Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Attempting To Make A Modern Sofa...


Having been hijacked by the new puppy (training is constant the first few weeks) and all of the holiday workload, I managed to squeeze in a few hours to make the sofa for Alki Point. It was my attempt at constructing using only a photo, and while not perfect, it is a great starting point for future improvements. 

Both MitchyMooMiniatures and 1inchminis have wonderful furniture tutorials, so I recommend visiting their web sites and reading everything before you settle on one method over the other. My method here is probably not explained as thoroughly, but here is a .pdf with cut list and and patterns, in case you'd like to give this one a try:

Make A 1:12 Scale Modern Style Sofa

My starting point was this sofa. I found it after searching the interwebs for 'apartment sized modern sofas'. I searched for the measurements, then did my best to convert them, based on guessing a lot of the time, to 1:12 scale.



The materials I used are as follows:

  • 3/16" foam core
  • mat board
  • quilt batting
  • cotton fabric
  • The Ultimate glue

I even turned my cutting mat over to the "pristine" side for this project! 







I started by cutting the bottom, back and sides from foam core.







Then I glued them together.










Next, I got out the mat board I ordered from Amazon. This was my first time using this stuff. Maybe it was user error, but I found it quickly dulled my Xacto blades, and was a bit much for the job. My 85# cardstock was easier to work with IMO, but I recommend you try it for yourself.


Next, I measured the sofa base and cut a piece of mat board to fit.




Then, using a glue stick (based on Kris' recommendation), I affixed a piece of the fabric, leaving about a quarter inch around to attach to the sofa base.




Then, you guessed it! I attached it to the base using The Ultimate glue.




Bottoms up!






Here is where, apparently, I stopped to smoke a little crack or something, because I FORGOT TO TAKE A PHOTO OF THE NEXT STEP! Here is where most people would just redo the thing and take new photos once they realize that they were an idiot, but not me. Nope. I want you all to know how I often lose my mind. VERY FREQUENTLY! 

What I did was, I cut a piece of mat board that was the height of the sofa arms and back, and the length needed to wrap all three of them together. I then glued my fabric so that the bottom had a nice crisp edge.



I left the fabric loose at the top, so that after I had glued the piece to the sofa, I could use the excess fabric to cover the remaining arm and back mat board.  


Does it make more sense with the photos?







Next I made the banding for the arms. Here is where I will tell you NOT to do what I did. 






A) Do not cut the mat board the same width as the sofa arm. It looks better when it is just slightly smaller in width than spilling over the edges.




And B) Go all of the way to the bottom of the sofa with it. I thought it would look better if I stopped at the top of the sofa base, but now regret it.




Moving on! Next, I cut the foam core for the bottom cushion and the two back cushions. I wrapped them in the quilt batting 




Then covered them in fabric.






Make neat little ends, like wrapping a present. Yes, those are my chubby little fingers. If you put a tap in my rear end, Ben & Jerry's would flow out. Please don't. It might hurt!




Next, I used a pilot hole punch from a lighting kit to poke a hole through the fabric and into the foam core. This is for the dimple buttons. I am using silver colored brads. Kris shows you a better way to make fabric ones with paper but I can't seem to find the link now on her site! Dip the brad ends into glue, then push in and let dry.

Now for the legs...





I wanted to use some of that stainless tubing (you know the stuff that broke my metal blade before hubs said he had a tool for the job?). I used said tool, it took forever to cut through, it was so hard to get the tubing to line up to the blade/measurement marks and tighten down without moving that all 4 monumentally difficult pieces were not the same size and it %*$$#& me off so much that I gave up.

Aluminum tape did not produce the desired effect, either, so I went with good old paint. Burnt umber to match the wood flooring.

In the list of things I will do differently next time, add drilling holes for toothpick dowels to the list. I just went with gluing wood to fabric, and I know I will live to regret it.

Also, not pictured but in the trash can are about 7 attempts at bolsters and throw pillows. Some attempted with fabric glue, and one hand sewn that looked like it was my first day in 8th grade home ec. I am blaming the fabric. Pillows still need to be made, but it's best to wait until my patience tank is filled up again. After Christmas.

I am working on the pattern sheets and updating all of the adjusted measurements. I hope to have them posted by the end of the year - which is next week! Yikes!

28 comments:

  1. Hi Jodi, I'm Very Impressed with your First Attempt! :D The fact that you made a modern sofa is a Feat in and of itself. I find the more streamlined it is the HARDER it generally is to translate into miniature; So Bravo!
    And Oh, by the way.... YOur kitchen also looks FANTASTIC! :D

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    1. Thanks so much, E! Modern is more difficult, right?!? At least when I go cottagy or shabby it looks messy on purpose! I can do messy!!!

