Tutorial on how to build these SUPER sturdy and adorable Mod Kid's Chairs... a Land of Nod Knock-off! {Sawdust & Embryos}

Our couch-hunting saga has a happy ending!

As you know, we’ve been on the hunt for the perfect couch ever since our ‘foster couch’ went to be with it’s forever family (my sister’s college apartment). We were fairly prepared, because we knew we’d be needing a couch and thus started saving our pennies… but when the time came, FOR THE LIFE OF US we couldn’t find a couch we liked.

We wanted something with:

  • clean lines (maybe a mid-century feel?)
  • fairly long to accommodate the giant hubs
  • neutral in color (gray or tan)

We started out with a budget of $600, but as time wore on… the longer it took to find the perfect couch, the bigger our budget got!

We’ve been to countless furniture stores, but all the couches seemed super small. It’s like they make couches almost the size of loveseats these days. Whatever happened to the 7-foot couches they made in the old days? Like my friend Megan’s gorgeous vintage davenport.

Sawdust and Embryos

Many of you suggested the KARLSTAD couch from IKEA, and while it had all the requirements we needed (price, size, color), the closest IKEA is about 4 hours away (tragedy, I know). We just couldn’t bring ourselves to drive to another state to buy a couch and haul it back.


At this point, we had close to $900 in our ‘couch fund’, and were getting sick and tired of not having a couch!

Sawdust and Embryos

You might be wondering… WHY DON’T YOU JUST BUY A SECTIONAL?

Well I’ll tell you. We ALMOST did! But the fact is… because of the way our doorways are placed in the living room, there is only one corner the sectional could work without covering a doorway. This BITES because not only does this limit our rearranging options (we LOVE rearranging!), but it would also cover our gorgeous bay window. Well… BOTH windows even.

Living Room {Sawdust and Embryos}

Out of pure desperation, we ALMOST bought this sectional from Homemmaker’s in Des Moines (below). We liked the color and the fact that the bonded leather would clean up easily with the toddlers. AND it was on clearance! But the ‘long end’ of the sectional was on the WRONG SIDE, and would totally cover up our newly stripped/stained front door by about 3 inches. Wa wa wa….

Sawdust & Embryos

This is where I curl up on an over-priced orange sectional and cry myself to sleep.

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It felt like we had exhausted ALL POSSIBILITIES for the perfect couch. We had been to a dozen furniture stores, crunched numbers, contemplated fabrics and colors, and rescued table lamps from from the anxious paws of impatient toddlers.

my i phone 084

As a last resort, I checked craigslist the night before we were heading to Des Moines for something completely unrelated. I usually strike out on craigslist. And a couch wouldn’t normally be something I would want to purchased in used condition. But I was desperate and at my wits end.

After sifting through countless dumpy sectionals and flea infested nastiness, I came upon this one. I liked the neutral-ness, and it SEEMED like it had clean lines… but what a weird angle to take a pic. Amiright?

THE ONE! {Sawdust and Embryos}

It was worth calling about… because what do we have to lose? Worst case scenario is throw away 10 minutes stopping in to their house only to find out that we hate it.

I called the number listed. The gentleman seemed pleasant on the phone, and struck me as potentially elderly. My first question (after confirming it was a smoke-free home) was: HOW LONG IS IT?

Answer? One HUNDRED inches!

The longest non-sectional couch we had found at ANY of the dozen furniture stores we’d been to was 84 inches. My interest was piqued to say the least!

The next day, we showed up at their house. This elderly couple was ADORABLE. Their house was IMACULATE. And the couch was PERFECT. (and they have a set of adult twins… instant connection!).

And here’s the kicker… of our $900 couch-budget, we spent $150. Pinch me now.

Living room with NEW (ish) couch! {Sawdust and Embryos}

I mean we freaking LOVE IT! We put it on the north wall for now. We still need to get curtains up (OBVIOUSLY), and we’re still in the process of figuring out exactly how to arrange things on our ‘crown molding shelf’, but you get the idea, right? (This is two separate images below FYI… I know it looks weird. HA!)


