Reupholstered Hope Chest

I’ve been working on our master bedroom sort of on and off over the last year. One item that’s been stuck on my to-do list is the hope chest that I got from my parents as a teenager.

It came with a really ugly dark green top, so my mom reupholstered it for me and did a really good job. I think the fabric she chose was probably adorable circa 1998 but it was time for a change. I painted the honey wood a few months ago using leftover paint from the living room (and unfortunately didn’t take any before pics because this blog wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye at that point!) I’ve been meaning to switch out the fabric on top ever since and finally made it happen this weekend!

Side note: can you believe that I got that bed for $200 from craigslist??? I. Love. It. It’s probably my #1 most favorite craigslist purchase ever, and it is basically the reason we bought an SUV. Well, actually, I had been coveting an SUV for a while to support my craigslist habit and it was time to replace the car I’d had since high school, but this bed was the first thing we brought him with it (within 48 hours of leaving the dealership!)

I started by unscrewing the upholstered top from the lid and then removing the staples holding the fabric in place using a flathead screwdriver.

I got this lovely patterned linen on sale at Hancock Fabrics. It was originally $36/yard but was 40% off. I only needed a yard for this project so it came out to about $24 after tax. There’s a tip for ya: use fancy fabrics on small projects to get more bang for your buck. I could never afford to use this fabric for curtains or something of the like, but it would only take half a yard to cover a chair cushion or make a throw pillow. I love love love the colors. The shades of pink, blue, and green used here are among my all-time faves. I asked Nick if he thought it was too feminine and he said no, although I suspect that his answer was, in part, motivated by his realization that a rejection of the fabric would result in me going back to the store to spend more money (which is of course to be avoided at all costs).

The original foam was in good condition and foam is expensive, so I kept it. I positioned the top upside down in a corner of the fabric (which was placed wrong-side-up) trying to use the yardage as efficiently as possible. Then, using a staple gun borrowed from our friends Cassie and Nic, I got down to business. I started in the center of the long sides, pulling the fabric taut as I went and checking periodically to make sure things weren’t getting skewed on the front.

I kind of feel like I need a staple gun now. That thing was amazing! Below you can see how I did the corners. I found it easiest to trim the extra fabric away before folding. I had to be sure to keep the holes exposed to screw it back onto the base.

Lining up all those holes perfectly to get it screwed back on was a big ol’ pain, but with some patience and persistence we got ‘er done.

I feel like it’s just so much lighter and fresher! You can see in the pictures above that I’ve made some other changes since taking the picture posted on our house tour page, including hanging more curtains and switching out one of the nightstands. There’s tons more I’d like to do in here. Here’s a summary of what you’ll (hopefully) be seeing in the coming weeks:

  • new bedding
  • lamp repair
  • painting a dresser
  • hanging artwork
  • a DIY throw pillow or two

Of course it’s all on a tight budget and things tend to happen in fits and spurts around here. There are about 15 other projects vying for priority in my heart and in my bank account, but our bedroom is where we start and end each day and I’m hoping to make it a really sweet and happy place. It’s already pretty amazing with its 14 (yes, you read that right, 14) windows, so it makes sense that I would want to switch out some of these dark textiles with colors that can make the most of all that natural light. I’m so excited to see how it ends up!

7 Responses to Reupholstered Hope Chest

  1. janet (Country Mouse)

    Very pretty bedroom.

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