Seriously Cool DIY: Sprout a Sofa

created at: 06/13/2011

How's this for yard art?  I'm absolutely certain the Jones' next door don't have a grass couch in their backyard.  This puts a whole new meaning on "green-living."   

The people at ReadyMade give a detailed how-to on their website.  It requires some work and getting a bit dirty, but I'm thinking it would be totally worth it to make a few of these before a big party, or other outdoor event. 

I just don't want to be in charge of all that trimming...

NB - Sadly, ReadyMade is no more, and the link above is broken. Here's the archived snapshot from the Internet Archive

Originally posted by ReadyMade   
Project by Greg Tate; photos by Brian Slaughter

"This lush greenery is totally organic, requires no synthetic finishes, and can be brought to life, Golem-style, from salvaged dirt. St. Augustine tiles create a seamless, living upholstery, or try wheatgrass for a durable alternative. Ask your nursery about planting tips unique to your sod. Note: Couch may require mowing."



Step 1

Before you begin, figure the dirt you need by multiplying the dimensions of the couch you plan to make (ours was 8x4x4 feet, or 128 cubic feet). Next, put on some old clothes-things are going to get messy-and locate a suitable spot. Placement is key: There'll be no moving once you've begun. Clear the area of grass and weeds until you have a level swath of dirt, then use a stick to sketch the shape of the couch into the dirt with a stick.

Step 2

Drive the wood stakes into the ground along the perimeter of your sofa-shaped sketch, every 18 inches or so, to a depth of about 12 inches. These will secure the form.

Step 3

Attach the waferboard to the stakes to create the walls of the form. Use a handsaw to trim the waferboard to size. Drive in a nail every 4 inches along each stake to secure the boards.

Step 4

Start shoveling dirt into the form. Here's where things get messy. Once a foot of dirt is in place, water lightly and compress by stomping around on top of it.

Step 5

Once the basic shape is in place and secure, carefully remove the form works.

Step 6

Mold the shape to your liking. Remove any loose debris and sprinkle the sofa and other areas you'll be sodding with a healthy layer of fertilizer and gypsite. Water lightly.

Step 7

For extra support, lay strips of poultry netting over the arms and back.

Step 8

Lay the sod. Press down the edges to create a smooth surface clear to the ground. Stagger the rows so the seams don't fall in a line, and use chopsticks or planting stakes to keep them in place over the wire.

Step 9

During the next few weeks, water your sofa often, soaking it thoroughly. Once the sod has taken root, remove the chopsticks or planting stakes. Trim as needed.

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Paulette Spainhour on May 17, 2014:

I need directions to make ,moss balls! Please help!!!!

Anonymous on Jul 20, 2013:

If you do a google search for "sod sofa" - you'll get more versions and instructions than you can count!

Heather on Jun 26, 2013:

So, Judy....  If you have that issue, can you share?  I can't find the instructions anywhere since it's out of print.

Judy Bake on Jun 21, 2013:

I had that issue of Readymade years ago, wanted to make it and still have not- maybe this summer. I think it was dirt, chicken wire and sod. (pretty easy) I've been searching for DIY instructions- some reccomending bricks for the shape, dirt and grass seed. I think the more pricey ready made looked more finished (like in this photo).

Sarah on Jun 17, 2013:

So, Ready Made is out of print.  Where can I find the directions?  I've been wanting to make one of these.

Anonymous on May 02, 2013:


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