I love a bit of make-do. It’s not possible to run out and buy every beautiful piece of furniture you see and it’s important not to dispose of things “just because”. My mum went to boarding school and therefore had a school trunk, which I used to see in my grandparents’ garden shed as a child. More recently, when I saw the trunk I knew I could make it into a fully functional piece of furniture that would last forever. I decided to turn it into a coffee table that would double as storage. However, I wanted to make it as versatile as possible so I added castors that would allow me to move it around my sitting room as and when needed. The castors also add some height to it, which make it table-like.
You will need:
1. Vintage trunk or steamer chest
2. x4 castors (choose the size according to the size of your trunk)
3. x4 pieces of mdf (about twice the size of the base of the castor)
4. x16 screws (long enough to drill into the pieces of mdf but not too long that they go through the base of the trunk)
5. Wood glue
6. Screw driver or drill
You will need: Old school trunk
You will need: Choose castors like these that are lined with rubber so they won’t ruin your floor covering.
Click on the picture to buy these online for £3.30 each.
1. Using the wood glue stick the four pieces of mdf on the base of the trunk. Position them where you will want the castors. You need these pieces of wood because generally the skin of a trunk is very thin so if you tried to drill the castors straight into the trunk the castors would not be very stable and liable to tear the skin of the trunk. Make sure you leave the glue to dry for a couple of hours.
2. Drill the castors into each piece of wood.
All finished. How easy was that?
The trunk is now not only a coffee table but it provides a lot of storage. You can fill it with heavy objects and it will still be easy to move as and when needed because of the castors.
I love the vintage feel the trunk brings to my sitting room.
The fact that the trunk still has my mum’s name stuck inside makes me love this piece of furniture even more.
BUY YOUR OWN HERE:
If you, too, would like to buy an old trunk then there are some options from online shops but these do tend to be quite pricey. By far the cheapest way to buy an old trunk is to use eBay: I bought one recently for less than £30.
Vintage metal trunks from Scaramanga £100
INPSPIRATION FOR UPCYCLING A TRUNK:
Vintage 1920s trunk with original railway labels from Lassco £135
Trunk used as a coffee table in front of the fire.
Vintage luggage used as storage in bedroom.
Stack trunks to be used as a lamp table.
At Foster House, a photography and film location they have used a trunk as a coffee table in this vintage-inspired sitting room.
Victorian pine toy-chest.
Store blankets and quilts in an old trunk.
Stacked to make a bedside table.
An old suitcase made into a unique bathroom cabinet. Click on the image to find out how to make this.
Vintage suitcase with legs added to change its use.