tufted sofa reveal

by | Feb 12, 2016 | Before and Afters, Furniture Makeovers, upholstery | 101 comments

This post may contain affiliate links.

After much deconstructing, button-making, tuft-tying, fabric-stapling, trim-gluing, tack-hammering and cushion-sewing, the tufted sofa is finally done!!

I feel like some confetti should’ve fallen from the sky when Kriste and I put the final cushion in place.  It didn’t, but it should have.  This sofa has been the most challenging and high-maintenance piece of upholstery I have taken on to date,  but it is done and I finally get to show it off.

There it is, all styled and pretty.

And here it is without any pillows or props…


Kriste and I were “oohing” as we were proofing the pictures.  It’s just such a pretty sofa!

Here is how it looked when it came into my possession.  It was given to me last year after the Lucketts Spring Market for free.  Eddie, a photographer and fellow vendor, didn’t sell it, but really wanted to get rid of it, so she gave it to me.

It’s hard to turn down a free sofa, even though I knew it would be a challenge.




If you missed the process of this makeover, you can click through these posts below to see all of the details.

part 1 | stripping & painting the frame

part 2 | making fabric covered buttons

part 3 | troubles with tufting

part 4 | tufting success

part 5 | burlap backing

part 6 | braided jute trim & tacks

A few people have asked if I’m selling it…  After such a labor, I need to keep it for a while and love on it.  I’m sure I’ll sell it at some point.

But not today.  

In other news, we’re installing the built-ins in my mom & dad’s room tomorrow!

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    1. Terri


    2. HeidiCT

      It is really gorgeous. Even though I’m not a fan of nailhead trim—I feel like it’s so overdone—this one is subtle. I just adore the hemp fabric and the linen milk paint.
      What kind of rug is that, jute?
      I’ve wanted those cane chairs for a while but I’m not local… In CT, otherwise I’d own them by now!

    3. Suzie

      Beautiful! What a wonderful inspiration.

    4. Lisa

      LOVE!! Thanks for sharing the (imperfect) process – it helps us not feel quite so bad when we (I) struggle with our DIYs and it turned out so fantastc. I love the simple styling too. 🙂

    5. Maria Aldaba

      So gorgeous! I have a love seat that’s been just sitting in my sunroom but I think you’ve pushed me to start. I love your makeovers. You really inspire! Thank you Marion!

    6. Kim

      I love it and also love the cow painting above it!

    7. Emily

      Absolutely gorgeous.

    8. Julia

      You are a force to be reckoned with. There were moments you weren’t so sure but you won. It’s just amazing.

      • beverlee

        great description of her!

    9. Melanie

      It’s gorgeous!

    10. Cindy

      Ohhhh myyyyy God…. That sofa is pure heaven. Never sell it, and if you do want to sell it, merciful heavens let me know Is it actually comfortable too? …and i’m not bragging but my painting looks gorgeous over it. What a great combination with the painting and the flowers and all of it . These photos are to die for too, wow!. What a beautiful post. Sounds like you went to war with that sofa and you won too!! Haha!

    11. Toni

      I bet Eddie is sorry but also glad for the second life you gave it! It is lovely!

    12. anne

      Wonderful job! You can be very proud of the finished product!

    13. Naomi S.

      The sofa is stunning, Marian! I wasn’t sure I was going to like the burlap for the back and the twine-type cording, but it really does give the sofa a real uniqueness. The tufting looks fabulous, too. Well, my dear, you deserve to be proud of your perseverance and craftsmanship. You did it! But, here’s the question: Will you EVER do it again??! (I’m betting you will!)

    14. Sandy

      Absolute perfection! I don’t think I could part with it. You did a fabulous job on it!

    15. Lori Ryan

      I have been wondering if you’d sell after all that hard work. I say not! It should be priceless!

    16. Courtney

      Love this SO much Marian!! Absolutely gorgeous gorgeous!!

    17. Nancy

      It came out so lovely! You had a great vision for the ugly duckling that it was! Beautiful!

    18. CoCo

      Wow, it’s STUNNING! So hard to believe that’s even the same sofa. All of your hard work and patience really paid off. Just gorgeous! Hugs, CoCo

    19. Debra

      Gorgeous! You’ve done an amazing job!

    20. Saskia

      Although I am not a big fan of burlap, I must say that the sofa is looking great (I knew it would!). You have really managed to put your own unique stamp on the piece. I adore the tufting. Well done, Marian. I have two armchairs in the same style that belonged to my grandmother. Seeing you tackle this enormous project and not giving up is providing me with the courage to tackle my own project. Thank you for the daily dose of inspiration that you offer.

    21. Megan


    22. Susan

      Looks great! What an accomplishment. I have a similar sofa that belonged to my grandmother that needs recovering. I’m not as brave as you to take that on. I like the idea of paint on the wood to update it. Also thinking about drop cloth.

