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DIY couch {Before & After}

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I posted a couple weeks ago about a large couch that I cut in half with a sawzall. This is my ultimate DIY project yet since I have been blogging. Never in a million years did I think I would be tackling a DIY couch.

diy couch

DIY couch

Here is the before when the couch was 2 feet longer.


Oh my goodness the emails and comments I received were hilarious. Although, I did have a couple people seriously question my sanity.  I kind of questioned it myself when it looked like this,

DIY couch

So, in all seriousness, this was by far one of the craziest things I have ever done. I will say though, she came out look-in pretty darn good.

diy couch 4

This project cost me “zero” dollars.

cut a couch in half, how to make a large couch small

DIY couch, cut a couch in half with a sawzall

I used 2 drapes that I purchased last summer from Pier 1 Imports and used them to reupholster the couch. They were actually hanging in this room until a couple days ago. I LOVE the paisley print and prayed it would look ok on the couch.

If you use drapes, you want to make sure you have a heavy cotton or canvas type material. These were perfect. I have never in my life reupholstered anything, never mind a couch. If you are a professional, I would stop reading because my method will probably make your stomach flip.

I used my power staple gun and 1/2” & 3/4” staples.  I know you can use real upholstery staples and yes, they probably work better but I was trying to do this without purchasing anything so I used what I had.

DIY couch

There are tons of upholstery tutorials out there so I am not going to duplicate with another and honestly, they are much better than my method . Lots of tucking, folding and stapling. I just went with it and once I got it the way I liked, I stapled away!

DIY couch, cut a couch in half with a sawzall

I originally planned on making piping for the edges and I still may but I am happy with how the seams came out so for now, it will stay like this.

I used my hand stapler for the smaller areas but if you have a power staple gun, it will be your best friend for a project like this. This really was fairly simple. If you can cut fabric, place it on the couch and cut to fit, you can do this.

DIY reupholster couch

When I sawzalled the couch in half (you can see that post here ) there was a large gap. I cut up an old egg crate that I had for one of our beds and filled in the gap. You can purchase foam/batting at any fabric store but this worked and it was free!

how to cut a couch in half

I wanted a straight lined back and the original couch was a camel back so when I cut out the middle of the couch, I still had a bit of a hump so I slide in a 6” piece of MDF and covered with the foam/egg crate, batting and muslin.

DIY couch, cut a couch in half

How to cut a couch in half

It’s not professional and far from perfect but it is solid as a rock and pretty sassy look-in if I do say so myself Smile! I am happy to say that I have a DIY couch under my belt. ha

You can see the tutorial of me sawzalling the couch in half  in my previous DIY Couch post.

UPDATE: you can see this couch reupholstered in a pottery barn slip cover in our pool house as well.

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.


  1. thefinestkind says:

    you are my hero. 🙂 the ultimate in awesome!!!!!

  2. Jessie @ Imperfectly Polished says:

    You rock. The couch turned out beautiful! Love the fabric and the change you made to the back:)

  3. You did such a great job. It looks wonderful!

  4. Anonymous says:

    good for you!!! I have a very long couch…my daughter covered it in beautiful fabric that I love…but the couch is long and low…too modern for my 1930s high ceilinged home…I have thought about cutting it in half for years…I have extra fabric to finish off the cuts sides and make it into two half-couches…then one day I thought about putting large casters on it ( I covered a 2" thick board and screwed it one to each end then screwed the caster to that)…it changed the total appearance of the couch…plus it is so easy to move around!…but I do understand the urge to cut a couch in half!

  5. Maury Kilgo says:

    Holy cow girl! You are so brave. I have been scared to tackle upholstering much less cutting a couch in half, fixing it and the reupholstering it. You're amazing!

  6. Anonymous says:

    That turned out great! I live close I should just bring my great-grandmother's old chair over and leave at your place for some TLC or perhaps you have time to give lessons! No kidding, it looks great!

  7. Wow! This looks great. You had me in stitches with your last post about this couch. Love the paisley and the upholstry looks fantastic.

  8. Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating says:

    Simply amazing. It's impressive enough that this is your first time to upholster anything, but the fact that you sawzalled the couch in half first is just unbelievable! Very worth the effort. Your "new" sofa is beautiful.

  9. - Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl says:

    Get out of town! Seriously? You cut your couch in half with a Sawzall? Wow, I'm impressed and it looks really great. I'm not sure which to be more excited by, the sawzall action or your upholstery skills. You go girl!

  10. Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication says:

    Wow! When I first saw this project, I had my doubts, but you made me a believer! It makes me want to go cut a couch in half! (But I think my husband would kill me!)

  11. Lisa Scibilia says:

    Jeez Louise!!! I am ahhhhmazed by you, Jessica!! I love that you sawed your couch in half – you are the awesomeness thing ever in the land of DIY!!! I knew you would make it work somehow! Love the fabric and how you took out the camel back. Very impressive, girl!!!

