Summer is in full swing. Its been in the 90s for at least a couple of weeks and along with sweltering weather comes parties to distract from (or draw more attention to) the fact you’re sweating and I’m not the only one suffering the effects of water damage. This old thrift store sewing table was too. Follow along and see how I convert this antique sewing machine table into a DIY party food and beverage station.
Turn an Old Sewing Machine Table into a Bar
Maybe you have one of these old sewing tables in the house right now or maybe you’ll find one while out thrifting like I did and you’re here because you’re looking for old sewing machine table ideas. Repurposing it is a fun, unique way to show your own unique style. There are so many different ways this can be done too. I’ve seen plastic tubs used as sinks or actual metal sinks used as the drink, condiment, and ice older. The sinks would be nice because it comes with a drain!
Your sewing table will hopefully be in much better shape to begin with which will cut down on the time to make. You could use spray paint for an even quicker turnaround time. Sky is the limit and the point is to have fun and unleash your creativity no matter what.
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From the day I bought the table, a food and beverage station was all I could think about. I measured the opening; recorded the dimensions in my phone and while out garage sale-ing, saw two restaurant style food pans similar to these. Went to grab my tape measure and it wasn’t in my purse. I picked ’em up anyway crossing my fingers.
Unfortunately it was a no go. You won’t believe how much I thought, without a doubt and for no logical reason, they’d fit.
Obviously the opening must be made larger but, all of the various pieces left over from where the sewing machine rested would need to be removed.
These circular pieces below would not come out even with the screw removed. There were metal pieces on the other side which were pronged and wedged snuggly into the wood preventing them from coming out easily. You’ll see later on how the holes these parts left behind actually come in handy.
The hardest part was trying to figure out exactly how much needed to be trimmed off of the opening to allow the pans to fit comfortably next to each other. The hinges on either side of the opening and the pans being slightly tapered needed to be taken into account.
In order to center the pans in between the hinges, I resorted to measuring, drawing lines and repeating this process removing a little at a time, using our older model of this jigsaw, until the space was big enough. You can’t add back if you take out too much, right?
As you can see below, one pencil line is cut. When you’re ready to cut along another line, you can go in at an angle and cut until you reach the corner. Then, you’ll have a starting point to go down the next line.
Here’s the final test fit. You can see the overhangs of the pans do overlap the hinges but, the cutout itself is still a decent distance from them.
Here are those little circular recesses I said would come in handy. They’re perfect for assisting in lifting out each pan.
The next steps were to remove the hinges for the folding tops. You could see the effects of the water damage on the one hinge and it lost a few layers.
To knock off the rust, I used my older version of this palm hand sander with 120 grit paper. If you do this you need to make sure you have a good grip on the hinge and you don’t need much pressure. To be safe you could go the hand sanding route.
I painted all the hardware with Hammered Bronze, same as I used on the repurposed changing table and the lid I made for a planter.
I sanded down the table thoroughly using 80 grit sandpaper with my older version of this belt sander. I also decided to remove the solely decorative handles with the thought of replacing them with a paper towel holder.
For the table, I first flipped it upside down painting the inside only with Plutonium paint in blue called Tsunami.
Over the rest of the base, I used 3 coats total of chalk paint in “Nautical” Blue which is darker than the Plutonium color. In my opinion, it is extremely important to stir, stir, stir, then stir more.
At this point, I think back to when I was testing the fit of the food pans and found the folding top could not close if the pans remained in place. I figured a base was needed. So, I created a shelf where the pans could be stored until the next use. FYI, you may want to put down a towel if you make a base in case the pans produce condensation.
Using a piece of 1/4″ plywood cut to the overall dimensions, we eyeballed where to cut out small notches to fit around the corner protrusions.
Sliced piping (conduit) straps were used to attach to both the shelf and the base. The gold one is an example of what the sliced ones used to look like.
The shelf got a couple coats of Plutonium as well. After attaching the straps to the bottom of the shelf, we lined it up to the base, making sure it was level, marked the holes with a pencil, pre-drilled the holes, then attached. Everything then got a few coats of Minwax Spar Urethane since it’s for outdoor use. Maybe light rains wouldn’t pose too many issues but, I personally wouldn’t leave it out in the rains.
