I loved the look of plinth bases long before I knew what to call them (this blurb has a nice description and reference pictures if you’re not already familiar with the term), and even though they’ve been back in the trend spotlight for a while now, I’m still a huge fan.
When I was dreaming up Milo’s nursery ages ago (how is he already 14 months old?!), I knew I’d be taking heavy inspiration from Milo Baughman and his iconic plinth bases, and I also knew it couldn’t be THAT hard to create such a base on an existing sofa or love seat and save myself a few thousand bucks or more. So I found a little sofa I loved on Craigslist, enlisted the hubby’s help, and got the look I wanted for about $40 total. (Yes, that includes the $20 price of the love seat. HOLLA.)
I’ve had people ask for a tutorial, and when my friend Jen kindly pointed out she’s been looking all over the internet for such a tutorial and WHY HADN’T I JUST POSTED SOMETHING ALREADY, I said fine. Please keep in mind I’m more of a “recipe-as-guideline” type of girl, so my DIY instructions will be more of that style – a guideline with helpful tips, but hopefully easily customizable to your specific situation/piece.
Also keep in mind – this was a first-time experiment that ended up working well for what we wanted, but if I were doing it again, I’d make a few changes:
1) I’d factor in the curve of the sofa back and create a more stable base – the way ours is, there’s less support under the back edge, so it tips back a bit more easily than most sofas. Maybe a hexagonal back edge to the plinth?
2) While I love the look of the brass base and the contact paper was a cheap and easy option, it’s not really very durable, so if you’re moving the piece around a lot there’s a good chance it won’t hold up – finishing the wood, painting the base, or using actual brass sheeting would make the base a lot more durable.
3) I would’ve like the width of the plinth to be just a bit wider so the overall effect is a bit more squat looking, but that’s just aesthetic preference, and we actually made the base the width it is so we could have it attach as far back as possible for max support given the curved sofa back (see item 1).
Sadly, I don’t have any pics of me covering the base with the brass contact paper, but it was fairly straightforward. Always feel free to reach out and ask me any specifics. If you’re looking for something to print out and keep next to you while you tackle your own plinth base, I created a little step by step PDF for the process HERE. If you attempt one of your own, make sure to let me know!