How to Make a Sofa for the Wall Sofa Bed System // Tiny Apartment Build – Ep.6

On today’s Tiny Apartment episode we’re
building a sofa from stratch for the Wall Sofa Bed System! Bum If you haven’t seen the murphy bed construction
yet, make sure to watch the previous episode so you can have a better idea on how this
is going to work together. We are now focusing on the sofa and I’ll
show you how I made the plywood base and the cushions. There are plans available for this project
on the link in the description, in case you are interested in building one too! Some steps are easier to understand and visualize
on the plans than here on the video because you’ll just see me measuring and cutting
random pieces of plywood for a while. I used 18mm baltic birch plywood, as I did
for the murphy bed and I chose loose tenons for the joinery in conjunction with pocket
holes. Obviously you can use other methods for joining
the pieces together and still achieve an extremely secure and solid piece of furniture. You can use just pocket holes, dowels or even
screws if you don’t mind seeing little circles here and there. You can get creative with plugging the screw
heads and doing something colourful like I did for the murphy bed, for example. I just have been wanting to try new tools
and speed up the joinery process for this one, as well as maintaining a clean look. Most of these steps would also apply if you
use a doweling jig or a router insteead , to make the holes for the tenons. At this point, things are starting to get
three dimensional. I am connecting the three drawer dividers
to the top. The middle one is not exactly in the middle
but it seems so visually. The reason behind this has to do with the
cushions and I explain it all on the downloadable plans. If I was going to glue the entire structure,
I probably wouldn’t need pocket holes, but since I like to keep the big pieces of furniture
demountable, I am not glueing anything. Who knows if it needs to get out of the apartment
and then it doesn’t fit the door or the elevator or is just too heavy to be manageable. In some cases, creating knock-down furniture
with a clean look can be tricky and the designing part requires more attention. Once I got the pocket holes drilled, I could
start assembling the bottom section of the sofa and since all you will ever see is the
front edge, it’s ok to have the face full of holes and screw heads. Just make sure all the screws you apply are
countersunk. This is starting to get huge for my tiny size. Once I put the structure on its final position,
I could start making a quick template for the wall angle. As I mentioned before, this room is ugly shaped,
so there are some details on the furniture that will have trapezoidal shapes to fill
in the gaps and make everything look just like if it was meant to be there. I mean, it is meant to be here. I kept doing more holes for the tenons and
pocket screws because I was figuring out the building steps on the go. I had to unscrew some parts in order to attach
other parts first because I really didn’t want any fasteners to be visible. I could reattach the backer pieces as well. The bottom face will get rather ugly but again,
just make sure all screw heads are bellow the wood surface because it will face the
floor and you will not want to scratch it. Here I realized I got the measurements wrong
for the left arm support, and so I had to glue and cut off the tenons and remake them. Thankfully it didn’t matter to the looks
as the mistake will be facing the floor. The bottom part got installed and I could
focus specifically on the right arm section. This part was much harder for me then it is
described on the plans because of the angled wall but if you’re following the plans,
you will see it is quick and simple. I can keep cutting and transposing measurements
to the matching pieces and will finally utilize the template I made a few minutes ago. To have the template on my disposal really
made the job of figuring out the angles much easier. I made most of the cuts with the track saw
but a circular saw with a straight edge would work just fine. The track saw just makes it more convenient
since no clamps are needed and the dust collection is much better. This is like cutting foam core with an x-acto
knife and a ruler, but with bigger tools meant to cut wood panels! Once the angle of the top piece of the arm
was figured out with the template, I could understand that anytime I needed to make an
angled cut, that angle was always 13 degrees. or 77, if you are subtracting from 90. The tenons work just like the other square
panels, so there is no need to mess with with drilling holes on awkward directions. I find it much easier to bring the parts to
each context and transpose lines and measurements right there than trying to measure with a
tape measure or so. Everything kept being assembled with tenons
and pocket holes but this top piece won’t receive any pocket holes as there is no space
for the driver to fit inside de drawer pocket. So this is the only piece that will be hold
in place with tenons alone. It will be just fine since it’s a top and
it really just needs to be sit quiet in place. One more little mistake that can be easily
fixed by super gluing a strip of wood that no one will ever see as this is a baking piece. Here you can see what I meant by being sit
quiet in place. This is a snug fit and I can see no problem. Also, it received two pocket holes on the
back. All is left to do now is to remove any burning
marks from the saw blade, sand everything smooth and apply a protective finish. I guess I just got lazy to film the finishing
part but I applied 4 coats of waterbased satin varnish. Now comes a totally different part, making
the cushions. I ordered the foam in two different densities. I chose a lower density for the back cushions
and a higher density for the sitting cushions. They got different colors so it is easier
to destinguish. The back cushions have a trapezoidal shape
ir order to create a slight angle for the person’s back to rest against. The concept here is to make boxes out of fabric. It isn’t as hard as you would expect. Think of it like if you were on school making
cubes out of card stock. You need to leave a border all around for
stitching the parts together and every time you change direction, let’s say you have
a 90 degree corner, you need to make a small relief cut in order to properly fold the fabric. Since I am using zippers to open and close
the covers to insert or remove the foam, it is much easier to work that part first. So first thing is to insert the slider into
the teeth and I placed the flat side of the slider body facing out and tried to engage
the teeth from both sides. To pull the slider, I found it easier to get
started flat on the table, then firmly securing both sides of the tape with one hand and pulling
the slider with the other. The face that will receive the zipper needs
to be larger by the amount of the zipper width and once you have your rectangle cut, you
typically fold it in half but not necessarily, as I’ll show you in a minute. It will depend on your design choices. It’s a good idea to iron the fold and it
only takes a couple of minutes but totally worth it. And then we will mark the centre of the zipper
with a chalk pencil. We can now sew along the marks and it’s
better to use larger stitches as they will be easier to rip off later. Now we need to cut it in the middle, fold
