DIY lawn couch for sweet summer lounging

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How much oxygen did your furniture produce today? If it’s beautiful outside, wouldn’t you rather be sitting in the backyard than on your couch indoors? Now you can have the best of both worlds, and sculpt lawn furniture from the lawn itself, with this Instructables guide to growing a sod-couch.


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Summer is just around the corner, and there’s no better way to enjoy those sweet summer days than to loll around outside in the sunshine. Although there are many different kinds of outdoor furniture that you can put to good use, nothing beats the feeling of cool grass against bare skin, and one of the best ways to enjoy that is with a lounge-able grass couch.

What You’ll Need:

  • A base for your couch: brick, stone, cardboard, or paper bricks
  • Garden soil
  • Sod

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Step 1: Create a Base

This is where you determine how big you want your couch to be. It can be as small as a child’s armchair or large enough to seat your entire family. Use your building materials to mark out the edges, then build upwards to create a basic framework. The video tutorial above uses bricks as the base for your sod couch, but you can also build a frame with interlocking slices of cardboard. Note that the latter will biodegrade over time so your sofa will get a bit compacted and droopy, so if you’d like a longer-lasting piece, use bricks.

Step 2: Cover it with Mud

Now the garden soil comes into play. You can use repurposed soil from other people’s yard projects, or just use basic garden soil from a local greenhouse or garden center. Mix the soil with enough water to make it damp, not runny, and then generously cover the frame with it. If you’re using cardboard as your base, you’ll want to pour mud into all the different nooks for stability. It’s good to slather on a good few inches of mud so it’s ridiculously comfortable when you sprawl all over it.

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Step 3: Sod It

Some tutorials suggest that you cover the couch with grass seed, and that’s definitely an option if you start the couch project in spring and are content to let the grass grow for several weeks, but for instant gratification, sod strips are best. Lay the strips onto the couch one at a time, cutting them to shape as needed so they interlock tightly. Once covered, use a hose to water the couch thoroughly, and then refrain from lying on it for a couple of days so the grass can root properly. After that, you can roll all over it to your heart’s content.

Your green backyard couch will be completely organic and environmentally friendly, and you don’t have to worry about whether it was created ethically, or if it’s releasing weird chemicals into the atmosphere. Remember to water it regularly, and it’ll also need regular trims: a simple pair of hedge shears do the trick nicely. Enjoy!

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2 Comments

  1. Inhabitat » GRASS... November 16, 2006 at 6:57 pm

    […] If you happen to be in San Francisco this Friday, November 17th, take a moment to stop and smell the fresh cut grass, or better yet, have a seat on one of the four real grass couches in and around the Ferry Building and Justin Herman Plaza. The couches are part of a series of interactive green installations celebrating the launch of a new website, http://www.letsgreenthiscity.com. You may remember this sod grass couch from a Readymade How-To that was published back in 2005. Well, the sod couch is back and better than ever, and this time its taking over the streets of San Francisco. […]

  2. Sprinklers July 19, 2006 at 7:25 pm

    Whoa! That’s pretty crazy. I just wonder how comfortable they are?

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