the nursery: diy toy chest


i finally have this adorable toy chest in the baby’s room! this toy chest was built by my grandpa for my dad when he was a kid and it was used by my sisters and i when we were kids too. i knew i wanted to spruce it up and add a cushion to the top, but i didn’t want to ruin the nostalgia of the chest either.


i started off by cleaning the chest. it was kind of grungy and i didn’t know if i would be able to save the cute little horse sticker and numbers on the front because of the condition. i tried a few different cleaners, but once again that oh so magical magic eraser saved the day. aren’t those things seriously magic??? i could even scrub over the sticker and not rub off the color. then i taped off the sides of the toy chest and painted my base coat that is the same vanilla custard color of the walls in the baby’s room. then i taped off where i wanted to have the red stripes and painted one more coat of the vanilla custard to help seal the lines and avoid bleeding. i then painted the red stripes, let dry and then pealed off the tape.

i tackled the padded lid next. the materials i needed for this were:
– fabric for the cushion
– fabric for the under-side of the lid
– foam (i used about 1.5 thick)
– batting (i guess this might be optional)
– staple gun
– scissors and a pen

first i laid my foam out and then measured where i need to cut to fit the lid of the chest. my foam wasn’t long enough so i had to take a piece of the trimming from the side and add it to the end. then i laid down the batting and cut around the lid so i had plenty to wrap over the edges. you don’t have to pullt he batting too tight because it starts to pull apart. i mainly used batting for extra cushion and because i didn’t want to have the greenish color of the foam showing through the fabric. wrap the batting over the edge and staple away. i cut little slits where the hinges were on the lid. then i laid out my fabric and started wrapping and stapling. you DO want to pull this tight. you don’t want any wrinkles or bumps in the fabric. don’t pull so tight though that the foam starts to warp or compress. i then trimmed any extra fabric that was bulky away and cut a piece of fabric for the under side. i measured it so the under side fabric was the length and width of the lid. i then stapled that fabric to the bottom and tried to make sure my staples were in a straight line along the edge of the lid. i then trimmed away the fabric right up to the staples. i didn’t show a picture but i then finished the edge with some grey velvet ribbon (1/4″ wide) to hide the unfinished edge of the under side fabric and staples.

just put the lid back on, fill it with toys, accessories with some cute pillows and your done! the cloud pillow i bought from land of nod along with the black and white cloth basket on the floor. i made the little bow and arrow pillow in the pictures and i have made a couple other cute pillows for his room that i will share soon. overall the project was pretty simple and didn’t take a lot of time. i absolutely love the end result and i feel like it’s the perfect mix of old and new. i know our little dude is going to love it!


9 thoughts on “the nursery: diy toy chest

  1. carliedash says:

    Love the chest! You really were able to take a boring old piece of furniture and spruce it up into a unique little piece. Love the photos as well, and your comment about it being the perfect mix of old an new. That’s a quality I value.

  2. Taura Horn says:

    looks awesome! imagine what it’s going to look like when he’s thrown everything in it to clean up his room fast:)

  3. redagapeblog says:

    What a gorgeous way to brighten up an old chest. Awesome!

  4. Ann says:

    Darling and meaningful ESP since it was made by your grandfather hands ; for your father; and then for you and your sisters ; and now for B B VB. It is very neat that you love things that have such special family significanc. The history is what makes this piece so priceless. Baby’s great grandfather Art would be so proud to see the work of his hands become such a special legacy for his family.

  5. […] 3. DIY toy chest make-over […]

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