How to make a DIY Sofa

Today's modern furniture is more freestyle than it used to be, which means it's easier to make your own sofa and couches using materials readily available at your local Builders Warehouse or timber merchant.


Pine is one of the most affordable woods to use for making your own sofa, plus you can buy a selection of sizes at your local Builders Warehouse or timber merchant. While it's easy to make the framework for your sofa, what is more important is the upholstered part of the project, and you may need to take some sewing lessons to get that part of the project completed successfully!


Also, you can use pallet wood for your DIY sofa project. Just make sure to choose an untreated pallet for safety and health reasons. Pallets used for perishable goods are usually safe to use, widely available in the backyard of food establishments. For indoor use, use pallets from trusted source with the International Plant Protection Committee or IPPC stamp. Pallets with IPPC stamps mean that they are used for domestic transport or within the country, and aren’t chemically treated.

You can buy foam products cut to size from foam manufacturers around the country, and these guys will be able to assist in recommending the right density of foam for your particular project. You will use a variety of foam products to make your sofa, with medium- and high-density foam for support, and low-density foam for added comfort. For even more comfort you can incorporate batting to add softness and plump up your finished design.


Choosing the right fabric is also an important part of making your own sofa. Upholstery fabrics will obviously be the best choice, as these fabrics are designed specifically for use in upholstery projects and can withstand a fair amount of wear and tear on a daily basis. Alternatively, shop for durable fabrics with a tight weave, heavyweight fabrics such as bull denim, or affordable linens.


Using leather or faux leather material for your DIY sofa is also a good idea. Just imagine what you see in magazines and online home design websites highlighting the aesthetic and functional benefits of modern leather sofas. And why not? Leather is low-maintenance. It doesn’t require vacuuming and thorough cleaning like fabric. It’s stain-resistant and dust-proof.







As an alternative to expensive hardwoods, meranti and saligna don't cost quite as much and are strong enough to use for making your own furniture. The advantage of these two woods over pine is that, they don't expand and contract as much and are suitable for outdoor furniture. See our list of timber and board suppliers in South Africa.

From basic butt joints to more advanced mitre joints, making your own sofa allows you to work within your skill set. And today there are power tools that are designed to make it even easier for the DIY enthusiast. You have the option to choose from a Biscuit Joiner or Pocket Hole Jig for invisible joints, or invest in a high-end tool such as the Festool Domino Joiner, keep it simple with butt joints, or show off your skills with dovetail joints.



Plywood is a great material to work with if you want to make your own affordable sofa. You can choose pine plywood if you're trying to keep the cost down, or opt for more expensive birch- or maple-faced plywood - or you could make an outdoor sofa using marine plywood. This plywood sofa by HomeMadeModern (click on link to see video tutorial) can be assembled and upholstered in a day.


Imagine a sofa that doubles as a dining table or work area. If you make your own you can custom design a sofa to fit into any space. The sofa-table is the perfect seating design for small spaces. The luxuriously padded seat cushions and backrests provide a comfortable place to sit. Make using pine, meranti or hardwood to suit your budget.







This gorgeous boho-style sofa is manufactured by and is the perfect example of how you can easily make a custom sofa for your home.



The centre seating and back section of the sofa is a frame wrapped with batting and fabric. What makes this sofa so comfortable are the layered feather-and-down cushions and seat cushion.



The side arms of the sofa are laminated blocks of wood, in a double thickness, for a wonderfully chunky look. This sofa style is perfect for a large, country-theme living room. The design is solid and tough, and the weight capacity is supreme.



Now that you've seen how easy it is to make your own DIY Sofa, what's stopping you!

A DIY sofa is a great weekend project for the family. Female family members can create the sofa design and male adult family members can do the construction work.


Set aside a weekend, gather together all the tools and materials you need, and DIY your very own custom sofa.

Finishing Tips

When making your own timber furniture you want to ensure it looks good and is well-protected. Woodoc have a range of indoor sealers in matt, velvet and gloss, in clear and tinted variants, that will provide maximum protection for stains and spills.

You can also add sofa embellishments, such as buttons, crystals, edging, and other creative items you can use. With a DIY sofa, your imagination is the limit and you’ll also save money.