Old Sewing Machine Drawer Frame Makeover

Lora Bloomquist
by Lora Bloomquist
4 Materials
1 Hour

Old sewing machines are great pieces of history but can take up a lot of space if not in use. Repurposing their parts can be a way to enjoy the character and history in a whole new way. Maybe you're using the drawers as a centerpiece or organization but didn't know what to do with the frame that was around them. With a couple yardsticks and some simple DIY skills this repurpose can be a fun organizer or home decor accent!

Start with an old sewing machine drawer frame

These old frames usually held 2 or 3 drawers on either side of a vintage sewing machine. The drawers can easily be repurposed for organization or a centerpiece with canning jars and flowers. But here's a great repurposing idea for the skeleton frame itself!

Gather some Yardsticks

Gather some vintage or new wooden yardsticks and some scrap pieces of wood.

Create the bottom with scrap pieces of wood

Cut squares of 1" scrap wood to fit between each section, leaving room for the width of the rulers to wedge in on either side. Sand it all smooth, if desired.

Cut and place yardstick sections in ends

Cut the yardsticks slightly larger that the width of the openings on the ends. Then by angling them, you can fit them in the groove already there. The last piece will need to be slightly smaller to fill the space. Use either wood glue or small nails to secure.

Cut and fit yardsticks for sides

Cut yardsticks into 12" sections to create sides. Leave small spaces between to evenly span the space between the vertical boards. Clamps will help keep everything secure while you nail in place.

The yardstick ends should overlap the bottom board. Nail in place (we used a pneumatic nailer) first at bottom, then at top.

Seal and finish off

To seal and finish off, brush on a coat of poly if you like the look of old wood. You could also paint if you prefer brighter colors.

Add a clip or knob to either end

To add a little extra, screw on a clip or a knob to either end. As you can see from these pictures, we made our yardsticks colorful on one side and subtle on the other for flexibility.

Great as an organizer for the kitchen!

This repurposed sewing machine drawer frame works great for organization in the kitchen. Perfect to corral tall kitchen utensils, or for packages of tin foil, plastic wrap, etc. You could even bring it back and forth to the grill!

If you enjoyed this DIY vintage repurposing project, you can find more on my blog HERE. There's always more new ideas for your old things!

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Lora Bloomquist
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Tam Tam on Jun 20, 2020

    Mayberry, anyone? Quite charming!!!

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