Cedar Chest Face-Lift

I love when I get to inherit something, or someone gifts me something, or I take something?, or someone’s going to throw…something away? (wait, no that’s not right). Either way I get rather giddy at the thought of making something old into something new. I love thrift stores more than you can fathom, someones old news becomes my new decor piece. I can see the possibilities right there in the isle. This beautiful Cedar Chest was actually given to me by my most favorite extended-family-by-means-of-living-next-door-to-my-childhood-home 🙂

After carefully *hinting* at the possibility of reupholstering this beaut, and making sure they were okay at the moment of parting with their friend of 35 years, the real work began.

Ideas flowin’ like a river, excitement building on all fronts, Jo-Ann Fabric Store, I was coming for you! The pressure of doing this piece the proper justice it deserved, and having to follow in my neighbors footsteps,  a professional seamstress go figure, the challenge was accepted and I went to work.

From that, to this, these are the steps I took, the materials I used, the time it took, and the beautiful reward I received.


  • Cedar Chest, a given
  • Quality fabric, I used Jo-Ann Fabric Store
  • Staple gun, staples
  • Gorilla glue, only if your cushion is glued onto the top
  • Needle nose pliers, to pull out current staples
  • Drill, to remove underneath cushion screws
  • Strong man, just cause why not 🙂


  • Lift up lid and carefully unscrew the bottom screws holding the cushion to the wooden lid.
  • Remove cushion from chest
  • Wipe down the top of the chest to remove any build up and dust
  • Lay cushion top-down on a sturdy flat surface, I used my kitchen table, but a work table of sorts would be better
  • Remove staples with needle nose pliers if there are any, or pull up on fabric of its glued, remove old fabric, OR you may just want to leave it and cover it (as long as the new fabric is a darker color than the old fabric it will not show through.) My cedar chest had been covered twice, so I removed the dusty top fabric and covered the original fabric.
  • I had measured the cushion before my trip to Jo-Ann’s so I knew the exactitudes, but I got an extra yard just in case and another color fabric, also just in case. I removed the cushion from the table and used the old fabric that I removed as a template for my new fabric size. I lay my new fabric over the old and cut it the same size.
  • Lay your cushion top-down again over the new fabric and pull SNUG on the longest sides and fold in to underside of cushion, use staple gun to hold in place. This is where the second set of hands and “strong man” come into play. One fabric-pull-snuger and one staple-gunner 🙂 I put staples every two inches or so, but it definitely depends on your fabric, thick vs thin, may require more or less. Just feel it out as you go.
  • To secure the shorter sides and most importantly the corners, you can either do a hospital corner or fold into an upholstery corner. 

  • Once all four sides and all four corners are secure and taut with staples or glue, you may lay and replace cushion with screws or re-glue cushion back onto the top of the lid.
  • If you are re-gluing your cushion, I suggest laying something heavy over top of cushion and letting it sit alone for 12-24 hours to ensure stuckness, yep not a word, but makes sense.

  • The great thing about how I did this is the ease of it, you can so easily replace the fabric at any time to match your new decor or a new room!!!
  • This little project, including my trip to Jo-Ann Fabric Store, which may have taken 1.5 hours, took a total, beginning to end, of 2 hours. The reupholstery itself only took 1/2 hour. So easy, no need to be a seamstress or even know how to sew…next endeavor learn to sew.
  • Just a little effort, a tad of decor-loving, an eye for beautiful colors, and it turned out so great! You can totally do this with that weird old shabby chest, don’t settle for dusty grandma florals, when you can have this. Help your vintage reach its full potential 🙂

If you’re interested in this piece or any others, please Contact me on my page!!!