I’ve had my eye on this wooden accent since I pinned it late last year, never truly knowing how the original artist BlisscraftandBrazen makes their beautiful hardwood accents so charming and well-constructed. Woodworking is an amazing skill. I want to be their student/best friend.
See, our couch has little squared-off arms that would nicely fit what one might call an arm rest, a couch sleeve, a built-in side table, a couch wrap, etc.
I decided to try making my own sweet little couch-arm-wrap as a DIY project around the week that my Kreg Jig arrived, not actually realizing until I did some test runs with this project in mind that beveled edges and a Kreg Jig are not BFF. The fact is, a Kreg Jig is not designed to attach two beveled boards together into a right angle; there simply isn’t enough wood for a secure connection if it isn’t a lap joint. And I didn’t want a lap-type joint. I wanted what the other kids were buying for $250.
I decided to give it a go my own way, buying a large piece of lovely Aspen on the cheap from Lowe’s (it was only $15 for a 15″ x 36″ x 3/4″ piece of clean, pre-sanded and factory-sealed panel lumber). We had some 8-10″ boards in a scrap pile at home which may have sufficed perfectly, but I wanted something to wrap around the arm of our own couch to provide enough surface area for, say, a bowl of ice cream, a book, or even the iPad or a laptop. The wider the board, the better I expected the proportion to the deep arm to be. This was the best piece of wood for the value, and I thought it would be a good place to start (only upgrading to something like premium plywood or cedar if this one went really, really well).
The aspen panel’s 15″ width was too large to go through our chop saw in one clean cut (and we have a single bevel, not double bevel, so I couldn’t even make it happen in two cuts boohoo). Plan B involved our new-to-us-old-in-general table saw that Pete’s Dad handed down to us last spring.
In hindsight, a fresh, fine-toothed blade would have given us a better finish, but after a few test runs we were able to cut the boards with 45-degree bevels without cutting off any fingies or setting the house on fire. Aspen seems very susceptible to burnage, but I know very little about this type of wood. Or any, honestly. But it looks burny.
To connect the pieces together, I tapped into some spare galvanized L-brackets and secured the beveled angles together as tightly as I could in four places. As shown in this next picture, the entire wrap-couch-thing stands 12″ high and 6.5″ wide. Damn you, BlisscraftandBrazen, you make it look so easy, proving you are truly worth the cost.
I stained ours a dark, rich espresso brown using a General Finishes water-based stain, a decision that seemed fitting considering how much dark brown we have in our living room. After two coats and a few days in the garage, I brought our new little arm shelf inside to test her out.
It’s not perfect by any means, but for $15 and some leftover stain, it’s pretty cute. Functional too. Note: I only stained and polyed the outside in fear of it rubbing off onto the couch, but now I see I need to do at least a little of the inside because you can still see light wood edges if you look closely.
Alright professional and fellow wanna-be woodworkers, what’s a better way to connect beveled edges? Divulge your secrets. Maybe it’s time to take a class.