Ikea Sofa Hack

What we had:

Eight years of matching espresso “leather” sofas that endured two trans-atlantic PCSs and a Rhodesian ridgeback puppy… Time for a change.

The shark-toothed ginger brummie, Nahla.
Truly a thing of beauty –– posted on Craig’s List and left on the curb. Gone in 30 minutes!

What we want:

Crate and Barrel Petrie Sofa, $1,699
Thrive Tyler Sofa $2,069

What we can afford:

Oh snap. :-/

Karlstad Sofa, $599, Ikea. Meh.

And here is how we hacked the sofa to get the look we wanted for a whole lot less:

1st Step: Ditch ugly Ikea block legs

I ordered these mid-century style legs from Home Depot and stained them dark walnut. We love the metal bit at the bottom of the legs! Since it was 108F {you know, mild spring day in Arizona}, we stained indoors a la AC. {Liked the legs so much, we bought extra to put on our cream leather club chairs as well.}

Waddell 6″ round taper legs, $2.89 each, Home Depot
Dark Walnut Stain, $4.78, Home Depot

2nd Step: Convert non-metric legs

There were some issues regarding the conversion of these screw in legs {damn you  and your metric system, Sweden… and your socialized healthcare and mouth-watering meatballs}. Brett got sneaky smart and bought metric bolts, cut off the heads, and epoxied them into the Home Depot legs. I um… held up the sofa while he screwed them in place. UPDATE: This method didn’t really work. The legs were wobbly and unstable.

Mid-century legs!

SOLUTION: Scroll down to the end of this post to find the best solution for this problem! When we removed the Ikea legs, we found there were two holes, one of which was threaded. The other was for a wooden dowel. The latter was metric and Home Depot didn’t carry a precise match. Instead, Brett bought four 5/16-18 T-nuts {the kind with little metal claws}. They cost about $2 for a pack of four. He reached up through the gap in the wooden frame and put the T-nut in the top of the dowel hole and screwed the leg in using that hole. As you tighten the leg, the claws on the T-nut dig in and hold the leg securely. We basically bypassed the threaded hole completely. The end result is sofa legs that don’t wobble.

3rd Step: Short break

“If you’re not too busy… maybe rub my belly.”

Step 4: Tuft cushions

Tufting the cushions was the final step.

When we bought the Ikea sofa, we also bought an ottoman cover for $70 so that we’d have extra fabric for fabric covered buttons and possible replacement fabric as needed. {Hello, have you met our sofa lovin’ dogs?!}

Next I found a local upholsterer.

One day and $38 later, we had these sweet double-sided tufted cushions:

Lookin’ good!

Step 5: Tuh-Duh!!!

Helllloooooooo fabulous!

Total Cost: $727… approximately $1,000 saved.

Ikea Sofa: $600

Extra fabric: $70

Tufted cushions: $40

Sofa legs: $12

Stain: $5

If I wasn’t obsessed with Ikea before… I definitely am now.


Over time, we found the sofa legs became wobbly and the sofa felt unsteady on them. Brett tightened them periodically, but we weren’t satisfied.

Recently, we swapped them out for these Ladsun M-Series mid century legs:

We chose the white oak, which were $11.95 each. Then we stained them walnut and sealed them with a clear polyurethane coat.
We chose the white oak, which were $11.95 each. Then we stained them walnut and sealed them with a clear polyurethane coat.

We attached the Ladsun M-Series legs using Heavy Duty Top Plates, which we found at Home Depot for about $3.00 each. You can purchase them at any hardware store.

Brett screwed the plates directly into the wood frame, and then the legs simply screwed into the plate. We recommend the time-saving step of ordering these legs with the screws already attached, which is an option on the Table Legs website.

photo 1

photo 2

Here is our sofa with its new, and much sturdier, legs!


Stay tuned, as we are hacking this sofa once again… this time with a leather slipcover from Comfort Works!

104 thoughts on “Ikea Sofa Hack

  1. Hello

    Love this hack . . . Though, unfortunately, it looks like there is no longer a Karlstad ottoman cover/ foot stool with buttons to be used for tufting. Do you have any recommendations for alternate buttons?

    Lastly, what size legs did you use for this couch?


    1. Strongjrs — We went with the Lasdun-M series 6″ legs, which you can find here: http://www.tablelegs.com/SquareTaperedBunFeetCollection/Mid-Century-Modern-Furniture-Feet/Lasdun-Mid-Century-Modern-Furniture-Feet/Lasdun-M-Mid-Century-Modern-Furniture-Feet.aspx

      Also, here is the link to the Ikea foot stool extra if you want to buy extra material to make the tufted buttons. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20191107/
      Maybe you could find a clever way to save $60 by asking for fabric samples from an Ikea store or going to a fabric store and trying to match the Ikea fabric.

      We bought buttons from Michaels, a craft store, but you can even get them at Walmart: http://www.walmart.com/ip/40865003?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=83&adid=22222222227030709184&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=56048191016&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=100125639656&veh=sem

      You can cover the buttons yourself or take the cushions, fabric, and buttons to an upholstery shop and have them do it for you. The first time we attempted this project, we had the pro do the button covering and tufting, and the total price was $40. Not bad at all. We’ve since learned to cover the buttons ourselves — it’s pretty easy.

      Good luck with your sofa!

    2. I found a Karlstad throw pillow cover (rectangular). It was only $9 and more than enough fabric to make the buttons. It’s not listed online. I found it in the section of the store near blankets and pillows. HTH!

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