Clawfoot Bathtub Couch: 12 Steps to a Charming Sitting

Take a look at this adorable clawfoot bathtub couch!
Take a look at this adorable clawfoot bathtub couch!

You’ve probably seen this in the movies. If you’re a big Audrey Hepburn fan then you’ll know. The clawfoot bathtub couch first appeared in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Since then, clawfoot bathtub couch furniture has captured the attention of the world.

There have been many reproductions of the couch and some sell for more than a thousand dollars. But would you really pay that much when it’s possible to make one of your own?

First, you have to get your hands on a used clawfoot tub. Buying a new tub is expensive. You’ll spend the same amount of money when you buy a clawfoot tub couch. You will have to make do with a used one. When you have it already, the rest of the tools and materials are easier to find.

A DIY clawfoot bathtub couch is a great way to bring life to a boring living room.
A DIY clawfoot bathtub couch is a great way to bring life to a boring living room.

This great DIY project lets you bring a piece of movie history to your home.

Crafting a Clawfoot Bathtub Couch


  • used clawfoot tub
  • primer coat
  • enamel-based paint
  • 120/220/400 grit sandpaper
  • nuts and flange washers
  • abrasive cleaner with an abrasive pad
  • epoxy filler
  • painter’s tape
  • epoxy primekote
  • Interlux Gloss White Brightside Polyurethane Paint
  • 4″ thick furniture foam
  • the fabric of your choice


  • sandblaster
  • permanent marker
  • angle grinder
  • masonry abrasive cutting wheel
  • metal cutting disc
  • standard grinding disc
  • disposable chip brush
  • paintbrush
  • electric carving knife
  • putty knife
  • sander
  • sewing machine
  • safety gear (heavy work pants, closed-toe shoes, leather welding jacket, face shield, respirator, ear protection, eye protection, hat/helmet)



  1. Safety First: Before beginning, ensure you are fully equipped with safety gear, including heavy work pants, closed-toe shoes, a leather welding jacket, a face shield, a respirator, ear protection, eye protection, and a hat or helmet to protect yourself from potential hazards.
  2. Cleaning the Tub: Start by thoroughly cleaning the used clawfoot tub with an abrasive cleaner and pad. This step ensures that the surface is free from dirt, grime, and rust, providing a clean slate for your project.

Cutting and Sanding

  1. Marking the Cut: Use a permanent marker to outline where you will cut the tub to create the couch’s opening. Be precise and consider the final seating area and backrest angle.
  2. Cutting the Tub: Equip your angle grinder with a masonry abrasive cutting wheel or metal cutting disc, and carefully cut along the marked line. This step requires patience and precision to ensure a smooth, even cut.
  3. Sanding Edges: Switch to a standard grinding disc to smooth out any rough edges along the cut. Follow up with 120, 220, and finally 400 grit sandpaper for a polished finish.

Priming and Painting

  1. Applying Primer: Cover areas not to be painted with painter’s tape, then apply a coat of primer to prepare the tub for painting. Epoxy primekote works well as a base for the enamel-based paint.
  2. Painting the Tub: Once the primer is dry, apply your chosen enamel-based paint, followed by Interlux Gloss White Brightside Polyurethane Paint for a durable and glossy finish. Use a paintbrush for detailed areas and a disposable chip brush for broader surfaces. Allow ample drying time.


  1. Preparing the Foam: Measure and cut the 4″ thick furniture foam to fit the base of the tub, using an electric carving knife for precision.
  2. Fabric Covering: Choose a fabric that complements your decor and use a sewing machine to tailor a cover for the foam, creating a comfortable and attractive seating surface.
  3. Securing the Foam: Once covered, position the foam inside the tub and secure it, if necessary, with adhesive or by sewing fabric flaps that can be attached to the tub with nuts and flange washers.

