Tag Archives: Steamer trunk

IKEA Hack to Add Legs to Old Trunk

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IKEA Hack to Add Legs to Old Trunk

I’ve had an old green trunk for a while now, and I have picture albums stored in it.  I’ve wanted to add legs to the trunk since I got it, but I couldn’t find any that really wowed me.  However, since it has pictures in it, I wanted the trunk up off the floor, so I knew I had to come up with something.

One day, I was searching the internet for something totally different, and came across the IKEA Hackers website. I saw the Capita brackets, and it just clicked that I could use those for the trunk legs. They seemed like they would be really cool for this trunk.

This is what I started with.  Just your basic trunk.  Unfortunately, this is not a great picture, but you can get the idea.  Someone had taped the latch, which I ended up removing. I saw why they did that, since it would be really easy to lock this one, and there is no key.01 Trunk before legs

This is what the inside looks like.  Old, glued-on paper and a divided tray.  There is even one stay that is still attached and working, and all three leather handles are still on it!Inside of trunk

Double D finished this when I wasn’t home, so I didn’t get any pictures of the process of attaching the legs. Basically he positioned the legs in line with each other, and drilled a hole where he wanted them. I told him that I would like the outer side of the leg to match the outer side of the trunk. Also, most people use the rounded part of these brackets as the bottom, but I liked the look of the square, so he turned them around.IKEA capita Brackets

We probably could have cut the bolts off so they don’t stick up as much. However, the albums fit just fine, so we decided it wasn’t worth the hassle to cut them off.  This is what they look like from the inside of the trunk.Holes drilled for Capita bolts

Once Double D got all four legs on, he got this picture of the bottom side of the trunk.  Very cool!All four capita brackets installed

And here is the finished trunk, now on legs.  I love how it turned out, and I figure that I can always paint them later to match the black metal pieces on the trunk if I want. For now though, I’m just happy to have it up off the floor.Finished Green Steamer Trunk

Thanks for looking!

Sarah

If you’re interested in trunks, feel free to check out my other trunk revamps:

flat-Top Steamer Trunk Redo

Everwear Trunk

Humpback Steamer Trunk Redo

Linking up with Between Naps on the Porch, A Stroll Thru Life and Domestically Speaking:

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Tin Covered Flat Top Steamer Trunk Revamp

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Tin Covered Flat Top Steamer Trunk Revamp

I think Double D finally got tired of seeing all of my future projects piled up downstairs because he got me a vintage steamer trunk to put them in.  It was actually a good idea, and everything fit perfectly.  These items are typically smaller items, but big enough that I just don’t have room to put them in my desk .

I started with this.  It was in very good shape on the outside, covered with a textured tin. The inside was in great shape too, and someone had taken the time to remove the paper from the inside, leaving the wood exposed. I did find bits still attached here and there to give me an idea of what the paper originally looked like. Tin covered trunk

The other interesting thing was that when I lifted the lid, I could see the original silver color still preserved on the lip underneath. That is why I decided to go with silver for the body. Original trunk color under the lid

I decided to start with the painting first, and used some basic craft paint in silver for the main body. I started by brushing the paint on in sections, and then blotting with a rag.  I wanted some of the imperfections to come through the paint and give it some character.Blotting the silver paint on the trunk

I went with black for the trim pieces. I’m not sure that they were originally black, but the existing color of the trim just wasn’t doing anything for me next to the silver.  The black gives it a finished look. Black paint for the trim pieces on trunk

Once the outside was painted, I started on the inside. I could have left the tray unpainted, but I wanted it to work with the fabric that was going inside. I had some leftover Valspar Indigo Streamer and took it outside to give it a quick coat. I also painted the wood pieces that the tray rests on while inside the trunk.Valspar Indigo Streamer on Trunk tray

The fabric was part of a bed spread that I had bought eons ago, and wasn’t using it on the bed anymore. I love Coca~Cola, so I didn’t want to get rid of it.  I took the stitches out, and used it to fabric the inside. I started by using some spray adhesive to glue the fabric above the tray rests, since there is not room to add any cardboard between the trunk wall and the tray insert. Gluing the fabric to inside of trunk

I then started with the tray, and measured the two openings, cut the cardboard to size, and stapled batting and the fabric to the cardboard. This is how I did all of the sides.Creating the cardboard inserts for the trunk Trunk tray insert

Then I did the top and bottom of the trunk, using upholstery nails to tack the cardboard to the wood lining. Adding cardboard, batting, and fabric does take up some room, but I think it depends on what you use. I had some thicker cardboard available so I used that, and I was just using scrap batting.  Some pieces were thicker than others, so I think that made it more poofy than normal. Starting the insert process in trunk

And here is the bottom finished. The top still needed the four pieces on the sides, but that was done pretty quickly.  I did put the tray inside, and closed the lid, just to make sure everything fit. It did!Steamer trunk almost finished

And here is the outside of the trunk all prettied up.  It is slightly hard to believe it is the same one. I love that you can still see all the scratches and dings. Revamped Vintage Steamer Trunk

I also included a combined picture of the trunk before and after. She wasn’t too bad before, but now she looks great, and is a functional piece of furniture for storage. Can’t beat that:)Before and After of Vintage Steamer Trunk

Thanks for looking!

