How to Use an Old Sewing Cabinet


An old sewing machine cabinet can be repurposed as a sewing table, work table or patio server. Most old cabinets come on wheels which makes them portable and versatile for different uses around the house and outdoors. Before using the old cabinet, restore it to usable form by cleaning, refinishing or repairing if necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloth
  • Furniture refinishing polish (for example, tung oil)
  • Sheet of plywood (6 feet by 8 feet)
  • Table hinge and hardware kit
  • Cup hooks
  • Plastic storage bins
  • Double-sided tape
  • Plastic placemat
  • 4 wheel casters with screws
  • Stackable plastic drawers


  • Clean the cabinet surface with mild wood soap, warm water and a soft cloth.

  • Repair the cabinet's components such as drawers, doors and latches if necessary. Purchase necessary hinges, screws and drawer kits at a local hardware or home improvement store.

  • Polish the cabinet wood with a furniture refinishing oil such as tung oil. This oil is softer and will not damage the already delicate wood.

Sewing table, work desk, serving station and gift wrapping center

  • Convert the old cabinet into a new sewing table or work desk by adding a table drop leaf to the side of the cabinet. Measure and cut a piece of plywood to the same width of the table and a length of about 2 to 3 feet long. Purchase a table hinge and hardware kit from a local home improvement or woodworking store. Attach the table extension piece by using the L hinge supplied in the kit. The extension can drop down on the side of the cabinet when not in use. Place your chair under the extended table leaf.

  • Use the cabinet as a serving station. The cabinet has storage for plate and food containers. For extra storage inside the cabinet, install small hooks for mugs and plastic bins to hang. Use the small plastic bins to hold utensils. Use double-sided tape to attach a plastic, wipeable placemat to the top surface of the cabinet to serve food and drinks from. The wipeable placemat makes for easy clean-up. If the cabinet doesn’t have wheels, attach four wheel casters to the legs of the cabinet by screwing them into the bottom of the cabinet’s legs.

  • Use the cabinet as a gift-wrapping center for the holidays. Use the stackable, plastic drawers inside the cabinet to store tape, scissors, bows and ribbons. Use the top of the cabinet’s surface to wrap and prepare gifts.

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  • Photo Credit treadle sewing machine image by DSL from
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