Thursday, June 22, 2017

That sewing machine cabinet that your mother or grandmother had can be an entertainment unit.

I recently saw a sewing machine cabinet made into an entertainment unit for outside on pinterest.  I really liked it and had it in my mind to make one.  I didn't have a cabinet but my mom always did and it reminds me of her.

I found one at a thrift store for $5 and of course as I drove home, that day, my neighbor had one in her driveway at her garage sale labeled "free".  So I had two projects.  One is complete.  I want to share it with you as it is the time of year, to work outside, and let the dust fly.

To start the project you need to remove the inside of the cabinet that is there to hold the former sewing machine.  I suggest you wipe it down unless you want old dust flying in your face and eyes.  I saved the little decorative handles and hinges from the inside.  You might need that someday for another project.  Haha....

Then you need something over your face.  I used a bandanna.  You can use a mask.  You need to sand the surface of the sewing machine so that the paint adheres to the wood.  That old varnish really stinks and is probably toxic.

Once you have everything sanded you need to paint.  You can use furniture paint and a brush or spray paint.  For this project I used spray paint.  I flipped the machine over and did the legs and sides first.  You want to do a good job covering them with paint as the feet of the legs are the most vulnerable to water and rot, if you will have this outside.  (This is a nice indoor serving table too.  It is great for a small space as you can flip the table arm up when not in use.)

Once the under side has dried and is coated well (you may need to lightly sand and give it another coat of paint) flip it over and paint the top of the arm (or bottom depending on how you look at it) , and let it dry.

Then open the table arm and paint the top parts.

Measure your opening to purchase your pan (which I will use to hold drinks on ice).  The arm can hold your appetizers or food items.

I used the flat or back side of the table for my accessories; the bottle opener and spoon towel holder.  Attach these items with screws.  Make sure that they are not longer than your block and the cabinet or you will have a gap between the items and the wood.  If you do have a gap you can counter that with washers when attaching the items.

As we have a machine shop I had a scrap piece of aluminum and drilled holes through that and the spoon.  I think wood would work too but this will not rot or split.  I put a block behind it so the spoon there would be room for a full roll of paper towels.  (You can use a paper towel holder too.)

Note:  make sure you measure the opening of the sewing machine before you paint.  You might have to make the opening a larger size to use a standard size pan.  I got lucky and it works pretty well although the pan has to be removed to close the arm of the table.
The machine before I did any work.

The pinterest idea had a plastic towel holder.  I found an old spoon  in  a thrift shop for a $1.  Put a block of aluminum behind it and screwed it to the sewing machine.  

The pan was purchased from a restaurant supply store on line.  Opener was the most expensive part of the project purchased from a vintage shop.

Happy building!
The project cost was:  Spoon:  $1.00
                                    Pan:       $6.00
                                    Sewing Table:  $5.00
                                2 cans paint:  $5.50
                                 Bottle opener  $6.00

Total: $23.50

Happy recycling!

With love from your retired FACS teacher,



  1. I love the idea of the old long-handled spoon being used as a towel bar!!!

  2. Thanks Becca. Sometimes I get a good idea but it always shocks me. Haha

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