Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stuffing a Couch; and Other Mysteries Revealed

With the couch completely stripped, we brought it back inside and turned my living room and dining room into a work room, complete with drop cloths, folding tables, scissors, thread, batting, and plenty of snacks to go around.
 New burlap strapping was woven back through the loose springs, pulled as tightly as possible, and then fixed to the couch frame using a staple gun.

 With the strapping done, we could move on to adding the new stuffing (a polyester batting with 1" loft that won't provide a habitat for mites.) We had purchased a large roll of the batting, so we were able to lay it on in large sheets and then cut it to custom fit the couch. From there, we could layer the sheets in different widths to get the amount of cushion as well as the rounded look we wanted.
 We put drop cloths down to protect our wood floors from the potential scratches and dings of working with pliers, hammers, staple guns, and such. It also was helpful because we still produced a fair amount of dust at this point, so we could easily take the sheets outside to be shaken out.
 Here we pieced together remnant pieces from the batting we used for the seat of the couch to make the most of the batting we had on hand. Waste not, want not. (Don't worry, we still wound up making an extra trip to the fabric store to get more batting. I think we put nearly 30 yards of batting {at 90"wide} on the couch by the time it was said and done.)
 Then, using upholstery needles and dark thread (so we could easily see it) we stitched the batting onto the burlap backing of the couch.

 The rounded back came from staggered layers of the batting, which we sewed in place, and then covered with one single piece to be sure no lumps showed once the fabric was put in place.
 Once the batting is in place, the final layer is fixed to the frame of the couch using a staple gun. We were careful to keep our staples below the brad/nail head line, because we needed to make sure we had room to fix the fabric to the frame as well.
 On to the cushions! We wrapped them in a single layer of batting, then wrapped the batting tightly with cotton fabric (an old table cloth I had but never used.) The table cloth will serve as our version of the burlap casing originally on the cushions to keep the batting from sinking between the springs. 
 Once the cushions were encased by the layer of cotton, we wrapped them in batting. This sounds incredibly simple, but it took nearly an entire afternoon to determine how much batting we could wrap the cushions in and still fit them in the fabric patterns we had from the previous cushions. I believe we made about 15 different "model" cushions, sitting on them, stuffing them in the fabric patterns, then redoing them to make sure we got as much stuffing as possible on the cushions. It was also important that when sitting on them, we could not feel the springs or the metal framing of the front underneath our knees. It took a long long time.
 Finally it all came together, we figured out the perfect batting-to-cushion equation, stuffed the couch arms, and took a break to enjoy some iced tea while we sat on the couch.


  1. I love that you're blogging again!! Can't wait to see pics of the finished product.

  2. Oh, I have been waiting for this one....can't wait to see the finished product!