Modern Wood Storage Sofa

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How to build a wood storage sofa with drawers using crib mattress cushions.

Hi everyone! Hope you are doing well! I am so excited to share with you today's project plan! My friend Brooke wrote me asking if I'd be interested in working with her on a new plan for a storage sofa made with crib mattresses.

Here's why from Brooke - "The more I read about flame retardants and chemicals in upholstery, the more I want to chuck my sofa out the window. It's one of the last pieces of furniture I haven't made myself, and I figured it's time to try my hand at it! I'm on a mission to bring healthier, natural materials into my home to replace the chemical-laden off-gassing stuff. I thought it would be a great idea to use crib mattresses. For one, they're incredibly affordable, and if you're wanting to go organic on your upholstery that's an easy way to find a less pricey solution. For the other, it's incredibly easy to find cheap conventional mattresses, or even repurpose your own or your relatives, or find some on Craigslist. The bonus is that they're normally waterproof, which is a boon for couch cushions! They're also springier and more comfortable than traditional foam cushions. "

So we worked together to create a plan, Brooke built it, and here it is -

Here's from Brooke - "I can't say enough how in love I am with this couch. It is the perfect fit for my family, which includes: 4 dogs, 3 cats, 2 preschoolers, and one baby on the way. Not to mention that my back door likes to open at will while we're out, so our 10 chickens like to amble inside and re-decorate my floors and surfaces.



"Every part of this couch is washable! The Naturepedic organic crib mattresses (found for over 1/2 off new retail on Craigslist) are completely waterproof and wipe down easily. I chose soft jersey cotton crib sheets that easily pop off and into the washing machine. I'm not quite ready to invest in natural latex foam cushions for the back (because my kids and pets would destroy these expensive investments in 20 seconds!) so I found some excellent organic cotton, chemical-free poly foam filled pillows for $11 each with coordinating cotton pillowcases. I can wash the whole pillow, form and case, whenever there's a spill or, well, other bodily fluid.



"The base is solid pine, which I stained a soft warm yellow using steel wool and pennies steeped in vinegar. I sealed the entire thing by melting equal parts beeswax and olive oil then letting it cool and set. I used a rag to rub it into the wood, making it water repellent and stain-resistant. STORAGE DRAWERS "The four drawers are deep enough to handle masonry-mixing tubs found at the hardware store for under $5 each, which I filled with train toys and board games making them easily removable for play time and clean up. The other two drawers hold my blanket collection for cozy convenience.



"I love that this couch sits flush to the floor, which means no lost toys and food bits or tumbleweeds of dog hair to try and fish out. The mattresses are equal to the deep seats you often find in luxury sofas, giving us ample space to spread out and lounge around. The galvanized pipes also make an excellent handlebar for trampolining toddlers.



"Organic couches retail for thousands in stores and online, which were several times out of my price range as a single mom. This couch totaled for $600, including both crib mattresses, all the wood and hardware, as well as the pipes and fittings. Not only was it cheaper than my previous store-bought couch, the quality is exponentially better, and the design is such a great fit for a family with young kids and (too many) pets. We can all fit comfortably on it together, and it's so comfortable for naps and even overnight sleeping (I mean, they're mattresses and bed pillows after all!) We couldn't be more pleased with our new couch, and plan to enjoy it for years and years (and years!) to come."

Dimensions shown above - uses two standard crib mattresses


Shopping List


  • 2-1/2 or 2-3/4” SPAX Self tapping wood screws (use to build 2x4 frames)
  • 2” SPAX Self tapping wood screws (For attaching wood frames to arms/back)
  • 1-1/4” brad nails
  • Wood glue
  • 4 – 26” long drawer slides
  • 1 – 1x2 @ 10 feet long (can use smaller scrap pieces)
  • 4 – 2x4 @ 8 feet long
  • 6 – 2x4 @ 9 feet long or 9 foot stud length (cut 102-1/2” boards from these)
  • 6 – 1x8 @ 8 feet long
  • 9 – 1x6 boards @ 8 feet long
  • 3 – 1x3 boards
  • 1 – 1x10 @ 10 feet long
  • 1 sheet of ¼” plywood or additional 1x boards for back if exposed 1x boards for seat slats or ripped ¾” plywood



  • 7 1/2" flanges - 7
  • 6" long 1/2" pipes - 4
  • 1/2" elbows - 5
  • 1/2" tees - 2
  • 48" long 1/2" pipes - 2
  • 18" long 1/2" pipes - 2
  • 8" long 1/2" pipes - 2
  • 3.5" long 1/2" pipes
Common Materials
Cut List


  • 4 – 2x4 @ 24”
  • 4 – 2x4 @ 31-1/2”
  • 1x boards @ 24” to cover ends (16 – 1x8 @ 24” and 4 – 1x6 @ 24” as shown)
  • 4 – 1x6 @ 24”
  • 2 – 1x6 @ 36”