Then it was onto the “extras”. I wanted a paper towel holder, a hand towel holder and a bottle opener.
I believe what we bought at our local Habitat for Humanity, for the paper towels, was actually a regular towel bar because you can’t slide the bar out one of the ends so, using a 3/4″ wood boring bit, we drilled out, one side only, all the way through.
At this point, I’d like to say this is the end. It’s all painted, sealed, the extras are good to go and the lids close freely without interruption.
Here’s the thing though; since there’s now a shelf in the bottom, the hinge which helps to hold the large, left sided top up when open, doesn’t have anywhere to go when closed.
Joe to the rescue! He comes up with some cool fixes and this is one of them. He thought somehow the hinge/arm needed to be coaxed down the rabbit hole.
Here it is, in place. Once the arm hits it, it will glide right down into the small opening. Problem solved!
I’m happy to say this vintage sewing table turned food and beverage station has a new lease on life. It found it’s way into a new home and I hope they’re loving it. What color will you paint yours? Party on!
For more unique upcycling project ideas, check these out!
Framed Dry Erase Board using an Old Refrigerator Shelf
Tube TV Turned Into an Organization and Chalkboard Station
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79 thoughts on “Turn an Old Sewing Machine Table into a Bar”
Great job! Can you tell me how you took care of the condensation on the stainless steel bin.
Hi, Mary, sorry for the delay in getting back with you. I didn’t have the table very long and I never did experience trouble with condensation (which I didn’t even take into consideration), I’d be sure to put a towel underneath and that’s only because I had added a bottom/shelf. If there was no bottom, I don’t know that it would be a problem?
Wow! I wouldn’t have thought to create a beverage station with that sewing table. I love it’s new purpose 🙂
Thanks Erlene! I think it’s time I found another one and have a go at it again!
Beautiful! I think I would make a box from pallet wood and put casters on the bottom though, to make it easier to move around.
Thank you, Ann! Excellent ideas! I do love casters 😀
I couldn’t believe it when I saw the sewing table you used, because I have the ‘exact’ one in my hallway right now. It was my mothers and I acquired it over 35 years ago so I really don’t know how old it actually is. I don’t have all the wonderful tools you used to upcycle mine though, so guess I will just keep using it as a table in the hall. Love all your great ideas!
Many thanks, Mary! It was such a fun project to make and it’s wonderful that you have a story and memories to go along with yours 🙂
Terrific job! Doesn’t the weather elements damage it though or do you take it inside each time? Enjoyed this project. Will take a stab at it.
Thanks, Josephine! I must say I did sell this table soon after making it. I, personally, would not keep it out in the rains for any length of time based on what it is supposed to be used for. It could be covered with a tarp or if you have a covered porch, stick it under there. Otherwise, like you said, it could very well be inside and when not in use it’ll sit there looking cute. Hopefully your outdoor parties are rain free! 😉 Hope you give it a try. I also made a potting bench using the same outdoor sealer and, outside of some silly mistakes I made, it’s holding up quite nicely a year later
I was going to send my sewing table to good-will. Not any more……. this is fabulous! I can’t wait to start on this project! Great idea, Thanks.
Awesome, Vicki! I’d love to see your table when you’re done!
OMG, I love this! I’m totally kicking myself because I saw one of these sewing tables on the curb… YESTERDAY!!! Now I’m going to be looking for one, and I need to get that hammered spray paint. Thanks for sharing at #HomeMAttersPArty
Thanks, Emily! I’m planning on refurbishing another one but, it’s so hard to find them in at least decent shape 😉
What an incredible furniture flip! You have thought of everything! It’s the Swiss Knife of Party Station creations!Thanks for sharing ! #HomeMattersParty
Haha! Thanks, Jeannee!
Hey, Angie! Just wanted to let you know that we loved your Party Station From AN Old Sewing Machine Table so much when you shared it at the #HomeMattersParty last week, we’ve FEATURED it THIS WEEK! Hope you can check it out when you get a sec. Happy Friday!!!
Life With Lorelai / Home Matters Linky Party
I saw that, Lorelai, and am so excited and thankful for the feature!
This is an absolutely adorable project! I’m going to be on the lookout at thrift stores for something like this now! Thank you for the awesome idea!
Thank you, I’m glad you like it Denise! I hope you find one!
