Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Treasure chest

Trunk revamped as a treasure chest for kids Christmas present.

***** BEFORE *****

I didn't get a chance to take a decent picture of the original trunk before I tasked my husband with stripping off the old fabric and trim.  He did take this one with his phone here in the deep recesses of our basement, it's hiding place.

Here is the stripped down version in my sewing studio, a.k.a. Santa's Workshop.

The inside was never lined before. And yes.  My dad used wall paneling to make this back in the day.

I lined the outside with faux crocodile print leather (vinyl) from JoAnn. My husband finally owns every air gun known to man therefore I felt quite justified in demanding that he produce one that could put out the perfect size staple for this project.  We used 18 gauge staples, 1/2" long by 1/4" wide.  I know, because I had to go buy more at Home Depot on Christmas Eve. Yes that's how I like to spend my Christmas Eve.  Not relaxing by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa.  Why?!  Why would I want to do that?

This part was pretty easy once I got over all my phobias of misfiring air gun accidents. The only setback was that sometimes the staple had too much force and would cut through the vinyl fabric completely.  Also, my arm was very sore the next day.

I also attached the trim to cover the join between the vinyl and the paper on the inside edge with the staples.  I tried to hide them a bit by stapling under the crossing threads.

I ordered two large, inexpensive, paper wall maps from Amazon to line the inside.  We did cover the back and front inside with a thin panel so that I wouldn't have to go around all the wood with the paper.  I mixed one part school glue (those free, back-to-school deals came in handy) with one part water for the home-made decoupage paste.  I used two bottles of school glue which happened to be exactly the right amount to adhere the paper and brush one coat over the top.  This was my first time trying this technique, and I have to admit, it really is super easy and addictive.  My mind kept vacillating between being highly impressed with my work to thinking about what I could cover with paper next! Last, I sprayed the paper with a semi-gloss lacquer many times which, for reasons unknown to me, did not appear to make a huge impact.

***** AFTER *****

We cut new 2" wide trim strips and spray painted it with a faux metal finish. The hardware was also spray painted with a hammered metal finish. My husband also made a small tray that sits on the little ledges on the inside. I had him drill a couple of holes in the back of the lid for air, just in case they decide to get in there and also installed a safety hinge on the side which had to be rigged up with this piece of 2x4 because of the style of the lid. I'll try to cover that up with decoupage later. And last, but not least we added wheels so that we could move it around without any back aches.  Not too pretty but well worth it.

The inside tray with pirate goodies.

I was thrilled with the results and so were the kids.


  1. So awesome! Love it, very creative. The map on the inside is fantabulous.

  2. Super! You did an amazing job and the kids looked pleased to bits!

  3. Wow..wow...wow! So cool. I love the map too! I had the same thoughts in my head covering papier-mache stars with sheet music and my own glue/ModPodge mix! (at 1:45 in the morning...what?!) Your children will have so many wonderful "adventures!"