Problem? Solved.

I’ve had some unexpected time off this past week, and it has been FANTASTIC. I have been so productive! I cleaned the house, did all of our laundry, (finally) cleaned out our junk drawer, unpacked/cleaned/organized my sewing room(!), and maybe most excitingly…. finished a project that has been two years in the making.

See… I have a thing for garage sales. I always think I can find hidden treasures. Which isn’t usually the case. Although I must admit there are still several items of furniture in our home that I got at garage sales (notably, the coffee table and papasan in the man cave).

The summer before last I was hitting up the garage sale circuit with my mom and I came across an old (ugly) cedar-lined chest. It had this horrible crackle paint, but I figured I’d just repaint the bottom and cover the top with fabric and use it to store linens in my bedroom. Seemed like a steal at $10!

Then it sat in my parents basement. For almost two years.

When B and I moved in together we had to go through some adjustments. Specifically, my being super messy and B liking things tidy all the time. One particular point of contention were my blankets. I love having blankets on the couch all the time. And then I just leave them on the couch because I’m just going to use them the next day, right?

Except every morning I’d come down and B would have folded up my blanket and put it under the side table. Boys.

Solution? The long-forgotten chest! I had my parents bring the chest down when we moved and I finally had time to work on it. And I love it!!

The lesson of the day was, though, patience and flexibility! No project ever goes exactly as planned. Here’s the play by play:

This is the chest with the lid removed. Apparently owned by the Davis family… who has a thing for gross yellow crackle paint. Awesome.

Let’s get a close-up of that paint…

First up, sanding! I used an electric hand sander to smooth things out. The crackle paint gave it a really weird texture.

Then I gave it a few coats of paint. It actually took three coats over two days because the color underneath was so uneven. I used the left over paint from the dining room because I wanted a splash of blue in our living room.

Once that was done it was time to work on the top. Supplies needed: 1/2 inch foam (could also use 1 inch foam) and spray adhesive. Plus some fabric (not shown).

Follow the instructions on the spray, which should say to spray both surfaces (the top of the chest and the foam) with adhesive and let dry 1 minute before putting them together.

Then I tried to pick to top up to carry it into the house and……….. CRACK

Seriously? I might have sworn a little. Or a lot. I did NOT spend two afternoons sanding and painting to abandon this project. Then I started strategizing. I went down to the basement to see what we had laying around, and found a piece of wood from another project! It was from a TV stand I had made for my last apartment and had kept when we moved “just in case.” Better yet, it was the PERFECT size! Pack rat tendencies, for the win!

So I ripped the foam off the cracked board and glued it to the new wood top.

Done and done. Next up, take a piece of fabric and cut it to size. I had this fabric laying around and it matched the blue perfectly. I love using things I already have (= free!)

Next up, put the fabric right-side down on the floor and smooth it out. Then put the lid foam side down on top of it.

Then find your trusty staple gun andddddddd realize its out of staples. 20 minutes and a full-house search later, find staples.

Start by stapling one side of the fabric to the underside of the lid, and make sure that the pattern is straight before you keep going! Then do the opposite side, making sure to stretch the fabric as you go because you don’t want it to be loose. Then finally do the other two ends.

It really doesn’t have to be perfect.

Once the fabric is done, I removed the hardware from the old lid and put it on the new lid.

Then I had B help hold the lid up while I re-attached it to the base, and attached the hardware from the front of the box, and I was done!

In its new home in our great room..

And best of all, it works! A perfect place to keep all of our extra blankets, throws, and pillows that we want accessible to the first floor.

I’m thrilled with how it turned out and so glad that I finally got around to doing this project! I also love that almost everything I used for this project I already had, so the cost was extremely low.

Cost breakdown:
chest- $10 (garage sale, purchased 2 years ago)
paint- $30/gallon (purchased for dining room and left over)
Foam- $15 ($9.99/yard at joanne’s)
spray adhesive- $5 (purchased last year at joanne’s for a different project and left over)
Fabric- $8 (purchased a year+ ago at joanne’s just because I liked it)
new lid- $10 (purchased 2 years ago for a different project and harvested from the now-defunct tv stand)

So my NEW purchase for this project was the foam, for $15. Everything else was repurposed, or found laying around my house. Design win!


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