Re-cover a Lane cedar chest seat in a matter of minutes. You will be surprised at how the padded seat is attached to the chest and how easy it is to remove and then re-cover. This is a complete tutorial.
My Lane cedar chest has a padded seat top and I wanted to change the outdated fabric. I had actually changed the fabric once before. The finish needs updating too but that's for another time.
Lane Cedar Chest
The Lane chest was a birthday gift from the hubby and kids a long time ago. I never got a cedar chest when I graduated from high school. That was the in thing a number of years ago.
Lane Cedar Chest History
In 1930 one of the managers at Lane came up with the idea of offering free miniature cedar boxes to girls graduating from high school. Seems like the idea worked because many parents bought Lane cedar chests for their graduating daughters. I never got one of the miniature cedar boxes either so now I'm on the hunt.
I re-covered the original padded seat on my Lane cedar chest with blue fabric several years ago. When I was cleaning my workshop out (it’s really happening this time, photos to follow soon) I found a thrift store treasure. The treasure is a remnant of upholstery fabric I bought a few years ago. I fell in love with the design and the colors. Time to do something with that fabric.
Cedar Chest To Re-cover
This is how the cedar chest looked for the past few years. It sits behind our sofa and we use it to store quilts. I've painted about 10 cedar chests (here) but I'm not painting this one.
The blue fabric is pretty and I love the texture (texture is my thing) but the blue is going. The nice thing about changing the fabric is the change is not permanent. I can remove the fabric and the cedar chest will be back to the original look or I can keep changing the fabric to match my decor or just for the fun of it!
My sweet hubby even had the chest inscribed…With Love On Your Birthday…Jason, Tammy, & Ray. Something to be treasured.
How To Re-cover A Lane Cedar Chest Seat
Fabric For The Project
This is the fabric for the makeover. It has a raised design and almost looks like cross-stitch. I remember even the remnant piece I bought was pretty pricey but I couldn’t resist the colors and the beautiful texture.
1. Remove the fabric seat top from the Lane Cedar Chest
The top of the chest is two pieces, the padded seat and the wood top. The base or the part that the fabric is attached to is not made of real wood. I believe it is MDF (medium-density fiber board). I used a drill to remove the 8 screws holding the padded seat to the top. Just lift the lid of your padded cedar chest and you should see the screws.
We’re talking a 5 minute job. Using a screwdriver would take a bit longer but not much.
2. Remove The Old Fabric Cover
The first time I re-covered the seat I left the original fabric in place and just added the layer of blue fabric. Unless you are using a really thick fabric to re-cover the seat leaving the original fabric on the seat isn't a problem. The JTS used a pair of pliers to remove the staples holding the blue layer of fabric to the seat.
3. Recover the fabric seat.
Lay the seat upside down on the wrong side of the fabric and cut the fabric. Cut the piece of fabric large enough to fold over the edges of the seat and staple to the backside.
I worked on this project in the living room floor. That’s where the chest was so no need to take it to the workshop. The project is simple and takes no time at all. I work on the floor a lot even in the workshop because usually my workshop tables are covered with junk and partially finished projects.
Cut the fabric to size
I usually cut a much larger piece of fabric than needed. Better too much fabric than too little. It's easy to trim the excess fabric later.
Staple the fabric to the seat
Using a heavy duty stapler start on one long side and staple the fabric to the seat. Next staple the fabric on the opposite side….pulling it taught as you staple.
When stapling the fabric on the two short ends of the seat start in the middle and work to the outside. Cut away any extra fabric at the corners. If the fabric is heavy and thick it is necessary to remove as much fabric as possible at the corners. You don’t want a big wad of fabric because the padded seat will not lay flat against the top of the cedar chest.
Work the fabric at the corners until there are no creases or folds to be seen from the top or edge of the seat. This is just something you have to work with. There is no one way to do it. Staple until secure.
4. Re-attach the seat to the top.
Using a drill or screwdriver replace the 8 screws to re-attach the seat to the top. That’s all there is to it. (find my favorite drill here)
Ta-dah! How nice is that. The fabric is snug all the way around the seat. No creases or folds in the corner either. That's what I call a professional looking job.
5. Repurpose the Lane Cedar Chest as a coffee table
The colorful design on the fabric really livens up the cedar chest. I wish I could find more of the fabric. I've searched and searched on the web Googling everything from sampler fabric to alphabet fabric and no luck.
Can you see the texture in the photos? I don’t know what type of design this is I just know I love it. It's kind of Folkart looking but also looks Amish? I don't know. Do you have any info on the fabric or design?
The newly recovered chest is sitting in front of the sofa for this photo but it will have to go back to it’s place behind the sofa. We have a new/used coffee table we got at auction for $50. The upholstered top of my cedar chest might not hold up well to drinks and food.
I paint cedar chests a lot of the time because the ones I find at the junk store or flea market are in bad condition. This is one of my favorite cedar chests. (click here)
What do you think of the change? Do you like the fabric? Would you paint the cedar chest? How about changing out the hardware. It really dates the piece. Maybe stain a dark walnut color and replace the pulls with modern pieces?
Re-cover A Lane Cedar Chest
If you like this cedar chest makeover see how I painted another vintage cedar chest in the short video below....
Turquoise Cedar Chest
The distressed antique white dresser is my newest favorite project and you can find the tutorial here. This is an easy tutorial on how to to recover chair seats........ I love this chair makeover where I didn't even need to re-paint the chair. Did you see my project where I re-covered a vintage stool with recycled denim jeans here..... Re-cover A Seat With Recycled Denim
Leave me a note if you have time and have a great day. Thanks for being here, Kathy