How to redo a Cedar Chest | Redo It Yourself Inspirations : How to redo a Cedar Chest

Thursday, February 20, 2014

How to redo a Cedar Chest

My 80's cedar chest came out to the foyer for two reasons; a place to sit for taking boots off, and...  The other, well, I can't part with it. It's filled with thirty years of my children's mementos and all that cedar fragrance. Placing it in the only totally wood trimmed out area is just too... well, kind of "dead wood".  A make over was definitely in order. A bench seat is what it will be.  

It's a lot of wood and I am not painting red cedar. 

I used a left over memory foam mattress topper that was on my son's bunk bed that he out grew.  Cut it to the exact size of the lid of the chest.

The foam is about 2.5" thick.

I chose to use tooled leather look fabric and decorative nail tacks. 
I removed the lid and cut the fabric about 3.5" wider than the edge of the lid all the way around. 

Sitting on the lid like "Sitting Bull" for weight, I folded the fabric over and
stapled it to the underside of the lid frame. 

Replacing the lid back on its hinges, I hammered in the decorative
 nail tacks all around the edge of the lid into the wood.

A nine year old decided to try it out. My model :) 

Now for a little make-up on the face. 

An inexpensive wall decor taken apart, just to reuse it. 

Some left over suede fabric from the upholstered stools will do. 

Using just a glue stick I trimmed the fabric to cover the mat board.  

Secured all around. 

Replaced the medallion with the now suede mat board. 

Replaced the frame and secured it. 

Then using the decorative nail tacks, attached the framed piece on the face of the chest. 

On the diagonal looked best. 

Now to add a pair  of "earrings"  ;) 

Drawer pull template from a piece of paper. Quick cheat sheet! 

Drawer pulls installed through the chest. 

I just got these steer horn pulls for a Mexican armoire I am going to redo.  Oh darn!
I need to go back to Hobby Lobby again! ;) 

While sitting on the now bench, I slipped a belt buckle under the lid to see if it would
 work as a lid pull. Looked good to me. 

After attaching the belt buckle scrap with staples, I trimmed off the excess leather.

Leaving enough to wrap under and attach again. 

Kind of "junky cool" 

It will stay there. 

Hinges from my old shed. 

Attached with more nail tacks

Lunch time. Be back in a bit.

Now for an accessory.  I download a few old photos of Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane.
After putting them in this plastic frame, I decided to decorate it. 

A little brown glaze to bring out some details of the embossed trim.

Let it dry. 

Left over scrap leather belts and buckles from my Rush Chair redo will do fine. 

I used hot glue to attach the leather to the glass. 
And the belts scraps into the border. 

One of a kind! ;) 

Now we can say "Howdy!" ... all proper like. 

Useful; and it broke up all that "deadwood". 

Now to get the rusty red throw rug in there. 

My son's outgrown cowboy boots. I can't toss them. 

Thank ya, kindly, for stoppin' by! 



  1. Thanks for the inspiration on using the foam for a seat. I thought you were done at the leather covering, but then when you added the diagonal frame, made the one of a kind photo and frame, you blew me away. What a wonderful second life your cedar chest is now enjoying.

  2. Wow, you sure added some personality to this piece! What a great transformation!

  3. Thank you, Sue! I'm cursed with thought overloads. Projects tend to run on to other projects. I would need to live to be 200 years old to do everything I have in mind. :)

  4. Thank you, Katie. It certainly needed a face lift!

  5. ARod@MakinMyAptaHomeFebruary 25, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    great accessorizing looks all pulled together love the leather seat the best great job

  6. I love the look of the chest & the picture. You did a great job.
    I have pinned. I am following you on social media. Dropping by from the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party.

  7. Thank you so much, Tamara! I hope that I didn't miss any of your social media. So glad you stopped by.