Did you reinforce the larger fold out table top part? Do you leave it open at all times? Just curious because I have a sewing table similar and want to do something like this.
Hi Kathy, I didn’t do anything to reinforce it while it was open and had the snack tray on it. This was something I actually sold at my booth so I didn’t use it personally other than the day I shot photos and dressed it up. If I had kept it (if only I had the room) I would’ve kept it closed and had small decor on top until the next use. I know each table is different as far as stability but, I personally would not have put anything too heavy on the larger fold out side. I’d love to see if you do move forward with your table!
Oh my gosh…I have this very same sewing machine table! You are ingenious! Love this idea!!! Thank you 🙂
Hi Chrissy! Many thanks. I’d love to know if you end up revamping yours!
Brilliant idea and brilliantly executed.
Thank you so much Etta!
I love it! Will start looking for an old sewing machine. I really want one exactly like yours. You did an excellent job. Thank you.
This is SO freaking cute Angie!!
Thanks Brittany! I ended up putting it in my booth and it went pretty quickly 😀 I need to find another one!
This is fantastic! I find these old tables all the time. GREAT idea. Thanks for showing how you made it.
Thank you Mama Spark! I appreciate it. You should make one for sure 🙂
I’m loving this!! I have a sewing table packed up in my truck right now, to take to storage. I may pull it out and put it on my patio! Mine already has the shelves so I feel like I am ahead in the game. She is also not water damaged so I may leave the color as is 🙂 Thanks for the idea, yours turned out amazing.
Thanks Christine! I only wish mine had started out looking decent 😉 I’m glad to have sparked an idea. I hope it works out and gets lots of use!
This is an amazing transformation! I love it!
Thank you Rachel!
This the one of the coolest projects I’ve seen in a while–you’ve inspired me to fix up a couple of old pieces out in my garage into something useful and beautiful as you did. And how I love that pretty blue paint you chose! –Ginger
Many thanks Ginger! Blue is my color for sure 🙂 I do hope to see what you do with those old pieces one day. Great name by the way!
We’re featuring your project at this week’s Funtastic Friday link party.
Thank you Sherry!
Found you via Talk of the Town where your fantastic sewing machine table turned drink station is featured. I love all the bells and whistles (and paper towel holder) you added to the beverage station. I turned an old typewriter table into a beverage station practically in the same color! I’m now following you.
Doreen @ Altered Artworks
Hi Doreen! Thanks for being here and for the follow 🙂 I may have been more excited for those bells and whistles more than anything. It’s the little touches. I’m headed your way now!
I love, love, love your party cart! I’ve been wanting to do this forever, but I can never find the right “bins”. I look everywhere I go for options. I have never seen food pans like this in my hunting!
great job, thanks for sharing at Talk of the Town!
Thank you Gail! I was definitely surprised when I came across the bins at a garage sale and I’m happy I scooped ’em up!
Creative! Love the idea of a beverage station, especially with the handy extras you added. Super color too! Pinning:)
Thank you Wendi!
Oh my gosh this is absolutely brilliant! Pinning across my boards, I can’t wait to find an old sewing stand and try this!
I’m so happy you like it! Thanks for pinning 🙂
Very cool. I almost considered following your lead until I saw how complicated it all was. Good job. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music
Jo! If anyone could do it, it would be you 😉 Just make sure you find a “healthy” table, take proper measurements and you’re good to go!
This is the most clever re-purpose of a sewing machine stand I’ve ever seen. What a brilliant idea! Plenty of serving room when it’s open, and folds up to take so little room when it isn’t.
Hi Vanessa, thank you! Yes, I do love how it can be so open yet compact. It was really a blast to make even if I got a few headaches 😀
That is a perfect way to repurpose an old sewing table – it’s like it was meant to be an outdoor bar/serving cart! I love your idea of using food pans rather than a sink because of the portability. Pinning your awesome party cart to share 🙂
Hey Marie! Thank you so much! I agree, every old sewing table must become a food & beverage station 😉
Love how creative this is! Awesome job! Thank for being a part of the Celebrate the USA Link up!
Many thanks Laurie!
This is a wonderful transformation! I love it! Thanks for sharing at Celebrate the USA Party. Pinned to the party board.
Thank you Beverly! I’m in love with it too!
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