How to Build a Blanket Chest

A blanket chest is the perfect solution for providing extra storage in a small bedroom.

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A foot chest at the end of the bed gives these homeowners extra storage and seating.

Materials and Tools:

table saw
tape measure
finish nail gun and finish nails
air compressor
hammer and chisel
lint-free rags
paintbrush
scissors
upholstery stapler
drill and Phillips head bit
sheet of 4’x8’x3/4" birch plywood
wood glue
four 18" carved wooden table legs
quart of stain (ours was Minwax brand, oil-based Provencial #211)
quart of water-based polyurethane
2’x4’x1-1/2" cotton insulation
batting
upholstery fabric
upholstery staples
piano bench hinge

Steps:

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1. With a table saw, cut the following pieces from the birch plywood:
front and back - 46"x13"; left and right sides - 13"x13"; bottom - 44-1/2"x13"; top: 48"x16-1/2"; hinge strip: 2"x46".

2. Assemble all pieces (except the hinge strip) with wood glue and finish nails to form a box.

3. Cut and chisel one quarter of the carved table legs lengthwise. Make sure to hold the legs flat and parallel to the table saw fence. Set the blade height to exactly the center of the leg at its widest point. Set the fence so the blade lines up with the center of the leg. Make your cut stopping three inches from the bottom. Repeat this process for the other three legs. Carefully chisel out the remaining wood that could not be cut out with the saw.

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4. Apply glue to the notch in the legs and place onto the bottom of the outer corners of the box made in step one. Secure by nailing the legs on from the inside of the box (to hide the nail holes) with the finish nail gun. Wipe away any excess glue.

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5. With lint-free rags, stain the entire piece (inside and out) including the top and hinge strip. Use a paintbrush to apply two coats of polyurethane.

6. Upholster the top. Cut a piece of cotton insulation to the dimensions of the top. Cut the fabric and batting six inches larger than dimension of the top. Wrap the batting around the cotton insulation and top board and staple into place. Then wrap the upholstery fabric around the secured batting and staple into place. When securing in place with the upholstery stapler, start at the center and work outwards pulling the fabric taut and even. Finish by folding in the corners.

7. Glue and nail the hinge strip in place (cut to fit if needed). Screw the metal hinge to the wood strip, align the top and screw into place.

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