Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cedar chest to cushioned storage bench

Years ago (when I was in middle school or high school) my grandfather brought me a cedar chest he got at a garage sale. I kept it in my room. My mom thought we could use it for a hope chest but all I managed to gather for it was a used george forman grill and some old prom pictures. Now that I've been living out of my parents house for a while and Todd and I have a place of our own, we went over to my parents to clean out even more stuff from my old room. It's amazing the things that you think you must keep when you're 19 :)

One of the things we brought back was the old chest, but I had big plans for it. Todd and I had been wanting an upholstered storage bench for the front of our bed to put extra pillows/linens (stuff I only use when I make the bed special - like if someone might actually see it!). Here is how my makeover turned out!

Before picture (see I'm getting better about the before picture!)

After I sanded it, I painted it brown, using Valspar spray paint in "Brown Velvet" - satin finish. Then I went shopping for foam for the top. My plan was to make a nice cushion for the top and upholster it with an extra curtain panel we had from the house we rented. As soon as I went to the fabric store I came down with a huge case of sticker shock! I could not believe how expensive foam could be - even on sale! So my project was put on hold, because I knew their had to be a cheaper  better way to complete my vision.

Luckily we are in prime garage sale season! I searched garages sales for foam and finally came across just what I was looking for - a full sized egg crate foam mattress topper. My plan was to put two pieces together egg crate side in so I would end up with the smooth sides for the top and bottom. The best part about this story is when I asked the lady in charge of the sale how much she wanted for the topper - she said she'd give it to me for free. FOR FREEEEEEEE. Free is much better than store bought foam $$. I told her I loved her. And I do.

So I removed the top of the chest, covered it in batting using my staple gun to secure it. Then I added my my pieces of foam and upholstered the whole thing using my extra curtain material and a staple gun!

Here is the final result!

 And it only cost me a can of spray paint!

Linking up:



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Shannon said...

Hi Katherine, I thought the same thing about foam when I priced it, crazy expensive! You found a great solution and your storage bench turned out beautiful. Thanks for leaving the sweet comments about my metal hanging planter light.

Pamela said...

What a beautiful change. Love the fabric you chose. I'd like to fill it up! ha


Anonymous said...

Love the play by play!! Looks BEAUTUFUL!!! Great work! I did something similar for the kids room (made a bench toy cabinet out of a kitchen top cabinet), but had trouble with the fabric at one point (doesn't look the greatest, but it does it's purpose :-) ~Lynne Davis

Erin said...

Wonderful transformation! Love the fabric you chose too.

Ruth said...

Love the bench transformation. It looks amazing.

Thank you for stopping by my blog.


Sommer said...

Ooooh it's so pretty! Love the color choices and the fabric is yummy too! Please stop by and link up to my party this weekend at

Mandi said...

That looks fantastic!! I have a similar item I've been trying to figure out what I might do with it. I may have to try this!

Meghan said...

I'm very impressed! That looks beautiful. I love the fabric.

Ally said...

Hilarious. I did almost the same thing yesterday. I'm reupholstering a bench, & the foam price seemed a little high, so I just browsed around Wal-Mart looking for anything else that might substitute for the padding for the bench. That's when I found the egg crate foam. I just bought a package of egg crate foam for a twin bed. It was so much cheaper than the other foam, and I can use it for multiple projects. Your cedar chest / storage bench turned out really lovely!

Lori B said...

Your makeover for the chest turned out very nice but I have to ask WHY would you cover up, paint & destroy such a beautiful Cedar storage chest that your Grandfather had given to you so many years ago?! It was gorgeous just as it was & a piece of history from your Grandfather to be handed down from generation to generation! Passing down cedar chests has been a tradition for generations! Maybe it's just me but I'm having a hard time believing that anyone would do this to something so beautiful, that obviously meant something special to your grandfather for him to give you so many years ago! I believe that any other type of storage chest could have been used to make your cushioned storage bench, while keeping the Cedar Chest as it was! Just my opinion…

Katherine said...

Lori, I would feel the same if it was truly a family heirloom. It was just something he picked up at a garage sale when I was in high school. Also the finish on it was in poor condition. Giving garage sale items new life is something my Papa loves to do as well. I know some people are wood purists, but I love that this now goes with the rest of our decor. I promise I had his full support :)

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