A little confession, it’s hard for us to keep up with the things we like to do and study at the same time. We both have a lot going on and I sometimes consider to post some things I write, just to share what I’m doing at the moment and to share scientific information (I realised that’s actually hard when you don’t have free access to it).  – Anyway. Back to the appartment-project.

Couches are eeeexpensive. They’re an investment too, but we often think too much inside boxes than we do outside.

Moving in #11: DIY couch

So why not make a couch?

We have wood, we have time, we have brains, we have hands and more importantly… I live with two to-be Industrial Designers with math things going on. It’s clear I have less skills on that field. I’d come as far as the term ergonomic. But I’m there, supporting and cheering while those math heads ramble. And probably whine when I don’t like the design or when I think the couch is too high (short people problem, can’t reach the ground..).

DIY Couch from Laminate and an Old Closet

First, you need to know what materials we used and how we got them. We scheduled a special day with a van to pick up stuff people offer for free on the internet. We picked up a closet in North-Rotterdam from some guy who was moving out of his house. Why? I don’t know, I guess to build something with it? Then it wasn’t clear what was going to happen with the closet yet. We just started collecting materials.

Second, the laminate is something we scored via contacts. That one was set already, everything was measured and cut at the site to fit in a regular car. By then we already knew how long the couch was going to be.

What did we do?

Step 1
Sandpaper. Sandpaper. Sandpaper and more sandpaper.
Moving in #11: DIY couch - Sandpaper

It would have taken ages to sandpaper all the laminate by hand, luckily we had help from 1 giant monster and his little sister.
Badass.Moving in #11: DIY couch - Sandpaper

Step 2
Vincent and Peter made a prototype for a perfect fit and measured it all out.
Moving in #11: DIY couch - PrototypeMoving in #11: DIY couch - PrototypeMoving in #11: DIY couch - PrototypeMoving in #11: DIY couch - PrototypeMoving in #11: DIY couch - Prototype

Step 3
Start making ‘the skeleton’. We used the old closet and it turned out to look like a church bench.
Moving in #11: DIY couch - Frame

A drawing coming alive
Moving in #11: DIY couch - FrameThese two pieces need to be attached to each other, for that extra hold.Moving in #11: DIY couch - FrameMoving in #11: DIY couch - Frame

Step 4
Start building and connect the pieces with wood.
Moving in #11: DIY couch - ConstructionMoving in #11: DIY couch - Construction
Moving in #11: DIY couch - ConstructionMoving in #11: DIY couch - Construction
Moving in #11: DIY couch - ConstructionMoving in #11: DIY couch - Construction

Step 5
Put the laminate on the frame, click it and drill it in.
Moving in #11: DIY couch - ConstructionMoving in #11: DIY couch - Construction
Remove excess splinters if neededMoving in #11: DIY couch - Construction

Moving in #11: DIY couch - ConstructionStep 6
Treat the wood several times with transparent clear coat or varnish. We used clear coat and treated it 3 times.
Moving in #11: DIY couch - Construction
The couch turned out to be a little bit high so we adjusted that.
Moving in #11: DIY couch - Construction Team

This is how it’s standing right now, but not finished yet. We ran out of wood and time.
It’s supposed to have built-in drawers which come out if you pull the handle and simultaneously widen the seat surface for a more comfy sit while watching a movie. The plant in the corner needs a little planter or container from wood to connect the two couches too. Furthermore, the couch needs to be ‘softened’ and we’re planning on making our own seat cushions. We’ll see how far we’ll come with that.

Moving in #11: DIY couch

As for the decoration. It all comes with time. I guess.

In total, probably not that much.
Transparent coating (or clear coat): 2,5 L for 50 Euro?  We used it for the couch, stairs, dining table and still have left for other projects. So let’s say 10 euro.
Gasoline: 10 Euro for this project.
Materials: Sandpaper bands, brushes, nails, bolts etc. – 25 Euro
Wood: Free
Total: 45 Euro until now. (+ cushions etc. ?)

Still cheaper than Ikea and more fun too.

If you look closely, you’ll see more unfinished projects to be featured in future DIY posts. If we get to finish the projects, you’ll see a post yourself. Keep tracking us!

– Johanna

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