DIY Photography Sofa Prop | Leola PA – Part 1
I found a lovely sofa prop that I really wanted. The problem was it was sold in Europe. All the props I fall in love with are not in the US. With the recent vote to leave the EU the company was no longer shipping to the US. However, before all this happened, I decided that I could totally make that! I was determined to make my own with my own bit of style. That is the best part of making your own props. You do not want to be like the rest. Yes, you want to give clients the look you want, that their friends may have, but as an artist I need to put my own personal touch.
Here is how I made it! I made it all by myself. Pattern, materials, and labor all figured out with some frustration along the way.
DIY Sofa Prop Materials:
Sofa structure: 2 2×4′ MDF board, 5 L brackets, 4 chair legs, 4 screw plates for the chair legs
Sofa softlines: 2 yards vinyl/leather fabric, Padding. I purchased a king size thick comfort quilt batting. Extra fabric around house for throw pillows
Total Cost: $97 ($5.98 for soft vinyl and $10 for the quilt batting at a local fabric warehouse)
How To (Part 1):
I purchased MDF boards (mixture of clue and wood shavings) because they are STRONGER than solid wood. I definitely wanted this sofa prop to hold more an enough weight when it comes to kids. I went with the dimensions of the sofa I was looking to purchase. It was 40cm x 40cm by 80cm. I took one board and drew out 40cmx80cm. You can see in the below image the upper left corner the seat part of my sofa.
I then piled my crew on it to make sure more than one would fit on it. It was a hit for some, not for others.
Now for the top I tried a pattern with a more fanciful top, but didn’t like it due to the issue with making sofa arms and how they would figure into it. So I scraped it and went with the 40cm arch that the online pro one had. How I did that was I put a string on a pencil and drew an arch at 40cm. Simple and accurate.
After we cut out the bottom and back of the sofa and I do mean we; I was holding the board as my husband used the saw. I took my quilt batting and did a few layers for the softness I wanted. I then cut out my vinyl to size with enough of each to wrap around the board. Yes the batting too as you are going to have little legs and you don’t want them to hit the hard wooden edge. Also it will aid in wear and tear of the vinyl over time. My staple gun isn’t a heavy duty master one. It didn’t really secure through all the batting and the vinyl. As a result, I stapled only at the vinyl portion of the wrap around. I did not cut extra overlay on my batting therefore, it was easy to avoid and just staple the vinyl.
I wrapped both of the materials tightly over the edge and used my staple gun and started to secure the edges. I top was harder with the curve. You have to make sure to take a little at a time, and make cuts as needed to not have the top buckle and pucker. Also you will use a lot of staples for this curve as you want it to be smooth and secure. I actually enjoyed this part the most.
At this point of the process I was super excited how it was starting to turn out. I was creating a vision without any plans. My husband noticed the two pieces and commented how “it actually looks good”! I guess it is a good thing how I keep blowing his expectations out of the water with reality. He has a problem of not being able to see the final product from the pieces. It is a good thing he isn’t a photographer, since he wouldn’t be able to envision the final edited portrait.
Part 2 (coming soon)