antique sewing machine table, plus things I love

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … I’m no seamstress.

I spend more time yelling at my sewing machine than actually sewing, because every time I use it it’s like making a date with my seam ripper.

A really bad date.  I’m just sewing machine jinxed.

I only sew if I can’t talk my mom into traveling 1,000+ miles to visit and sew for me, and if I can’t I’ve been know to give her fabric with instructions when I visit her, and ask her to mail it to me when she’s finished.  Isn’t that pitiful?

The reason I’m establishing that fact, is so you understand that when I bought an old sewing machine a few years ago at an antique store, I had NO intention of actually using it to sew.

I just wanted to turn it into an antique sewing machine table, because that’s a project that doesn’t require a seam ripper.

Repurposed antique sewing machine base turned into a rustic farmhouse accent table -

It’s a Singer sewing machine base, and it’s so pretty, from the emblems on both sides…

singer antique sewing machine

to the treadle wheel.

Seriously, I think I may be a bit hyperactive, because I love to sit in front of it and push the treadle, making that wheel spin.

If you haven’t tried it – you need to!  It’s seriously therapeutic!

sewing machine wheel

All I needed to do was create a table top for it, and that was easy!  All it took was 3 pallet boards, 2 pieces of wood scrap, some wood stain and screws.

I used exactly the same method as I used on my Pallet Wood Bathtub Table, and in about 15 minutes it was done.

antique crocks and pottery

I’ll be moving it into my bedroom soon, but since the walls aren’t finished in there yet, I photographed it in my kitchen instead, and I pulled out a few of my favorite collections to dress it up.

pallet wood table top

I only have a few vintage crocks and pottery bowls, but I’m always on the lookout for affordable ones.

vintage pottery crock

My mom had a huge old crocks when I was young, and she used it every time she made big batches of applesauce and grape juice.

vintage crock

vintage scissors

Some day I’d love to get one like it, but every time one comes up for bid at an auction the price goes too high for me.  I know one day I’ll find a reasonably priced one, but until then I’ll just enjoy my small crocks.  The bowls are a little more affordable, but I just haven’t come across very many of them.

antique eyeglasses

A much more affordable collection is my vintage crochet thread spools.

vintage pottery bowls

I never pay more than 50 cents or a dollar each, and I just love filling baskets and bowls with them.

vintage crock and bowl

I only buy the ones that are shades of white though, and I look for ones that have the tag inside the circle intact.

vintage crochet thread

Finding an unused one that still has the wrapper around it intact is a bonus.

vintage crochet thread spools

I sold the sewing machine and drawers, which covered the price I paid for the whole thing, so now I have a rustic little table I adore that didn’t cost me a cent!

If I absolutely HAVE to sew something, I might just plop my portable sewing machine onto the table, and pretend I like to sew!

You can see more of my Furniture Projects HERE.

Furniture Makeovers

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  1. I love it, Angie! I have a base similar to this sitting in my garage. I may have to do something similar!

  2. I bought a sewing machine bottom over 40 years ago. I had a small butcher block on top and used it as a table. Then I purchased a large piece of butcher block and used it as an island in my kitchen. I found a beautiful BIG & THICK butcher block with storage so I took the sewing machine bottom and put it in my craft room to use as a sewing table – I do sew. My son was helping a friend move and came home with another treadle sewing machine machine still in tact!!!! I put that one in my sewing room as decoration only. I can remember sitting at my grandmother’s machine and just working the treadle. It brings back so many memories.

    • Yours sound lovely, Patty! When I was growing up, my mom had a large sewing room (she made custom draperies), with about 4 different machines in it. I loved hanging out in that room, even though it wasn’t decorated. At one time, she even had a wringer washer in it, which I found fascinating!

  3. Love it! Now I know what I will do with the base in my garage that has an UGLY tile top!!!
    Treasures by Renee

  4. Angie, love this and you have inspired me to get my base into the house. I have one on my porch with a huge stone top that I then put potted plants on in the spring. But I think I shall bring it inside and make a wood top for it. Love your blog! Happy Spring.

