The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell premiered on Netflix in October of 2018. As a spooky take on a DIY TV show, the topics covered involved ghoulish baked goods and gothic fashion. But, on her YouTube channel, McConnell tackles some very interesting home DIYs, like for instance the classic “grandma’s couch” in itchy plaid. McConell purchased the pull-out sofa off of Craigslist for $100 as a spare bed for her guest bedroom. This is the type of couch we’ve all slept on before, most notably at the homes of relatives. But, with some really creative thinking, she transforms the sofa into something truly out of this world.
In order to give the sofa a new look, it needed to be reupholstered. McConnell took off all the old plaid fabric and took out the bed assembly while she was at it.
Next she worked on making the bones of the piece have more appealing lines. First she took off a little bit of each of the four corners of the sofa with a jigsaw.
Next she re-shaped the back of the sofa but cutting out the springs, then reinforcing the back with more wood, and then cutting a new shape into the existing frame. The overall look is like the sofa had been manufactured that way to start with! By cutting a dip in the middle of the sofa back, she created a double camelback look, something which has roots in the world of 1800s design.
Then the old padding had to be completely removed. As we all know old foam padding can be a real nightmare to work with, especially when it starts to degrade into dust or to become curiously compacted and hard. Neither is a great sign of comfort to come.
McConnell then created some fabric-covered buttons to create a tufted look. The intent behind this trick was to make something which looked quite ’70s look like it could be from the Victorian era.
The next step was to reupholster the sofa, complete with braided trim, in a neutral chenille fabric.
The final step she used a jigsaw and a Dremel to create custom wood pieces in poplar for the back of her sofa. These pieces she drew out, cut, and then carved to create an intricate serpent design. These stained and polished pieces were then attached to the finished frame for a completely custom gothic pull-out sofa.
There’s a very good reason that her fans call her the “goth Martha Stewart” since her creation definitely draws on some other-worldly design elements. While it’s a far cry from the couch in many a relative’s basement, there is something almost haunted house about the newly made-over sofa which is giving off some equally vintage qualities.
It’s hard to believe that it’s the same couch as the plaid one she started out with! Have a look at how it all comes together in the video below.