Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DIY Tufted Trunk Lid

Hello! It's a blustery, chilly spring day here in northeast Ohio. The girls are napping now (the Good Lord knows my limitations and blessed me with two good sleepers), so I thought I'd take the time to explain how I tufted the lid of an old trunk we put in our entryway. Oh, and by the way, I was a bit MIA last week because my mom was here for another visit during which all we did (well, SHE did) was work. We wallpapered the half-bath off the entry and there isn't a word for how much I love it. Working on getting some chair rail hung in there, so I'll show you the big ta-da! next week probably.
Anyway, here's the ubiquitous before and after shot.

Sans cushiony seat...

And WITH cushiony seat...

Here's what I did:
DIY Tufted Trunk Lid
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Fabric of your choice
  • Foam in desired thickness
  • Cotton batting
  • Iron
  • Covered button kits
  • Scissors
  • Upholstery needle
  • Upholstery thread or fishing line
  • Thimble
  • Staple gun
  • Drill and 3/8" or 1/4" drill bit
  • Finishing nails
  1. Measure lid of trunk to determine how much fabric you'll need. Include the thickness of the trunk lid in your measurements and add another 2 inches. For instance if your trunk is 27 inches across and the lid is a 1/2" thick, you'll need 30 inches in length.
  2. Lift lid of trunk and determine placement of buttons for tufting. Make sure to use a measuring tape to make the placement even. Mark the spots with a pencil on the bottom of the trunk lid.
  3. Using a drill fitted with the drill bit, drill holes in the lid where your pencil marks are.
  4. Cut your fabric to size and iron it. Set aside.
  5. Cut the foam and batting to size and lay it on the top of the trunk lid.
  6. Lay the fabric over the foam and batting, and staple to the underside of the trunk using the staple gun. Put one staple on one side, pull the fabric taut, then put one staple on the opposite side. Repeat these steps for the remaining two sides to ensure that the fabric is straight and not puckered anywhere. If it looks good, go ahead and staple the heck out of it on all four sides.
  7. With extra fabric from your yardage, cover the desired amount of buttons using the button kit and following the instructions on the package.
  8. Tie one end of upholstery thread or fishing line to the upholstery needle. Tie the other end to a finishing nail.
  9. To keep the thread from coming back through your drilled holes, lay the finishing nail across the back of the hole and keep looping the thread over the nail and back up through the hole as you sew the button on. Repeat this a few times and then tie off the thread to the finishing nail. You may need a thimble to help push the needles through the layer of foam.
  10. Twist the nail to draw the button down into the fabric to the desired depth.
  11. Use the staple gun to afix the finishing nail ends in place to keep it from unwinding

So there you have it! You know me...I consider my skill level moderate at best and this was a very manageable project for me. (Manageable means anything I don't have to ask my husband to help me with...and it even involved a power tool!) So if you see an old trunk somewhere this spring at a flea market...snatch it up!

This project was shared on:

Skip To My Lou

The Shabby Nest


  1. Very cute and thanks for sharing how you did it!

  2. Very pretty transformation. Looks like it should be in a Ballard catalog!

  3. This trunk looks amazing!! We love it! We are so glad you joined our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday". We love to see all of the great recipes and ideas!! Thanks and we hope to see you again next week! -The Sisters

  4. You did such a great job with this. I love it. I have a link party on Wednesdays, and I would love it if you would link this and any other posts. It is called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party. It runs from Wednesday to Sundays.
    I hope to see you there. I am your newest follower, and I would love for your to follow me also. Have a great Day.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above

    1. Aw, thanks, Debi! I'll be checking out your blog, too!


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