Sunday Scoops: DIY Re-Upholstering—Toy Chest (or your choice piece)—Fun upcycle project!

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This was one of my favorite DIY home projects.  One of my husband’s co-workers offered us this toy chest for our daughter.  The fabric that covered the outter padding was cute, but dated.  We used the toy chest “as is” for a couple of years.  The summer before my youngest son was born, I was working on their bedroom make-over as they would be sharing.  I picked up some adorable IKEA fabric from a neighbor’s garage sale, honestly not knowing how I would use it.  Then as the soon-to-be shared sibling room started coming together, I knew I was ready to recover the toy chest to at least bring it into the same color scheme to match the room theme.  The IKEA fabric was perfect!  Stay tuned…I will be posting an upcoming Sunday Scoops edition for a DIY Opposite Gender Sibling Shared Room project in which this little gem is featured!




  • New or Upcycled Fabric – pressed
  • Scissors for trimming
  • Foam padding if adding or replacing
  • Screwdriver and/or pliers to remove/replace any hardware as necessary
  • Staple gun +  staples


  1. Remove any hardware (screws, etc.) to allow easy access to pieces to be covered.
  2. Remove any unwanted old fabric and/or padding to be replaced.
  3. Pay close attention to pattern/print fabrics to be sure you have it positioned how you would like for it to appear before the next step of trimming.
  4. Trim fabric and/or padding to fit.  You will need to trim the fabric with enough allowance to accommodate the padding underneath.  I recommend laying the padding down first then placing the new fabric over the padding before trimming, to get the best idea of how much you will need.  Trim the excess padding and fabric.  Leave a generous 3-5″ of fabric around borders to give you “wiggle room” to work with for folding, tucking and stapling.
  5. Line up your fabric so that equal amounts are available around all edges.
  6. Tuck/fold edge of fabric on underside of furniture and staple.  You may find it easier to turn the furniture piece upside down, but it depends what type of item you are covering.  Keep the fabric pulled taut to keep it even and prevent wrinkles/bubbling up of fabric.  Continue stapling underside until all covered.  ** Trimming fabric as you go as needed is fine, just remember not to trim too much as to avoid being short on fabric to fold/staple.** If you need to adjust after adding a staple(s)…you can always remove the staples with pliers and redo.**
  7. Replace covered piece to frame if applicable (such as a chair) or in my case the lid to the toy chest.
  8. Re-secure hardware.  Voila!

Have you re-covered a piece of furniture or perhaps aspiring to?  Please share in the comments below.  I would love to hear of your projects and ideas.  As always…thanks for reading friends!  :) ~ Lisa


2 thoughts on “Sunday Scoops: DIY Re-Upholstering—Toy Chest (or your choice piece)—Fun upcycle project!

    this abundant life said:
    March 1, 2015 at 7:54 am

    That turned out great! I love an up’cycled project!!! Can’t wait to see the rest of the room!

    Liked by 1 person

      Lisa responded:
      March 1, 2015 at 10:03 am

      Thank you! I surprised myself on this project. I honestly started unsure if I was going to screw it up and have to toss it, but it came together and was quite fun to do. 😊


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