Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How to Convert a Sewing Machine to a Bathroom Vanity

From This.
To This. 

While I'd love to pretend that I did all the hard work in this renovation, I can't deny that it was practically all my husband's doing. Thus, I'm interviewing him for this post. Before I do, here's what we started with. I had been using this old Singer sewing machine as an end table in our family room for a while. We bought it for $40 at a thrift store, one of our first thrifty purchases as a married couple. The grey, granite sink vessel we bought at an auction two years ago for $25. I had it for sale at my shop for the longest time, and when I finally decided I no longer wanted to sell it, everyone wanted to buy it. No joke. I kept it though, knowing I wanted to use it in our house if we ever got around to redoing our upstairs bathroom. I bought this special vessel sink faucet and this drain on ebay. A regular faucet won't do, since you can't reach behind the tall sink to turn on the water (you need the lever on top or wall mounted).

Total we probably spent a couple hundred on this vanity, but in my head it was more like $100 since we already had two of the main pieces, including plaster and tools from previous jobs. The slate back splash came later as a result of a bad plaster job behind the old ripped out vanity.
Here goes:

What were your first thoughts when I told you I wanted to use your beloved, vintage sewing machine table in the bathroom?   Thank goodness my wife has finally decided to use a sewing machine.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how easy did you anticipate this reno being? 1 being super easy, 10 being ridiculous.  1  Piece of cake.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how easy was the actual process? 1 being super easy again.  8 Piece of blank.

What was the initial process for prepping the console for its conversion?  First I had to detach all hardware from the original, intact sewing machine.  Lots of flat head screws that probably haven't been touched in 80 years. Jordan polyurethaned the whole thing so it'd be more water resistant. After taking out the machine, we screwed the original flip out top back on into place so it would be secure. Then I placed the sink and faucet on top to get an idea of where to drill the holes.

What tools did you use to cut the holes for the faucet and the sink drain?  Hole saw with mandrel.

What were some unexpected dilemmas that you came across?  In order to line up the sink drain trap with the pipe in the wall, I had to go through or around the Singer emblem that  bridged the two legs of the console.  After trying to go above and below the sign, I realized I would have to cut the cast iron Singer emblem.  There were four other dilemmas that I plan to never speak of again.
Our Singer without the "e" so the pipe would fit through

Any other steps or tips that you'd like to inform us about?  Never over-analyze a custom job.  You will talk yourself out of doing the work, and chances are, you won't even think of the real problems that will arise.   Just go for it and commit to finishing the job.

Do you think the result is worth it (aka would you do it all over again)?  Yes!  For many reasons.  First, I survived.  Second, our marriage survived.  Third, I learned a lot.  Fourth, if we ever decide to sell, this vanity is going to matter to our buyer.  Fifth, vanities are too expensive.  We were very fortunate to spend $200 on a custom vanity.
Our new favorite hand soap, Pecksniff's England, from TJMaxx (thanks, Dorothea).
Sandalwood & Vanilla,, it's so pretty. 

One large basket on top stores our cleaning supplies that used to go under the sink. 

And one basket underneath stores toilet paper in a pretty fashion. 
The cubby holes are perfect for little girl bows.

Now for the last and final step: glass doors are being installed on Tuesday... yay!

Oh, and we should probably grout the backsplash. 

Updated picture with the glass doors- such a big difference.


  1. I'm impressed! I am driving tomorrow (1-31-2014) to pick up my Craigslist 1900s sewing cabinet. I currently have a clear glass vessel sink on granite in my hall bathroom. I am buying an antiqued dark bronze/blk faucet that looks like an old well pump and drain to switch out our current glass/chrome fixtures. Can't wait to get started!!

  2. The annual service revealed in manuals, books, and course for sewing machine repair usually includes detailed checklists and step by step instruction in performing appropriate annual clean and lube.

  3. That is the excellent mindset, nonetheless is just not help to make every sence whatsoever preaching about that mather. Virtually any method many thanks in addition to i had endeavor to promote your own article in to delicius nevertheless it is apparently a dilemma using your information sites can you please recheck the idea. thanks once more.
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  4. Did you poly the whole thing, even the drawer fronts?

  5. Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all of us you actually realize what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Please also seek advice from my site =). We could have a hyperlink change contract between us!
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