3 Ways to Repurpose An Antique Sewing Machine Base

Repurpose / Refurbish

DiggersList pick of the day: Singer treadle sewing machine base

If you happen to be a “Big Easy” local, or are just visiting, you may want to check out our DiggersList pick of the day: an antique Singer treadle sewing machine base, listed for just $50 by the Preservation Salvage Store. At first glance, it doesn’t look like much. After all, it’s only a base to a sewing machine table. Well, as the following designers and DIYers demonstrate, with a bit of repurposing panache, dusty, a rusted old piece of metal (and some moving parts) can be transformed into something fabulous and new. Also, developing a keen and creative design sensibility can surely prove that beauty is in the eye of the beholder…or is it, in this case…needle?

#1. Modernized Sewing Machine Base Glass Table:

Modernized sewing machine base glass table. Source: lassolistings.com (link no longer available)

After a good wire brush scrubbing and painting the base a modern black (sans the gold detailing ode to Singer), a beautiful frosted glass table is mounted on top for a very unique, updated finish.

#2. Sewing Machine Base Planter:

Sewing machine base planter. Source:prophetbrosantiques.com

With vintage wood crates all the rage these days, it only makes sense these two items would make such a lovely pairing. The dark green paint of the sewing machine base complements the foliage of the colorful flowers and makes a fantastic and whimsical feature to any outdoor space.

#3. Sewing Machine Base Bathroom Sink:

Sewing machine base bathroom sink. Source: lumberjocks.com

Instead of the usual, try something fun like this Singer sink. Hand-crafted with wooden vanity, copper front and drop-in sink, the surprise element is quite apparent and will definitely delight guests. Note: I’d even stack a bunch of towels on the foot petal to show off its storage potential.

HomeJelly Reader Update!

Look at what Tom Dewey, from Bloomington, Minnesota and one of our skilled and creative HomeJelly readers, did with his vintage sewing machine! Oh, we’re so proud!

Tom Dewey Sewing Machine Vanity

Tom Dewey sewing machine vanity. photo by Tom Dewey for homejelly.com

Tom Dewey: In 1996, my wife and I built and finished a Wisconsin cabin in the Swedish style, called a Stuga, with peeled logs, painted decorations and wood carving details. I made the sewing machine sink for the main bathroom. The only added feature is the oak rim just under the sink, which was stained to match the rest of the cabinet. (I wired up the flywheel to protect little fingers. We used the foot plate as a shelf for slippers, etc.)

I’ve had another machine in storage for years- a vintage White – which I just brought out this week  to make a similar sink, just for the fun of it. The cabinet is in good shape except that it needs a good sanding and varnishing. I hope to find a small sink at Ikea that will fit the bill. Will give the finished sink to a friend or family member, yet to be determined. I’ll send along a photo when the job is done.

Thanks so much, Tom! We look forward to seeing the white one soon!

Have any other repurposing ideas for a sewing machine base?

Leave a comment below or share photos with us @: skaie@homejelly.com


Written By Skaie Knox

Decor/Design/Repurposing nerd and DIYer, brand ambassador, freelance writer, and the editor-in-chief for HomeJelly. Skaie is also a signed and published singer/songwriter (Fervor Records/ASCAP) and kid's book author (Big Bug Lunch!). She was voted "Class Clown", and is a rescue dogs crusader.


  • Aleza says:

    How do you attach the glass to the base? My base has the four supports where the wood top should go, but I want to use it as a dining table with clear glass for a more open feel. Thanks.

    • Skaie Knox says:

      @Aleza…Because you will have dishes and glasses on your table, you will want to be sure to have a sturdy surface for your glass tabletop to be placed upon. Here are a couple things you can do to keep an open feel:

      1. Mount with screws two 1″ x 2″-2 1/2″ x 2′ pieces of wood to each side of the base (you can stain/paint the wood, or, if you can find two square-sided metal bars with similar dimensions (i.e. sturdy towel racks) and drill holes for screws, this could work as well)…it will look like you have a wooden/metal “11” mounted on your sewing machine. (or)
      2. Mount with screws four 1″ x 2″-2 1/2″ square pieces of wood to each corner of your base. Note: again, the wood pieces can be stained or painted the same color as your base to visually disappear.

      …then, add stick-on polyurethane bumpers to all four corners for your TEMPERED glass to sit upon. Read here for more information: http://www.ehow.com/how_7709779_secure-glass-table-top.html

      I hope this helps!

  • Jessica says:

    We are trying to attach a porcelain sink vanity to the singer base, but we’re at a loss as to how to do it. Drill into the porcelain? Build a wooden base for it? Any suggestions?

    • Skaie Knox says:

      Hi Jessica! That sounds fabulous! Attached is a photo of an example we LOVE. It looks like they simply drilled through the sewing table, attached a vessel-style sink, and ran the plumbing through the wood. You can print out the photo, then take it to your local Home Depot or hardware store, and the pros there will help you from there. PLEEEEEASE send us a photo of your finished product! We’d LOVE to feature it on HomeJelly!


      Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *