Brave, Bold Upcycling

Upcycling a piece of furniture is a very satisfying activity.  When I walk round our house, I get a lot of pleasure from looking at a piece of upcycled furniture and casting my mind back as to what it used to look like.  If you start with an ugly piece of furniture of very little value, it also gives you permission to be brave.  You can be radical in the way in which you change it and try out new techniques.  Today, I'd like to share with you how I transformed an old tuck chest which my husband found in a skip, and which I use to store my daughter's train set.

Upcycling chest

I designed my Train Tracks fabric specially for this project.  I created a single colour linocut, gouging out the pattern of the railway which formed a repeat pattern.  It is important that if you are buying a single colour fabric like this that you choose an option which will hold the colour well.  In my experience, the Celosia Velvet and Satin from Spoonflower reproduces a large area of a single colour very intensely.

Creating Train Tracks Linocut

Covering this chest gave me the opportunity to develop a new approach - I needed to find a way of sticking fabric to metal.  I decided to reinforce my fabric with a fusible backing to give it strength.  I cut the fabric to the size of the panels of the chest.  I did this by placing the fabric over the chest and tracing the shape with a pencil.  I made sure the that the pattern matched up as it went across the chest.  I used Mod Podge both on the metal and fabric, and stuck it into place, making sure I used a lot of pressure to get rid of any air bubbles.  I used a piece of plastic to force the edge of the fabric under the metal runners of the chest.

Applying fabric to metal chest

I was absolutely delighted with how the chest turned out.  I think the black fabric works well with the metal edges of the chest, and ties into the theme of train tracks.  It's also very pleasing that a chest which was en route to landfill lives on as a beautiful, useful piece of furniture.

Upcycled Chest in Train Tracks Fabric

Back to blog