Monday, May 18, 2015

Beginner's upholstery - old toy box make-over

Hi all,
This is my second attempt at re-upholstering the lid of my childrens' old toy box.  I wanted to reinvent it as a stylish new chest and use it as a footstool and coffee table.  I don't have any pictures of how it looked originally but it was well-worn and had a pink vinyl top - ghastly! Several years' ago I had stained the pine wood dark and replaced the pink vinyl top with a cottage print which fitted the decor of my house in country Victoria.

Since we have moved to a more modern house in Melbourne, it definitely needed a new make-over and I found some great fabric at Lincraft in a cream and teal pattern.  

This is the finished project.

Just because I could, I painted an old tray and terracotta pot in a complimentary teal colour to sit on top, and made some matching cushions from leftover fabric.

First of all, I removed the lid entirely from the box by unscrewing the two hinges. Setting the lid aside for the moment, I unearthed some paint brushes and cream paint and painted the box in several coats to disguise the very dark stain.  It took ages but I'm very pleased how it turned out.

Next I removed all the nails, staples and covering strip from the lid and cut out my new fabric using the old fabric as a template, then pinned and stapled the new fabric onto the lid with a staple gun, making sure it was smooth and slightly stretched.  I also added another layer of thin wadding between the fabric and the old foam for some extra padding.

I used fusible interfacing applied with an iron to the fabric

The corners are always the trickiest bit:  I folded them so they looked neat and pinned them before stapling. In hindsight, they may not be as expert as a professional upholster but they pass muster I think. It's important to keep your staples neat and where they'll be hidden behind the covering strip and nails. Trim the fabric likewise, after stapling.

I added a new braided strip with a hot glue gun which covers the staples and raw fabric edges (and a multitude of sins) and added new decorative nails.

You can see the previous fabric I used here; out with the old, in with the new!

Close up of staple positioning, and extremely ancient hammer

Bashing the nails in - very therapeutic!

Projects like this make you realise that it can be more fun to re-purpose something rather than buying something new.  My kids' toy box has lots of history and lots of my effort invested in it.  A bit of fabric, some paint and some of your time can really reap rewards.

So...give it a go.  I'm sure you must have some item of furniture languishing in your house just waiting to be done up and made useful again.

         More upholstering to come soon - Ottomans this time.

Happy reinventing...

the Flash

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