I think anyone with small children or a home full of animals can attest that furniture always pays the price. My poor couch has seen much better days. We adopted a second kitten this summer, and he likes to hop up on the couch by the armrest. Which meant tiny little tears in the “pleather”. For some reason it was like a magnet for my baby, who ended up tearing off huge chunks of the fabric all over the armrest. It’s so patchy now, and looks horrible.
To hide the damage as well as prevent more, I decided to try out using up some wood scraps from the Chunky X Dining Table and make a wood sleeve to fit over the armrest. I’ve seen these go for upwards of 70 dollars, but this one was free, and can be built for about $25 with new lumber. I decided to make mine with “pockets” to corral remotes, wipes, coasters, and my e-reader. It’s so handy to have that all available now! Plus it’s a great spot for a snack and a drink. The good thing is that it’s already prevented further damage, so perhaps I can keep up the illusion that the couch is mostly undamaged. Just don’t look at the cushions. Like, at all. Thanks 😉
These supplies are based on my couch arm dimensions, which is roughly 11″ wide. If you have a thinner arm, replace the 1×12 with a thinner board, like a 1×10 or 1×8, or even smaller. If you have a 1×8 or below for the main components, be sure to also size down the 1×8 outer board that makes up the “pocket” portion of the sleeve.
• 1 – 1x12x6′
• 1 – 1x3x4′
• 1 – 1x8x2′
• 1 1/4″ screws and glue
• 3 – 1×12 @ 23″
• 1 – 1×8 @ 23″
• 1 – 1×3 @ 23″
• 3 – 1×3 @ 6 1/4″
Start by drilling pocket holes on one side of each side board. Attach onto the top board with screws and glue.
Drill pocket holes going in each direction of the 23″ 1×3 board. Use screws and glue to attach it to the 1×8 board.
Use pocket holes, screws and glue to add in your 1×3 dividers. You can always add more, if you would like more pockets. I drilled one into the bottom 1×3 and one into the top of the 1×8.
Typically I like to assemble then finish, but since I had such a narrow space I thought it would be wise to finish the piece out separately before assembling the pocket. I decided not to stain the underside completely, I just covered the edges. It stays unexposed. I also went ahead and let the stain cure and followed it up with two coats of polycrylic since I have messy kids. It’s already been great to easily wipe up yogurt spills and errant markers.
Use glue and screws to attach the pocket to the bottom of your sleeve. Then pre-drill a hole and sink in two screws from the inside of your sleeve, into the top of the end of the pocket section. This way no hardware will be exposed, but the pocket is secured at the bottom and top of those end dividers.
That’s it! You’re finished. Slide it over your arm and enjoy your new hang-out spot.