Mum Shows How to Upcycle a Sofa for Just £20 - And the Results are Incredible
- Hayley Gee loved teal sofas but didn’t want to splash out on a new one
- The mother-of-three decided to transform it herself for just £20
- The result is a gorgeous turquoise sofa that looks brand new
Sofas can be seriously pricey pieces of furniture, but if you have one already, there’s no need to splash out on a trendier upgrade, as one craft-loving mum has figured out how to totally transform your current sofa for just £20.
Hayley Gee, 31, from Wolverhampton, wanted a new sofa, but didn’t want to buy a new one as she was on maternity leave from being a community nurse.
“I came up with the idea of transforming my sofa due to the fact I wanted a new one and as I’m currently on maternity leave there is no way I can afford one,” Hayley says. “I’d had it nearly five years and it was about £2,500 when I bought it, so I started looking into transforming my marked, flat sofa. After a few Google searches I saw fabric dye and thought ‘why not?’”
Hayley, who has two older children, a daughter Evie, 9, and a son Cody, 7, from a previous relationship, and a five-month-old baby girl called Harper with her partner James, decided to try to transform the sofa when her two older children were on holiday.
“I wouldn’t normally have been brave enough to do it but in the moment, I thought ‘just do it!’” Hayley says. “I had a few wobbles once I started as it did look patchy at one point but there was no turning back.
“My two older children were going on holiday with their dad for two weeks leaving me and my little one at home. Knowing I had two weeks of not having to occupy the older ones I thought I’d give it a go.
“I purchased the dye from The Scratch Doctor on eBay. I have a slight teal obsession so when I saw that colour it was deal done. I got a microfibre cloth to apply it and also a spray bottle and paint brush as they were all the options to try.
“When the dye arrived I mixed the solution in a bottle with 50% dye and 50% water. The paintbrush didn’t work very well as the mixture is very thin, the spray bottle went everywhere and the microfibre cloth seemed to work perfectly. It didn’t hold too much of the dye so didn’t feel like it was being wasted and it spread the dye nicely.
“I started with a few thin coats, but it was a little patchy. I then realised if I was a bit more generous with the dye I’d use more in a small space but I wouldn’t need to do as many coats.
“The project got put on hold for a little while as the second week my big ones were on holiday, my little one was taken poorly and we were in hospital for two days.
“When we got home we were all exhausted and then my big ones came home and it was my lad’s birthday so the sofa was put on a back burner. During that time we were using the sofa and didn’t have any transfer from the dye on clothing or skin.”
However, this weekend, Hayley’s older children went to see their dad and she decided to get it finished, completing the project in two days after dyeing the seat and the back.
“It looked lovely but still flat,” Hayley says. “I called my mum to see if she had anything lying around I could bulk it out with. She said she would have a look and for me to pop over.
“My mum had found a huge piece of egg box foam. She had no idea where it had come from but she had put it in a vacuum bag and put it at back of the airing cupboard.
“Well, I claimed it! I took it home and doubled it over so it wasn’t bumpy and put it on top of the original cushion. It was a bit of a fight getting it into the cover but the results were lovely.”
After all Hayley’s hard work, her sofa looks as good as new and is totally transformed, but she’s not done just yet.
“When I have some more spare money I plan on getting the proper blue two inch thick foam to top up the seat and fibre to fill the back up more, but for now I’m happy with the result,” she says. “I just need to dye my three seater sofa next!”
- Hayley says she used around a litre of dye for the couples’ sofa, which cost £19.99, and she estimates it took around four hours, not including giving it an hour between coats. She then let it cure for 72 hours. She has also spent a further £40 on two more litres of dye to do her three seater sofa next.
“I love it, my kids love it and I’ve had so many compliments on it,” says Hayley.
“My advice for anyone wanting to achieve a similar look is to try updating it before paying for a new sofa. For what will cost me around £120 in the end - £60 for dye and £60 for padding - I’ve got a sofa that looks like new. To me it’s a no brainer to spend between £60and £120 rather than a few thousand. Be brave and go for it!”
Tom Church, co-founder of money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk, says: “Hayley’s stunning sofa transformation just proves how financially savvy - and environmentally-friendly - upcycling is rather than splashing out on new things. If you don’t have a sofa to transform at home using Hayley’s tips, make sure to check out Freecycle and Gumtree to find old sofas at great prices or even for free that you can work your magic on.”