How to Reupholster a Cedar Chest


Reupholstering is a simple way to update and refresh the look of a cedar chest. Doing your own reupholstering saves money and is cheaper than purchasing new furniture. New fabric can be selected to match any style of decor. An upholstered cedar chest is useful for storage and also doubles as additional seating in a room. Tools and fabric for reupholstering can be found at home improvement and fabric stores.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Scissors
  • Batting or foam
  • Upholstery stapler and staples

How to Reupholster a Cedar Chest

  • Open the lid of the cedar chest and use a screwdriver to unscrew the hinges. Remove the lid and set aside the screws for later use.

  • Using pliers, remove any staples or tacks from the fabric. Dispose of used staples and tacks.

  • Discard the used fabric. Remove any padding or batting from the wood. Check the existing batting to see if it is worn and needs to be replaced.

  • Lay fabric flat and place the lid on top of the fabric. Use scissors to cut the fabric around the wood, leaving a margin of at least 3 to 6 inches.

  • Cut new batting or foam to have a 3- to 6-inch margin around the lid.

  • Lay the batting or foam flat and place the lid on top, leaving a margin around the lid. Pull the batting tight along the sides of the lid and staple into place.

  • Trim any excess batting that remains beyond the staples.

  • Place the padded lid over the fabric, centering it so that the margins extend beyond the lid.

  • Pull the fabric tight and smooth against each side and staple the fabric to the lid, starting in the middle and working outward on each side. Repeat on each side.

  • Fold the corners of the fabric and staple them into place. Trim excess fabric.

  • Reattach the hinges to the cedar chest using screws and a screwdriver.

Tips & Warnings

  • Choose fabric specific for upholstery. Upholstery fabric is thicker, sturdier and more stain-resistant than regular fabric.
  • Choose upholstery staples rather than regular staples, as they are thicker and longer and do a better job of securing fabric.

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