    23. Nancy

      Marian, you should pat yourself on the back, then snuggle up on that beauty. I love it! So happy you’ve decided to love on it instead of selling it. A true labor of love. <3

    24. Pat

      She’s a beauty!

    25. Argelia Brown

      From an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan!!!! Congrats

    26. Karen

      It is a keeper for sure. I so enjoyed the process and seeing the sofa evolve. Question. How did you plump up the thin cushions to look so lush and comfy? I have a 1940’s couch with thin spring cushions that need some tlc when I redo it and was hoping to see how you tackled it. Thanks for the inspiration.

      • marian

        I actually didn’t add anything to the cushions. I think the new covers just have more structure than the old ones, so they look fresh and fuller.

    27. Pat Walcott

      Love it!

    28. Ann

      Beautiful!….I’ll take 2!!
      I am lovin on the pic hanging above it of the grazing cows…can you tell us where it is from?

      • teri

        Painting is by Cindy Austin link above pic

    29. Tori

      Congratulations!! It looks amazing. Job well done. ?

    30. Carswell

      It’s very lovely. I particularly like the juxtaposition of the formality of diamond tufting with the humble fabrics.

      I would take it in a flash if it weren’t for the fact that my cats would interpret the burlap as an invitation to scratch. I’m afraid it wouldn’t withstand their efforts at “improvement”.

    31. heather

      It’s amazing. Can only IMAGINE how tough that was. Looks great 🙂 🙂

    32. Darla


    33. Cheryl

      Perfect organic GLAMOR!!! Makes me want to design a room around it ?

    34. Debra

      Wow, well done, Marian! And so brave of you to tackle it all in the public eye with no guarantee of a good outcome. Another proof of what faith can do! Your styling and photography are stunning.

    35. kcf

      Well done! And what an improvement over the sofa in its original condition. Whew! What an eyesore it was! You definitely have vision, it’s a beauty! 🙂

    36. Liz

      Absolutely gorgeous! You’ve inspired me to tackle my tufted ottoman which is in need of re-covering. Thanks.

    37. Tracy

      It is a stunning piece! All that work definitely was worth it! It’s even beautiful without out the accessories.

    38. Winona Stewart

      LOVE LOVE LOVE what you’ve done with this sofa! Thanks for the inspiration…. 🙂

    39. Char Swoveland

      Wonderful transformation! The pillows are way to big as the cover up all your hard work! Some smaller bolster shaped pillows would be perfect ?

    40. Lucy

      Very nice! I like the little white pillow too…like to have that pattern.

    41. Pamela

      …should be your signature piece!
      I’m in love.
      When can I pick it up!???

    42. Tracy

      Love it!

    43. Pam


    44. Natalie in Ohio

      Oh my stars and garters ~ it’s gorgeous!!!
      I’m happy you are going to keep it for a while. I think it will look perfect in your living room!

      What’s your trick to have your hydrangeas live for >24 hours? Blue hydrangeas are my very favorite flower, but every time I buy them, the next morning they’re all withered up and dying. 🙁

      P.S. I sent pictures of the questionable MMS paint brush for you to check out to the address you messaged me from.

      Happy Valentine’s Day weekend!

      • Kay

        That happens to me as well. If I buy a bunch, some will carry on for a few days, but one or more will be withered the next day.

        If anyone cuts them from her own garden, maybe she can tell us what’s going on with them.

    45. PJ

      Oh, she’s a beauty, Marian!

    46. Kay

      It is so beautiful. This is something you should keep.

    47. Beth Bull

      It’s breathtaking!!! Looks like it came straight from Europe. Your talents (and persevereance) are endless! Following your blog has caused me to slow down, notice and appreciate the details and imperfections on vintage/antique items. I’ve always loved old things having been drug to countless antique malls, flea markets and garage sales growing up, but you’ve introduced me to ironstone, hemp sheets and milk paint! Thank you for sharing your talents.

    48. Anne Pik

      Love! Love! Love! Bravo!

    49. Jelena

      Marian, the sofa is absolutely gorgeous! It’s well worth all the effort you put into it.

    50. Diane

      I love the sofa all by itself, such a pretty shot. I have to give a suggestion, the two plaid pillows seems too large for such a delicate pretty sofa. LOVE the details!

    51. Susan Hostutler

      So pretty, better without pillows!

    52. Amanda

      Thank you for sharing your process! It is stunning. Thanks for the inspiration.

    53. Barb

      LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!

    54. Robyn

      Wow! The sofa is stunning! What a beautiful job you did!

    55. Vicki Reynolds

      I’m drooling! Absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for sharing your process and the resources for the accessories!

    56. Jeri Lacy

      Wow! Turned out gorgeous. Job well done!

    57. Ellenann


    58. Darla

      You did a wonderful job. It turned out beautiful.

    59. Bonnie Sayre

      Beautiful love it I have to agree
      with others , love it naked !

    60. Debbie Delosreyes

      What a great job!! It is soooo beautiful. My parents caught me staring at their similar living room couch and imagining what you could do with it!

