Frugal Friday: Couch Repair Q and A

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Since I’m a know-it-all big sister, humility has come hard over the years. But, I well remember a graduate school class on Socrates and how true knowledge is knowing what you don’t know — and then finding out the answers. I’ve tried to remember that over the years. It’s okay not to have all the answers, but it’s good to know where to get them!

This week Tara wrote me with a great question:

I’m wondering if you have any DIY experience in couch repair? One of the springs just broke in our couch and I would love some advice on how to fix it. I have called around to local furniture repair stores and am being told that since my couch is not the top of the line, it is not worth the cost to fix it. I can’t believe that is true. Please let me know if you have any great advice! Thanks!

With her permission, I’m opening the question up to you. I do not have experience in this area. I We FishPapa has repaired many a household item over the years, but upholstered furniture is not one that we’ve tackled.

So, what do YOU think? This is right up your alley, my frugal friends! Offer your advice and expertise in the comments section.

And, as always, share the permalinks to your favorite money saving ideas in Mr. Linky below.

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  1. I am wondering if you could get more help/advise from someone who does boat/auto repair? They must have springs, and you certainly don’t get rid of the car if one goes out – who knows? I hope she finds an answer. Maybe even get a spring out of an old cheap Goodwill couch to replace it?
    And as always – thanks for hosting!

  2. I’ve recovered furniture, but never fixed a broken spring. When our couch springs popped through the seat part of the couch a year os so ago (thanks to the energetic exertions of my toddlers), I put a piece of plywood cut to size on top of it, then put the cushions on top of that. It’s hardly noticeable unless you’re looking for it, and this has saved us needing to buy a new couch or live with something that you could feel springs poking out of. (I’m super frugal but deprivation isn’t something I’m into.) The couch is still nice looking and now it’s comfortable to sit on, too.

    1. My husband and I had a spring pop out of our couch and yes we fixed it! It was a fairly easy job, although we didn’t know what we were getting into. Not sure if your broken spring is in the back seat , ours was.

      We flipped it over and could see where they had stapled the fabric and carefully pulled the staples out. When we looked we found that the spring was not broken, just had popped out from behind the wooded piece that it usually coils behind. We popped the spring back into place and put a few heavy duty screws back into the wood and it has held for 2 years now! Just stapled the fabric (with a staple gun) back in place. Good luck – can’t hurt to try! Kellie

  3. The public library has books on upholstery repair. It is just like any skill… you can learn it and do it yourself. But it may not be “easy”! I took a class at our local community college and found it is not impossible but it is hard work and now I know why I want to pay someone to do it for me!! There may be some youtube videos, too. Basically, springs are tied down by hand and yours has probably come untied. If you have basic sewing skills, you can remove the muslin cover, retie the springs, and put the muslin back on. Hope this helps!

  4. I haven’t done spring repair, but I have reupholstered a glider rocker and matching glider footstool myself. If the broken spring is located within the cushions/underneath fabric, I can tell you this–don’t start pulling anything apart unless you own/are willing to buy a staple gun and the staples needed to put the upholstery back in place. Also, removing the upholstery is a one-person job, but you will need a second person to re-staple everything together. It is difficult to have the strength/number of hands required to simultaneously hold the fabric taut over the cushioning and staple it in place. I don’t know if this helps at all, but I hope that it does! Good luck with your project!

  5. If you mean the spring under the cushions- here is something I did- it didn’t “fix” the couch but it made it usable to sit on. I took the cushions off the couch and measured the area under where the cushions sit- some of my springs were poking up. I went to Home Depot or Lowes and got a piece of thin plywood and asked them to cut it to size. They usually have remnant pieces you can buy very cheap. Slide the wood on to the couch and replace the cushions- you want it a little smaller so it doesn’t poke out. This extended the life of my old couch until we were ready to buy a new one.

  6. I wish I had great ideas for couch repair, but I don’t. I am going to wait until coupons and promotions at JoAnne fabrics line up right and buy some fabric to sew slip covers with. We actually got our couch out of our neighbor’s yard about four years ago after it did not sell at a garage sale. The kids and cats have really trashed it. I have decided that it will not be replaced until we are debt free. We always pay our bills and have never recieved a call from a creditor, but by having something that I don’t like around, it makes me uncomfortable and reminds me to stay on track.

  7. when at loss, I google it or find a how to video on you tube. IF you ca not fix it, try craig’s list or free cycle! for a “new to you” couch!