How to Build a Couch—Yep, for Real

DIY Daybed Couch

Manda McGrath / The Merry Thought / Used by Permission

Buying a couch is the natural route when you need a large, comfortable piece of furniture in your living area. But how about building a couch? Yes, it's a novel idea but one that's been gaining major traction as DIY makers produce new, inventive couch plans that are straight-forward and fun to build. These couches use materials sourced from your local home center, and you don't need to be a veteran woodworker or upholsterer to assemble them, either.

  • 01 of 05

    DIY Two-Piece Upholstered Sectional Couch

    DIY Sectional Couch

    Woodshop Diaries / Shara McCuiston / Used by Permission

    The motivation behind this do-it-yourself couch wasn't so much cost-savings as it was space. Shara McCuiston of Woodshop Diaries could not fit a traditional couch through the narrow hallway. So she built one to fit. This couch is a modern two-piece sectional that prioritizes wood and clean lines. She found that one benefit of the extra wood is that it cuts down on upholstery costs.

    Building This DIY Sectional

    This do-it-yourself couch uses two-by-fours for the base and plywood for the back and sides. You'll need a range of woodshop tools, including a miter saw, drill, circular saw, and a nail gun. Plus, you'll need a pocket jig, a handy and inexpensive little device for drilling angled holes. The cushions are made from foam cut down to size and encased in envelope-style cushion covers. While this DIY couch is a fairly rigorous build, the process is made much smoother by Shara's clear directions.

    Woodshop Diaries: DIY Sectional Couch

  • 02 of 05

    DIY Plywood Couch / Daybed

    DIY Daybed Couch

    Manda McGrath / The Merry Thought / Used by Permission

    For small apartments, studios, guest rooms, or for a home office that blends work with napping, a daybed is essential. Daybeds come in a few varieties—some flipping down, others flattening out—but this DIY daybed remains in place. Manda McGrath of The Merry Thought designed this daybed so that, in sitting mode, pillows form the couch's seatback. In sleeping mode, the pillows are removed to reveal a generously sized 36-inch-wide bed that's perfect for afternoon naps.

    Building This DIY Daybed

    The beauty of this daybed couch design is that most of it is made from 3/4-inch plywood. This means that you have fewer small pieces to assemble. The most difficult part of this project is ripping two-by-six boards into narrower boards. But once that's done, it's just a matter of assembling the large plywood pieces. This is a simple, fast, and inexpensive couch to build.

    The Merry Thought: DIY Daybed

  • 03 of 05

    DIY Twin-Bed Couch

    If you need a couch-conversion bed that's large enough for a twin-size mattress, Glen Scott at DIY Creators designed one that slides out to the right size. Most of Glen's creations have a clever twist and the trick here is that the slats on one half of the bed and the slats on the couch side are interwoven. When meshed, the slats make a couch. Unmesh the slats to form the bed. It's such an easy operation that it'll be no problem to accommodate guests.

    DIY Creators: Couch Conversion Bed

  • 04 of 05

    DIY Platform Couch

    DIY Platform Couch

    Mandi Gubler / Vintage Revivals / Used by Permission

    This do-it-yourself platform couch is worthy of both the home exterior and interior. For the exterior, Mandi Gubler of Vintage Revivals made sure that the cushions could easily be removed and replaced. Also, its thin frame is less prone to collecting water than heavier framed couches. For the interior, the couch's frame material—maple—is right at home.

    Building This Platform Couch

    What makes this a platform couch is its flat base where the cushions rest. Factory-built couches are often complicated affairs with sinuous upholstery coil springs. Dispensing with the coils turns this into a far easier project. While there are two scoop-outs in the platform where Mandi adds nylon webbing, the webbing is there only to help with water drainage. If this platform couch were to stay indoors, webbing wouldn't be needed. This platform couch is a relatively easy build because Mandi incorporates dowels for the legs, back, and arms.

    Vintage Revivals: DIY Platform Couch

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  • 05 of 05

    DIY Storage Couch

    Couches are so big that they gobble up much of your room's free space. What if you could build a couch that returns some of that space?

    Blogger and woodworker Ana White designed a DIY couch with a seat that flips up to reveal a generous storage space below for pillows, sheets, and even a light comforter. This couch is easy to build, with an upholstered seat made from a slab of camping foam rubber.

    Ana White: DIY Storage Couch