How to transform a wicker trunk – Step 2 – upholstering

Step 2: fabric time!

I used a piece of fabric I picked up from a fabric store last weekend, with this project in mind.  The size of the fabric is basically the width of your lid plus 5 – 10 cm extra on each side, and the height of your lid x 2 plus 5 – 10 cm extra on each end.  This way you cover the top lid easily and have excess fabric on each of the four sides, which should also accommodate your foam or towels.

Take one edge of the fabric and place it on the outside of the lid.  Fold the edge to overlap and form a neat edge. Glue firmly in place and press still stuck.  Fold the fabric open again so you have the bare lid exposed again.

Fold your foam or towels (in my case towels that were too ratty for normal use) so that it fits on the inside of the lid edge.  Now you cover this with the upholstery fabric by folding the fabric over it.

Fold the fabric over and tuck the edges neatly over and under the foam or towels so they are neatly covered.  Glue one side in place and apply pressure for the glue to stick.  Repeat on the other side so you have sort of an envelope of fabric.  If needs be adjust the filling by sticking your hand in the envelope and moving the foam about so it all fills up neatly and evenly.

Once your are happy with this, turn over the lid so the filled fabric envelope rests on the floor.  Now add a few centimetres to the width of the lid but make sure that you have enough fabric left to cover the inside of the lid neatly.  Cut off the excess and put this aside.

Now turn your trunk back up in the normal position, so you can close the lid easily.  Fold the remaining upholstery fabric under  your filling so you have again, a neat edge.  Glue in place aligned with the edge of the lid neatly.  Apply some more pressure so the fabric is stuck in place.  Leave to dry as required.

Fabric top part done.jpg

The next part is fairly easy but can be a bit messy. I ended up  with quite some glue on my hands and at this point was very happy that I had placed something underneath the trunk to cover the floor!

Once the top part is well secured in place, turn your trunk upside down again so your open lid rests on the floor.

Take the remainder of the fabric and place this on the inside of the lid with the unprinted side up.  I now used a pencil to mark the size of the lid that it is supposed to cover.  Leave about 1 cm extra for a neatly folded edge.

Take a pair of sharp scissors to cut off the excess fabric from the shape that you just marked on the inside of the remaining fabric.  Now place your fabric on the inside of the lid, right (printed) side up, covering the inside of the lid with the excess centimetre sticking out.

Fold the extra centimetre under the fabric and glue this to the lid till stuck.  This will give you a neatly folded edge.  Continue to do the same to the other sides until the lid is neatly covered on the inside.  At this point I added weight to the lid and closed the trunk upside down, to leave the glue to dry and work it’s magic.  I thus had an upside down trunk drying overnight to settle 🙂


If you’ve missed Step 1, you can read this here,  for step 3, we’ll be adding partitions for shoe storage – coming soon!


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