Search This Blog

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Sofa Debacle - or "Knowing Your Limitations"

I never heard this song before, but now I can't get it out of my head:

I think I've mentioned before that I can't get enough of the Let's Build a Dollhouse site. One of the ideas floating around in my head based on information from the site was that I could, whenever I chose, make my own dollhouse sofa out of fabric and cardboard.

Since I had already spent about 20 times more than I expected to build and furnish the Mini House, and the library looked empty and needed a sofa,  I especially liked the idea of making one from stuff I already had around the house.

"Oh, that," I would say to people who commented on the adorable little sofa in the library, "I just threw that together with some fabric and glue.  It was easy peasy!"

The library, in dire need of a sofa

So I printed out the directions from here:  Let's Build a Dollhouse Sofa.  The instructions seemed clear and totally doable. The owner of the site provides many pictures of the finished product she has made in all different fabrics and sizes.

Image is from
The site gives instructions on how to make the little sofa above.
It turned out that I didn't like any of the fabric I had on hand, so I bought some. The instructions called for craft foam which I didn't have so I bought some of that as well. I confidently gathered these items, along with some cardboard and my trusty Tacky Glue, and set about to create my sofa!

To say that it did not go well is to wallow in understatement.

I'm not sure why, but from the first cut I made in the fabric, I could just sense that the Crafting Gods were not with me. Things just spiraled out of control from there.  By the time I finally raised the white flag, I was exhausted, and frustrated. There were little pieces of cardboard, fabric and foam spread as far as the eye could see, but nothing remotely resembling a sofa. I got glue all over everything, including myself and the cats, who had gathered close to enjoy the spectacle and help out wherever possible, for example by biting the fabric or swatting pieces of foam off the counter.

I didn't take any pictures because I was just so annoyed with myself. Plus I was all sticky. I'm sure that the instructions are great, and I know that if I try again another day I might get better results. But  making tiny upholstered furniture might also just be beyond my abilities.

In the meantime, I found the sofa below for $6.00 at AC Moore. (They aren't going to sell dollhouse furniture anymore, so they had lots of stuff on clearance.)  I bought it even though it is much too modern for my Mini House. I thought I could probably make it look a little more Victorian.

I did NOT make this sofa.  I got it
on clearance at AC Moore.
My first attempt, below, used a little bit of lace from a pillowcase that I had already cut up to make the bed. (See this post:  Bed Makeover). The pillows are just little circles of fabric that I gathered together with a cotton ball inside and then glued the roses to cover the rough opening. I put some ribbon around the bottom of the couch and the fringe is the frayed edge of the satin I used to make the bedspread.

Version 1 - added some stuff to make the couch seem less modern

I was happy with it, but the other day, I found some fringe on a lampshade my mom was throwing out, and it gave me the idea to try jazzing up the sofa again.

Here's how the second attempt turned out, with fringe and a fancier piece of lace. (The fringe doesn't look as yellow in real life, it blends in a little better.)

Version 2 - added some different stuff to make the couch seem less modern

I'm not sure which version I like better. A third attempt is always possible!


  1. See the frustration worked itself into a nice little sofa :)

    Just a quick idea for next time, cut templates out from cardstock or scrap cardboard, see how they fit with a dab of glue or tape, then use your fitted template to trace cut your foam and fabric :P

    1. Thanks, Jane - that's a great idea:) I have a feeling I probably will try this again sometime, I was so excited about it, and I think it would be so cool to look into the house and see a little couch that I made from scratch!

  2. Is EVERY AC Moore not selling dollhouse items any more?! You need to tell a girl to sit before delivering that bad news. I like both sofas, but I think I prefer the lace from version 2 and fringe and pillows from version 1.

    Anyway, thanks for the nice comment on my blog! My ferret actually gets along really well with my dog; however, this summer I was asked to dog sit for a few weeks. Long story short, it's January and I'm still dogsitting. She and the ferret don't mix too well, so the ferret chills upstairs and the dogs stay downstairs.

    1. Sorry, Maria! I didn't mean to spread panic - I have no idea if ALL AC Moore's will stop selling dollhouse stuff. There are only two of them in my area, and I didn't know they sold it in the first place, I was there looking for Christmas paper and that sort of thing, and I stumbled across the tiny little section of dollhouse items, and it was on clearance. That's where I found the sofa (thanks for you opinion, BTW!).

      So next time I was out I went to the OTHER AC Moore and I couldn't even find the dollhouse section, so I asked an employee where it was and she pointed me to what little was left and she's the one who said they weren't going to sell it anymore. Bummer!