So…I Skinned A Couch.

I have been known to do a crazy DIY here and there.  Remember when I made an actual rug?  Good times.  Any who.  After I got the green monster painted, and had my curtains up, I temporarily hung my headboard, and threw a few scarves on the bed (to give it a little bit of color in place of the pillows that will one day live there).

Dark Green Wall-2

I sort of have this gut intuition.  If I don’t love something along the way, the chance that I am going to get heart palpitations every time I see it,  is slim.  And heart palpitation inducing is what I am going for.

So I am sitting on my couch on the other side of the room, and running every option that I can through my mind.  It was just feeling way up here (insert me waving my hand around my head) and I needed something to ground it.  It was just too painted, and colored.  It was like one of the Real Housewives.   Too much fake crap.

It needed something natural.  In fact I think that I was subconsciously anticipating it because I bought this knitted pillow from Target.

Target Pillow


We are back to sitting and stewing.  Then it hits me like a bolt of lightening.  Its needs leather.  Leather PILLOWS!  Angels sing, Mr.. Richard Simmons gets longer shorts, and everything is right with the world.


The research begins.  Oh don’t you worry.   The  leather pillows that are for sale online are  1. Reminiscent of a Tricia Yearwood belt circa 1992.  2. Roughly  the price of a kidney.  3. Look like something that came off of a sectional at Big Lots.

Ex-nay on that idea.

Next idea, buying fabric.   Even FAUX leather that is not lick worthy is going to cost me $80 + Shipping.


So then my heart says “Mandi.  Why are you straying so far from what you actually want to do?  Get your butt on Craigslist and see what you can wrangle up.”

So that is just what I did.

And guess what?

I found a couch.  The ad said that the seat cushions had been redyed but that it looked great.

I was actually feeling a little bad about the possibility of cutting up a nice couch to make pillows.  It had to be THIS couch because it had the perfect amount of wear without being janky.

Imagine my surprise when I stopped by to look at it and the dye job was not awesome and all of the hesitation and guilt?  Gone.  Sold.  Getting a Heidi Montag makeover.

Couch Upcycle-2

This was a very nice couch.  I am not going to lie.  I am sure if someone wanted to they could have had new leather put on the seats or a blanket or something, but this couch’s destiny was for something different.

Couch Upcycle

Repurpose onward and upward friends.

Cant wait to show you how they turn out, after I do them…still working on that.

So what do you think?  Is this a brilliant upcycle or a terrible idea because I did in fact, cut a couch apart to make pillows?

Also I have a naked couch sitting in my garage.  Anyone want it?

Love Your Guts


  • The Far Fifty 10.07.2013 at 04:48

    You are so crazy. In a good way.

  • Mindy Schaper 10.07.2013 at 05:30

    Wow.. you definitely are crazy. This room is having me on tenterhooks. How is it going to turn out? And what are you going to do with the couch? Can it be reupholstered?

  • Stephanie McDonnell 10.07.2013 at 05:32

    You gotta do what you gotta do. Keep the feet on that thing, too.

  • G 10.07.2013 at 05:53

    That couch may be nice, but it's ugly. Making pillows out of the leather is a brilliant idea, in my humble opinion!

  • Cheryl Thornton 10.07.2013 at 06:07

    very courageous! can't wait to see how they turn out!

    Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG

  • Nicki 10.07.2013 at 06:38

    I really think it ingenious to use the leather to make pillows. Awesome idea and one I could see myself doing in a tight budget ( this is why I like to work with restrictions, I think it is good creative exercise).
    I can't believe someone thought that was a good dye job :(

  • Becca 10.07.2013 at 07:10

    Oh my god, this post was hilarious. I'm super excited to see how you transform the couch into pillows!

    Ladyface Blog

  • Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door 10.07.2013 at 07:13

    The best ideas are the ones that require the most amount of courage. I think they will turn out amazing! Can't wait to see 'em.

  • Gabby 10.07.2013 at 07:25

    You are brave! Can't wait to see how it turns out; any plans for the couch once you are done stripping it bare?

  • Cjko 10.07.2013 at 07:52

    I love the idea. I would totally do something like that. Can't wait to see it!

  • Mandi 10.07.2013 at 08:00

    Man, I thought I was the only one who did that! I just sit there and run through options in my head and they are either TOTALLY ALL WRONG NO IT WILL NOT WORK or that wonderful moment of CLICK when you know it's perfect!

  • Chas and Brian 10.07.2013 at 08:21

    I can't stop laughing at the amazing Richard Simmons pic. And how I'm definitely tempted to "pin it baby" just for being so hilarious! :)

  • Mandy 10.07.2013 at 08:26

    haha! You go, girl! Do it! Sometimes it takes a little bit, or a lot of crazy to make some genius happen.

  • Krista Hansen 10.07.2013 at 08:29

    I'm loving this process! I am trying to decorate my new house on a tight budget and I love being able to see your creative process.

  • Jenn Leigh 10.07.2013 at 08:37

    You're a genius! Buying a couch off Craigslist for the leather – never would have thought of that! Can't wait to see more!

  • ker 10.07.2013 at 08:46

    Years ago I ripped couch cushions apart to make pillows AND a valance. No, it wasn't a leather couch, but rather one I had stored in my basement. That project has since moved onto the vast wasteland of unawesome-ness commonly referred to as the dump, but I loved those re-cycle pillows and curtains for years. Where there's a will, there's a way, right?

  • Elizabeth 10.07.2013 at 08:48

    Brilliant! Love this idea! And whoever said the cushions looked great was blind; they look like Dylan took a marker to them.

  • Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy 10.07.2013 at 09:06

    they said that was a good dye job! HA! The things people say! I have green leather couch I'm selling if you want to cut it up 😉

  • Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy 10.07.2013 at 09:07

    same shade as your new wall

  • Dear Emmeline 10.07.2013 at 09:12

    love it! the cushions looked so…ehh…so I think you're helping it out ripping that bad boy apart. the frame can still be reupholstered so no real harm done! 😉

  • Dakota Creek Chic 10.07.2013 at 09:39

    Great idea…can't wait to see how it turned out.

  • Kelli @ Life at 818 10.07.2013 at 09:39

    i think it's brilliant!

  • Sue 10.07.2013 at 10:13

    I think I knew you in another time….not in a "twilight zone"way. As I was reading your post I it was like I know you from some where. You are a true crazy artist! Love your work! thank you, Sue

  • Sarah ~ Just So Lovely 10.07.2013 at 10:17

    I just discovered your blog and I. Love. It.
    Truly, its so much fun! I'm an interior designer and I'm addicted to making things beautiful, which you do so very well. I'll be eagerly anticipating all of the great new projects and ideas you come up with… not to mention everything you've already done!


  • For My Love Of 10.07.2013 at 10:17

    I love your guts Mandi. You would OF COURSE buy a couch to make pillows.

  • Julia Terpstra 10.07.2013 at 10:35

    My hubby builds hot rod and his FAVORITE thing to upholster the seats are … you guessed it; sweetly aged leather couches. FAB!!!

  • Stephenie Daily @ Garden Girl 10.07.2013 at 10:42

    I love the arms and legs on your now nekked couch, but no, I don't want it. ;o) I have an ugly chaise lounge in my own garage I have to do something with before my husband returns it to where I pulled it from – the curb!

  • myrtlemarie 10.07.2013 at 10:58

    How you manage to include Richard Simmons, Tricia Yearwood, and Heidi Montage in one post about leather is just magic! Love it!

    Sarah @

  • mary spears 10.07.2013 at 12:15

    loving the real time posts! keep it up.

  • Justynn Yagiela 10.07.2013 at 12:27

    i love you in a non-creepy girl crush way. keep up the awesomeness!

  • Gwen, The Makerista 10.07.2013 at 14:19

    i'm so excited to see where you go with this! i am loving the warmer cozy feel, but know that you will spin it in a new and fresh way!

  • McKenzie @ Girl Loves Glam 10.07.2013 at 20:31

    Greatest idea!

  • .tessa. 10.07.2013 at 21:09

    Such a good idea! I've been racking my brain to find an affordable way to get my hands on leather to make baby moccs and while I def don't need a couch the wheels are a turnin now…

  • Tara @ Suburble 10.07.2013 at 23:55

    Love this idea! Also… what on earth happened to those cushions? Were they painted?

    What's going to happen to your bare-naked couch? Are you going to be Super Woman and reupholster? 😉

  • PamLuvsPink 11.07.2013 at 01:02

    Love this loveseat!!!!!

    I'm looking at the frame and it's really nice. I would definitely reupholster it!!!
    Can't wait to see want you're going to do!!!!


  • Nova 11.07.2013 at 12:28

    lol! with the title of the blog, i knew it would be good! maybe you can reupholster the couch or use parts of it on different projects.

  • Samantha Baldwin 12.07.2013 at 08:08

    I stopped to read this post solely on the strength of the post title.

    Go for it. I would probably try a thrift store leather coat first though.

  • Connie @ Measured by the Heart 12.07.2013 at 20:56

    I do stuff like this too! Use the stuffing inside the couch for your pillows. The foam is good too.

  • Erin 15.11.2013 at 22:07

    Mandi, I just skinned a couch myself. My niece had an old leather couch with several holes in it. I found her a cheap replacement on craigslist then paid her $5 (the fee that the landfill charges to dispose of said skinned couch carcass). Yikes, that was a lot of work. I wish I would have thought to bring pliers with me, but all I had was a utility knife. Now I have a pile-o-leather that I’m working through and I have plenty to make 3 pillow covers (using your tutorial) and lots leftover for more future projects. I’m thinking leather Christmas stockings…or something. Thank you so much for the inspiration!!

  • Ugly Sofa Upcycled Into Leather Safari Sling Bench - Vintage Revivals 25.02.2014 at 22:30

    […] Skinning a couch for a project is nothing new to me, remember when I made Leather Pillows?  This is like that, but on steroids. […]

  • Slouchy Leather Sling Planter - Vintage Revivals 24.03.2014 at 09:11

    […] The obsession with leather is not letting up anytime soon.  So just be on the lookout for an old couch to skin so that you can play along,  or if it makes your significant other less stabby, you can buy […]

  • 12 Projects To Make From An Old Leather Couch - Vintage Revivals 11.06.2014 at 10:59

    […] these parts for the last few months.  Ever since the life changing discovery that you can skin a leather couch and save thousands of dollars (and a puffy leather couch from the landfill for that matter!)  […]

  • The Tamura kids 06.09.2014 at 02:53

    We got inspired by your post, picked up a couch on the side of the road, put it out of its misery and skinned it! Can’t wait to make something awesome with the remains. Thank you for the inspiration and the humorous post!

  • Burning Betty | hello holli 08.01.2015 at 22:49

    […] place in Shorts on the Line 2014- yeyeah! I scoured Craigslist for a leather couch to dismantle (a la Mandy) and almost got one for $50, but I was mere minutes too late and they’d sold to someone else. […]

  • Susan 07.02.2015 at 23:15

    LOVE it. I mean for reals. What should one expect to pay for a sofa to cut up? Ballpark please!

    • Mandi 08.02.2015 at 06:40

      I would says $50-$100.



Post a Comment