  • 10 – 2x4 @ 9”
  • 4 – 2x4 @ 102-1/2”



  • 2 – 2x4 @ 102-1/2”
  • 3 – 2x4 @ 21”
  • 1 – ¼” plywood @ 102-1/2” x 24” (if exposed back add 1x material at later step)
  • 14 – 1x8 @ 12-3/4” both ends cut parallel at 15 degrees off square, long point to short point measurement (can use other 1x material)
  • 1 – 1x2 @ 102-1/2” (can be spliced if using 8’ long 1x2s)



  • 2 – 1x3 @ 102-1/2” (can splice shorter boards together)
  • 1 – 1x6 @ 102” (can splice shorter boards together)


DRAWERS – Cut to fit openings

  • 8 – 1x6 @ 23-3/4”
  • 8 – 1x6 @ 26”
  • 4 – ¼” plywood @ 23-3/4” x 26”
  • 2 – 1x10 @ 25-5/8”
  • 2 – 1x10 @ 25-1/8”



  • 1x boards cut at about 23” long – should be able to use a bunch of scraps up here.
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Miter Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set


Step 1

Use the longer self tapping screws to build two frames for the arms. Check for square.

Step 2

Attach wood cladding to outsides of frames with wood glue and 1-1/4” nails.

Step 3

Attach trim to outsides to complete the arms. Use 1-1/4” nails and glue to attach. Set arms aside.

Step 4

Build two of the seat frames. If adding drawers, it is very important that the frames match each other. Use the longer self tapping screws to build.

Step 5

Step 6

Build the back frame and adjust for square, using the longer self tapping screws and wood glue. If you are using plywood for the back, splice the plywood together over the stud in the middle (plywood cuts would be 24” x 51-1/4”. Attach plywood to the back with 1-1/4” nails and glue (or shorter nails will work too). If back of sofa will be exposed, don’t attach a back yet.

Step 7

Attach back frame to sofa arms with the 2” screws. If back is exposed, add additional 1x boards to back and attach with 1-1/4” nails and glue.

Step 8

Place back boards inside sofa and nail down.

Step 9

Attach 1x2s at base of back board with 1-1/4” nails and glue. This will secure back boards.

Step 10

Use 1-1/4” nails and glue to trim front and top edges of the sofa.

Step 11

Build drawers to fit openings.

Step 12

Install drawers with slides inside openings, so front edge is flush to front edge of 2x4s.

Step 13

If you need to block inward to get drawer slides to fit, this is one way to do it with scrap wood.

Step 14

Use 1-1/4” nails and glue to attach drawer faces. Also attach from inside with 1-1/4” screws.

Step 15

Place scrap 1x material about 23” long inside sofa frame and nail and glue down.


Jo Foster

Wed, 04/06/2016 - 21:22

First of all steps 16 two-step 27 seems to be missing. So I tried Printing and it still wasn't there. I'm assuming that these are the steps for the pipe rail. I'm all ready to go with this couch,  I have the base built , but I'm not understanding the pipe rail. It's not something that I'm used to using or have used before. I would really like to use it though because it seems to finish off the couch in a style that I would like. So what is this normally used for? Is it a galvanized pipe? I did try Home Depot online and they had some of the parts listed but none are available in our area. So I kinda need to know what I'm talking about so I can find a store or shop or some place that sells this. Also some of the lengths will be a little off from the pattern as I am building a different size in the couch. So is there something that you buy so you can thread these pipes to make them the right size? Is this difficult? Could somebody please give me some guidance and direction so I can complete this project. I'm the type that I need to understand it all before I start the next paŕt and have all the materials on hand so once I get going it's head on. Thank you very much for any and all assistance / guidance.


Sat, 12/08/2018 - 01:07

I am currently building mine from pullets hopefully I will share the finished looks.

Loved the challenge, can't wait to finish..


Sat, 12/08/2018 - 01:07

I am currently building mine from pullets hopefully I will share the finished looks.

Loved the challenge, can't wait to finish..


Thu, 11/07/2019 - 12:09

Hoping to make this but make it in to a sectional. Any suggestions how? And to turn the back and the arms into storage also. Looking for suggestions


Tue, 08/24/2021 - 11:16

I used these plans to make something about half as wide and 6" shallower, for using as a couch in my 10-year-old daughter's playhouse. Since the playhouse is very small (only about 6 feet by 7 feet), I needed to build something that would fit inside and still leave room for other activities. So this project wound up requiring lot of recalculating to make sure my cuts were correct (let's just say I have a lot of scrap lumber left over). Because the couch is flush against a wall, I did not need to worry about the rear looking good, or about any of the pipes along the top. The main challenge I had was finding a suitably sized cushion; I found some 18 x 48 inch cushions that fit perfectly, and built the couch to accommodate it.

So it's a nice small sofa that has drawers for stowing pillows, a throw, and some toys and stuff. It's perfect for a kid, and little bit small for a grownup--which is fine by my daughter!

Thanks for the fun design, Ana!