Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Upcycled Denim Sofa Tissue Box Cover - A Tutorial

I'm a big fan of jeans and denim upcycles and have seen several sofas covered in old jeans that just look awesome. Since I don't have an old sofa lying around that needs covering, I thought I'd make a mini upcycled denim sofa for our living room - one that is very practical because it's also a tissue box cover!

I made it by adapting and adding to my own 

Here's how you can make your very own denim sofa tissue box cover:

First, collect some denim scraps of various colours and shades of denim from old jeans, shorts or skirts.

Since the measurements for the pieces needed for the tissue box cover are all a width of 12 cm (4.75") or less, I cut lots of rectangles 12 x 6 cm (4.75 x 2.5").
Then I arranged them in a pile making sure different colour shades were next to each other, then stitched them together along the long sides.

You will need a total length of 2 metres 13cm (84").That's about 36 rectangles in case you want to count!
Turn the strips over when you've sewed them together and press each seam open flat.

From these strips, cut the pieces needed for the sofa tissue box cover:

Top: 2 pieces 23 x 6.75cm (9 x 2.5")
Long sides:  2 pieces 23 x 12cm (9 x 4.75")
Short Sides: 2 pieces 12 x 12.5cm ( 4.75 x 5")
Sofa back and sides: 2 pieces 8 x 48cm (3.25" x 19")

First take the 2 thinner strips for the top of the tissue box.
Here the method is exactly the same as for the basic tissue box cover:

Take one top piece and turn over one long end a very small amount and stitch. Repeat with other top piece.

Now pin these two edges right side together. Place two pins where you want the opening for the tissues to be.

Then stitch together - leaving the opening between the pins.

Then open out and top stitch along either side of the seam:

Next the back and side arms of the sofa.
Take the two longest strips (8 x 48cm, 3.25 x 19")
Place them on top of each other right sides facing.
Pin up the two shorter sides and across the top. To make the top back of the sofa curved, I simply laid this piece next to one of the side pieces of the sofa and pinned, then stitched in an arch shape:

Then trip the seam close to your stitching and turn right sides out.
You can lay this on top of your cut pieces to see the sofa starting to take shape!

Now take one back and 2 side pieces and stitch together along the short (12cm  / 4.75") sides. Then lay your sofa back and arms down on top of this:

IMPORTANT: Leave a couple of gaps in your row of stitching here so you can stuff the sofa back and arms at the end.

Now pin and stitch the remaining top, and front pieces right sides together to form the box cover.
First lay the top part of the cover face down on the piece shown in the picture above. You have to kind of wrap the top sofa back and arms edges around 3 sides of the top. Pin and stitch.
Then the final front piece will fit into your remaining 3 edges to form the box cover.

Turn the cover right sides out, and stuff the sofa back and arms through the gaps you left in your stitching. You could use fibre fill stuffing, or simply cut up fabric scraps. I used filling from old cushions that had lost their shape and split!

Then hand-stitch the openings closed. You will need to stitch front, back and inside, so check carefully all holes have been sealed up!

To finish off the bottom of the cover, you can add a strip of denim for the 'skirt'. Either a simple denim strip with the edges turned under at the bottom to neaten, or you could use a jeans waistband cut off.  I happened to have a denim 'belt' from an old denim shirt that was the same width as a waistband. 
Pin and stitch this to the bottom of the box cover all the way around.

That's your sofa  tissue box cover finished.

I added a couple of simple cushions, sewing together some of the left over scraps of denim patchwork into rough rectangles and stuffing them.

So here is the finished sofa tissue box cover.

I didn't worry about matching up the patchwork piece seams - some did, some didn't. I liked the jumbled look!

I'm really pleased with my new denim sofa in our living room - even if it is just a small one!
For the Free Downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, there are over 100 free tutorials right here on Creating my way to Success to make all kinds of things for every level of sewing ability.

And for 3 more tutorials available exclusively to my monthly newsletter subscribers, 


  1. I would like to do that one day for my big seat !

  2. This is too stinkin' cute! I will have to give it a try.

  3. This is so cute and a great way to upcycle denim! Thanks for linking up at the Stitch It, Blog It, Share Link Party. I hope you’ll join us every Sunday night at 7 with more of your creative sewing projects.
    ~Bonnie @ Behind the Seams Sewing

    1. Thanks Bonnie, and thank you for hosting your lovely party!

  4. Hello Gorgeous! This looks incredible! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you tonight at 7 pm, so we can party with you! Lou Lou Girls

  5. This is just too cute! I want to make one or at least try to. lol I hope it is easy!

    1. Thanks Annette! Hope you do make one - feel free to ask if you have any questions or problems making it. I've tried to make the tutorial as clear as I can!

  6. Super-cute and clever use of scraps and the cutest tissue-box cover I've seen! I'm thinking of making one for my mom-in-law, she would love it. Thanks for this darling tutorial.

    1. Thanks so much Randi! Would love it if you send me a picture if you do make one!!


I love comments and try to respond to them all. Thanks for taking the time !