  5. Great Job Angie, The base is awesome (LOVE IT) and I bet your right it would be therapeutic to just sit and mash the pedal to see the wheel spin. I am a seamstress in my own mind, but not in reality. I like to think I can do a lot of projects, but like you there are lots of words exchanged on my part with the machine. Guess I will stick to buttons until I actually learn how to use one properly some day.

  6. Love it!!

  7. Love the sewing machine table, I think if it gives you trouble then your mom is the best answer. No need in getting upset 🙂 I have the same machine and would love to turn it into a table, but it works perfectly as a sewing machine and it’s from a friend of mine that’s passed away.

    • Dawn, since your machine works well, I wouldn’t take it apart either – especially because it belonged to someone special to you! Many of the old machines are so beautiful. If your is – I’d display it with the machine open, when not in use!

  8. I really like the idea of making the sewing machine into a table & the vignette is so homey & spring looking. This kind of set up just brings a peaceful feeling to me. I, too, love crocks & brown ones also.

  9. Love the scissors in the string ball! Great job! Looks great!

  10. At one time, I had 4 of these tables in my home. They had been lovingly transformed by my father. I am now down to only 2 of them having given the others to my kids. After having them for over 40 years, they are still favorites.

  11. Love your crochet thread collection. I have some of my Mother’s thread I need to go through and display them as you have done so beautifull. I recently was given three nice size crocks with lids. My friend had inherited them and they didn’t match Her new French kitchen! They look awesome in my Farm Kitchen.

  12. It’s absolutely stunning, Angie! As soon as I saw it, I thought to myself, “That would make such a lovely bedside table” and then you mentioned it was going in your bedroom…it’s going to look perfect in there! I am with you on the sewing…I can’t sew a lick other than sewing buttons on or maybe mending a ripped seam…but the minute I have to get involved with a sewing machine, I freeze up. Your Mom is such a sweetheart to do some of your sewing for you! I love old crocks, too, but you are right…even at auction, they go for enormous prices now. I was just at an auction last night and they had one of the big brown and white crocks that went for $75…a little too rich for my blood. However, I did buy a whole set of green speckled enamelware for $26! You can’t beat that, can you? They had boxes of old linens, too, that went for a song which would’ve probably made some very nice pillows…but you have to be a sewer for a project like that. 🙂

    • You got a bargain on that enamelware – what a great win! I know someday I’ll come across an affordable large crock – I’ve just gotta be patient until I find it! 🙂 I can sew very basic things, but I really am jinxed with my machine, and it gives me grief almost every time I try to use it!

  13. Marlene Stephenson says

    It is a wonderful piece,and something good to do with an old piece. I have tried a treadle before and i don’t know how they did it.

  14. This is so pretty. Angie…a lovely way to re-use an old sewing machine base! The legs are certainly art pieces! I love the top you created and your beautiful collections, too!

    • Thanks Linda! I really wish I had the space to just leave it in my kitchen, because I’m totally enjoying it there, but it’s sitting where my kitchen table should be, and my kitchen table is now blocking my cabinets! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

  15. Hi Angie, I love your blog! Your photos are beautiful, who knew a bowl filled with twine could be so beautiful! You should sell your photos. Now, about the sewing and sewing machine table…The table is gorgeous! I too have had my problems with sewing, I am adept at a lot of things, but sewing always seems to be more aggravating than therapeutic!!! Believe it or not, when I was eighteen years old I took a sewing class for beginners, ha! After 3 classes the instructor asked me to leave the class, because I was holding everyone else back, and she gave me a full refund on the cost of the class! LOL I was THAT bad. I have gotten better over the years, but still laugh when I think about that class!!! I also have a beautiful old sewing machine cabinet that is just the perfect shade of turquoise, distressed over time, with pretty little drawers, atop which sits my trusty (although sometimes very annoying) sewing machine.