'New' couch for our living room! {Sawdust and Embryos}

Due to the fact that we have TWO two-year-olds, and hopefully more baby (ies?) coming soon, we know that it’s probably good that we didn’t spend close to $1000 on a couch. We were originally wanting a tufted-back couch, because we wanted to avoid floofy/lumpy back cushions that would eventually look SAD, but these are pretty firm! And even if they do become lumpy, we’ll know that this couch is just to get us through these years of young children. And when we send all our kids off to school, we can splurge start the couch search ALL OVER. *sigh*

New Couch! {Sawdust and Embryos}

Shortly after the above pic was taken, we implemented a no-beverages-on-the-couch policy.

OH! And just to give you an idea of just how long 100 inches is… this man-boy is 6’8” tall.


This concludes the saga of our couch-hunting endeavors! We love a happy ending. And LOVE our ‘new’ couch even more! Have you scored an unexpected treasure on craigslist? Or a garage sale? Do you love a good bargain like me? Of course you do! Thanks for being excited for us!

Bethany {Sawdust and Embryos}

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  • PJ @ Planned in Pencil

    SA-WEET! Is there anything better than a good craigslist find, I think not! We just got the worlds best puppy on craigslist, for free. Best craigslist find ever!

  • Anonymous

    Awesome…awesome…and AWESOME!!

  • Kenz @ Interiors by Kenz

    I love love love it! The color, texture, and length is perfect. It suits your house and family very well. And the price?! Unbeatable. You scored big time!

  • Ann Marie @ Twice Lovely

    All your patience and hard work was rewarded! What a great story! Glad the man-boy can spread out. :)

  • zolzetka

    looks great ! awesome buy !

  • Anonymous

    It looks perfect and it was meant to be…good job!

  • SandyQuilts

    Love it. The girls look adorable. It's very similar to our 2yr old couch … which cost a lot more than $150.

  • Nicole Goodwin


  • Niki Weaver

    How awesome! We have a CL couch too, with the same mindset that it's purpose is to get us through the little kiddos years. One thing I'd like to share. A very good upholsterer here in Iowa City wrote an article on purchasing new couches and it opened my eyes to how poor the construction of furniture is these days. If purchasing a couch post 1070's, she said you can expect to get as many years as hundreds of dollars you spend. IE, a $600 dollar couch will generally last @ 6 years, a $1000 couch will last @ 10. Unless you go super high end, this is a pretty good rule of thumb. Finding an older piece for a steal and paying to have it reupholstered is well worth the money if you can't afford to splurge on a $2000-$3000+ couch. Just a tip for all of us CL lovers if you ever see an older piece with great lines and hideous fabric! :)

  • Tricia @ The Domestic Fringe

    That's awesome and the price is amazing! Seriously, you got a great deal. So glad you found something that's perfect for you.


  • Bethany Wellman

    The couch looks amazing in your living room! How lucky to snatch up such a great CL find! I love reading your blog, and I ALSO have a husband who is 6'8''. I will def keep the 100'' goal in mind for when we buy our own coach!

  • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

    OMG that's crazy! And we have the same name!! Is your middle name Joy? :)

  • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

    That's very interesting Niki… and I'm NOT surprised. It seems all furniture is not built very well these days. Such a tragedy. I'm going to need to learn some reupholstering skills soon!

  • Jennifer MIller

    Awesome. God has a plan even when it comes to couches… Yeah! That thing looks brand new!

  • Anonymous

    This is my first comment, although I've read and enjoyed your blog for quite a while now. You are just the CUTEST family ever! I love your girls and marvel at how different they are from each other even though they shared a womb. The couch is perfect and I bet you'll get many years of use from it.

  • Mary Cole

    Wow, that sofa looks totally different in your living room than in the ad! Good thing you went and checked it out!

  • Vikki

    Wow, what a score on a great looking couch, and the price!!! Your "sisters" are so adorable. I love looking at your blog if for no other reason to see their pictures and read about their antics. I don't have a great Craig's List story but the one at this link is a riot.
    I so enjoy your postings. Vikki in VA

  • HappytPumpkin

    I was looking everywhere for a new small couch. We are in an apartment and dont need anything big. I searched everywhere and the cheapest thing was like $500. Well I drove by a store that was going out of business and they had a red leather couch sitting outside for $200 obo. So I went in and asked about it, she said there was a scratch on it so I offered her $40 and she was fine with it. It was a great little sofa.