it over and iron again to press it flat. Here is where the zipper will get sewn and
to make things easier for me, I used wonder tape to secure it in place. You can use pins obviously but I don’t have
a good relationship with those. I’ll leave the link below to this wonder
tape. We can now use the zipper foot on the sewing
machine and sew the zipper to our cover back face. Pay attention to make sure your stitches are
as straight and parallel as you can. This can be a bit tricky so I would recommend
you practicing first on a scrap. When the middle stitching gets opened, the
zipper is revealed and we have a nice looking zipper closure. Of course we need to remove all those little
bits of thread. Once the zipper faces are done, it’s time
to put the fabric boxes together. Remember, you need to think that everything
is being stitched from the wrong side of the fabric so that when you unzip and unfold,
you will then get the nice finished look facing outwards. I really loved using this thin tape as it
made everything quick and easy to prepare for sewing. As I explained before, it’s crucial to make
a relief cut when the fabric is changing direction. Now it’s a matter of sewing it leaving about
12 mm or a half inch seam allowance all around. It’s a good idea to reinforce the corners
with some extra stitching. I am a total beginner and so far I only made
a couple projects with a sewing machine, so don’t pay too much attention to the looks
of my seams. Once the entire cover is finished sewing,
we can unzip it and turn it inside out to reveal the finished work . We can now insert the foam that has been covered
with polyester batting. Inserting the foam can be extremely tricky
but if you fold it in half, it makes the job much easier. Then take your time going around every seam
and corner to make sure the foam and cover are properly aligned. I will explain the process of covering the
foam in a minute. I want to make some crocodile pillows so I
might just do that now. I repeated the process regarding the zipper
closure, only made it smaller this time. Ok, the rest of the cushions took less work
as I basically spray glued the batting around the foam, but I wanted to repurpose a piece
of foam I already had to make the left arm. That means I had to make several cuts to achieve
the volume I wanted. To cut the foam I just used a regular hacksaw
blade but it cuts really nicely on the bandsaw. I just didn’t have a big bandsaw. It certainly doesn’t look pretty but that
doesn’t really matter as we’re going to glue the parts together and the ugly faces
will be positioned inside. I can now cover the foam with polyester batting
that will give the final cushion a more puffed look. Ok, I already showed you how to insert the
foam on the covers so let’s move on into making the drawers. For the drawers I used pre-finished birch
plywood and started by cutting the sheet into two smaller rectangles that I could then slice
into strips on the table saw. By the way, you probably have noticed that
I have been investing in some better and bigger power tools and it feels really good to finally
being able to spend less time setting up the tools and making 10 cuts to get one that is
fairly perfect. I really need to take as much frustration
out of my shoulders as I can because sometimes I can be really picky and spend hours to make
sure a single step is being produced with the amount of control I need for my work. Also, it’s natural to keep changing and
trying to make a workshop as nice and convenient as we can. Still not there yet, but I’m getting closer
and closer and that is super exciting. And just because you see me using a specific
or expensive tool, doesn’t mean you can’t build the same project with some other tools
that you have. When I started, I also didn’t have any of
this and still made cool projects and videos of them, even using an average phone to film. Alright, so I am building 5 drawers in total
and 2 of them have a trapezoidal shape to match the spacing near the angled wall of
the apartment. So, remember that I have said before that
all the angles are 13 degrees or 77 if you subtract 13 from 90? That was the angle I used to make all these
cuts. Once I got the front and back pieces angled
on one edge, I could start assembling and mark the final length for the longer side
of the trapezium. I didn’t use glue because the plywood is
pre-finished so it probably wouldn’t do much. But as I was going to reinforce everything
with screws anyway, it doesn’t really matter if it is glued or not for strength. The other three drawers were easier to build
as they had regular 90 degree butt joints. Once the boxes were done, I could begin the
slides installation Always go back to watching John Heisz installation instructions video. It was pretty tricky to install these because
there wasn’t much space to work with the driver and I had to laid down on the floor
and insert my arms or basically half of my body inside the structure for some of the
drawers. I raised the box just a little to make sure
it doesn’t rub against the bottom of the structure when is being maneuvered and then
attached the slide to the sides of the drawer box. Then I could remove the raising strips and
check if it works fine. I repeated these steps for the other two big
boxes and the trapezoidal drawers were installed a bit differently. I couldn’t attach the slides to both sides
of the drawer as they are not parallel and obviously wouldn’t work. I decided to try placing one slide on the
right side that is square and then place the second slide on the bottom of the drawer,
making sure it was attached on a parallel line to the right slide. Even thought they are not in the same geometric
plane, as long as they are attached on a parallel position despite the orientation of the slide
itself, they can work together. So I made sure to attach the screws exactly
in the middle of the pencil line and transposed the same distance from the right slide to
the center line of the left slide to the bottom of the drawer. The bottoms are only 6mm thick, so I had to
cut the tip of some screws so they were not pocking into the drawer. I could then drive a regular screw just to
create the threads on the plywood and back it off to then install the screw without tip. I put the left slide into place and now it’s
easier to screw the right slide just like I did for the other drawers. Finally I could work on the drawer fronts
and for that I used the same birch plywood from the sofa and murphy bed. I cut some scrap pieces to size and carved
the handle cutouts on my X-Carve. If you wonder why I made the handles out of
centre for the bigger drawers, that’s because when the bed it flipped over the sofa and
you need to reach out for something that is inside those drawers – let’s say a blanket
or the pillows – you can open those drawers easily. whereas if the handles were in the middle,
you would need to bring the bed up on the wall again to be able to open those drawers. After some sanding the varnishing, it was
time to attach the false fronts to the drawer boxes. I used some playing cards to make sure the
gap was even all around for a better look. I used spongy double side tape to have the
fronts to stick in place for a few minutes and then drove some screws from behind to
permanently attach them. I have tried regular thin double sided tape
but it didn’t work for me, so I would recommend going with this thicker foam tape.