    Stay calm and sew on!


    • I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one, Sandra! The sad thing is, not only did I take HomeEc in high school, but I’ve been sewing since grade school and my mother owned a professional drapery business many years ago, so I should be a great seamstress by now. Oh well, I know I have strengths in other areas, and I’ll just have to be content with what I can do well!

      Thanks so much for your sweet comment – I love hearing from first-time commenters! 🙂 By the way, I do sell just a few of my photographs on Etsy!

  16. Add me to the member list of the “Can’t Sew – Don’t Want To” club. I’m told it’s just a matter of setting the bobbin and the tension in the right way. Well I only seem to come up with all the wrong ways to do that 🙁 Am seriously trying to find someone in my neighborhood … town … county … that would want to team up with some design work. Until I find that wonderful person, I’ll try to be satisfied with what I CAN DO. But your table is great. These are always nice because they don’t take up much space, and can move from room to room. Not that you or I EVER move things around though … right 🙂

    • I have the exact same problem, Cheryl! Every time my mom comes to visit, she fixes my tension, and every time I touch my machine, I somehow manage to mess it up again!

  17. I learned to sew on my grandmother’s treadle sewing machine and I love those old machines. I had one–not my grandmother’s, sadly–once, but as sometimes happens, I had to store it in someone’s garage and it disappeared. I would love to have another one to use as you are. Seeing those spools of crochet thread also bring back memories of my grandmother as she was always crocheting something beautiful with her tiny metal crochet hooks. Maybe I will look for some of those ecru, white, and beige spools of crochet thread next time I’m at the thrift store–just to display and look at like you have done. Thanks for the idea.

  18. Lillian Cagle says

    Angie, I love the old Singer base! I don’t know where I could put one in my house tho. Not even my sewing room! It is full! Bedrooms too! I think Uncle Bob would frown if I put one in front of my living room window! It is the only place that is clear! It would make a great bedside table in your bedroom! Karen has an old New Home cabinet that is beautiful! She found it many years ago.

  19. You had me at “Sew” . I visit a thrift/junk store once a week when I go visit my dad. Two weeks ago he had one of these beautiful machine’s in perfect condition. He had it marked at $99. And it was out of my league. He had just given me a trunk load of goodies for $20!! But then he offered $80. But I just couldn’t at the time. I have been regretting it for 2 weeks now. So now I read this and I’m planning a morning trip to my dad’s, ok the thrift store. My plan is to use a piece of granite I have left over from our kitchen redo 7 years ago for the top. CROSS YOUR FINGERS! It’s still there.
    Barbara Ann / shop / barbaraannscreations

  20. I love it and all the little treasures you’re displaying on top. Something tells me that you’ll learn to love to sew if you have this beauty as a stand for your sewing machine.

  21. I have the exact same base, and the only reason I know that, is I was cleaning it up yesterday and I remember the emblems on either side. The machine is in bad shape, so I removed it. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with it–either a table top, or use it as is as a vanity/desk. stay tuned!

    I love how you transformed your singer sewing machine base, and I’m catching you this week!


  22. Love the table

  23. I learned to sew at my grandmother’s treadle sewing machine, so I have a real soft spot in my hear for those old babies. I would love to have a vintage one, just to look at or maybe use as a table or something. I can never remember whether my grandmother’s was a Singer or a White. Somehow, I think it was a White. Wish I had it now. Grandma left it in the house when they sold it and moved to a mobile home near my mom and dad. I was too young to have a say in it–didn’t even realize they were selling the house until they moved into the trailer. Wish I could go back and do that over! Oh, well.

  24. Your bowl of thread has given me an idea of something else to collect, though I can’t really blame you since I appreciate anything old and funky. Since the hunt is so much fun, having certain expectations about what you are looking for, keeps you from bringing home EVERYTHING.

  25. I love what you did! I have one in my cellar, thanks for the inspiration and good luck in your search of pottery.!

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