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Weekend Project: DIY Sofa Sectional

One of my favorite things to work on out of any and all DIY projects are kid spaces! I have had the privilege of helping several friends update spaces for their children, and have been able to do some amazing things for my own kids as well. Let me share with you something that I found to be fairly easy to build (all straight cuts with a miter saw!), and is handy for indoor or outdoor spaces.


This sofa sectional was absolutely perfect for my friend's playhouse they built for their kids. They asked me to come and help design the interior of it for them, so I utilized a handful of Ikea things, did a few furniture flips, and then custom built the rest.


Here's one of the best parts of this little sectional. You can separate the two long ends, put them together and make a bed for fun slumber parties! I thought it was the perfect solution for this adorable playhouse.


I started off looking over the very talented Ana White's tutorial: Kids Couch - 2x4 DIY Sectional with Crib Mattress Cushions. I used this as my foundation for the build, but tweaked the measurements and depth to fit my specifications since I knew I wouldn't be using a crib mattress for the cushion.


To start, gather your lumber and screws (this is truly 90% of what you need for this project!) Here's what I used:

  • (6) 2x3s @ 8' long

  • (2) 2x2s @8' long

  • (6) 1x4s @8' long

  • 2 1/2" pocket hole screws

  • Kreg Jig pocket hole system

  • Scrap 1/2" plywood

  • Wood glue

  • Brad nailer and 1 1/2" nails

  • Paint color of your choice, or go natural, or stain it!

  • Clamps are helpful if you have them.


Here's what your sectional will start as!


You're going to start by cutting the pieces for your 4 arms. It is important to remember two of them are for the left side, and 2 are for the right, so pay attention to the direction of your pocket holes when you piece them together!



My arm pieces were cut so the depth of the sofa would be about 22", the height off the ground was about 10" and the height of the entire sectional would be about 28" tall. These measurements are completely customizable, so you can alter them to fit whatever your needs are. I highly suggest using a right angle speed square to make sure your legs end up being level.


Use pocket holes to attach the 3 separate leg pieces together with wood glue for a very strong bond. Here is where you could also use your 90 degree kreg clamp if you have one. Any clamp would help keep the attachment tighter!


Once you build the 4 arms you will start attaching them together using a 2x3 in the front and another in the back along the lower bench part of your sectional. I found a belt clamp to be extremely helpful here! Or if you have someone else able to help you hold it in place, that would work too.


Using a belt clamp helps hold the frame pieces in place for you.

Here you can see how you attach the 2 edge pieces to the front and back of the bench section, and then you'll do the same for the top. The length of your sectional depends on how long you cut these pieces! My total sectional was 4' x 4'. Repeat this process on the other set of legs for your second sofa.

Make sure all your pocket holes are facing inward!

For the next step you are going to cut enough 2x3s to support the 1/2" plywood platform base. I suggest having a 2x3 support every 12" or less. Cut the 2x3s to measure the distance inside the front and back 2x3 frame pieces, add your pocket holes, then glue and screw them into place with 1/2" recession from the top of the frame. This is very important! You want to be able to lay your 1/2" piece of plywood flush inside the frame. In order to do this you need to place your 2x3 braces pieces down 1/2".


Here you can see the 2x3 braces are inset by 1/2".

When you lay down your plywood you want it to be perfectly flush with your frame.

The plywood for the base should fit inside the 2x3 frame pieces. When you're done it will look like this:


I used 2 scrap pieces of 1/2" plywood and glued and nailed them in place here.

Repeat this for the other sofa, and then we're ready to add the back and top 1x4 pieces. For these I used 4 of the 1x4s, pocket hole screwed them into the side arms, and then glued and nailed one more piece on top. This part makes the entire sofa look more complete and adds a touch of natural beauty to the entire project!




Now that you've built the actual sectional pieces you need to add the rest of the arms onto the two end sides. Here's where I used my 2x2s, cut them into an "L" shape, glued and nailed them into place.


Make sure your pocket hole screws aren't facing out! I ended up filling this, but it's easier to just avoid it.

After the L arm braces are on you're going to cover them in the same 1x4 material to fill it all in. For my spacing 2 pieces was perfect.


Now you are ready to paint, stain, do whatever you want to finish the sectional's design! I painted the frame black and left the wood planks natural. I love how the contrast between the two looked.




This is how it turned out!

I bought cushions from Ikea along with this perfect upholstery fabric for only $4.99/yard! Who knew Ikea had by the yard fabrics?! And then I found a bunch of colorful pillows for the back of the sofa from various stores. It brought in the perfect amount of comfort and color.


Overall this entire playhouse makeover was an incredible experience and transformation. This sectional was such an important centerpiece for it all. I'm so in love with how it turned out!


I hope you find this helpful! I encourage you to check out Ana White's website as well for other great, beginner friendly DIY wood projects. This is always my first go-to for ideas!


Thank you for being here!


Love your Home,

Erika

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