How to Repurpose an Old Sewing Machine Table

Written by robin devereaux
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How to Repurpose an Old Sewing Machine Table
Turn an old sewing table into a workspace for your den or office. (well equipped desk image by Pix by Marti from

If you have an old sewing machine table collecting dust in your basement, storage shed or garage, you have more options than hauling it to the dumpster or donating it to a thrift store. Give the table new life by turning it into a work or dining space. Remember to remove the sewing machine from the inside prior to repurposing the table.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Large piece of tempered glass or Plexiglas
  • Family photos
  • Paper cut-outs
  • or
  • Shoe shelf kit
  • 1/2 gallon latex enamel paint
  • Cork sheeting with adhesive backing
  • Wood screws
  • Screwdriver or electric screw gun
  • Clamp-style artist's lamp
  • or
  • 6-foot-by-6-foot sheet of 1/2-inch, 8-ply birch sheeting
  • Wood filler
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper
  • 1/2 gallon latex enamel
  • 2 cans clear spray enamel, glossy or matt finish
  • Tablecloth

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  1. 1

    Use the table in a home office. Purchase a piece of tempered glass or Plexiglas cut to fit the top of the table. Ask to have the edges filed down to make the top safe for use. Place photographs of family and friends, quotations or other memorabilia on the table top. Place the glass or Plexiglas over the memorabilia. Outfit the desktop with accessories such as pencil holder, paper clip dish and desk lamp to create a kitschy work space.

  2. 2

    Create a craft centre by purchasing a pressed-wood shoe kit. These shelves usually have nine cubby holes, approximately 8 inches by 8 inches by 12 inches deep. Paint the shoe shelf and sewing machine table the same colour with latex enamel paint. Allow to dry thoroughly. Use wood screws to attach the shoe shelf to the table top, lining up the back of the shelf with the back edge of the table. Measure and cut cork panels or sheeting to fit the sides of the shoe shelf, if desired, and attach, creating space to pin ribbon, patterns, craft ideas and photographs. Use the shelf area to store craft materials, with the top of the table free for working. Clamp a professional artist's lamp to the table to provide lighting for the work space.

  3. 3

    Make a dining table by centring a 6-foot-by-6-foot piece of 1/2-inch, 8-ply birch sheeting directly on top of the sewing machine table. Use four wood screws to attach it to the sewing machine table, preferably at the points above the sewing machine table legs. Apply wood filler to cover the screw marks and allow to dry. Sand the wood filler marks and paint the table in your colour choice using latex enamel paint. Add decorative painting if you desire. Allow paint to dry thoroughly. Spray the table with two to three coats of clear acrylic spray. Place the table outdoors or in a well-ventilated area prior to spraying to prevent the accumulation of fumes. Allow the clear coat to cure for 24 to 48 hours. Place a table cloth on the table if desired.

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