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  2. Hello Jodi,
    I think the sofa is an excellent first attempt! Very well done indeed! It looks perfect in the space!
    Have a wonderful Christmas.
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. You are so kind and supportive as always, Giac! Thank you, and I wish you and your a very merry Christmas, as well!

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  3. The sofa looks great. I too, just completed furnishing a camper using foam core for the first time. and surprisingly it
    looks nice.
    I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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    1. A camper! How fun!!!
      I just popped on over for a look, and I am in love! Absolutely adorable! I love the colors and patterns that you are using! Love the little details, too! The bread and fruit are so realistic!!! The furniture came out `G-R-E-A-T`!!! I wish I could be in your club! What a fun project!
      Merry Christmas to you, too Drora!

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  4. The couch is beautiful! But using the brads is a genius idea! Last time I struggled with tufting and just used a knot and painted it. Gah!
    Amber made a great pillow tutorial with her last post http://amberatti.blogspot.ca. If you think 1" scale pillows are bad, make it in 1:24....it looked like I ran over then with my car.

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    1. Tufting! There's the blinking word I've been looking for!!!
      I bet the painted knot turned out cute too!
      I recently read Casey's and Amber's pillow tutorials and thought "pff - no problem". Well, I guess I better just follow along with the instructions. My genius still hasn't kicked in yet...
      1:24... Very brave you are young padawan!!!

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  5. Very impressed, I have not done a sofa in 1/12 yet only in 1/6 and I found that challenging. It's a Great idea to take pictures of your progress, as i sometimes forget how i made something. lol Sofa looks amazing!!

    Jenn

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    1. Jenn you are so very kind! Thank you!
      I think I just need to adjust my expectations a little. If I start out telling myself that it will take making 10 of these before I have all of the kinks worked out, I'll be more patient. Different approach, better results!

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  6. I think it looks lovely! Love the color! I have yet to try making upholstered furniture. I'm not quite that brave but maybe for one of my new projects.

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    1. Sheila you have attempted far braver things than a sofa! Your HBS Creatin' Contest bash was amazing! You redesigned the whole thing, planned the spaces perfectly, included so many amazing details, and did it all with furry babies running around! A sofa for you will be easy!

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    2. But the sofa is small enough for my building inspector to steal! She's already taken flower arrangements. And she's rubbing all over the new dollhouse.

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  7. Hello Jodi,
    The couch is beautiful.Thank you for your sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much, Gülay! I'm glad you stopped by to visit!

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  8. Replies
    1. Thank you, Gary!
      BTW... I got the HF chop saw for my birthday! The hubs was really impressed at the cleverness of your modifications, so I may just get mine hacked, too!

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    2. I got another at HF for 18 bucks. It was a return... it turns out the instruction book says nothing about the hole in the bottom to hold the shaft while you tighten or loosen a blade. The blade was too loose to cut, so poof... back it went.

      The one I got is all black, and since the RS switch has a black surround and red button it should look very stealth. I am going to revamp the base and shoot a new series showing the entire modification, although the current base works really well.

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    3. That is awesome! An $18 is a great find! I can't wait to see what you do with this one!

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  9. Link added to http://minitreasures.pbworks.com/w/page/21156083/sofas

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  10. Looks great, Jodi. Thanks for posting this. I like the information about things you tried but didn't like ( legs, length of strip covering the arms). It is helpful to know not only the process but also the choices made and why they work better or not. It's an elegant sofa, well done.

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    1. Thanks Shelley! It is always a learning process, right!

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  11. No need to enter me in the contest. I just wanted to say that it is much better than my first attempt! Great job!

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    1. Thanks so much! I really appreciate your kind words and support!

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  12. I have added a .pdf with the cut patterns. The link will open a new window to view or print the .pdf file.

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  13. Harbor Freight Tools has a mini mitre saw that works great for cutting rods, tubes strip wood etc. http://www.harborfreight.com/power-tools/cut-off-saws/2-in-mini-bench-top-cut-off-saw-62136.html They also have 20% off coupons all the time.

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    1. Ha! That is so funny! Guess what the hubs got me for my birthday - yep! Got the saw and I LOVE it! It is set up and ready to go on top of one of my drawer units! So much better than getting the scroll saw out and set up every time I need some trim! I have not tried metal with it yet, but thanks to your post, I will!

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