Sarah

If you’re interested in trunks, feel free to check out my other trunk revamps:

Everwear Trunk

Steamer Trunk IKEA Hack

Humpback Steamer Trunk Redo

Linking up with Domestically Speaking, Funky Junk Interiors, Between Naps on the Porch and A Stroll Thru Life:

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Humpback Steamer Trunk Redo

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Humpback Steamer Trunk Redo

I have a love for old steamer trunks.  I think I have said it before on here, but I’ll say it again. For me, it is my love of history, imagining who owned them, what they brought with them, if they were traveling to a foreign land, or just relocating down the road.  Aside from the history aspect, they are certainly useful if you have room for them in your house. Knowing this, my family gave me a smaller humpback trunk for my birthday.  She had seen better days, but my sister said she knew I would love a good project, and the price was right at $30:)

This is what I started with.  The inside walls were slightly warped due to water damage, and the outside was faded, and had a major chunk of metal missing on the front. I used water and soap to wipe the outside off, and vacuumed the inside out with a bristle brush attachment to get any loose paper off. I have never had a trunk smell (I wouldn’t want it, if it did), but I always use a bleach/water combination to wipe out the inside, and then let it dry. Humpback Steamer Trunk 01

Humpback Steamer Trunk 02After it was dry, I started on the inside.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of this process, but you can take a look at my Tin Covered Flat Top Steamer Trunk post.  That process is the same thing I did there. I start by measuring the bottom of the trunk, and then cut cardboard to fit. I used a box we had gotten our computer in for this one.  Once you have the cardboard cut to size, layer batting and your choice of fabric over it, and staple the layers together on the backside. For me, doing it this way is great because nothing is permanent.  If I don’t like the fabric in 20 years, I can change it without hurting the trunk.Humpback Steamer Trunk 03

I use furniture upholstery tacks and hammer the fabric cardboard to the wood inside, making sure the nails are in line with the wood trim boards on the outside, just in case the nails are longer than the trunk walls. In the below picture you can see the warping.  Also, since this trunk didn’t come with the tray that was in it originally, I had Double D take out the supports, so I could do one large piece to cover the side. That was a pain because the nails are actually bent around into a U shape.  Humpback Steamer Trunk 04

However, before I started getting the inside covered, I had already begun work on the outside.  This was the part I was dreading. I had to go buy a tin snip tool and then I got started. Below is a picture that explains what I did.Humpback Steamer Trunk 05

After I was done rearranging and nailing the metal pieces on the front, I used needle nosed pliers to bend the pieces of metal back around the lip. The metal was folded down inside itself so what I straightened out was enough to cover the wood. Yay!  I used my brad nailer to make sure the metal pieces were attached to the wood.  Then I painted the exposed wood a brown color to match the metal. This is what I ended up with.Humpback Steamer Trunk 06

But…I decided I didn’t like the crack in the wood on the left side, so I filled that in with wood putty, and repainted it.

Next was the top. It had a lot of fading, and the stamped design was no longer black like the sides and back. I got out my wee paint brush and started painting.  This took the longest, and was the most tedious.  I also did the front, since it was a bit on the faded side too. Humpback Steamer Trunk 07

Normally, I like to leave wood as plain wood, but for this one, since the body was mostly brown, I opted to paint the wood trim pieces black.  I am so glad I did, just because it seems to make the metal embellishments pop.  I also painted the key plate, and the metal trim around the lid.Humpback Steamer Trunk 09

Next I took it outside and sprayed a clear coat over everything just to give it some protection. In the below picture, I had the side already done, and just a few spots on the lid.  All together, I put three coats on the trunk, in a matte finish. I love how the metal turned a rich brown, instead of the dusty look it had been before. Humpback Steamer Trunk 08

Almost done…For the inside, I decided I had to do something about the edges.  The metal was sharp, and I didn’t want anyone to get cut on it, so I used some craft ribbon I had bought that already has a sticky back.  It was actually the right width for the edge, so I peeled off the backing and ran it all the way around the edge of the sides.  This way, the sharp edges are covered.Humpback Steamer Trunk 10

And here she is complete.  What a difference.  We put all of our blankets that we use in the TV room in the trunk, which works out great. I also included a before and after picture of both the inside and the outside.Humpback Steamer Trunk 11 Humpback Steamer Trunk 12

I know there are many sites that will explain actual trunk restoration, and even give a bit of history on steamer trunks.  I don’t consider what I do with the trunks I have worked on as actual restoring, nor am I in any way a professional.  If a hinge is broken, or a handle is lost, I really won’t go through the hassle of locating a replacement, but it is still fun to see if I can pretty them up a bit, and especially to see if I can return them to a functional piece of history.

If you’re interested in trunks, feel free to check out my other trunk revamps:

flat-Top Steamer Trunk Redo

Everwear Trunk

Steamer Trunk IKEA Hack

Thanks for looking!

Sarah

Linking up with Funky Junk Interiors, Redoux and Between Naps on the Porch:

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