Final Touches

  1. Epoxy Filling: Use epoxy filler to address any imperfections or gaps in the tub, ensuring a smooth and flawless appearance.
  2. Assembly and Inspection: Assemble any additional elements, such as legs or custom features, and conduct a thorough inspection to ensure everything is securely fastened and finished to a high standard.

History and Popularity of Clawfoot Bathtub Couches

The allure of clawfoot bathtub couches transcends mere furniture, embodying a fusion of creativity, history, and style. This unique piece of furniture, which cleverly repurposes the classic clawfoot bathtub into a functional and stylish couch, has captured the imagination of homeowners and designers alike. Its origins and rise to popularity reveal a fascinating journey from functional bathware to iconic home decor.

Origins of the Clawfoot Bathtub Couch

The clawfoot bathtub couch made its most notable early appearance in the 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” where Audrey Hepburn’s character, Holly Golightly, elegantly lounges on one, showcasing its unique charm and versatility. This memorable scene catapulted the clawfoot bathtub couch from a novel idea into a symbol of chic interior design. The concept hinges on the transformation of clawfoot bathtubs dating back to the late 19th century, known for their timeless design and luxury appeal.

A Rise in Popularity

The clawfoot bathtub couch’s rise to popularity can be attributed to its blend of vintage charm and contemporary appeal. It appeals to those looking to infuse their living spaces with a touch of uniqueness and history. The couch has become a favorite among DIY enthusiasts and professional designers, who value its aesthetic appeal and the opportunity it presents for creative expression.

The Clawfoot Bathtub Couch in Modern Media

Beyond its cinematic debut, the clawfoot bathtub couch has appeared in various media forms, further solidifying its place in popular culture. Magazines, television shows, and social media platforms have featured the couch, showcasing its versatility in different decor settings. These appearances have inspired new fans to embrace the clawfoot bathtub couch as a statement piece in their homes.

The Enduring Appeal

The enduring appeal of the clawfoot bathtub couch lies in its unique combination of form and function. It serves as a seating option and a conversation starter, embodying a sense of whimsy and inventiveness. The clawfoot bathtub couch stands out for its ability to transform a traditional bathroom fixture into a centerpiece of living room decor, bridging the gap between old and new.

The history and popularity of the clawfoot bathtub couch highlight its journey from a quirky design concept to a beloved home decor trend. Its unique blend of historical significance, aesthetic appeal, and versatility continues to captivate the hearts of those looking to add a touch of creativity to their living spaces. 

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Design Ideas and Inspiration

With its unique blend of historical charm and modern flair, the clawfoot bathtub couch offers a canvas for creativity and personal expression in home decor. This piece serves as a functional piece of furniture and a statement piece that can transform any living space. Drawing inspiration from various design themes can help you create a clawfoot bathtub couch that perfectly matches your style and home aesthetic. 

Here are some design ideas and inspirations to guide you in crafting your masterpiece.

Vintage Elegance

Embrace the intrinsic vintage appeal of the clawfoot bathtub couch by incorporating elements that highlight its classic beauty. Think of soft, pastel colors, floral patterns, or even a monochromatic scheme with a glossy finish to pay homage to the era of its origin. 

Pairing the couch with antique accessories, such as a vintage throw pillow or an heirloom rug, can further enhance its historic charm, making it a perfect fit for spaces celebrating the elegance of bygone eras.

Modern Chic

For a more contemporary look, consider painting your clawfoot bathtub couch in bold, vibrant colors. A sleek black or a striking red can transform the tub into a modern chic centerpiece. 

Complementing the couch with minimalist decor and clean lines can help create a sophisticated space that balances the old-world charm of the clawfoot bathtub with modern design principles. Utilizing materials such as metallic paints or incorporating geometric patterns can also add a modern twist to the classic piece.

Bohemian Rhapsody

The clawfoot bathtub couch is a fantastic addition to a bohemian-styled space, where eclectic decor and a mix of patterns and colors reign supreme. Opt for warm, earthy tones or bright, saturated colors to paint the tub, and choose cushions and fabrics that feature ethnic prints, fringes, or embroidery. 

