The most exciting element of a cedar chest up-cycle is selecting the bench cushion fabric. It’s my new favorite furniture to transform.
In the 60’s and 70’s, it was a right of passage for every teen girl to receive one. Cedar chests were also called Hope Chests. This one is straight from the 70’s.
Yay! A trip to JoAnn’s. The best fabric for reupholstering the bench top is in the Home Decor Chenille aisle. It’s sturdy, durable and covers the seat evenly. Though there is huge selection, there are doubts about using single layer calico cotton, unless the thread count is high. I love using textured solids but I chose a print for this one because the chest is small (twin sized) and won’t overwhelm it.
Pick Paint Next
The fabric provides inspiration for paint color. All the colors in the fabric were considered. I really wanted to go for the blue color, I chose to go with the beige background but a few shades darker: cohesive with a little contrast.
Change the Hardware – Yeah, can we get rid of the 4 eyes on this thing? Who’s idea was it to put 4 stupid bat wing handles in the quadrants? Probably an engineer – wait I’m one! Cheeeesy. Frankly I’m ignoring the quadrants. The original handles need to go bye-bye and the holes filled.
Instead, 2 vertical handles would look nice in the center. I just happened to have saved a pair from a previous up-cycle. Yay!
Adding Paper Clay Details – just in the corners to add a bit of french femininity and to soften the front canvas. My usual mistake is to get carried away with these details. On Project Runway they call it “editing” yourself. I get it and I did.
Break Up The Big Space – with paint blending. It adds interest without being flashy. I’m not a fan of the blending process but I love the result. It takes me 3 do-overs to get it right.
Paint color choice worked! I’m glad the lighter colors weren’t used. The center highlight blending gave some needed drama. Centering the hardware is super exciting and the little embellishments in the corners all work together. No more quadrants, you can’t even tell they were there! Yeah, baby.