The sofa: a truly ‘White Swan’ project

Not long ago I told one of my best friends here in Denmark about my new home business, and two weeks after she rang me and told me about a good deal on a sofa she found on the internet. I thought it was great! Even my friends are doing part of the job for me already!

 Believe it or not it is actually more difficult to find a good piece of furniture at a bargain price than executing the makeover itself, so thank you so much for that, Aga! From the way it looked in the selling-picture, I was a bit sceptic about it; but once I touched it and sited on it, I got pretty happy and urged my father in law (who helped me to pick it up) to take it home. Decision needed to be taken fast before the lady regretted the 150 DKK deal!

Here the picture of the sofa as I bought it.


First of all I needed to find a place for it in my crowded garage, eventually I managed to find a corner for it and then I realize I was turning kind of crazy! So far I had only done upholstery of simple chairs. I didn’t have a clue of how to do something like that. Scared,  I decided to call one of my good friends Louise who happens to be a very talented professional in the art of upholstery –I know, I am lucky. Being very kind, she told me step by step how to do it. But I swear I did do it ALL on my own. She came once to my place to show me how to do it, and I was thousand times at her place to ask her all kind of questions and borrow all sorts of tools and materials. Actually, I also took her with me to buy the fabric. You know, it was my first big project and I had to do it right. I chose the fabric and she approved it: the colour I was looking for, the perfect texture and quality for a sofa that is supposed to be used. And the price confirms my fortune all the way through the process of making this sofa: I paid less than 10% of the full price, something that I have never experienced in Denmark before. Everything here is so unbelievable expensive. And furniture textiles hit the top of that list; my Danish readers may be knocking right now. For those in need of a good deal quality fabric, try Nyt Gardin Holbæk


I was so engaged in this project that I forgot to take pictures step by step, unforgettable!! I know. But I did took some pictures and here are some of them.

 Basic Materials and Tools:


Air Staple gun. Glue and small brush. Upholstery Thread. Small Semi circular Needle. Gloves. A Steel Pincers to remove the old nails (not shown in the picture). Dacron. Textiles.

For those who have never done something like this before. It is a must to use gloves for upholstery. It will protect your fingers skin from peeling off.

 I started by removing the fabric covering the back of the sofa, and then remove carefully the padding. This basic step discloses all the remaining secrets of making a sofa. Before laying the new fabric I painted the visible wood frame: arms rests, legs and the front rail under the sofa. I painted it Grey Paris from the Annie Sloan Chalk paint range, applied clear wax, sanded and polished it.

I thoroughly vacuumed clean the sofa and decided not to remove the original fabric, following my friend Louise recommendation. I covered the whole sofa with bonded dacron and then laid the new fabric. I covered the seat first, then the back and finally the arms. Before finishing with the very back of the sofa, I had to fix the cord across the seat and the back as in the original. But I couldn’t find a cord colour to match the fabric. Normally the cords are tailor made, by professionals of course. But well this is a DIY project, so I did it myself and impressed my friends!  I glued the cord and finished by putting all the padding back as if it was a puzzle, then some cheap fabric to hold all the padding, then more dacron and finally covered the back. Done.

Tip: If you are looking to do something like this yourself and do not have much experience as me, I recommend to start with a sofa with very little sewing. This one had very little and in the makeover I managed to avoid almost all of it.


This is how it looks now! I love it!  I hope you like it too.


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