  12. Jessica Bruno says:

    Thank you 🙂

  13. Unbelievable! You've never reupholstered anything before?? I have a couple of cushions on an outside deck chair I've been dreading having done. Maybe I could do it myself?? Maybe?

  14. Beth@A to Z says:

    Shut the front door!! I knew this was going to turn out amazing and it even exceeds my expectations. LOVE this!!! Okay, so you used a regular stapler?? Do you see a ton of little staples up close? Your pictures look like you have piping already! How did you just fold and staple without trim with such an amazing result? Teach me wise ol' grasshoppa!

  15. Jessica Bruno says:

    You are funny 🙂 I used the hand stapler underneath where I couldn't get my gun under. I used my power (hooked to a compressor) staple gun for everything else with just regular silver 1/2" / 3/4" staples. Because it's hooked into a compressor, it blows through so most of the staple is deep and hidden but a few did show so I folder over and made a seam to hide. All I did was overlap the fabric and fold and staple to create the seam so it kind of looks like pipping. My plan was to staple where I would do the piping (to hide the staples) but the power gun worked awesome so they don't even show 🙂 Get a little compressor 🙂

  16. Beth@A to Z says:

    Awesome. I actually have a nail gun that shoots brads and staples but Eowyn (my pomeranian) chewed threw the cord before I could ever even use it!! I need to see if it can be salvaged. You did an amazing job girl. Pinned and will feature :).

  17. Stacy of KSW says:

    just sitting & staring with my mouth dropped open — girl, you are AMAZING!!!

  18. Amanda @ Burlap and Denim says:

    Wow, you totally rocked this. I had plans to do a similar hack, take a sectional and turn it into a sofa (I had to cut the arm off of one and add it to the other). My husband didn't have the patience to deal with the mess while I saved up the money for the fabric and new cushions he said were necessary to bring it in the house, ha ha. I ended up taking it to the dump and now I'm wishing I had held my ground. How did you keep the two sections together without sagging in the middle? Serious inspiration, thanks for sharing it with the rest of us.

  19. Jessica Bruno says:

    Thank you 🙂

  20. Jessica Bruno says:

    Hey Amanda! Thank you 🙂 I used pine pieces along the bottom and slide them in between the springs and screwed them on each end to the existing arm wood. I also put a wide pine plank in the middle (front to back) to support the middle so no sagging. Just fill with some foam (I used an egg crate I had) and batting and you are good to go 🙂 . Thanks for stopping by.

  21. Jessica Bruno says:

    Thanks Cheryl! You can do it….give it a try 🙂

  22. Amazing!!! LOVE how it turned out! Isn't it just such a satisfying feeling when you accomplish something "impossible"? I felt that way making my husband a Kindle cover for Christmas – didn't cost me a dime!! So fun to know I have a partner in DIY-crime!! 😉

  23. That is one awesome project!

  24. Nancy @ Sea Rose Cottage says:

    I have been so looking forward to seeing your follow up post! The couch looks amazing–I love the fabric. Best thing—I can't think of the Sawzall post without smiling!

  25. Nancy @ Sea Rose Cottage says:

    I have been so looking forward to seeing your follow up post! The couch looks amazing–I love the fabric. Best thing—I can't think of the Sawzall post without smiling!

  26. ChaoticallyCreative says:

    All I can say is this is "flippin" Awesome! I love that you just went with it and worked with what you have. I am just in awe that you sawed a couch in half and put it back together. I thought I did some off the wall stuff but that, I admit, I have never thought of. Great job and it looks awesome. And by the way I also wanted to tell you I've been checking out your blog frequently and I love your photographs they are so professional looking. Great job all around.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful! Love the fabric, it looks amazing! But, how did you get the curved arms covered so well?

  28. Jessica Bruno says:

    Thank you! I placed the fabric over the front of the arm and pinned it. Then I cut the fabric (you can trace with a marker if you want) the shape of the front of the arm, leave about an inch or so on the sides. Then, once it was all cut out, I stapled it to the front of the arm. Then I cut the fabric for the arm and just folded the fabric to create a small seam to cover the edges of where I had stapled.

  29. Jessica Bruno says:

    Thanks Nancy! 🙂

  30. Jessica Bruno says:

    Thank you 🙂

  31. {darlene} @ fieldstonehill says:

    holy moly girl. not only are you brave {and crazy… the good kind}, you are resourceful. Wanna come to Fieldstone Hill and bring your bravery with you? I don't have an ounce!
    3 cheers for a GREAT project… oh, and a new, perfectly fitting couch!

  32. Kim Wilson says:

    Wow,oh wow, you blew my mind with this one! You are one risk taking, throw apprehension to the wind, heck yah I'm gonna cut this in half, creative girl! I'm seriously impressed! It turned out so pretty! Bravo darlin'! Bravo!
    Kim @ Sand & Sisal

  33. Lifein1000sqft says:

    Girl you Rock! your couch came out awesome! looking forward to more.

