It’s Not All Mary Poppins

From Shelf to Seating

Our old couch had had it. It was old, and it was grubby. Not that those two things would have provided sufficient motivation to turf it without the advent of Daisy, who viewed the wooden armrests and the World’s Best Chew-Toys. She could lie on the couch, see, rest her face on the padded part, and gnaw to her puppy’s heart’s content. Convenient, no?

Despite my diligent conscientious consistent careful oh, all right! half-assed and distracted attention, the arms looked like day-old toothpicks. Even relaxed me knew that thing had come to the end of its useful life.

Too bad we have NO money to replace a couch. Lordy, those things are expensive.

However. What we do have is the biggest honkin’ IKEA in Canada (possibly in the known universe) right here in Ottawa! And Ikea sells these lovely shelving units for a mere $69.99!!!

I have foam cushions. (Well, actually, I have foam sleeping mats, but I also have cots, and I like the cots better. The foam mats were expendable, perfect for this project!) I have fabric. (I sew. I have A Stash.) I have duct tape. (Why? Because EVERY project needs duct tape!) So, with a little time and ingenuity, I could create:

Bench seating!! Half-finished, that is. The tots like it. (That’s Grace, gazing out the window.)

I sawed the foam mats to fit using a bread knife. (No special saws required. That tip came from my father-in-law, who was an upholsterer before he retired.) Stuck the bits together with spray-on adhesive and reinforced it with the duct tape. Made a cover for it from material left over from the blinds on the window at the other end of the room. The underside is not fully covered, so the cover is held on by three strips of elastic which run from side to side. (I knew I was going to have to be able to remove it to wash. Oh, and I didn’t have enough fabric to cover it entirely.)

It slid around a lot, so I bought a couple of metres of that rubbery stuff you put in cutlery drawers to stop things from sliding around. It helps a lot, but I’m not done yet. Next up: half a dozen round drawer pulls, three along each long edge of the bench, and then some elastic loops on the cushion. Put the loop around the knob, and, with the non-stick underlay, I think that sucker will stay in place!

The dogs like it, too.

Next, I am using more of the foam to make and cover a cushion which I’ll affix directly to the wall under the window, running the length of the bench. Toss on a few soft bolsters, and, ta-dah! Funky, functional, sturdy seating! I’ve already had that cover off the cushion to wash, so I know it comes on and off easily, and the fabric cleans up well.

Fun, huh?

April 27, 2012 - Posted by | crafts, random and odd | , ,


  1. I like it! And extra storaage space underneath. Tot-high storage space! Ingenious. I particularly like that one of the things being cunningly stored in your new storage is a magazine about being organised.

    Comment by May | April 27, 2012 | Reply

  2. Oooh! Cute, clever & thrifty! Looks really nice!

    Comment by Ms. Huis Herself | April 27, 2012 | Reply

  3. I love beautiful make-do solutions! It looks great!

    Comment by rosie_kate | April 27, 2012 | Reply

  4. Awesome! I just adore the Ikea Expedit units. I have bought almost all of mine at the end of the college year when students are moving out of dorms and need to get rid of their stuff. They go very cheaply second hand!

    Since they’re cheap to begin with!! And that one took me less than twenty minutes to assemble, on my own. Easy-peasy, and I just love the way they look. I’m coveting a 5×5 unit for my bedroom… 😀

    Comment by Rebecca West | April 30, 2012 | Reply

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