    61. Margie Pousardien

      Beautiful job!!! Your patience paid off! I enjoy your inspiration!?

    62. Tricia

      beautiful! i wouldn’t even cover it with pillows!

    63. Lin

      Your craftsmanship continues to amaze me!! It is so lovely! Great job girls!

    64. Cheryl

      Beautiful work Marian!! I can understand you wanting to keep it but if you change your mind, please get a hold of me. :0)

    65. Mimi

      A STUNNER! Might be my fav of all your projects! If it were mine, I’d never sell it.

    66. Stacey

      It’s Beautiful! Now sit back and enjoy!!!

    67. Christine S

      This is gorgeous! Love it!

    68. Janine R

      Turned out beautiful but the pillows have to go!

    69. Dianne

      Amazing! Looks stunning . . .

    70. Beth

      I’m not sure why so many people are against the pillows, I really love the whole look. While the couch alone turned out so beautiful, the pillow add a casual warmth to the entire look. You are so talented Marian! Thanks for taking us with you on this journey. Job well done!

    71. Melissa from Hey,Girlfriend.Net

      Beautiful! Such a labor of love, I’m glad you stuck with it! I once stripped a tufted chair and gave up midway through. I could not have possibly had the right tools, I worked on it for days before finally sending it to the upholsterer.

      Thank you so much for sharing your process!

    72. patricia

      well done Marion, it’s beautiful, I think if I sat on this I would never get up one I had a book in my hand 🙂

    73. Sue

      Love the sofa but I can’t stop staring at the picture of the bouquet on the blue and white dish. That is so, so beautiful.

    74. Marlene Stephenson

      What a beauty and no one can blame you for keeping it.

    75. Rose

      I love the work you did on this piece. It truly is a treasure. I’m so glad you’re not selling it. I have to say though that I’m really not loving the checked pillows. The scale is off, I know it’s good to play with scale to add interest but in this case it only detracts from the sofa in my opinion.

    76. Shy Cee

      Just Lovely! I tried sewing on some burlap and it kept getting caught in my machine… Was this grade of burlap something that could go through a sewing machine? I love your Hemp Oil, how will you recoat at it on this lovely sofa when it needs it? I learn so much from your questions and answers…. Thks!

      • marian

        It may have more to do with your sewing machine than the burlap. If it’s meant for light-duty, the burlap might just been too much for it. It does also shed and fray a lot, so that could be the source of the problem.

        I actually didn’t use hemp oil on the frame. I left the milk paint “raw”. If I did use hemp oil, it really wouldn’t need a re-coat, since a sofa frame isn’t a “high traffic” surface. A table-top might need it once a year or so.

    77. Sherri

      I love, love, love everything you did with that sofa!! Stunning!!

    78. Jane

      Incredibly beautiful! I admire you for sticking to the job. I was following your progress and I was so impressed. The room looks amazing also. Jane Flora Doora

    79. Tracy

      Really really beautiful ! Sooooo Frenchy Farmhouse !
      The perfect combo !
      You and Kristie have done amazing work as always !!!
      Thank you for sharing

    80. kathleen

      Tufting is not for the faint of heart, so glad you stuck with it and the outcome it amazing! I wouldn’t want to sell this ever!

    81. Lori

      I’m in LOVE!

      Your patience has certainly paid off.

    82. Carrie

      Simply wonderful!

    83. Sheila Irwin

      Wow! I am speechless! It looks like a completely different sofa – and the fact that you did it yourself is just unbelievable. It is so gorgeous now!!


    84. Samantha

      The sofa turned out beautifully. And I love those cane chairs – I wish I lived closer so I could actually buy them!

    85. Cecilia

      It’s beautiful. Worth the hard work!

    86. Krista

      Just gorgeous!

    87. Eva

      I think it’s gorgeous, Marian!!! I actually love all of your makeovers and I’m thinking of ordering soon MMS milk paint to attempt a makeover of my own. Wish me luck :).
      Thank you so much for the amazing inspiration you post!

      Eva | Design Cafe


    88. Lauren

      Oh my goodness. I am in love, it is beautiful Marianne. So much detail and care & sweat 😉 went into this, and it shows. I can see why you don’t want to part with it yet, I don’t think I ever would!!

      Great work 🙂

      Lauren | Lovely Decor

    89. Amy Morgan

      If/when you sell the sofa, I would love to buy it! Beautiful!!

    90. Kim L.

      Love this transformation, and have been looking for a similar sofa for the right price ever since you started sharing your progress. I finally found one and am going to give this look a try on it! Can you share how many sheets you needed to use (size of sheet) and would 3 yards of the burlap be enough?
      Thank you!

    91. Andi

      I have a sofa that is nearly identical to this that I am getting ready to transform. Could you give me an estimate on how much yardage of the two fabrics you used / bought?

    92. Linda of no.cal.

      BEAUTIFUL… WoW!!

    93. damaris

      Where can I get the hemp fabric for the Uphostery?


    Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

    I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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