Craft Rocks: Sofa Bed Upcycle – SPECIAL ISSUE!

Craft enthusiast Jo Burgess explores the world of needlecraft in this exclusive column for Mr X Stitch!

Sofa Bed upcycle 

We once bought a sofa online without sitting on it first. Big mistake. It was a sofa bed and although it’s a great bed, within days of sitting on it the seat padding started to wilt and look sad. Many years on it still lives as the sofa bed in our spare room, so I decided to upcycle it into something we loved.

Sofa Bed upcycle
The original sofa very much in need of a facelift!

The first job was deciding what fabric to use. The main body of the sofa is still in good shape so I went for something to match it. I also figured it would use up quite a lot of fabric so I didn’t want to go for anything too expensive. I shopped around and decided on this funky steampunk fabric, a bargain on ebay at only £5 per metre.

Craft Rocks: Sofa Bed Upcycle - SPECIAL ISSUE!
A bit of steampunk funk for the sofa

Next I took the five cushions off the sofa. I knew I wasn’t going to reuse the three smaller cushions on the back so I opened each of them up and used their insides to stuff the two large cushions you sit on to make them comfy again. I then ordered four small cushions from Amazon to go along the back.

Craft Rocks: Sofa Bed Upcycle - SPECIAL ISSUE!
Not using the top three cushions gave me loads of bonus stuffing for the main seats

With the main cushions all plump I realised my original idea to make boxy zip up covers for the two big cushions wouldn’t work because I’d never get them through the zipper hole. So given they are almost as deep as a mattress I thought I’d make a cover like a fitted sheet instead. 

To do this I placed the large cushion on the fabric I had to see how it would wrap around the cushion. Then I realised the fabric was not wide enough… so I bought more fabric to make the existing fabric wider. Once I had done that I cut a square big enough to wrap the cushion. I then cut squares out of each corner and sewed the two edges I’d cut to create each square together to form a box corner.

Craft Rocks: Sofa Bed Upcycle - SPECIAL ISSUE!
Large cushion happily stuffed and wrapped

Once I had the box form, I hemmed the edge leaving a gap through which I inserted elastic. As you can see from the photo above I threaded the elastic all the way through the hem, pulled it tight and tied it so it wouldn’t slip. 

I then made the covers for each of the smaller cushions. They were 16 inch cushions so I cut strips of fabric 17 inches wide by 35 inches long. I hemmed one short end of the fabric as it would be on show at the back, then I folded the strip so there were 9.5 inches at one end, 9 inches at the other and 16 inches to cover the cushion in the middle. I then sewed the edges together to form a cushion.

Four cushions didn’t quite bridge the gap at the back so I wanted another one. I didn’t want to spend any more money on the project though (and the cushions came in pairs) so I used some of the fabric and stuffing leftover from the sofa to make a little cushion instead.

Craft Rocks: Sofa Bed Upcycle - SPECIAL ISSUE!
Making a small cushion out of an old bigger cushion
Craft Rocks: Sofa Bed Upcycle - SPECIAL ISSUE!
I then sewed the side shut, stuffed it and sealed it up

Once they were all finished and on the sofa I had the most comfortable sit down on that sofa I’ve ever had. I sew in the spare room where it lives so I will really enjoy looking at it while I sew. It was a fun project to do. And cheaper than buying a new sofa bed!

Craft Rocks: Sofa Bed Upcycle - SPECIAL ISSUE!
The completed sofa bed. Much comfier than it used to be!

Have you given any furniture a makeover? I’d love to hear about it if you have.


Fabric: A whopping 8m = £40

Cushions: Four = £16

Total: £56 That’s instead of a new sofa bed at a few hundred quid, so I’m happy with that!


Best music for this project: Sit Down by James (of course)

Best cake for this project: Coffee and walnut (it matches the sofa)

Jamie "Mr X Stitch" Chalmers

Hi, I’m Jamie “MrXStitch” Chalmers and since 2008 I’ve been on a mission to change the way the world thinks about needlecraft.

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