Jul 31, 2012

A {couch} story

At long last, the couch is complete.  Here's a brief history of this epic project.

May 22: Garry buys lumber and supplies.  He is itching to use the power tools he got for his birthday in April.

June 13: First day of construction.  Garry builds the frame for the bottom of the love seat.

June 16: Garry makes the back of the love seat and attaches it to the base frame.  The kids "help."  Lexi develops a love of tools and begins a phase of tinkering in the garage without permission.  I sew the slipcover for the back of the love seat.

June 30: After a two-week hiatus from the project, Garry uses a staple gun to attach burlap to the back of the love seat.  I help.

July 5: Garry builds the base to the longer couch.

July 11: Garry makes the couch feet, which include lots of router detail.  Later he cuts them all in half because they are too tall.  He also uses the router to make designs in the wood that will trim the bottom of the couches.

July 14: Garry captures this awesome self-portrait during a day in the garage.  Kate is his buddy for a while and enjoys jammin' to his music.

July 17: I begin sewing all of the pillow covers (8) and cushion covers (3).

July 20: I finish sewing the pillows and the second cushion cover.

July 21: I nearly break out in hives because the dining room and our garage are chaos personified.  At the same time.  For several days.

July 22: I finish ironing and stuffing all of the pillows and cover all the cushions.  They live in our {tiny} bedroom for a week.

July 25: Garry adds upholstery to the love seat (most of it, anyway).  This involves adding batting to each pad using spray adhesive, then covering it with the slipcover I made, then rolling the edges around upholstery tacking, and then stapling it in place.

July 26: Scott Whittington helps Garry move our old couches out of the basement and into the garage (because we have so much room in there) in preparation for Friday's carpet cleaning.  I list the couches on Craigslist (no sale yet).

July 26&27: Garry stains the feet and trim.  The first stain is much too red for my taste, so the second coat is a lovely espresso color.  Much better.

July 28: With Tyler's help, Garry adds burlap to the back of the long couch and corner piece.  Garry upholsters the remaining couches.  This is a long and laborious process.  I make the slipcover for the corner piece, which taxes my brain and my fingers.  I'm not thrilled with the results, but it is d.o.n.e, and that has to be good enough.  Josh Roy and Don Davis help Garry take the couches into the basement, where he will eventually finish them.  The corner piece gets wedged in the stairway.  Garry removes the hand rail.  I clean the kitchen and pretend I'm on a beach in Hawaii.  The evening ends at 11:30 with three couch pieces in the basement, two of which aren't quite complete.

July 29: We enjoy a blissful day of rest from this labor.

July 31:  It is finished!  Garry stays up into the wee hours of Tuesday morning, despite major flu symptoms (thank you, Zach and Kate), to put the last pieces together.

Someday I hope to swap out the {ugly} coffee table, add curtains and throw pillows, and put something interesting on the walls.  But I'm definitely done with DIY, and cash for such things isn't flowing at present.

And there you have it: a history of the couch project.

Garry had a fantastic time building the couches and did a wonderful job.  I think he enjoyed every minute of creativity and construction.  The project was FAR more time- and labor-intensive than I anticipated, which was frustrating for me.  It was sure an enormous endeavor to take on with our young and busy family.  That said, I am very pleased with the way it all turned out.  I love the bright color in the basement and hope we'll enjoy Garry's handiwork for years to come.
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