Cinderella Story Couch Makeover

Jennifer Cline
by Jennifer Cline
7 Materials
8 Hours

Once upon a time there was a couch locked away in an attic and in need of rescue from a fairy godmother.

I jokingly refer to this couch makeover as a Cinderella story-like fairy tale because of the circumstances surrounding it.

I happened upon this beautiful old Victorian couch and chair left out on the curb while taking my son to school one day.

I hurried to drop him off and get back before someone else grabbed it and was somehow able to load both into the back of my car by myself.

While I am not a furniture repair person and do not know how to reupholster, I could see the couch had potential as a shabby chic display piece and plan to put it in a greenhouse I hope to build one day.

The first thing I needed to do was pull all of the deteriorated fabric, nails and springs (I kept those!) from the center frame, which was itself broken in several places.

Next, I created a template to cut a new seat out of OSB sheeting I had on hand. I didn't know the best way to go about this, so I laid black roofing felt under the couch and rigged a colored pencil to an arrow and used it to trace the outline of the base. Don't judge me, it worked.

After cutting that piece out using a jigsaw, I tapped it into place (i.e., pounded away at it with a hammer) and experimented with painting a small section of it with paint.

Liking the results, I lightly brushed white over the entire couch which helped camouflage the broken areas and really made the carved details "POP."

Next I turned my attention to the horribly faded, water stained pink upholstery that was still intact on each side. I ordered expensive sage green fabric paint online and hated (like, really HATED) the color in person. Not wanting to spend any more money, I decided to look around at what I had on hand and luckily had left over paint by the gallons from my home renovation several years ago. Considering I found this piece on the curb, I thought "what do I have to lose?"

I painted the fabric with regular, good old latex house paint and it completely transformed the piece in front of my eyes.

Next, I created a template once again using roofing felt and cut a backing piece for the center using hardboard and covered it with coordinating wallpaper.

The finishing touch was adding scroll brackets and a shelf to the center portion. I plan on displaying plants on both the lower and upper portions.

To see this transformation come to life, please see the video, attached. This couch makeover received over 10M TikTok views within a couple months and I've had calls from friends asking to borrow it for wedding and senior photo shoots.

As for the homeowners that left it on the curb? I often drive past that house and wonder if they even realize their trash has gone viral. ;)

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  • N. G. Londonderry N. G. Londonderry on Jun 10, 2021

    Lovely BUT how can the wallpaper withstand being destroyed by weather outside or even by watering the plants indoors?

  • Lar48901321 Lar48901321 on Jun 09, 2022


    It's gorgeous 😍

    I was wondering mostly about the material on the sides...for the rain..but I see you painting it..??

    Anyway you are awesome 👌..

    Great idea..

  • Cheryl Cheryl on Jun 16, 2022

    Girl, you are a beast! This is a brilliant idea! Thank you for the inspiration!!!

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  • Debbie Debbie on Jun 11, 2022

    Amazing. I love how some people (you) can look at something so trashed out and turn it into something beautiful and functional. Great idea, great job. You're just pretty awesome.

  • Leslie Leslie on Jun 16, 2022

    Your idea to use the roofing felt as a template was simply genius AND to attach your pencil to an arrow LOL I was giddy with my brain cells sparking. Thank you so much for your inspirational tutorial and the great ideas you contained in it. I LOVE the wall paper you used but too bad it didn't come in fabric. When you get around to building your greenhouse this will be a beautiful addition. 🥰