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Reader Comments

  1. Kim Tait

    Can it work for the bed being sideways instead. WE live in a 5th wheel and have a full size mattress that is almost new. This would be great in our back of the camper but would need it to be sideways and NOT regular. NOT carpentry inclined but do have friends who are.

  2. Emeralda Putri

    1. I find this video super relaxing
    2. you're so great! you make the sofa, and the cushion, and not to forget film it on a great angle! great work!

  3. Regis Monteiro

    Great furniture, and awsome video, Just a tip. Put the result of the project at the end too… i had to get back to de the beginning to see the whole process.

  4. Anita Harkavy

    Fantastic project. I have physical challenges and can no longer lift anything more than 10 pounds. If I were to pay someone to build these plans, what would be a reasonable estimated number of hours? Any idea what the market price would be buy something like these, delivery and installation? Is the Murphy bed easy to lower and raise back up? Does it use hydraulics or muscle strength? I need to downsize and this would be fabulous if it works with my injuries.

  5. Fool Soul

    I have to say that all your little trick are great. I was working with pocket hole but sometime a little shifting occur while finishing screwing, your tenon method without glue is so simple…. Not to mention your perfect tool, I recognize the bosch mitter saw totally flawless! Again great work really appreciate your work.

  6. sidekickdumpling

    i have absolutely no wood working or sewing skills and have no plans on building my own furniture right now but i watched this entire video because i was so blown away but how cool it all looked. it's amazing that you did this all by yourself! I wish I were as talented and skilled!!

  7. Gina Moretti

    Amazing job!! what is the brand sewing machine, my is so old and crazy, my peddle does not work just turn on and it starts stiching on it own with no way to control it, can you post the make

  8. Gilles Desplanque

    Hi Cristiana, Thank you for the super projects and YT-channel! I'm about to embarque in my firts project, but could you just tell me which varnish u use to get the least color-shifting possible?

  9. Lea remington

    We love your projects and will be building your murphy bed project soon. First a comment; i use an electric knife to cut foam. I also use glue on birch edge banding on all the plywood to cover the edges of plywood. Now for a question. In one of your videos there is part of a clip when your are wearing what looks like a velcro, wrap on dust past. Who makes it and where can i find it?

  10. Jordana Mintz

    Awesome video, thank you so much for doing this series! Can the plan be modified to fit a murphy bed I've already bought without a sofa?

  11. Alyson Bourque

    I love this! I hope you will be doing this design for the public. With your skills, you would do very well in creating a unique line of custom furniture! Best luck to you in everything you do!

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