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Home Improvement: Custom Couch (or Arm Chair) Legs

When we left Georgia (remember, we were there for 2 years for grad school?) in 2011, we sold almost all of our stuff.  However, most of our stuff was purchased from craigslist items and a few hand-me-downs.  We moved to Colorado with a few Uhaul boxes, stuffed with things we didn’t want to have to re-purchase.  (Oh my word, I just went back and read when that pesky cockroach snuck into our car before our whirlwind departure from GA…….oh ick, re-reading that story gave me the heeby-jeebies all over again.  That sucker was huge.  And I think Steve will never forget the feeling of having that stowaway crawl up his leg while driving through Kansas.  Ugggh!)


Anyway, after Steve finished a few rotations (while we lived in my parents basement), Steve graduated, got his first job……and then we moved into a rental home.  But we didn’t have a single piece of furniture, well, besides a few kid beds and a crib.  So…….we headed to the super affordable Ikea and purchased many items that were necessary.  Like, you know, a couch.  The couch we purchased (this one) is a very stream-line, modern looking couch……and to be honest, I never LOVED it.  The itty bitty legs didn’t help either because I always felt like the poor couch was so close to the ground.  Once we purchased our new (to us) home and moved our stuff over from our rental, I realized that I hated the height of the couch even more because the room that it now sits in, has a vaulted ceiling.  So, the short couch looked odd.


I figured, we’d just live with it and then buy one that fit the space better, once we won the lottery saved up money in a few years.


However, that’s when it hit me that the height is what I hate most about the couch.  So…….why not lift that sucker up off the ground a bit?!?!  And add some curvier legs while we’re at it, to detract from the modern lines a bit?  Hmmmmm……okay!


 And you know what?  I kinda LOVE it now.  And we didn’t even have to win the lottery wait to save some cash.






Yeah, the couch still has modern lines……but those chunkier legs give the couch a nice mixed vibe.  And guess what those legs are made from?  Yep, they are the ends of some wooden columns (the same ones that I used for our Counter Overhang Columns).





The old legs were a little over an inch tall and were pretty boring.  The new legs are 6 inches tall and get that couch up off the floor.  Yes!!  (However, even if you don’t need taller legs…….maybe a new leg style is what your couch/chair needs.)





Here’s a better view of the room……but now I have to lift the shelves and mirror up a few inches, so they’re not crowding one another.  And maybe put actual pictures in those frames….ha!  Oh yeah, and maybe we should actually install the rest of those baseboards (that white line was where the old baseboards were).  And I am working on a nice tufted fabric ottoman to sit in front of that couch too.  Oh, just you wait…..! :)





But now, I’m in no hurry to replace the couch.  Whew!


Sunday afternoon, the kiddos noticed the new legs were done and said, “wow, the couch is so much taller mommy!  Can we sit on it?!” 

Uhhhh….yes, you can!  The two of them jumped right up and Elli began reading to Connor.  And then, you guessed it………my heart melted.






After a while, Steve joined the kiddos for a few minutes, before heading to a meeting.  I’d say I’m in love with that little couch, especially since my family feels right at home atop its cushions.

**You would think that my husband’s favorite part about the new couch legs is that they help lift the couch almost 5 inches higher off the ground…….which is pretty significant for someone who is 6’5″.  But, if we have to speak honestly, his favorite part about them is that the legs have scratched my itch to purchase a new couch for this room. Ha!



Now, just think about the furniture around your house.  Are any of the leg styles/heights making you cranky?  Well……let’s fix that right up!





Here’s how I fixed mine:


Now, there are actual legs that are unfinished wood that you can paint/stain (I checked my local Home Depot and they had plenty to choose from) but none of the legs available were tall enough.  The couch we have is a squatty couch and I just wanted to lift it to more of a normal height and the pre-cut legs weren’t quite tall enough.


So, like I mentioned above, I actually purchased 2 columns (the same ones for our counter overhang columns).



We cut the ends off both……..



……and used one end for a front leg and the other end for a back leg.



Once we determined how tall we wanted the legs to be (in our case, 6 inches tall), we cut the excess wood off the top section, leaving as much of the curves as possible at the bottom ends.



Then, we turned the couch off and peeked underneath (actually we did this first……so we could see what we were dealing with).  The old legs just fit right into that center hole.  That’s it. 



Our couch happened to have room for us to slide another piece of plywood underneath, and staple it in place… the legs extra support to be screwed into.  However, your couch may be sturdy enough already.  If you’re not sure, you could always nail a piece of plywood to the bottom of the couch, even if it shows, and then just paint it the same color as the legs.  No biggee.



Now, time to paint.  I just used acrylic paint… know, the cheap kind in the little plastic bottles, for like $1 each?  I mixed black with a bit of white and some brown……to soften up the black a little.  it ended being a nice deep charcoal color.  And worked great.  I only painted one layer and then let dry completely.  (However, if you’re NOT going to be roughing up the paint and want a nice solid and clean color…….I would paint 2 layers.)



Then, I sanded the edges, for a more distressed look.



Then, I wiped all of the dust from the surface.



And then coated all 4 legs with a coat of acrylic sealer.  (I sprayed outside and let dry completely.)



Now, the holes.  We (meaning Steve) drilled 4 holes into each legs, about 1 inch from the upper edge of the leg, one on each of the 4 sides.  He drilled them in, just like when we attached the columns to the counter overhang.





This time, however, we used deck screws….because the heads are smaller and easier to bury into the drilled holes.



Then, we centered each of the legs and screwed them right in place to the bottom of the couch.



Now, the pesky holes.  No biggee, just fill them with some wood filler.



Allow the filler to dry completely and then sand each of the surfaces.



Then paint over the filler and any unwanted sections that were sanded.  Let dry.



Your finish will be a little off, so grab a few pieces of paper and use it to protect the couch as you spray the newly painted sections on each sides of the legs.



And that is it!  Your new little legs are ready to serve you well! :)



Let me know how it works for you!






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Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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