Vintage chest: officially done!

I’m not gonna lie… this project sucked. But I finished it anyway, so I might as well post about it.

To get everyone up to speed, last weekend I converted this old chest:

Into our new coffee table:

And I saved the final step of transforming the insides for this weekend.

The chest came with this nifty shelf thing:

But it was flimsy and covered with old faux wood contact paper and glue and nastiness. After trying to (unsuccessfully) remove all the paper, I figured I’d just cover it with fabric instead.

I ended up choosing a thick canvas fabric to do the job ($18 for 2 yards on sale at Joann’s):

You can see I also removed the divider. I knew it would be near impossible for me to wrap fabric around it with that thing in the way.

The first step was to reinforce the bottom. It was made out of one thin layer of some species of pressed fiber board, and I didn’t trust it. So I had Lowe’s cut a piece of 1/4″ plywood to fit. Of course to the lumber cutting technicians, “fit” means within a half inch or so, so there was a little gap on 2 sides, but nothing a little caulk can’t fix.

This mess was going to be covered by fabric… don’t judge.

After securing the plywood down (with wood glue and caulk around the seams), I let it sit overnight with lots of weight to secure it:

In the meantime, I added 2 coats of white semi gloss paint and 3 coats of polycrylic to the inside (sorry, no pics of this process, just picture the inside white and shiny).

Then it was time to get to the cutting. I had it all perfectly planned out in my head, but somewhere between the mental plan and the execution things went awry.

I first tested a couple strips of the fabric to confirm it would stick to the surface. Mission accomplished. The top one had an extra coat of modge podge over the top to “seal” it in, but I decided I liked the natural feel of the uncoated fabric instad.

Then I laid it on the fabric and began to trace.

I’m not sure if you can spot the flaw in this layout, but I should have traced out extra panels so I could wrap the fabric all the way around the edges to reach the inside so the seams weren’t out in the open. It’s hard to explain and apparently for me even harder to execute.

Unfortunately I cut my fabric in half before I realized this so I had to come up with a plan B using the remnants I had. This plan is also difficult to explain without the aid of pictures and/or sketches, but basically it was comprised of 3 different pieces… one for the outside bottom and 2 sides, one for the other 2 sides, and one for the inside bottom.

I made my traces and applied modge podge to where I would be cutting (so the fabric wouldn’t fray)

And then in my frustration/annoyance I stopped taking pictures… so fast forward to the end, and I had a bunch of crooked, incorrectly measured seams. They were mostly along the inside bottom and I was trying to figure out how to conceal them. Then one good idea finally struck me… flashback to these handles:

Yes, rope was the answer. So I broke out the hot glue gun and got to work:

After a few minutes my ugly seams were hidden!

Luckily this won’t be out in the open much so I’m not too worried. It was a learning experience, and reaffirmed the fact I should stick to the “shabby” look, since it will probably end up looking that way no matter what I do, ha. Hopefully I can get a little of the chic part in there too.

Anyway, here it is in use:

Definitely useful, right? I think so. I’m happy with it!

On another note… one week from right now I’ll be reuniting with my long lost family (I haven’t seen them since Christmas, a record 7 months!) in San Diego. I’ve been counting down the days for months now and lately have been a little homesick in the anticipation.

This was the inspiration for my latest print… and one of my favorites:

As always, it’s completely customizable… down to your location, colors, size and orientation.

I’ll be checking in with a few pics of my trip, and I’ll be back in a few weeks with more D&R goodness. Have a happy July everyone!

10 thoughts on “Vintage chest: officially done!

  1. love it!! this is my first time on your blog, can i ask if you like your couch? i want to get one like your or the whole sectional deal, but wasn't sure if those that had it loved it or not…thanks!!!

  2. Hi Missy, Welcome! I do love our couch. The only (minor) complaint I have is that the fabric is a little rough on your skin (it's some sort of woven fibrous thread), but we usually lay blankets down anyway so it's not a big deal. I'd definitely buy it again!

  3. Hi…I am Latoya dropping through via I Heart Organizing… I absolutely love what you have done with this chest. And how clever of an idea with the tray. I like…I defintely have to keep reading. Have a happy hump day!

  4. Just discovered you from I Heart Organizing–and I'm in love! Your style is very similar to my own. I adore your home and the beautiful colors you've used. Already added you to my google reader list!

  5. this is just fabulous!! so awesome!!

    I found ur blog through dafont..can i say im obsesssed with your jena sue font!!!!

    ur new follower!

  6. wow – just found your blog from iheartorganizing…love love it. your font is gorgeous, thanks so much for your generosity. Andrea from Australia

  7. Oh wow! Just stumbled across your blog and i have the EXACT chest in storage right now just begging to be made over. I got it at goodwill for like 10 bucks and tried to paint it white (unsuccessfully) so i have a half painted chest that i am now determined to breathe life into. Thanks for the inspiration! Love your site, so cute! Youre officially added to my “Read Daily” tab 🙂

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