  34. Anneke {RustiChic} says:

    I love it! I swear my husband would just die if I ever attempted this, but you have shown it CAN be done ~ and with an awesome end result too!

  35. Kathy from DoubleNickelsandBeyond says:

    What a fantastic outcome! I've been waiting to see the end result, and you did not disappoint! And the fabric looks fantastic too. I am very impressed!

  36. Jessica Bruno says:

    Thank you! 🙂

  37. Jessica Bruno says:

    Thank you Kathy!

  38. I am in awe of you, in awe of this project, the fabric, the fabulous outcome… by golly! I'm hunting for those same curtains now for a little recovery project of my own… and wouldn't you know, I just wish I had a couch to saw in half!

  39. Debra from Bungalow says:

    I thought I commented on this before but maybe I didn't….You rocked it girl! Big time! This is one of my most fav projects evah!

  40. Oh my gosh woman, you have some serious kahunas! LOL!

  41. I forgot to add, it looks amazing!

  42. Cre8ive Motives says:

    This is jaw dropping! Amazing that you were able to pull this off – it looks fabulous!

  43. Debbie Willson says:

    I just found your blog throu A2Z and I just love the sofa, the fabric and your humour!! Now to read more of your blog 🙂

  44. I stand in awe and amazement. My goodness girl, get yourself a TV show!

  45. Jessica Bruno says:

    Ha martha you are funny 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  46. You must be kidding me…this looks AMAZING Jessica I can hardly believe this is your first upholstery attempt !!! it looks so bright and pretty..love it
    wow wow wow

    1. Thanks Rasha! It was a learning experience to say the least 🙂

    1. It’s working ok on this end, maybe try clearing out your cache/cookies? Try again and let me know 🙂 Thanks!

  47. I must say, this is the first time I’ve seen your blog, and you are now in my favoriates after reading this article!!! You made me laugh and made my day!!!

    1. Hey Adriana! Thanks so much for stopping by! I’m glad I made you laugh. I was laughing at myself as well 🙂

  48. Funny I came across this post just the other day my husband mentioned making our sofa smaller it practically takes up the whole living room, when he asked me if its possible to cut it I said I’m sure it is I just dont know how but after seen the great job you did with your couch I think I’ll give it a try. Thanks and by the wayI love the print you used it’s so cute.

    1. Thanks Elaine! Good luck sawing your couch 🙂 Take pictures! ha.

  49. Do you have any pictures you can send me showing how you attached the two pieces after you split them? I’m thinking of doing the same thing…I thought I was the only crazy one out there…LOL
    I have an idea how I’ll attach them, but would like to see how you did yours.
    Thank you!

  50. That’s just too cool!! I can’t believe what you’ve done but there it is and it looks fabulous! I just had to link this to my sofas post too today, just had to share!!

  51. Jessica,

    My cap off to you for tackling your projects with a “What could possibly go WRONG ??” attitude.
    I’m reminded of something I read in Readers’ Digest years ago: 70% of a
    job/project is starting on it.
    I’m looking at reupholstering a recliner and am looking for the weak spot
    to start taking it apart. (I’m not looking toooo hard tho!!)
    Thanks for sharing.


  52. Brilliant…you can also do the opposite with an armchai

    r…cut it in half and LENGTHEN it to make a couch.

  53. Pam Bendall says:

    You are my hero too. I tried this once, and my husband thought I was crazy. And he was right. I now ave a new love seat in place of the couch. But hey I tried.

  54. You are one courageous gal! I would never have the courage to attempt something like this unless I was ready to dump the couch anyway. It looks great and is a perfect fit! I stand in awe of you!!

  55. I did that to a box spring that wouldn’t fit up my stairs, my son in law and I tried several times, then I said stay here, I came back with the sawzall and cut the bottom boards, folded the box spring and up it went, while the son in law stood there with his mouth hanging open, it was hilarious, he couldn’t believe I did that, I still have that box spring.

  56. Jessica, you are absolutely amazing! (I just read about your pool house, your covered porch and your toy shed, as well as this amazing couch.

    You definitely have a talent for what you are doing, and I am equally impressed with your ability to blog about it so well with photos and narrative. Just a joy to read, better than some published works!

    Keep up the good work. I also love that you use what you have. True Yankee 🙂

    1. You just made me smile right before I was going to bed 🙂 Thank you so much and glad you like our stuff! Have a great night 🙂

  57. Love it!! The fabric is beautiful!! Great work!

  58. Barb Herries says:

    I still can’t stop laughing. Let’s face it. Women are geniuses when it comes to improvising. Your loveseat turned out beautiful. You should be proud of yourself !!!

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