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Happy Campers… Take Two

Well, as much as we liked our new couch, it just wasn’t working out the way we had hoped. It was as comfortable as could be, but there were a few issues. First off, it was a pain to open and close, so where I used to be able to set up the bed in the evening and put it away in the morning, now both of were required to be present for the nightmarish event. Secondly, the cover was one solid piece, meaning that we would be unable to use our existing seat belts when Waldo was in motion.


Thirdly, it was just too big when it was open. There was no getting around the beast without climbing over it. The kids may not mind climbing on everything in their path, but Rob and I would rather not. And last but not least, securing it to the floor was proving to be a pain in the arse. We had planned a slide system, but in the end, it was just going to be more trouble than it was worth.

DSC_0500We must have sensed from the beginning that we would end up changing our minds because we never could part with the old frame. It sat outside, staring at us every time we looked out the window. Even when it began to get rusty from the salty sea air we couldn’t bring ourselves to throw it away. There was also the side board that even though we no longer needed, was tucked safely away in our basement. Just in case.

DSC_0501So I slowly began to sand the rust off our steel frame. And we ordered some high density memory foam. Knowing that we would never be able to make our money back on the new couch, we decided to just use its parts. I took out the springs and padding and the boys both got amazing new mattresses for their beds. Then I took the cover and set it aside, knowing that we would be able to use it to recover our old frame. The base of our new couch was basically a futon frame, so we gave that away on craigslist.

DSC_0548Rob worked on a plywood base and cut and screwed it into place. I peeled the fabric off the side board so I could sand and stain it. Then we worked on cutting the large piece of foam to fit both sections of our couch. It was a little tricky to cut since it was so think, but Rob found the saw to work great and made two successful cuts.

DSC_0550I was amazed at how well the foam fit onto our old couch frame. We were worried about getting the foam to fit smoothly into the fold of the couch, but when we opened it up, there was very little gap, about as much as there was before we took all the old padding off. Things were going a little too smoothly in this venture and I was beginning to get nervous. Something was bound to go wrong. But so far so good. The only thing left to do was fit the cover.

DSC_0788We carefully measured and made our cuts, basically cutting the cover in half. I hemmed the edges and reinforced the seams that were cut, but that was about all I had to do to that. We had debated trying to make a removable slip cover so that we would be able to take it off and wash it, which would come in handy with the kids and pets. Unfortunately I was not confident enough in my sewing abilities to make such a cover, and I was afraid that I would ruin it and we would end up having to buy another cover or more fabric to make a new one.

DSC_0791In the end we decided that the best way to secure our cover was to staple it, which is how the old one was attached. It is not removable, but the microfiber is easy to wipe off. We figure that by the time the cover is in need of replacing, it will be time to replace the foam as well, so we will just do it all at the same time.

DSC_0801When all was said and done, our couch turned out pretty nice. The cover is snug, the bed is firm, the foam is very comfortable. The couch is bolted securely to the floor with easy access to the seat belts. One person can open and close it again and we are able to walk around it when it is open. We were also able to put our clock shelf back up, which was surprisingly missed. This is the only clock we can see at night, and while I never really noticed it in the past, it is nice to be able to see the time in the wee hours of the morning. Not to mention Rob has a place for his glasses once again.


The neatest thing is that now that we know we are capable of completing such projects, we will be able to do so again as needed, and I will not worry quite so much about my abilities. The downside to all of this is that it was way more expensive than it needed to be, and had I thought myself capable of any of this in the beginning, we could have saved ourselves a lot of money. Lesson learned, though. I think Rob and I make a pretty good team, and if I didn’t know any better, I would have thought we actually knew what we were doing!

13 thoughts on “Happy Campers… Take Two

  1. Its the not knowing which makes it exciting.if you knew what to do it would just be a boring exercise.
    So I think that you have done very well in not killing each other when things went wrong and you done s splendid job. Full marks are awarded and come with love

      • Thats the way things get done. I was looking at a family group photo on your blog and wondering who took it as I counted twice and all five of you were there.

  2. You do work well as a team. You always have, regardless of the project or if you have ever done them before. Your father and I work well as a team also. We can go to the store and buy things really well and without any pain at all!!! 🙂 Your new old couch looks great and you both did a really great job!!!

  3. Looks great!! Wanted to know where you bought your high density memory foam. I’ve been thinking about tackling this project in our toy hauler for awhile.

    • Hello! We bought our foam from Sleepy Mountain Mattress. They only appear to have an ebay store, but their prices are great and they have free shipping! Have fun with your project!

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