Monday, 16 December 2013

The never-ending project

{the finished result}

I've had this old white chest for ages, storing some of my handbags, and the intention ever since I bought it has been to recover the top.

{the before shot}

I've had it over seven years, perhaps more, so this has been a long time in the anticipation, but finally I've done it and am feeling pretty smug. I am not the most skilful at these type of projects, not really having the patience to think things through, so I instead plunge in and hope for the best. But this is something which doesn't really require much skill, and if you get stuck there are loads of free tutorials online to give you a helping hand.

{tools of the trade}

I did do an upholstery course a few years ago, the proper sort with horsehair and tacks, and whilst the horsehair hasn't been revisited since, I do prefer to use a hammer and tacks rather than a staple gun, as I think it gives me more control, I'm used to using them and it lasts longer too. But a staple gun will just as easily do the job.

{hinges removed}

I removed the lid from the chest, and also unscrewed the hinges, choosing to cover the whole lid, and then reattaching the hinges by screwing through the fabric once the lid had been recovered.

{I got the foam cut to size at the local fabric shop, for £10)

I cut my fabric to size, making sure I had enough to grip the fabric so I could really stretch it around the lid.

{a layer of wadding}

I also used a layer of wadding between the fabric and the foam - this gives the fabric something to  glide over when you're smoothing and stretching it as tight as possible to cover the lid. I initially put a tack into each side of the lid to hold the fabric and wadding in place.

{many tacks make light work}

I then went around stretching the fabric as tightly as a could over the lid, lightly hammering in tacks all the way round to hold it in place.

Just a note on your choice of fabric - anything with lines, like the fabric I used, can be a little more tricky as you need to make sure that your lines are staying straight when you're covering your lid. A fabric with a random pattern is an easier one to pick if this is your first go at recovering something.

{on the finishing straight}

Once I was happy that I'd got the fabric tight enough over the lid, I went round again, removing each tack, folding the fabric under at the end so that there was no raw edge on show, and then hammering the tack in properly, down to the wood. So effectively, I put every tack in twice. I think if you're more skilful with a hammer and tacks you could probably get away with just hammering them in properly first time.

Compared to how it looked at the start, I think it looks so much better with the top covered, almost like a completely different piece of furniture. The fabric is some that I had lying around after I recovered our dining chairs, and I thought it would suit this project, avoiding the overly twee Cath Kidston look which has been plaguing us for years now. 

So for a total of £11.50, the project is complete, as I already had the tacks and the fabric. Well done me.

p.s. I think a good staple gun could make some with crafty tendancies an excellent stocking filler.