There’s nothing like repurposing antiques, and vintage sewing machines, which were produced in the millions during the 19th and early 20th centuries are the perfect candidate. Crafted from wood and cast iron, they make fantastic vanities. By removing the sewing machine, adding a tray, and giving the stand a light makeover, you’ll have an eye-catching closet vanity in an afternoon. Here’s what you’ll need to take on this simple project:
TOOLS & MATERIALS
- Tape Measure
- 18 Gauge Nailer & 1½” Nails
- Circular Saw or Miter Saw
- Flat Head Screwdriver
- Putty Knife
- Mouse Detail Sander
- Wood Putty & Fast-drying Wood Glue
- 60 & 80 Grit Sandpaper
- Paint Brush & Tray
- Small Mirror
- Window Cleaner & Rugs
- 6 Ft. 1 In. x 3 In.
- ¾” Plywood
- ½” Self-Adhesive Vinyl Bumpers
- 1” Angle Brackets (4)
- ½” Screws (8)
- Nitrile Gloves
- Updated Hardware (Optional)
When taking on this DIY task, be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear.
- Eye Protection
- Ear Protection
Clean it up. Start by giving the sewing machine a thorough cleaning. Vacuum the entire thing. Then attack any grime with rags and some good old-fashioned window cleaner, which contains soap and dries quickly.
Disassemble stand. Now that your sewing machine is clean, it’s time to disassemble the stand. Start by unfastening the hinge screws holding up the lid. Be sure to place all hinges and screws in a container, since you’ll be reusing them later. Unscrew the hinges and remove the machine from the cabinetry. Take out the front drawer. Then detach the bracket by backing out the screws holding it in place. Flip the unit over. Remove the screws from the stand and treadle. Then carefully remove the stand from the wooden top.
Prepare top. If your table features a folding support for the sewing machine, use fast-drying wood glue to secure it permanently in place. Using wood filler, putty over any cutouts you see.
Make tray. Now that your vanity top is ready, it’s time to make a tray to attach underneath the opening. Start by measuring the opening, adding two inches horizontally and four inches vertically to your measurement. You’ll be using a six foot 1 by 3 for the frame of your tray and a piece of ¾ inch plywood for the tray bottom. Apply wood glue to all joints before securing with brad nails. Make sure the tray size and positioning allows the front drawer to open and close. Secure the tray to the vanity top with four one inch angle brackets.
Sand and paint. Once your wood filler is completely dry, give the tray, door fronts, and vanity top a good sanding with a mouse detail sander. Start with 60 grit sandpaper. Then sand to a smooth finish with 80 grit sandpaper. Wipe clean with a rag. Then paint your vanity top, tray, lid, and drawer fronts. Now you can reinstall your stand. If you have enough space to reinstall the entire drawer, you can do it now. You can also detach the face plate and reinstall it as a decorative front.
Attach lid. If you’d like a mirror, attach to the lid with fast-drying glue. Mark your hinge locations about three inches from the edges of the lid. Then surface mount them with a screwdriver. Your last and final task is to add half-inch self-adhesive vinyl bumpers to the front covers of the lid.
You’re all done! Step back and admire your new vanity.