Adding plants, hanging macrame, or a colorful area rug can tie the bohemian look together, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere that celebrates creativity and freedom of expression.

Coastal Retreat

Create a serene, coastal-inspired oasis by incorporating a clawfoot bathtub couch into your decor. Painting the tub in shades of blue or white and accessorizing with marine-themed cushions or throws can evoke the tranquility of the beach. 

Natural textures like jute, rattan, or driftwood accents can complement the couch, enhancing the overall coastal vibe of the space. This design idea is perfect for those looking to create a peaceful retreat that reminds them of the soothing embrace of the sea.

Industrial Edge

For those who prefer an edgier aesthetic, the clawfoot bathtub couch can be adapted to fit an industrial-style interior. Consider preserving the raw, cast-iron look or opting for a matte black finish to emphasize the industrial feel. 

Pairing the couch with exposed brick, metal accents, and minimalist furniture can create a cohesive look that exudes strength and sophistication. The contrast between the rugged industrial elements and the smooth lines of the bathtub creates a dynamic and visually interesting space.

The clawfoot bathtub furniture offers endless possibilities for customization and creativity. Whether you’re drawn to the elegance of vintage decor, the simplicity of modern design, the eclectic charm of bohemian style, the tranquility of coastal themes, or the boldness of industrial aesthetics, there’s a way to incorporate this unique piece into your home.

Customization and Personalization Tips

Transforming a clawfoot bathtub into a couch is not just about creating a piece of furniture; it’s about expressing individuality and style. The process of customization and personalization allows each clawfoot bathtub couch to tell its own story, reflecting its creator’s personality and aesthetic preferences. Here are some tips and ideas to help you make your clawfoot bathtub couch uniquely yours.

Choose Your Theme

Working on upcycling a clawfoot bathtub into a couch is an exciting venture that begins with selecting a theme or style that truly speaks to your aesthetic. This initial step is crucial as it sets the tone for the entire project. If vintage elegance captivates your heart, you might envision your clawfoot bathtub couch with intricate patterns, soft pastel colors, and classic fabrics that evoke a sense of nostalgia and timelessness. 

On the other hand, if modern minimalism appeals to you, your focus could be on clean lines. You could also use a monochromatic color scheme and sleek, contemporary materials. This style emphasizes simplicity and functionality.

For those who prefer an eclectic boho vibe, the goal might be to create a vibrant and colorful piece that combines various textures, bold patterns, and an array of colors to reflect a free-spirited and adventurous lifestyle. 

No matter your chosen theme, it is important to consistently apply this concept throughout the customization process, from the selection of paint to the choice of upholstery and accessories. A well-defined theme ensures that your clawfoot bathtub couch becomes a focal point of your living space and seamlessly integrates with your existing décor, enhancing the overall harmony of your home.

Selecting the Right Color

The color you choose for your clawfoot bathtub couch can dramatically affect its visual impact and how it interacts with the space around it. Traditional white, with its clean and timeless appeal, can create a sense of elegance and simplicity, making the bathtub couch a versatile piece that can fit into a wide range of interior designs. However, embracing bold colors or intricate patterns can elevate the piece from a mere piece of furniture to a striking statement piece that reflects your style and creativity.

When considering color, consider the mood and atmosphere you want to create in your space. Warm hues like reds, oranges, and yellows can evoke warmth and energy, making the room feel more inviting and vibrant. 

Cooler tones such as blues, greens, and purples, on the other hand, can introduce a sense of calm and relaxation. For those inclined towards a more daring approach, patterns or a mix of colors can add depth and interest, turning the clawfoot bathtub couch into an art piece in its own right.

