Tutorial: Rehabbed Steamer Trunk = AWESOME Princess Dress-Up Trunk!


At the beginning of December I was browsing in my local Salvation Army Family Store and saw this bright BLUE steamer style trunk. I instantly thought “Ooo… that would make a great dress-up trunk for the girls!” It was $9.99 and SERIOUSLY BLUE! See:


SERIOUSLY BLUE! OMG! It was an eyesore, for sure! And here’s what it looked like on the inside:

The horrendous inside!

Yeah, that was splinter city! Well here’s what I did to fix it into something AMAZING: (Numbers not only indicate steps, but how many days I worked on this.)

  1. Painted a single coat of matte white indoor/outdoor paint on the trunk. I did this kinda sloppy as I knew I’d just be going over the trim in gold anyways. I painted it white to make sure that the hideous BLUE would not show through the paper I was planning to decoupage onto the trunk. Let dry for a few hours, then hid it before the kids got home from school.
  2. Painted the trim in a metallic gold acrylic craft paint. I think I did roughly 2 coats to make sure it was covered well.  Let dry for a couple hours and then hid it before the kids got home from school.
  3. Cut wrapping paper down to size (roughly) and glued in place with Mod Podge. Trimmed excess paper. I made sure to cover ALL exposed external surfaces (even inside the central clasp).  Let dry for a couple hours. Touched up the trim with a gold acrylic paint pen. Let that dry for an hour or two and then quickly hid it before the girls got home from school.
  4. Hauled the trunk to the back deck and sprayed it with a good coat of satin finish clear acrylic. Let dry, then drug back into the house to hide before the girls got home.
  5. Repeat of Day 4.

    After Day 5 - Outside is DONE!

  6. Cut foam core poster board to size for the inside surfaces. Covered with blue satin salvaged from thrift store curtains using staples for the inside lid pieces and Goop Craft glue for the bottom surfaces so the clothes wouldn’t get snagged by possibly exposed staples.  Glued the bottom in place to see if the Goop Craft would do the trick. Luckily it did! Hurridly hid the trunk before the girls got home.

    Day 6 - Foam Core Boards and Satin

    Day 6 - Bottom glued in place.

  7. Finished covering the foam boards and gluing them in place insde the trunk. Used clothespins as clamps. Worked great! Once dry I hid it for the last time.

    Day 7 - All DONE!

  8. Brought it out LATE Christmas Eve and filled it with Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, and Tinkerbell dress up clothes and accessories. Then displayed it in front of the tree.
  9. Kids LOVED IT!

Here’s what I used and how much it cost:

  • Trunk – $9.99 @Salvation Army Family Store
  • 1 Roll of floral wrapping paper – $1 from Dollar Tree
  • White paint – Had from another project
  • Gold paint – Had from another project
  • Gold paint pen – Had from another project
  • Mod Podge – Had from another project
  • Goop Craft Glue – $6 @A.C. Moore
  • Blue Satin Curtains (used less than one panel) – Two panels for $2 @ local thrift store
  • Clear Acrylic Spray Sealant – $3 @ True Value Hardware

My total = $21


8 responses »

  1. WOW! You are ultra talented! What an adorable trunk you have created. I know 2 little girls (and one big girl) at my house that would love this! Oh and your blog design is beautiful, too!!!

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