Turn an Old Sewing Machine Table into a Bar

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

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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.

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

What to do with an old sewing machine table that has water damage? Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

Do you have an old sewing machine table missing the sewing machine? Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com
It did not come with a sewing machine

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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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.

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! Add Food Pans to it and turn it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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.

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! Add Food Pans to it and turn it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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.

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.comThese 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.Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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.

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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?

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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 an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.comHere's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

Here are those little circular recesses I said would come in handy. They’re perfect for assisting in lifting out each pan.Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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.

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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.

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.comI painted all the hardware with Hammered Bronze, same as I used on the repurposed changing table and the lid I made for a planter.

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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.

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

For the table, I first flipped it upside down painting the inside only with Plutonium paint in blue called Tsunami.Using Spray Paint on this Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! ~ AmbientWares.com

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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.

Using Folk Art Chalk Paint on this Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! ~ AmbientWares.com

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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.Β  So, I created a shelf where the pans could be stored until the next use.

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.

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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.

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! Preparing it to become a DIY Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! Preparing it to become a DIY Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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.

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! Preparing it to become a DIY Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! Preparing it to become a DIY Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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.

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! Preparing it to become a DIY Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! Preparing it to become a DIY Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! Preparing it to become a DIY Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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.

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! Preparing it to become a DIY Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! Preparing it to become a DIY Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

Here it is, in place. Once the arm hits it, it will glide right down into the small opening. Problem solved!

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! Preparing it to become a DIY Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

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!

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.comΒ  Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

Here's an Awesome Old Sewing Machine Table Idea! DIY it into a Food and Beverage Station! ~ AmbientWares.com

For more unique upcycling project ideas, check these out!

Framed Dry Erase Board using an Old Refrigerator Shelf

Side view of the finished dry erase board

Tube TV Turned Into an Organization and Chalkboard Station

Look at this tube TV turned into a chalkboard entertainment center!

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75 thoughts on “Turn an Old Sewing Machine Table into a Bar

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

    1. 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 πŸ™‚

  3. 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.

    1. 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! πŸ˜‰ 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

    1. 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!

  7. 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 πŸ™‚ Thanks for the idea, yours turned out amazing.

  8. Hi,
    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

    1. Hi Doreen! Thanks for being here and for the follow πŸ™‚ 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!

  9. 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!

    gail

  10. 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.

    Looks fantastic!

  11. 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 πŸ™‚

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