meagan millerComment

how we built our couches!

meagan millerComment
how we built our couches!

Hi!!! Our living room is FINALLY complete!

It's obviously the most lived in area in our home and also, where the kids snooze! We went back and forth with what to do in here. Adam wanted to buy a couch, I wanted to make one. There's a big box at the front of the airstream that holds the battery and the converter. If we bought a couch, it would have had to sit in front of the box and that would have taken a lot of floor space. WE HAVE NO FLOOR SPACE TO WASTE! So by a lot, I mean it was about 20-24 inches off the wall... (this sounds like... uhh.. that's only two rulers but I'm telling you, 2 rulers in a tiny space is huge) We measured out a few couches and ehhh, nothing was going to work without killing our space! Sooo... after about 10 convos with my man, he finally agreed and said we will build our couches! We as in... HIM! and he did SOOO good!!!! He built the couches and I made the cushions! Yes, I did them all by myself! Wooohooo, we saved some serious cash by doing it our way, too! 

So here's how we did it! First, we ripped out everythinnnggg in the living room. Like literally, everything. The couches, the weird corner table, the other table, the lights, everything. We painted it all white and that alone made such a difference! If you need a room to feel more open and just clean, paint it white. You won't regret it. SO, we had a clean space to start with and went from there!

The cushions were another hard decision- do we buy some and hope they work? find someone to make them for us? What should we do?! We researched some upholsterers and my gosh that's an expensive route!!  We are all about saving some money so we figured we could do this ourselves and make it work. We went to Joann's and found some camel colored marine grade vinyl that we both agreed on. It was $19 a yard but we got it at half price with a coupon! SCORE! We ended up getting 5 and a half yards. The foam is what killed us! It was crazy expensive!! Maybe that's normal?? I guess we've never bought foam before?? It was $69 a yard for 4 inch high density foam! We needed 6 and a half yards... Luckily, we found another coupon so we got 40% off. Thank you Joann's for hooking us up with your online deals! 

So here's what we used

Supplies:

  • 3/4 inch finished plywood for the frame and base. $30
  • 2 pieces of 1/4 inch plywood- for the deck. $21
  • luan plywood- 5 inch sheets // our diy shiplap. $15
  • scrap piece of luan plywood for the spacing- created about a 1/4 inch gap.
  • liquid nail fuse it. $8
  • 1/2 inch brad nails. $3
  • fabric- however much you decide you need, we wanted it to wrap around about 3 inches just to make sure we had enough. $55
  • foam- we used 4 inch high density. $449 (we paid $179 bc of our coupon)
  • staple gun $12 (we already had one but in case you don't!)
  • 1/4 inch staples $6
  • heavy duty scissors $43

The couches we were looking to buy were $800 and above!!!! We only spent $381 building our own! Like I said, we already had the staple gun so that's that only thing we didn't buy but $393 total if you added that in. By going this route, we saved lots of money, and also a lot of weight which is EXTREMELY important for a travel trailer. We also created storage compartments underneath// total win! 

So in the very front of the airstream where it curves, I voted to make that section of the couch as deep as we could so the kids could sleep there comfortably. Willow is queen of falling off any bed/couch in the middle of the night and along comes the death scream. She needs to make sure EVERYONE knows she fell. (this must be a 3 year old girl thing) So we were going to try and avoid this the best we could and soo far, it's been great! No falls. at all. We good! This section of the couch in the deepest area is 34 inches. Then, the couch that runs along the other wall- from the front of the airstream to the dining booth is 24 inches deep. 

 see the box up front? this is what we had to build around.

see the box up front? this is what we had to build around.

Ok so the building process:

Adam ripped the sheets of plywood into 15 inch wide sections- that way the platform itself would be 15 inches plus the quarter inch decking high. ((We chose this height because it was the same as the dining booth.))

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He cut the two face pieces to length to fit the width of the front couch and length of the side couch.

He then cut shorter pieces to fit from the face board back to the exterior walls. He did this for obvious support and for creating storage sections under the couch.

Once assembled and bracketed down to the floor, he installed the quarter inch decking. 

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The 24 inch (side couch), he cut square holes in the decking to make removable panels to access the storage. So all we have to do is lift the cushions and voila, we have storage. 

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He then ripped the luan plywood to make our shiplap on the face of the couch. We thought about just painting the plywood but it would have just been plain looking. We wanted that extra good good in the living room since it's where we do most of our "hangs". He used a scrap piece of luan to create the shiplap gap. We are clearly shiplap freaks. We had it in our bus too- It's just too pretty to not have and a super easy little "happy" to add.

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Then we painted it all white & the build is done! 

So at the same time he was building the couches, I was working on the cushions!

......the cushions. Y'all, I am all crafty and thoughtful but when it comes to sewing..... let's just say I bought a sewing machine like 4 years ago, and I took it out of the box and it sat in my laundry room till I threw it away during our move. -_- Soooo... sewing was not an option. I figured I could just cut some plywood to the dimensions we needed, same with the foam and wrap it up with the fabric and be done! (pretty much accurate)

How I did it:

Lay the fabric down on the ground, lay the foam down on top of the fabric, then the plywood on top of the foam... line it all up and I made sure I could pull the fabric from the bottom to the top and have about three extra inches to be able to staple down. Kinda like wrapping a present! Actually, it's exactly like that. On the corners, I just made a few folds and made it look as neat as possible. I also put my folds where you couldn't see them from the front of the couch. So I folded them towards the back and threw some staples in and that's it! Easy peasy, right?! 

 this was the foam for the dinette 

this was the foam for the dinette 

I did this on our dinette first to make sure it would work and I thought it looked amazing. So, I knew I could do the same exact thing on the couch. Oh, and on the deeper part of the couch, we had to put two pieces of foam together to make the deepness work. We used foil tape and it didn't work that great but it was good enough so we could get the fabric over and stapled!

 before...

before...

 after!

after!

 before... look at what we had to work with!

before... look at what we had to work with!

 just SOME of the pillows...

just SOME of the pillows...

 after.. without my beloved pillows!

after.. without my beloved pillows!

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So far, this has been perfect dimensions for us. Everyone has plenty of room to sit, lay, sleep, whatever! It works great, feels great, and the fabric is holding up SO GOOD! I can bleach wipe it off (my fav part), AND we have so much floor space now! It truly is a comfortable couch. Adam was sooooo iffy about building one cause he always thought built ins in trailers just look like ole boring built ins... but I think the shiplap really helped it look good. The camel color we chose is very versatile and a perfect fabric to use with the kids and dogs. We both love it so much and it was wayyyy better than buying any overpriced non fitting couch! 

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