Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Re-Lining The Small Steamer Trunk

So...anyone who has seen my booth at a craft show knows I typically use a giant vintage steamer trunk to display my Sweater Monsters...

My husband bought me a smaller trunk last year from ellen j. goods, a local shop in Medina NY that has lots of vintage home decor and refurbished vintage furniture.  It's a gorgeous place.  I want to live there! I often describe it as a very well-curated grandma's attic. 
We got the small trunk as-is and it's needed some work.  I've been meaning to refurbish it to use for craft shows where my big trunk might be a little too big...if I am not allowed that much space or if my husband is not able to come to help me load/unload, since I cannot lift the trunk by myself.  But I can lift this smaller trunk by myself. 

I have another trunk that I've called my "small trunk" since it's a shorter height than the Big Trunk and I can lift by myself.  But even though it's "smaller", it's still just as long as the Big Trunk, so it doesn't work as well if I need to shave a foot off my booth space.

Anyway, I've been putting off re-doing this small trunk for over a year, but I finally got the motivation to do it this past weekend!

I decided that that plaid paper on the inside had to go.  I don't mind the paper on the inside of my Big Trunk, but this dingy plaid paper was an eyesore for some reason. 

I was trying to figure out what I was going to re-line it with.  I didn't want it to look too trendy and scream "Hey look!  I redid this trunk!" like a lot of the trunk re-dos I'd seen when I searched Pinterest. I wanted to keep the vintage look and make it look natural...like this could have been the original lining of the trunk.  I just happened to have a remnant of this blue ticking fabric, and decided it was perfect for the look I wanted.  Of course, I had to make a trip to Joann Fabrics and get more of it (3 yards to be exact). It was "utility" fabric and was thicker, stiffer, and felt more like canvas, which made it nice to work with.

To prep the trunk, I started peeling all the loose paper off.  This took longer than I expected, and at I kept having to shake off the feeling that I was making a terrible mistake and ruining the trunk instead of saving it.  But like my mom always says "It always gets worse before it gets better!"

I worked outside, since I had decided to use spray-adhesive. I set up my craft show table as a work surface for cutting the fabric.

A note about the spray adhesive: I had originally gotten some heavy duty Loc-Tite brand spray adhesive that was not repositionable, not realizing how much I would really want something that would allow repositioning.  My mom had recommended this Elmer's brand spray adhesive, but they hadn't had it at Lowes when we went.  Faced with the reality of doing this project without the wiggle room of repositioning the fabric if I needed, I started to freak out a bit.  My husband suggested I try using his roll of heavy duty double-sided Gorilla Tape instead, but there wasn't enough left on the roll to finish the trunk.  I only got two sides done before I had to head to the hardware store to get more.  Well, apparently Gorilla brand doesn't make that particular heavy-duty double sided tape anymore. On the plus side, I found the Elmer's brand spray adhesive at our local Ace hardware...so I was back on track with using the spray adhesive.

After I did a side, I had to cover it up with paper and painter's tape so it wouldn't get sticky when I did the next side. Luckily, I had some large pieces of construction paper on hand that worked perfectly (I didn't have any newspaper).

After a total of 5 hours working on this project (including the time I spent going to the hardware store) and a few super-itchy mosquito bites (they didn't seem to care about the bug spray I put on!), I reached the end of the spray adhesive portion, brought the trunk inside, and took a break to have dinner and watch some TV with my husband.  Later that night, I got out the hot-glue gun and folded and glued the raw edges under to finish it.

There is still some work to be done before it is "show ready"...a shelf to elevate the monsters (Like I have on my big trunk), a new hold-open latch for the lid so it doesn't accidentally close and chop little children's fingers off, and some small hardware repairs on the front bottom edge. But most of these require my husband's help, since he's more hardware-savvy than I am.  I'm hoping to have it ready in time for the Brainery Spectacular Tent Night on August 3rd.

I am so happy with how it turned out!

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