Thursday, April 4, 2013

cedar chest makeover

One of my spring break projects was to update a cedar chest that we have in our bedroom. This chest was a birthday present from my parents when I was young. While I didn't appreciate furniture at that age, the chest has gotten so much use in my adult life and I love it! 

But my style has grown and the chest needed a little bit of an update to coordinate with the rest of our bedroom. Although I think I may paint the piece at some point, I'm really happy with how the simple upholstery update and hardware change helped the chest integrate better with our style.

I have to admit that when I started this project, I wasn't sure exactly what I was doing. But as always happens when I go to Denver Fabrics, I was inspired by this teal fabric and walked out with a steal on an end-of-bolt piece for $4. I came home determined to figure out how to make this work. 


  • 1 1/2 yards of upholstery fabric
  • 4 drawer pulls
  • heavy duty stapler
  • screw driver
Step 1: Disassemble upholstered lid. When I opened up the lid of the chest there were a bunch of screws - so of course I started unscrewing them. As I hoped, the screws held on the upholstered top of the lid. 

finished corners
Step 2: Re-upholster lid. I cut the piece of fabric to the size of the lid, with a 3" overhang. I stapled the corners first to hold them in place. Then I stapled the edges, being careful to ensure the pattern lined up with the edge of the lid and that the corners were neat. Think about the corners like wrapping a gift.

Step 3: Screw the upholstered piece back onto the lid. Easy as pie!

Step 4: Add the new decorative hardware. 

And you're done! It really couldn't have been easier. I lucked out that the lid fo the chest was a solid piece with an upholstered top, so I didn't have to actually take the lid off its hinges. Here's a snapshot of the chest in it's place between our closets. You might notice that I also painted the walls - the color is Behr Tide Pools.

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