Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dress Up Your Chest

Awww.  Poor naked, lonely cedar chest.  I had just painted it white, but I knew it needed something else.  Let's see if we can dress her up a bit

Much better!  Plus, this just added more cushy seating to the room.  We now officially have enough seats for all the people in our life group.  Let the hosting begin!

I wanted the cushion to be the exact size of the top of the chest, so I knew I'd have to start from scratch.  Here's how I did it:

  • 3 18" x 18" x 2" squares of foam (you can use 1 big piece of foam, but 3 small ones were cheaper for me)
  • 1 1/4 yards of fabric (I used upholstery fabric)
  • matching thread
  • Electric knife
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle
  • Sharpie
  • Ruler
  • Good scissors or rotary cutter and board
I started out by measuring the top of the chest

 got 3 of these

and lined them up.
You notice one is shorter than the others?  Well, that's because I cut it!

With this
hehehehe.  Knife-wielding maniac.  Since I'm a vegetarian, I rarely cook a piece of meat large enough to warrant using this thing.  I'm so glad I now have a reason for owning it!

Cutting through the foam is so much easier with this.  I've tried it with a regular serrated knife and the results weren't nearly as good
It isn't shown here, but make sure you mark your foam with a straight line to follow when you're cutting.  A Sharpie works great.

Now put all your foam pieces together and make sure they are the right size for the top of the chest

Next, take your fabric and cut it to the right size for your cushion.  My foam was 18" wide and 2" thick so I cut the fabric to 42" wide (enough to go all the way around and leave a 1" seam/mistake allowance).  I always cut a little bigger than I need, just in case.  I cut the length to 48" because my cushion is 42" long + 2" on each side and I wanted there to be enough to do the corners nicely.
Yes, I use an old wooden yardstick like your grandma had.  Yes, I know it's pathetic.  I promise I'll get a nice, clear ruler one day.

Now pin your fabric inside out around the foam.  You're basically making a long tube around the foam.  Pin the end up on one side so that the other side is open for when you want to turn it right-side out again.
Take the foam out and go sew it (inside out)!

Now turn it right-side out.  Take the foam and stuff it back in.  I like to roll the fabric back so I don't have to wrestle with it too much.

After you stuffed your foam back in, fold and pin up the corners on the open end

and then stitch them up by hand.
Don't worry if it isn't just right... no one will really see it.  I keep my hand-stitched end in the back and on the bottom of the cushion.

Now you're done!  Easy, right?
I might just make some pillows for the back of it.  I'll keep you updated.

What do you think?  Do you plan on trying this?  Let me know in the comments section!  Thanks so much for stopping by.
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  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog!! I am loving the fabric that you put on your chest!! Great colors!! I'm very inexperienced at sewing, however this project looks pretty easy!! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. I am a new follower from The Pettijohn's and I love what you did with that chest. That is a good idea.

  3. This is a fantastic makeover! I, too, love.love.love to craft and have just started learning to sew. Count me as a new follower - I'm looking forward to seeing your future crafty posts. You can find me at Coffee & Cabernet -- hope you'll stop by and say hi!

  4. that is so pretty and i love the fabric you used on the cushion! so fun but classic, too!

  5. Beautiful! I've got a dated cedar chest I've been thinking of making over, and this is great inspiration. I love the fabric you used for the cushion cover, it really pops against the white chest. I've love for you to come check out my blog some time, www.icantstopcrafting.blogspot.com ~Jen

  6. What a great idea to make it into a seat! The fabric is so fun!

  7. What a cute little update! Great tip to use multiple pieces of foam as an inexpensive alternative to one larger piece!

    I love how your cushion turned out. Visiting from Primitive & Proper! Great job. :)
    Meredith @ Welcome to Heardmont

  8. I'm about to move into a house that has several bench seats in windows....can't wait to try your tute to fancy them up! Thanks for sharing!

    Shara from www.palmettosandpigtails.wordpress.com

  9. Thanks for sharing! I've been thinking about doing this to a small bench I have. Yours turned out great! Visiting from Hoo's Got Talent

  10. Nice Tut! That was weird, it felt like I just said nice butt! Either way, would you share this tutorial at my blog party Simply Creative over at 365 days to Simplicity? The Tut, not your butt. Thanks!


  11. i told a friend months ago that i'd sew one of these up for her. i feel terrible i haven't gotten around to it yet. you've inspired me to get going on it!
    thanks for sharing!
    jamie @ backless shirt

  12. oh wow this looks fabulous.
    I am a new follower from Party Mindie Style

  13. Great job and I really love the fabric you chose. I think I have one of those knives stashed away somewhere and will be moving it from the kitchen to my craft room!

  14. Fabulous! The fabric is great and it goes great with the chest. I love it!

  15. You did such a great job! I love the fabric you chose. Thanks so much for sharing!

  16. This looks great! Im stopping by from the Sunday Showcase party. I would love for you to link this up to My Favorite Things party! It's going on all week,
    & be sure to check out my giveaway too!


  17. Well done! A cushion makes the trunk multi-functional and the fabric adds pop. Enjoy!

  18. Great tutorial! I love the fabric you chose!

  19. Thank you so much! I totally needed this since last week I made one with a girl I do sewing lessons with. I was totally winging it and couldn't figure out how to get the corners finished. Hand sewing is a great idea! Thanks :)

  20. Looks great! Love the fabric choice!

  21. I just found your blog and am your newest follower. This project is fabulous! Thanks for leaving me totally inspired.

  22. So beautifully done! I love the technique of cutting the foam with the electric knife -- so clever!

    Thank you so much for sharing your creativity on "A Little Birdie Told Me..." Tuesday at Rook No. 17!


  23. I wish I had sewing skills like you. Great job, love the fabric, really gives the piece a wow factor. Hope you will share at our link party every Sunday at decoratinginsanity.com. xo....mONICa

  24. this is adorable! much better dressed up :)

    Thanks for linking up to Your Whims Wednesday! Hope to see you again this week :)

  25. Thanks for giving a tutorial on this...I've always wondered what the best and easiest way to do this was!

  26. Great tutorial. TFS!! Stopping by from Reasons to Skip the Housework linky party and now following your blog and on FB.

    This is what I shared on the party: http://craftybrooklynarmywife.blogspot.com/2011/06/summer-pillows.html

  27. Easy peasy and looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  28. Sooo pretty! Love the fabric you chose and you make it look sooo easy! Thanks so much for sharing with the Pink Hippo Party!

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  30. Nice Presentation and nice fabric used on the cushion Usa Casino Bonus Club

  31. This tutorial is so great! I can't wait to try it out. I have to move first :) in a few weeks, then I will get to sewing. Thank you so much for posting this.

  32. This tutorial is so great! I can't wait to try it out. I have to move first :) in a few weeks, then I will get to sewing. Thank you so much for posting this.

  33. Nice Presentation and nice fabric used on the cushion. Looks good with the white.
    Atlantis Gold Casino

  34. Did you secure the cushion to the chest? I'm thinking of making a cushion for the cedar chest in my baby boy's room... but I'm thinking of securing it with some velcro maybe.

    1. Did you use Velcro? I was thinking of using it too.


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