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Repurposed Treadle Sewing Machine

antique sewing machine tableThis is how I repurposed an antique sewing machine into a side table.
antique White sewing machine I picked up this sewing machine from Craig’s List for $20.00. I had been wanting one for quite some time, because I had 2 projects in mind.
redo of a White Sewing Trestle Machine
trestle sewing machine
After lots of nuts, bolts, screws were removed, I was left with the chassis. I used a wire brush on the rusted parts. Then I sanded, and spray painted it black. I was trying to decide what type of top I wanted to use. First I tried a curb found piece of glass. I also tried a larger piece of wood that had been a shelf in an armoire.White Sewing Machine trestle tableI also was thinking about using the original top that flipped open to expose the sewing machine.white sewing machine tableIt was sort of growing on me….white trestle sewing machine tableantique white sewing machine trestle table
Sew, (pun intended) that is what I went with. The original top. I sanded it down, added some mahogany stain, and a couple of coats of poly. There was a little “ledge” that seemed perfect for an additional shelf. I used a small scrap piece of luan, which I painted black to match the chassis. Voila! A cute little side table!
Check out this post on how to  reuse sewing machine drawers to see what I did with the unused parts from this project.
I’ve been busy making over more sewing machines!
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A teacher at heart, Gail relishes the chance not to show off her projects, but to help others find their inner handywoman, step-by-step. Her blog, MyRepurposedLife.com, chronicles her scrap-saving adventures and has been featured on countless DIY magazines and websites, including Women’s Day, Design*Sponge and Apartment Therapy. She is a longtime influencer for both Krylon spray paint and Gorrilla Glue. With a tribe of more than 400,000 followers, Gail is inspiring a new generation of DIYers to pick up some tools and get to work.
About gail@myrepurposedlife.com


    Speak Your Mind


  1. So why didn’t you use the sewing machine the way it was. If middle size shelf is all you needed. You could have used it way it was plus storage. I know defeats someone feeling like they Re purposed. But sometimes common sense over rules, a cute, or common repurpose.

  2. Pauline marinello says:

    Hi, I just came across your site and I am hooked. I have a sewing machine in my garage that I was trying to sell but I’m now fortunate to still have it.
    It’s ready for a place in my home now after seeing all yours refurbished. How did you connect the small shelve, and how is the glass top connected.

  3. Hi, Gail…Been looking around for ideas to convert my sewing machine bottom into a desk. Love how yours turned out! I want to use a wooden top as well, just need to make it big enough to serve as a kitchen desk. Tell me, how did you attach the wooden top? Glue, screws, etc.? Love your site….Vanessa (new subscriber)

    • Vanessa,

      Thanks for the kind words about My Repurposed Life, and for subscribing. I hope you’ll be inspired by my projects.

      There were original screw holes that I used to secure the new top. (I screwed from the frame up into the top.)


  4. Olivia Smith says:

    Pleese remember there are many of us who still sew with the treadle machines. If you find a cabinet in decent shape that you want to use as a table, etc. don’t forget that the head may still in working condition also. Folks sell the machine heads on eBay all the time. Some are used for parts, some are sold as collectors’ items and some are adopted by new families as sewing machines. They are nearly indestructible. One of mine was made in 1874 and it sews a finer stitch than my new Swiss made machine. A head in even fair condition can bring $75.00. That might even pay for refurbishing the cabinet.

    • gail@myrepurposedlife.net says:

      Thank you for taking the time to “school” me on these things. I’ve never been one to sew, so I really know very little about such things. :)

      I suppose we all forget in this day and time, that sometimes the “they don’t make ’em like they use to” rings very true.


  5. I literally gasped when I saw it with the glass top. Superb. Beautiful mix of old and new. Well done.

  6. It looks great! I have only found 1 affordable sewing machine in my days. $20 was a great deal! Thanks so much for linking up!

  7. Hi Gail…

    So nice to have you for Sunday Favorites this week, my friend…what a fabulous post to reshare with all of us!

    Ohhh my…you are certainly one of the most creative ladies that I know! I would have never thought to get two seperate tables out of the one sewing machine cabinet! Awesome!!! I love how each one of them turned out…you did GOOD, Darlin’!!! I will have to keep my eyes out for a sewing cabinets like this…I would love to do this!!! Thank you so much for sharing your beautifully repurposed sewing cabinet with us…sooo inspirational, my friend!!!

    I hope that you had a fabulous Christmas…sending you my warmest wishes and blessings for a wonderful new year! I’m really looking forward to what 2010 holds for all of us here in Blogland! I certainly plan to enjoy your blog and soak in all of your fabulous ideas!!!

    Chari @Happy To Design

  8. Great idea as usual. I have my great grandmothers sewing machine that is sitting in my Mom’s garage….think I need to get busy.

  9. I never get deals like this. I am glad you didn’t go with the glass top. It just didn’t fit.

  10. I never get deals like this. I am glad you didn’t go with the glass top. It just didn’t fit.

  11. That’s so cool! I find sewing machine tables all the time and hadn’t considered just taking the sewing machine off of it. Duh! I love how it turned out!

  12. Sweet idea! I love this—now if I can only find a sewing table….

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me! I read and appreciate every word!