Project: reupholstering the blanket box

A blanket box covered in fabric with black and white pictures of space rockets
The finished blanket box! (In the dining room, not my bedroom.)
Social-media-free Sundays are definitely working for me. I had planned to do some sewing yesterday, but on Saturday Mr Robot and I walked past the local fabric shop, and it had some discounted upholstery fabric in the window, including some with classic science fiction movie posters and book covers reproduced in monochrome, for just £5 a metre. And I knew exactly what it would be perfect for...

Damaged lloyd loom woven paper
It was going to take more than a lick of paint to sort this out.
When he was small, Mr Robot had two Lloyd loom boxes in his room – white ones, with Paddington Bear fabric on top. Teenaged Master Robot wasn't particularly into either Lloyd Loom or Paddington, and used them as target practice for shuriken. When we got our first rental flat on leaving university we needed furniture so we took the blanket box and laundry hamper with us and covered them completely in fabric. We recovered them when we bought our house. About sixteen years ago they looked beautiful, all covered in spotless cream upholstery fabric. Over a decade and a half of being stood on with muddy cat paws and used as scratching posts had left them looking pretty shabby, however.
Science fiction upholstery fabric and a pair of scissors
Yesterday we ripped all the old fabric off and put the new cloth on. It was a very simple job. I'd measure the height of the box, and cut a piece of cloth about four inches longer. I then fabric-glued a hem along the bottom of the fabric. Mr Robot used upholstery pins to attach the fabric to the box, then we glued the overlapping fabric to the top and inside edge of the box on three sides – on the side with the lid hinges, we glued the fabric flap to the top of the closed lid. That way, when we covered the top (front edge first), we just had to attach the front and sides of the covering fabric to the inside of the lid. We folded the fabric to create a neat back edge, and glued that down to the flap.
Part of the way through the process of reupholstering a lloyd loom box
The top in progress – we always fitted the front edge first.
I'm really pleased with the finished boxes. Okay, with these and the Cath Kidston retro robot duvet cover my bedroom is starting to resemble the dream bedroom of a 12-year-old boy in 1962, but it's very us. It was great to get a 'big' project done at the weekend too. Because I had to take the boxes downstairs to cover them, I had to empty them, and in the case of the blanket box that meant looking at a lot of my craft materials and stored clothing and throwing some out and packing some for the charity shop, which meant I could put more of my dressmaking fabric in there. 

I took some other stuff to the charity shop last week – the salwar kameezes I bought to wear in India that never fitted, my old (unworn) dance corset and black dance shoes and so on – and that made room on the top of the wardrobe for a suitcase of wool that had been on the floor, so the bedroom is starting to look pretty nice again. And the nicer the house gets, the better I want to make it look! Mr Robot and I have booked a week off in March and we're thinking of overhauling the dining room then. Nothing drastic, just repainting the walls and redoing the floor. We also want to repaint the bedroom.

Anyhow, it feels like just a couple of social-media-free Sundays into 2019 I'm really seeing the benefit of cutting down distractions as I'm doing the things I never felt I had time or energy for. I feel better in myself too, calmer and happier. I wouldn't want to cut myself off from my friends and the news completely, but one peaceful day a week is definitely a good thing.


  1. Wow, that fabric really is something else! You did a great job. Hurray for social-media-free Sundays! I've got a couple of products in mind too, but that'll be for after we finished dealing with my parents' house. There simply is no time! xxx

    1. They look so nice now. I had a fabric remnant left over, so am sitting it on top of the laundry hamper as a sort of cat mat - Pippin always has filthy feet. I don't know how she gets up stairs and still has enough mud on her paws to leave footprints!

      Going social media free deffo makes more time on a Sunday.

  2. That's great fabric!
    I've been tearing through projects too-hope it isn't just new year energy that will burn off by feb. I have a chair looking at me that needsa recovering.

    1. I think enough of the world is in enough of a state that fixing things around ourselves is a reaction to that. I have no control over the wider scheme of things, but I can sort out my house.

  3. Wow! Those turned out quite smart!
    A peaceful day made useful, even more of a good thing!

    1. Yup! I'm trying to do more useful things. It feels good to see the house getting nicer.

  4. Fabulous! Yes there is something to be said for getting away from the internet for a while. I really need to do it more often.


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