How to Reupholster a Cedar Chest

How to Reupholster a Cedar Chest

When my mom was 16 years old, my grandparents gave her a cedar chest to use as a hope chest.  Over the years, the leather on top got ripped, but the chest was still filled with memories.  So my mom asked if I would help her reupholster it.  We had never reupholstered anything before, but thanks to many amazing bloggers, I had seen enough tutorials that I was sure we could handle the task.

Cedar chest before being reupholstered

1.  The first step was to pick a fabric.  We looked at several stores and finally decided that a neutral light tan fabric would be a perfect fit for her bedroom now and if she changes things up later.

A view into the inside of the chest.

2.  Next was the exploratory stage.  We decided to unscrew all of the screws on the under side of the chest to see if it helped us get to the foam upper.  {Drum Roll Please - drdrdrdrdrdrd!}  It worked!!

My mom removing the old staples and leather cover.

3.  After the top was removed from the chest, we pulled out the old staples with a staple remover and removed the old leather cover.

Leave enough fabric to wrap & staple.

4.  Next we laid the new fabric down on the floor and placed the inside of the old cushion (aka foam padding attached to piece of plywood) on top with enough excess to wrap around the wood.

Staple fabric to one of the longer sides of the cushion.

5.  We made sure that our fabric was straight, then we began to staple it to one of the longer sides of the cushion.  We didn't staple all the way to the corner so we would have plenty of fabric to bend and twist around the corner.

Dad comes in to help me figure out the corners.

6.  After the first side was stapled down, it was time to move to the first corner.  All of the tutorials that I found said to fold the fabric at a 45 degree angle.  My perfectionist side would not allow me to leave a pucker on the corners, so I called in my dad "Handyman Extraordinaire".  We had to rig it a little and do some additional folds, but we were able to fold the corners pucker free. :)

Our least successful corner...yet still pucker free!

7.  After the first corner was complete (the picture above is actually our third corner) we worked our way around stapling one side then a corner, one side and a corner, and so on.  The key here was to make sure that the fabric was tight before stapling.  When we got to our second long side was when we cut our fabric to the size we needed.

Our newly reupholstered cedar chest

8.  Once it was all stapled down, we reattached the newly reupholstered pad to the cedar chest.

Reupholstered Cedar Chest

Just like that, our project was complete.  It was much easier than I expected!  The transformation was amazing.  We were all happy with the work we had done.  If you have a reupholstering project that you have been thinking of doing, now just might be the time to try it.  My mom was certainly wondering why we hadn't reupholstered it sooner.

Happy Crafting!!



Eclectically Vintage said...

lucky you to have handy parents - and it turned out beautifully!

Stuff-n-Such By Lisa said...

Gorgeous! That really dressed up the chest and made it look more modern. Great job!

Erin Sipes said...

Reupholstering can seem so intimidating, you made it look easy and the chest looks great!

Randi~Dukes and Duchesses said...

Such a simple transformation but it looks really great!

Niki said...

Thanks, Erin! I was really intimidated too, but it was way easier than I expected!!

Niki said...

Thanks, Randi! It is amazing how something simple can make such a big difference...thanks for stopping by!!