Apr 17, 2012 - Crafts, From Scratch    14 Comments

Deconstructed Sofa

Last weekend was spring break for our kids.  We dropped them off at their grandparents home for a few days of fun for them, and relaxation and shopping for my husband and I.  It started with some antiquing and then a trip to a beautiful new shopping center in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City.  City Creek has been under construction for quite some time and I couldn’t wait to see it.  They had a beautiful new Restoration Hardware store that I couldn’t wait to check out.  It was amazing, a huge store with several rooms, each presenting a different line of furniture.  I had recently received my HUGE catalog and enjoyed looking through it, but the deconstructed furniture line looked even more impressive in person.  It is made to look like each piece is in the middle of construction.

Add Burlap and Nail Heads to Deconstruct Sofa

 Unfortunately the price tags are way to high for my budget, but I thought I’d see if I could use it as some inspiration for a piece I had at home.  The sofa below has a long history.  My mom purchased it as a denim slip covered sofa years back.  After a lot of use and sagging cushions, she donated two of them to me..Yay!  You may have most recently seen it in my front red room without the slip cover as shown here.  It was kind of a blank slate so I figured this would be a great start to my inspired design.

Deconstructed Sofa inspired by Restoration Hardware

I gathered the necessary tools:





Thumb Tacks from the Dollar Store ($1)

Burlap (I needed 2 1/2 yards, $7.50)

Add Burlap and Nail Heads to Deconstruct Sofa

I started on the back, tacking the fabric in place.  Then I spaced the thumb tacks every 2 inches and tried to make them as straight as possible using the “finished” edge from the fabric along the top.

Add Burlap and Nail Heads to Deconstruct Sofa

I didn’t do any complicated measuring before hand, I just started and 2 inches worked out pretty well all over the piece.

Add Burlap and Nail Heads to Deconstruct Sofa

Once the back is secure, tip the sofa forward and tack the sides and bottom in place.  I didn’t measure the bottom, just put the pins in every so often.  I did measure the sides, only to undo them below.

Add Burlap and Nail Heads to Deconstruct Sofa

Trim off the excess fabric.  I should have unscrewed the feet and tucked the extra fabric underneath, but I didn’t think of it at the time, it worked out OK though, none of the flaws show.

Add Burlap and Nail Heads to Deconstruct Sofa

As noted above, I initially just planned on burlaping the back, but then I realized I had enough extra fabric (from cutting off the excess) to do the sides as well.  I unpinned the sides below the arm, tucked the side fabric underneath the back and repinned the back.  I also added pins to the side, although unnecessary, every 2 inches opposite of the back tacks.  Trim off the excess frays.

Add Burlap and Nail Heads to Deconstruct Sofa

You might be worried, what if I don’t like it when it is finished?  Or what if next year this style looks ridiculous?  I always like to keep my options open too.  When I removed the pins off the back to add the side fabric the fabric almost “self healed” itself.  There is a slight indentation, but the pin was only out for a few minutes, so if I really scratched and ironed it, I’m confident it would look like nothing ever happened.

Add Burlap and Nail Heads to Deconstruct Sofa

So, do Dollar Store thumb tacks really work as nail heads?  Do they stick into the sofa and stay?  You betcha!  I’ve been wanting to embellish with nail heads, but they are so darn expensive, and then the special hammer, nail head spacer etc.  Our Dollar Store has gold and silver and it is the best deal around, I’ve looked, $1 for 300 pins.  Because this sofa is “deconstructed” I did’nt care too much if the “nail heads” didn’t line up perfectly, so it was great practice, and the ruler worked great as a guide.  A small hammer we had worked great, it didn’t scratch up the tacks  but it did help force the pins into the wood frame of the couch.  I have to be honest here though, many of the pins did not go easily into the wood frame (Thumb Tack Fail), many bent slightly or folded in half completely (as you can see in the Thumb Tack Graveyard).  But I just threw those in a pile and grabbed a new one.  Just make sure that where you are inserting the pins is not backed by metal, but directly into the wood.

Add Burlap and Nail Heads to Deconstruct Sofa

So here is my finished sofa.

Add Burlap and Nail Heads to Deconstruct Sofa

I’m glad I added the extra burlap on the side for other views.

Add Burlap and Nail Heads to Deconstruct Sofa

The back looks amazing when you walk into the house, unfortunately these pictures don’t do it justice.

Add Burlap and Nail Heads to Deconstruct Sofa

For the front of the sofa, I took off the unshapely back pillows and replaced them with a few large ones I made a few years ago.  I think it has a beachy, Pottery Barn, Ralph Lauren look, at least that’s what I keep telling my self!

Add Burlap and Nail Heads to Deconstruct Sofa

Hope you like it!  And if you don’t, I’ll be changing things up next year anyway.  That’s what’s great about an $8.50 makeover!

Add Burlap and Nail Heads to Deconstruct Sofa

Linked Up: Home Stories A2Z, Funky Junk Interiors, Tatertots & Jello


  • Looks great! Can’t wait to see it in person.

  • You are so brave! Great idea, the texture does so much for that sofa and the pillows and ottoman make it look like it was made that way in the first place…great job!

  • Beautiful and inspiring! I truly AM going to do this with a chair that needs re-upholstered. Cheap, and I have everything on hand! Can’t wait to share this with my friends!!! (BaileyHusband won’t be a fan until it’s done, then he will tell everyone that HE did it :)

  • Wow that came out great. You did a great job. Thanks for sharing at DIYbyDesign.

  • Hubby Comment… This is an awesome project! It looks so cool! I love it! Great job Amanda. Love JR

  • This is brilliant!! I absolutely love it! What a perfect way to change things up without ruining what you have! You smart little cookie!!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • wonderful job – I love your imaginative process! Total transformation and looks so fresh and crisp in your pretty room :)

  • I love this idea. I have the perfect sofa to try it on. I got a FREE Pottery Barn sofa last year from someone giving it away. It is in great condition, but I like the idea of using the loose pillows for the back. I may try the burlap as well, very summery looking.

  • What an incredible idea! I love the look, and I hope it doesn’t go out of style for a looooooong time!

  • i too recently thumbed through the restoration catalog and was drooling over the furniture. i love the decontructed look along with the industrial feel it gives off. the small loveseat that is in our “redecorated” music/library is prime property for this diy project. you have inspired me to take the next step…that is once i’ve put the finishing touches on the room and can focus on the “decontruction reupholstery”.

  • Brilliant!

  • […] a big difference.  This tutorial shows you how to jazz up an old night with thumb tacks. 15.  Deconstructed Couch ~ Learn how to reupholster your couch with burlap and thumb tacks.  It’s a fabulous […]

  • Great post. I’m going through many of these issues as well..

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