  • Dawn MacLennan

    Out of all that (congrats on the couch btw)…more babies on the way????? 😉

  • Dawn MacLennan

    Out of all that (congrats on the couch btw)…more babies on the way????? 😉

  • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

    You are so sweet! Thanks for breaking your silence! Yes, the girls are SO DIFFERENT! It's very interesting to watch them grow and become more and more their own little person… despite us raising them the same exact way. :)

  • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

    'Antics' is the perfect word. :) And I LOVE Victoria's blog too! I've read that post several times… every time I need a good laugh. She's HILARIOUS!

  • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

    What a great story! I get such a thrill out of a good bargain!

  • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

    Hehe… that would be nice, wouldn't it? We're open to an 'accident', but NO… definitely not pregnant at the moment. But we do still have two precious frozen embryos that we think of often! Hopefully in the next year or two… fingers crossed!

  • Katy Morgan (Katy in a Corner)

    You know what the take-away was for me? "HOLY COW, her husband is 6'8?" Shesh! That's very, very tall. And your couch is very, very nice. Congrats!

  • Katy Morgan (Katy in a Corner)

    Ugh. Correcting my grammar here: "…6'8"?" I can't help myself.

  • LittleMyoo

    Congrats on your killer find!!!


  • Cjko

    Congrats, It looks great. I'm actually going to pick up a round coffee table from craigslist today. I'm making it into a tufted ottoman. So excited about it.

  • runtspickins

    What?! That's amazing!! I admit that Craigslist is probably not a place I would look for upholstered furniture BUT this seems like a major score!


  • Renee

    What a great story and find!!! And how wonderful that it fits your husband! I love a deal, I can't even begin to tell my stories…such an exciting life when you see the potential where others fear to tread. Good job…and your patience is amazing!

  • Jessica @ Dear Emmeline

    CL can definitely turn up some winners if you’re willing to sift! good thing you held out!

  • Jacquie

    HOLY CRAP I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THE COUCH!! I have been following your blog for quite some time, and I almost peed when I saw you guys got a couch! Is it weird/creepy to know that people you’ve never met are so invested in your couch? I mean this in the kindest way possible. :) Thanks so much for sharing with me, one of your (many) devoted readers. Cheers!

  • Kimber

    I love CL finds! My house is full of them! Last night I went out to homedepot to look for one of those fireplace/entertainment centers and I asked a worker if they came in white in store or if I would have to order online and he said “only online, but if you’re willing to get a different color, someone just returned a very nice electric fireplace and I’ll give it to you for the same price” so I looked at it and it was a cherry finish but it was so much better than the one I was originally going to get and it was marked at $699 and he sold it to me for $299!!! Best deal ever!

  • Christine

    I laughed out loud at your couch hunting dilemma. I went through the same thing for months after a house fire. My (now ex-)DH was 6’5″ and 240 lbs. Not only was length an issue, support and the fact he was careless and messy. Besides 240 lbs of crap I got rid of in the divorce (I think my inner voice is getting away from me), I am able to look at furniture for ME. 5’2″. Everything not ruined and too big is GONE. Given away to large people. I love my little house and my diminutive furniture! But I sure get what you went through! I don’t blame someone for wanting to be able to relax. :)

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  • Melody

    I am so happy to see this post! I just stumbled onto your blog, and we are also currently on the never-ending couch hunt. 6 or so years ago I bought a reclining couch when I lived on my own, and it has definitely not held up, so for the past TWO years I’ve been looking around at other couches and they all seem terrible. My issue is I want a couch that’s wide as well long, so I have support all the way to my knees. What I really want is my mom’s couch (it was her “splurge” couch when all her kids were grown up 14 years ago, and it’s in GREAT shape!), and nothing I have found comes even close, and my husband gets mad when I look on CL for couches. I’ll have to show him this to prove happy endings do exist on craigslist!!

    • Bethany @ Sawdust and Embryos

      Isn’t it so weird how couches are manufactured to be so small these days? We definitely got lucky… Looking at Craigslist was a last resort. :)