Using high-quality enamel-based paint is advisable to achieve a durable and glossy finish that looks professional and stands up to wear and tear. This type of paint ensures that your chosen color or pattern remains vibrant and resistant to fading, maintaining the beauty and integrity of your clawfoot bathtub couch for years to come. 

Whether aiming for a vibrant centerpiece that commands attention or a subtle accent piece that complements the room’s existing color scheme, the right color choice is integral to realizing your vision for your unique clawfoot bathtub couch.

Fabric Selection

The choice of fabric for your clawfoot bathtub couch is a pivotal decision that influences not just the aesthetics but also the functionality and comfort of the final product. When selecting upholstery, it’s essential to consider how the fabric aligns with your overall decor and lifestyle needs. 

For those seeking to infuse a sense of luxury and sophistication into their space, velvet offers a rich texture and depth of color that can transform the clawfoot bathtub into an elegant and inviting piece. With its durability and timeless appeal, leather can add a classic or rustic charm, aging gracefully over time and creating a piece that looks better with age.

Choosing a durable cotton or high-quality outdoor fabric might be the smarter choice. Cotton fiber is made for practical couches in rooms with lots of foot traffic from pets and children. 

These materials are designed to withstand wear and tear, are easy to clean, and are resistant to stains, ensuring that your clawfoot bathtub couch remains beautiful and functional despite the rigors of everyday use. It’s also important to consider the fabric’s texture, pattern, and color to the couch’s paint color and chosen theme. 

The fabric should complement and enhance the overall design, creating a cohesive and harmonious look. Whether it’s a bold print that stands out as a statement piece or a subtle hue that blends seamlessly with your room, the right fabric can elevate the clawfoot bathtub couch from a piece of furniture to a work of art.

Adding Personal Touches

Incorporating personal touches into your clawfoot bathtub couch is what truly sets it apart, transforming it into a reflection of your personality and story. This is where creativity can flourish, turning the project into something deeply personal and unique. 

Adding unique pillows or custom cushions can instantly change the look and feel of the couch, allowing for easy updates according to season or mood. Consider fabrics that resonate with your style or have sentimental value, such as a piece from a memorable event or a pattern that you love.

Embroidery and custom stitching offer endless possibilities to personalize your clawfoot bathtub couch. Whether it’s a favorite quote, a family crest, or a design with special meaning, these details add a layer of uniqueness and character. 

Vintage fabrics can also be repurposed to bring a touch of history and nostalgia to the piece, linking the past with the present beautifully and tangibly. Throws are another excellent way to add personality and comfort to your clawfoot bathtub couch. 

Choose materials and patterns that complement the upholstery and theme, or choose something that contrasts to make a bold statement. A throw is not just a functional item for colder nights but also an accessory that can change the look of the couch with minimal effort.


Accessories can enhance the functionality and aesthetic of your clawfoot bathtub couch. Think about incorporating side tables, floor lamps, or rugs that harmonize with your couch’s design. Functional accessories like a built-in magazine rack or a small shelf for holding drinks can blend utility with style.

Incorporating DIY Details

DIY details can give your clawfoot bathtub couch an unmatched level of personalization. Hand-painted designs, decoupage, or even mosaic tiles can turn the exterior of the bathtub into a canvas for your creativity. If you’re artistically inclined, consider creating a signature piece that reflects your interests, hobbies, or history.

Customizing and personalizing a clawfoot bathtub couch offers an exciting opportunity to showcase your creativity and style. By carefully selecting themes, colors, fabrics, and accessories, you can create a piece that serves as comfortable seating and reflects your unique aesthetic.


Constructing a clawfoot bathtub couch is a testament to creativity, offering a unique blend of style and functionality to any living space. This project transforms an ordinary object into a centerpiece of comfort and conversation, embodying the spirit of upcycling and personal expression. With dedication and the right tools, anyone can bring this imaginative piece of furniture to life, enhancing their home with vintage charm and bespoke elegance.

For more ways to transform your living room, check out our minimalist modern living room ideas!



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