Low sofas are perfect for an Asian motif. This sofa will be only four inches off the floor to give the person who sits there an option of comfortably stretching out her legs or sitting cross-legged. This is a moderately difficult project that takes some knowledge of both woodworking and upholstery. It will take most of a weekend to build.
Have the lumber store cut your boards to specifications. Use medium and fine-grit sandpaper to remove splinters. Wipe them clean with a tack cloth. Stain or paint the back of the 18-inch plywood and feet to match or contrast with the upholstery. Use two or three coats and allow drying between coats.
Staple padding to the 36-inch and 18-inch plywood sheets. Cut upholstery fabric to fit over the padding and one inch around back of each piece. Staple it to secure.
Screw the four alder legs to the bottom of the 36-inch seat section. Drop in a drop of wood glue to secure the bond. Screw the bottom to the 18-inch back section. Place the screws six inches apart across the bottom.
Use decorative nail heads at the back of the sofa to hide the staples.
Use a sewing machine to sew an upholstered cover for the seat cushion.