Upholstering a Trunk


Trunks are a versatile piece of furniture that function as storage containers, but also make interesting coffee tables in lieu of a traditional table. If you've found a plain trunk that fits the parameters of your intended project, you can easily upholster it with a piece of faux leather, Naugahyde or canvas -- it just takes a little time and patience. After you're finished, you'll have a piece of furniture that matches your decor.

Things You'll Need

  • Trunk
  • Fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric chalk
  • Screwdriver
  • Leather scissors
  • Upholstery tacks
  • Corner caps
  • Give the trunk the once over before you begin your project. Although you likely inspected the trunk when you purchased it, areas that need extra work sometimes come to light once you get the trunk home. This step will give you a mental game plan of what you need to do during the upholstery process.

  • Measure the trunk on all sides, then add at least an inch to all sides to account for the hem in the material so that it doesn't fray once you tack it onto the trunk.

  • Remove the handle using a screwdriver if necessary. Keep all the pieces since the handle will be reattached to the trunk later.

  • Mark the material according to your measurements, then cut the material. Use fabric chalk to avoid a permanent mark. Also, mark the inside of the material that will be next to the trunk instead of the side facing the outside. Use a ruler to ensure you have straight edges, which will make the trunk look neater once you put the upholstery on it.

  • Fold a hem on one side of the material, making sure it's about 1-inch thick and facing down. Tack that edge onto the corresponding side of the trunk. You may have to place upholstery tacks at both corners of the side you're tacking down. Don't put the tacks in the very corner, however; leave about an inch on the ends because you will be folding hems all the way around the material.

  • Hem each side and tack the corners down. Make sure the material is pulled taught and the hems face the trunk rather than being upward and exposed.

  • Add upholstery tacks to secure the sides of this piece of material down. These should resemble rivets in the way that they cover the length of the material on each side and spaced about 2 inches apart.

  • Repeat the process until all the sides of the trunk are covered.

  • Add corner caps to each corner of the trunk to provide extra reinforcement to the upholstery.

  • Replace the handle and any other hardware you took off to upholster the trunk.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • Is it Possible to Dye Upholstered Furniture?

    It's great to give a room in your home a makeover, and this often includes customizing furniture already in your possession. But...

  • How to Redecorate a Storage Trunk

    Redecorating a storage trunk, whether it is antique or new, doesn’t have to be difficult or cost a lot of money. All...

  • 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...

  • How to Upholster Wooden Boxes

    Upholstering wooden boxes can be an excellent way to create inexpensive decorative storage. Whether you use them to store materials or as...

  • How to Remove Body Oil Stains on Upholstery

    Body oil stains are a common problem with furniture. When the oil stains the surface, it leaves a greasy, unclean mark that...

  • How to Reupholster Antique Couches

    Antique couches are sometimes passed through the generations within a family. The younger generation that appreciates grandma’s old couch can reupholster it,...

  • DIY: Tack Trunk Plans

    Tack trunks are helpful storage containers commonly used at barns and horse shows. The trunks are simple to make and customizable with...

  • How Do I Upholster a Wicker Trunk?

    Wicker trunks are useful pieces of storage furniture, but they can be expensive to replace. Wicker trunks are usually made of tight...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!